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Thursday, August 7, 2014

LIVING CHEAP AND LIVING LARGE

 Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Tomatoes on the left, cucumbers on right
I thought it was time for a look at how our work in progress is going. It's been about nine months since I recapped how we're making it and gave what could be some helpful bits of how-to-get-by for you too.

Our vegetables are plentiful but our funds are not. I've found lots of ways to save. Some of these I've told you about before. Some have been tweaked.

Food and Gas - two huge expenses. Fry's is our regular grocery store. The first Wednesday of every month we get 10% off for the age factor. Although we have to shop more than once a month, we try to make that day the stock up day. Sprouts is our fresh, natural, etc. store.
Sadi in the cukes
Every Wednesday is double up day which means the specials from last week overlap the specials of this week so there are more deals to be had. Costco is our bulk item store and does have better prices on some things. Costco has good gas prices. But if we get enough points built up at Fry's, we get cents off gas at their pumps that can beat Costco. One big saver for us is our own vegetables and fruit. About the only things I buy fresh at the store right now are potatoes, mushrooms, avocados and peaches. And shortly, I won't need to buy potatoes. I could live without the peaches but Sprouts has such yummy organic peaches!

Entertainment - we still do the $5 senior price for an occasional movie. Every couple of weeks we do taco
Tuesday at our favorite Mexican restaurant. $2 tacos and $2 margaritas. For $12 we both eat and drink. This time of year, it's difficult to find time for any entertainment. But a visit with friends on occasion is the cheapest and most entertaining. The local swimming pool has provided many hours of cheap fun this summer.

Miscellaneous purchases - we always ask if they have senior or veteran discounts. We shop Home Depot because they give Frank 10% off.

Credit Cards - yep, we use them. The trick is to pay them off each month. For Costco, we use American Express and get a refund check at the end of the year which we turn around and spend at Costco to save money on food that month. For all other food and essentials we use a Visa card that builds points. We've used those points for such items as food, household needs and Christmas gifts. We have another card for farm expenses but we chose one with low interest and have made payments with our farmer market income. 

There's a new venture coming up to take our Pirate Pickling to the next level and that's Kickstarter. We need to grow and get creative funding to do that. It starts next week so I'll tell you all about it then and hope you'll get involved and spread the word.

Overall, we're doing great. It isn't an easy thing to bring two families together who are a generation apart, have day to day different lifestyles and philosophies. But we're doing good. We've embraced the age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

8 comments:

  1. I love reading these posts. It's not easy I'm sure. But seeing that little girl among the cucumbers is so precious.

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    1. Thanks, Pepper. She does lighten my day!

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  2. I agree with Pepper, that little girl is darling. She should be your pickle label! And love how you work to save dollars. You will be a millionaire next door.

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  3. Great post! I do some of the things you mentioned as well. The biggest way I think we've cut costs is that, aside from milk, we don't buy any other beverages - we all drink tap water 99% of the time.

    I love this adventure you're on and I'm looking forward to seeing what your kickstarter is all about.

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    1. Oh man, Caroline. I should've mentioned the water. We're on a great aquifer and drink water almost exclusively!

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  4. I wish we had Sprouts here in NC! Love that store!

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    1. It just opened last month, Ashantay. Love it!

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