Friday, September 2, 2016

August was Expensive - Time to tighten the belt

Well, it is September.  It is like someone threw a switch on our weather.  We went from really hot and muggy 30 degree sunny days to 15 degree windy wet fall days.  It rained most of the week obliterating the fire risk due to the previous six weeks of hot dry weather.  It is welcome but strange to wear proper shoes and socks again instead of sandals and I admit to putting on my jacket for the first time since May.  Finally this week I was able to bake some things in the oven like lasagna, meatballs and chicken.


August was an expensive month.  We went over on our grocery budget, likely due to an early month visit by my stepson and several family BBQs with Mom.  We ate out quite a bit more than we normally due as were so busy with our business that making supper was the furthest thing from our mind several days.  Our electricity bill was higher than normal, as we were filming parts of our course on hot days and had to crank up the AC due to the lights involved giving off so much heat.  September is the month we get back on track.

August grocery budget was $548.18(normally $550 but overage from prior month deducted).  We actually ended the month at $619.85.  Yes, way over.  I wasn't paying good enough attention and splurged a lot on things like ribs and steaks.  We definitely need to stay on budget in September in order to keep on track for the yearly budget.  I need some new recipes for casseroles and things to cook in the crock pot that won't break the budget.  Yesterday was a good start as I managed to buy 3 packages of chicken legs and a steak all at 50% off.  The steak is not of the best quality so will be used in a beef stew.  We are also instituting a Friday night soup and sandwich night as that is the night we are most susceptible to eating out.  Tonight we are having tuna melts with jalapeno havarti cheese and mushroom soup.  At less than $5 for the entire meal it helps stretch our budget.  The cheese was on sale this week at $1.49 day and the tuna is canned at .89 cents purchased several months ago.   Our farm market is only open for a few more weeks so I need to go stock up on their tasty carrots and potatoes even though I have a couple bags full of small potatoes left from what we grew this summer.  There are still tomatoes on my plants but we did not have the tomato bumper crop we had last year.  Last year I planted 2 varieties and had a bumper crop.  This year I planted 3.  Next year I will be planting 4 as we love daily fresh tomatoes in the summer.  I did manage to sock away a good amount of blackberries in the freezer and Mom and I will be making some jam from them in October when the weather is cooler.

I managed to tuck away more money into the Christmas fund this month and purchased my first Christmas gift - an antique item for my Mom that I found on our Facebook 24 hr bidding site. I will share it this week in my next post.

We hope to take Saturday and Sunday off work this weekend and will work on Monday catching up from one of our busiest weeks of the year and preparing to launch our course.  In our industry as soon as summer is over clients get back to business and contact us for training.  We have done four proposals in the last four business days.  If we get all the business we pitched this week (75% is pretty likely) we won't be able to take any more live clients until the new year.  A nice problem to have but we could have done with a few more clients earlier in the year.

Have a great long weekend everyone!

18 comments:

  1. We all seem to have had expensive summer. Fall is great to get back on budget with soups, stews, and hearty bread, home cooked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bread! Yes, that is next on my list to make.

      Delete
  2. Aug was a little more. Had to pay our house insurance.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. June and July are our expensive months with house insurance and tax. Glad that is behind us.

      Delete
  3. Well you might be over on your food budget but if you are busy with work that hopefully that will offset the food budget being a little higher. It was also a 5 week month, at least it was for us, as we doing our weekly grocery shop on Wednesdays.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The work is good but we pay ourselves a specific salary so the money doesn't increase unless we have way too much left in the bank account at the end of the year. One can never complain about work though when self employed, we really are very fortunate that way.

      Delete
  4. We are eating from the fridge for a few days using left overs from a month of house guests. I've moved our main meal to midday and we have sandwiches and the like in the evening. Not having to prepare a main meal when I'm tired is a relief. I still use the crockpot as I'm up early and can easily have something ready by 1pm. I also make at least three meals worth at a time in the crockpot-reheating is a breeze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do that too. Last night was a roast started in the oven, finished on the BBQ. Tonight is Baron of beef toasted sandwiches made from that with leftover potatoes and a salad. If there is more left I will make soup out of the rest. It is a fabulous feeling knowing there isn't a meal to cook tonight other than toasting buns.

      Delete
  5. Well I did put on a jacket but refuse to go the socks and shoe route. I'm still wearing sandals and hope to till the end of October when we head south.

    Good luck with the business proposals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just got too much rain this week to keep in sandals - but I completely hear what you are saying. Wish I was going south!

      Delete
  6. I made eight half pints of blackberry jam (free from the vines) and four grape/plum (free from a friend). The cucumbers are getting put up as bread and butter pickles and relish, and we just tried my zucchini dill pickles and they were great. My tomatoes haven't really started yet so there should be lots of tomato sauce and canned tomatoes from those. I planted Brussel sprouts for the first time. The pack had seven starts and all are well. I should get more than I'll ever be able to eat come fall. - Margy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are doing great! I hope to get many more tomatoes but we shall see what the weather brings.

      Delete
  7. I'm with you on the belt tightening. Everything seems so out of control here. But it normally feels like that.
    Congrats on all the work that you are getting!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate feeling out of control, likely why I have such a freaking headache (see today's post). Money out of control drives me crazy too. I think I need to bake something today to take the edge off (or to go with the wine)

      Delete
  8. I am glad to look August in the ass....er, that didn't sound right did it? lolz

    Bad money month due to vacation spending and some irregular bills and 5 people in the house using utilities all willy-nilly.

    I didn't see this coming a year ago.....2 extra people & a dog in the house/in my daily life for 2-3 years going forward. And owning a house we don't live in.

    Last Fall after college boy left again it was so calm here and lots of empty space in the house....this Fall, not so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely big bumps in the road. You will be fine and hopefully soon all of that (or 2 years down the road) will be behind you. You are good parents...hopefully your daughter appreciates what you are doing for her.

      Delete