Time to buckle down and get creative with saving money.


Well, I’m finally back to my old self. Some of you know that we were about to purchase some land and old mobile home and it fell through. We should have stopped there but we had our house on the market and had committed to our realtor for six months. We tried our hand at another home, a loan, and lots of drives in the country to explore. We were disappointed over and over and the loan was not sufficient or the owner carry situations didn’t work out.

It was the confusion and vagueness of life that really took me down to the dark end of the street. It was that desire to have a new challenge and live somewhere better and not having a clear answer.  It was that raggedy hope that limped along to the next carnival booth to try at winning a prize only to lose big again and again.

But today I had a clear answer. NO. Not now. Or for a lonnnnnggg time. Get over it and get back to tending to this world lady!  So, no decent loan, no deal, no new home or land. Then other things happened to back it up. Bali’s only two employees are going to India for two months leaving him and the big boss to deal with the store alone leaving no time for a future move or home restore. And then the realtor for the last hope house never called back. Things have literally stopped moving forward.

I feel better. I do. I was getting downright depressed. I wanted to cry with frustration. Now I feel grounded and sanity is returning. Even the answer no is comforting sometimes.

I spent today cleaning a filthy house. I washed and scrubbed, I swept floors by hand, I turned up the music and brewed the coffee. Nothing like that coffee smell to signal the brain to start being productive. I put away piles of laundry. I feel so good right now that you would never know I was so wilted. I even laughed during a conversation on the phone.

Now I’m back to a plan. If we can’t get a good loan we will have to save cash. And I can save like a rock star. I love to get that notebook and pen out and write out our budget and then list all the ways we can save. Out comes the envelope for groceries.


Bali manages a gas station down the street but it doesn’t pay much so we are considering selling the old car, getting something younger and hybrid and he can work Uber, Lyft or even delivery of some kind part-time in the city.

I can manage our money better by finding ways to take care of what we have, mend holes in our clothes, hand wash the stains out to preserve clothing better. I will work with a much smaller food budget. I can shop at WinCo, have us go back to a plant-based/whole food diet (I usually still feed the boys’ goats milk, fish, eggs…I’m not into them being veganish).

I have learned new tricks from Homestead Tessie on YouTube with going to food pantries after hours when they throw away the leftover food and produce and I would can and dehydrate all of it to stock my pantry. I would only take what was about to meet the garbage bin and not be taking from anyone in true need. I’m not ready to dumpster dive although I am glad others are doing it and helping curb that waste of good food.

We ate from our garden well this summer but not for long. I did put up 13 quarts of spaghetti sauce and may have more soon to put up. I have two bushels of butternut squash. The eggplant and zucchini are still producing but we went through the potatoes and onions fast. The melons didn’t do well and my corn is not coming up. We didn’t plant that smart and the viny plants took over not leaving much room for other foods. I also stopped gardening in my quest to move to greener pastures.

Now that my house is clean and organized I will work in the garden the next few days. I need to see what I can plant in August, harvest the old stuff, start seeds in my greenhouse, get back to my mini-farm. Eating from our neighbors’ nectarine tree (just what grew on our side) and our garden allowed me to have plenty of fresh, organic produce for a few weeks all free.

The Dollar Tree can even help stock the pantry. Oh, and I have a new homemade laundry soap recipe…all from Homestead Tessie. I don’t have many original ideas, I learn from others. I do the research. When I get into this mode I have so much fun learning new tricks and finding creative ways to make do or do without!

There are a few things you should know about me; first of all, I really want to live in a mobile home on some land. I love the forest and mountains and small, charming towns. I like everything lush and lovely but I have the obsession for an old mobile home that I can fix up like my very own dollhouse. I like challenges and old things. I like fixing things up. I enjoy being on a budget and I love nothing more than finding a fun vlog or blog about living a cozy life on pennies. I don’t know why. I shan’t ever be rich with this fascination. I would rather follow someone making a great life on a fixed income than someone finding riches.

I can’t speak for my family, but I don’t need much. I would like to travel later on when the boys are bigger and don’t act like feral puppies when we go out. I would surely lose them in some foreign country now with how they ran about.

I can’t get into coupons. Tried and never works for me. We eat simply and I cook from scratch. What the coupons are offered for are things we don’t use.

I love making everything from scratch and stocking my pantry. It’s becoming a hobby. Canning is a new thing for me as well and I love doing it.

I love all things homesteading as long as I don’t have to deal with animal husbandry (not that I don’t love animals but it’s a messy, poopy job) and I’m not the skilled woman with the knitting needles and sewer. I’m far from crafty but I have found you can transform an old piece of junk furniture with a can of spray paint. I like to browse Pinterest and find those simple crafty things an eight-year-old can do…then I know I might be up for the task. The smart way to find ways to use odd and old things…yes, Pinterest and see what others have done with say a broken metal rake or all the things you can do with old jars or shipping flats.

Since starting the writing of this blog yesterday, my husband gave me $179 in cash for groceries. I’ll get into the budget later but anything over $1000 paycheck is for groceries, dog food, and toiletries.

The family and I traveled over to WinCo and did some shopping. I hadn’t done a grocery shop in over a month. At the beginning of July, some generous soul sent us a $300 Winco card and I completely stocked my pantry with bulk ingredients. I have cooked from that supply, the garden, and maybe a few items from the store once a week such as a watermelon, baked chicken, milk…

I spent $125 on 6 bags of groceries last night. I have restocked my freezer with frozen veggies, my pantry with 10lb bags of rice, potatoes, rice, and plenty of fresh produce and extras to make good, healthy meals for 10 days plus extra supplies for the month. The trick is cutting out the meat and dairy. We did get a little yogurt for the boys but I can easily and inexpensively make homemade yogurt from now on.

The magic formula for feeding your family well on a small alotment is simply this:

All scratch cooking, buying bulk (check the price per pound because it doesn’t always save), stick to produce, grains, beans, potatoes, whole foods, everything in season, limit meat and dairy or cut it out, and no junk food.

So, off I go to look on Farmer’s Almanac to see what is ready to plant mid-August. I’ll go work out in the garden all day today since we are being blessed with the 80-degree weather after days of triple digits.  Planting your own produce section is another great money saver as well.

Have a great week!




22 thoughts on “Time to buckle down and get creative with saving money.

  1. I am so very sorry the house/property did not work out for you. We have been there so many times and it becomes disheartening. But, we have also learned that God was saving us from something terrible that could have happened so I eventually become thankful and know that it will or will not happen and to learn to be content with where I am planted.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us, you are a huge inspiration!


    1. Thank you Wendi! I feel so much better and I know this to be true, but I still needed to mourn. Now I just blew some money and had a shopping spree at the garden nursery and I’m going to garden like crazy. I feel joy in my heart again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love your house, the wooden trim is beautiful. The way you painted it and fixed it up is so cute. I’ve lived in old mobile homes and they leak. I hope your area continues to improve.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate–I wanted to say “Thank You.” I just read about 10 of your books and loved all of them (I discovered them on Amazon). Thank you for being so open and willing to share your hints and tips with us and for giving an honest look into what a single income household can accomplish. May you have renewed energy for your cottage and many more blessings in the future. Please continue to write as there are many of us out here who really enjoy reading it.


  3. You are not bound to a realty contract listing. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially a realtor. We have listed our home and changed directions several times. It is a matter of signing a few papers to take it off the market. I prayed for peace for your soul (which I think you have found). Happy rest of your summer!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There may be something even better to come along. Stay positive. If the Lord sees fit, and it is a good thing for you and your family I’m pretty sure your dream will come true.


  5. Hi Kate, so glad to see you back in the groove!! I too go to our local food bank and can, dehydrate and pickle their extras before they toss it. The produce needs to be done up right away so I usually drop everything and process them. I have done salsas, spaghetti sauce, pickled green beans, so much more…I share with my family some fresh some I canned up for them. It is such a blessing to our family to be have that resource.. I always give back to the food bank by going to their fundraising g events and volunteering when I can. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us I know we all appreciate YOU! Love Gaila I. The NW

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Is this $179 for the entire month of groceries? I’m really wanting to try and get our grocery budget lower, we spend $360 right now for a family of 4 (1 teenager that eats a ton). I have special dietary needs due to disability in my bladder and bowel – can’t do tomato anything.. which has cut out spaghetti, lasagna and all the other cheap tomato-based meals.


    1. No! This was for 10 days. I forgot to say that. Don’t cut groceries too much and sacrifice good food. You are already on a tiny budget. I would love to do about $600 but I’m just playing with it to see how low we can go and we have a full pantry. Check out my YouTube for details Coffee with Kate.


  7. The adventure continues ;). Enjoyed your blog today and thank you for keeping us up to date on your plans. After reading your writing today, I realized I was bored, or needed a challenge, or something to get me perked back up, glad I could see it on your writing and recognized it in me. Now I will start to ponder what my next challenge will be. Happy gardening!


  8. I am new to your blog and you tube channel.
    Praying for peace and guidance for you as you seek your next adventure.
    Please keep writing, you have so much good information.
    And I love seeing your boys, they remind me so much of my grandsons.

    Liked by 1 person

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