Ever since we finished paying off our massive debt, we’ve been eagerly looking at houses. Even though we aren’t really in a buying position right now, we’re getting a feel for the market (and getting excited about homes that will inevitably be sold by the time we’re in a position to make any offers).
We actually sat down with a realtor this week to talk about what we’re looking for. I prepared a spreadsheet to compare some of the listings we’re most interested in. As I looked at all of them, I realized they all had one thing in common. They were all clearly out of our current price range. We couldn’t even qualify for them right now even if we had a nice down payment.
That may sound like anything but an epiphany, but sometimes I have such a “we’ll make it happen” attitude that sometimes I ignore reality.
Instead of fighting it, I started looking at houses I hadn’t previously considered (smaller houses, smaller properties, different locations, or fixer-uppers).
While I’m still not-so-secretly in love with some of the ones on my original spreadsheet, expanding our list in ways that I hadn’t previously considered is feeling like a good thing.
The change in my house-hunting thought process isn’t quite a frugal feat yet, but it’s on its way!
Frugal Feats of the Week
Saving the Harvest
Has the fall frost hit your area yet? Well, it’s frosting here. (Mmm… frosting…. okay not that kind of frosting!) Which normally means bad news for your tomatoes and other garden produce that’s not quite ready yet. But we managed to save some of it (we’ll be doing more tomorrow).
I sent my ranch hands (aka kids) out to the garden after school to pick all of the green tomatoes. Learning that you can pick green tomatoes and let them ripen indoors was a game-changer for gardening. Now we don’t have to say goodbye to all of our green tomatoes!
I actually really love letting green tomatoes ripen indoors as it spreads our homegrown harvest into the winter! I wrote all about how we store green tomatoes to ripen inside, so please share it with all of your garden-y friends. They’ll be glad to not have their tomatoes going to waste (and they might even share some with you)!
We also harvested our pumpkins and sweet potatoes. My kids LOVE digging up sweet potatoes. It’s like a treasure hunt! They get shovels and hoes and pick axes out of the garden shed and get to work. They come in (in terrible need of a bath) when it’s finally too dark to see.
They aren’t quite done, so I’ll have to get some pictures of the exciting sweet potato excavation tomorrow. I’ll plan to share it over on Instagram.
I signed up to attend the Mom Conference! It’s just what is sounds like, a conference for moms, but the perk is that you can watch and listen to the speakers from the comfort of your own home (no travel costs) and the event is completely FREE!
This year the speakers include some people I’m super excited to hear from like Jesse Mecham, founder of YNAB, Ruth Soukup, of Living Well Spending Less. There are lots of other speakers you’ll probably recognize. You can see who is speaking and what their topics are here.
Want to join me? Registering is the only way you’ll be able to view it for free, so hop over and register now before you forget. The conference starts on Tuesday, October 11th.
Frugal Flops of the Week
This week I bought something that I almost never buy, so it felt like a complete splurge. Any guesses?
This might sound silly to some, but I bought jam from the store. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with buying jam from the store, but for years, we’ve gotten so many berries from the garden that I haven’t needed to supplement with store-bought jam at all. Once the berries are harvested, then I make a year’s worth of jam (which is a lot when you make something like 8 PBJs each day.
If you’re thinking back to my frugal flop from a few weeks ago, you might think that this flop was because I slacked off and didn’t take full advantage of all the ripe berries available for picking.
That’s not the reason though. I have gallons and gallons of freezer bags filled with blackberries (and raspberries too) in our deep freeze just waiting to be made into jam (like this yummy razzleberry jam). I just haven’t taken the time to make it happen.
A couple of jars of jam aren’t going to break my budget, but it will really be nice to go back to not having to buy it. And I’ll free up so much freezer space too!
Frugal Funnies of the Week
I guess this week wasn’t very frugally funny around here, because I can’t think of anything!
If you have a frugal funny from the week, though, I’d love to hear about it! 🙂
It’s your turn!
- What were your frugal successes and failures?
- Any funny frugal moments?
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