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Other Happenings/Thoughts

September 22nd, 2016 at 09:18 am

Just some random thoughts jumbling around in my head/recent happenings.

We got our wedding video back yesterday on our 4 month mark. It was incredible. We love it so much! Absolutely, positively worth the money. I've already watched it 4 times and it was just the 10 minute highlight video.

The hot tub looks like it's a go. We got the all clear to take it if we wish, and his dad said it looks like it's in good shape. We just need to ensure that it'll fit into his truck, find 6 people to help move it, and then we'll be good. His parents are going to let us store it at their place until our move. Yay for saving!

I've tentatively laid out plans for improvements for the first year. As I mentioned before, the house is move-in ready. There's some minor fixes like sagging gutters, but DH's dad has agreed to help us with those, and DH can actually do some of it himself. The only big splurges that we're planning for the first year were painting, fencing in the backyard, and the hot tub. The fencing we're going to hold off on until we get our tax returns. In the meantime, I am picking up a freecycled dog stake for our younger dog as I'm afraid she would run off and chase something whereas my oldest dog can run freely and listens. The painting will actually happen while we're in the house, but the plan is to live in the basement (it's finished with a living area, bedroom, and bathroom) while we paint all the upstairs, and then move upstairs and paint the basement rooms.

The sellers will be out October 31st. I spoke with our current landlord last night to give him notice, and explain that we'd be out sooner than late November if he wanted to try and turn it around quickly and get someone in there before the holidays. He offered us a different solution which we will be doing. Our current lease states that we can get out of our lease with a $2000 break-lease payment, and 60 days notice. He said that if we wanted to take on the responsibility of trying to fill the place (putting up the craigslist ad, showing the place, etc.) and we found someone, then he'd draw up a new lease removing the fee. If we couldn't fill it, then we'd just still owe the $2000 and rent up until November 20th-ish. DH and I are going to get the place organized this weekend, and place up a Craigslist ad next week. That's not too early, is it? I'd rather give us plenty of time to try and fill it.

I've also been scouring freecycle. I found several desks, so I sent them to DH to see if he liked any of them for the new office. He did like one, and it's still available, so we're picking that up this weekend.

I've been thinking through our budget. I want to get back into tracking through YNAB, but right now, I'm undecided as to whether to get the paid version or continue with the free version. Any thoughts either way?

I also have some ideas about how to cut our spending. I want to try once-a-month cooking with repeated meals - the goal will be to cut our groceries to $50/week or $200 month. Considering we were having trouble staying under $300, this is a big goal, but I already explained to DH that we'd just be doing a lot of simple repetition. Two other big things we're going to do are give up DH's soccer membership and cable. I'm not entirely sure no cable will be all that much cheaper than just Fios internet, but we'll price it out and then make a decision.

I've been reading my old blog entries, and I was so gung ho and good until that Vegas trip derailed my progress. I'm hoping to renew that intensity and really make some progress over the next year. It may not be debt-free by thir-ty, but I'd really like to knock out everything but the mortgage over the next 2-3 years.

6 Responses to “Other Happenings/Thoughts”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Great!! "Debt free by thirty three" used to be my mantra; you can have it if you like. :-)

    (I too got derailed several times, but I finally became debt free except mortgage at 41.)

  2. debt-free by thir-ty Says:

    Ceejay, I just may steal that. Thanks!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I just saw you changed your blog name to this! Awesome Big Grin

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm just getting caught up on your blog now, so if you've already started the once a month cooking never mind, but if you haven't, I wanted to suggest you actually try doing a couple of two week cooking sessions to start off with. It's a lot less overwhelming and it helps you get your feet under you before you jump into the full intensity of once a month cooking. Is you husband going to help? It really helps to have someone help you chop vegetables, especially onions, or shred cheese (often but not always cheaper than buying it pre-shredded). If you don't have a food processor, I'd recommend getting one. Try thrift stores or Craigslists or ask family of friends if they have one they don't use anymore. Barring that, one of those chop wizards or similar devices help a lot.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    LR, funny you brought this up...I just saw an interesting blog post from someone who recommended easing into it by once a week, making a giant batch of what you were going to make for dinner anyway, but making regular meals most nights. The next week, one day would be eating a portion of that, and you'd make a giant batch of something another night. The following week, you'd have 2 nights off cooking because of the previous weeks. And so on until you were only cooking a few nights a week, maybe even just one night, making a giant batch of something that could be eaten once a week for over a month.

    I thought that was an interesting take on it...I do make giant or at least double batches of a couple things that are time-consuming but freeze well, mainly my from-scratch refried beans and my seitan (mock duck). Most of the stuff we eat is better freshly cooked, but I should see if there are other things I could make in batches. Oh, I do save the leftovers of my southern-fried tofu breading and sometimes there's enough for a second meal.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    CJ--I also use the triple batch method when I don't feel like doing big sessions. I'll make up 3 pans of enchiladas, tortellini, chicken casserole, or lasagna and freeze 2. If I have all the ingredients anyway and I'm chopping and browning meat anyway, it's not that much more effort to make extra. I just make sure it's a day I have time for it. And even if we only have one portion of something left over, I will put that in a clean TV dinner tray, wrap it in foil, label it, put it in a baggy, and freeze it that night. I'd rather do that than risk it kicking around in the fridge a few days and getting thrown out than maybe someone possibly deciding to eat it for lunch. Once we get a stockpile of those we all pick one out for dinner one night.

    I also make huge pots of chili, stew, and soup (usually clam chowder or potato and leek soup, nothing with noodles or dairy as they don't can well) and can the excess so we can just grab and heat on tough days.

    I've really gotten into the meals where you put all the raw ingredients into a bag and freeze it and then just take it out the night before to thaw and dump it into the crockpot in the morning. Those save a lot of time since you aren't pre-cooking anything, just chopping and dividing. There are tons of youtube videos of various recipes for those and they rely a lot less on casserole components like cheese, sour cream, or cream of something soups that add a lot of fat and flavor, but not a lot of health to freezer cooking.

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