Sunday, March 30, 2014

End of March Notes

2 more weeks have passed since posting about our expenses, and my overbuy has paid off pretty well so far.  I didn't go shopping at all the week after my last post, but the wife and I shared a gyro from the restaurant next door - $4.35, though I found a dime on the ground just outside so it only cost $4.25.  I went shopping this week and spent $5.90 on a few essentials, including the first jug of milk I've bought since the challenge started.  It expires on may 6th, it seems almost wasteful to even buy something with such a short shelf life.  I did buy whole milk so that it would keep a little longer.  There is still a bit of sour cream and a whole lot of cheese I bought week 1, and it is all still fine. This brings our total spent to $274.03 out of $302.78, with 4 more shopping Thursdays to go.  I might spend $9.53 for the next 3 weeks and then try to 'power through' that final week on what we have left instead of $7.18 each week.

Why $302.78?  Well, let me mention that when I set my $300 for 3 months goal, I had a second part to that goal.  In addition to spending only $300, I wanted to earn that amount through atypical means.  I had a few ideas to start with - one was selling pierogies I made with challenge funds.  Another was gathering discarded things left at auctions or thrown in their dumpsters.  The third was patrolling the streets for scrap metal.

On the way to pick up one of our workers a few weeks ago I saw a stove on the curb. When he got in the car I told him if it was there when we went past again we'd go get the van and grab it.  It was there, so we swapped vehicles.  By the time we got back it was gone.  A dishwasher was in its place.  I had a parlay with the guys cleaning the house out, which had suffered from a fire recently.  I asked if they had any more appliances and they said they had 2 fridges and a freezer.  I told a friend of ours who scraps a lot and knows a place that takes refrigerators and recovers the freon from them.  Long story short, I found 97 pennies on the front porch, and earned $20 from scrap.  I still have the dishwasher to take to the scrap yard along with a few auction gatherings.

While hanging drywall at my mom's house this week, I spotted a large pile of trash on her street.  The people were still carting stuff out there.  I spied a great looking globe with stand I plan to sell, though I do have to make a small repair part.  It is missing a pin that holds one of the axis in place.I hope to make a big chunk towards the $300 earnings goal.

The 97 pennies combined with the $1.81 my sister gave me on my birthday, which was part of her 'change I found' stash, brings to total to $2.78, the overage I plan to spend per the challenge rules.

2 more notes - Todd came over last weekend with 6 roosters.  He had won 10 chicks at a fair last year and ended up with mostly males.  We spent the afternoon slaughtering and preparing them.  If you want details just ask, I don't mind sharing.  Suffice to say, it was far less gruesome than you'd imagine.  If you've ever gone fishing and actually ate the fish, those creatures probably go through a lot more suffering than Todd's poultry did.  he gave me one for helping him out.

Finally, I sugared another batch of sap from the boxelder.  There was 3 gallons of sap and I yielded 11oz of sugar.  This was a little lower yield than the previous batch but still better than the sugar maples by better than an ounce per gallon.

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