Sunday, April 7, 2013

Updated Budget

I am using hubby's really low end for paychecks for this budget as his checks flucuate and updated the budget page as follows.

Hubbys Checks $440 x 2 = $880 plus EBT/Food stamps of $429 = a base of $1309 a month

$475      Rent
$  85      Phone/internet
$ 98      Car Insurance
$ 80      Gas for Auto
$ 49      Electric
$ 50      Propane Heat
$  8       Netflix
$ 10      Xbox Live
$ 25      Savings

$429    EBT/ FOOD

Now this is a basic, bare essentials budget where I have catagorized 26 envelopes for additional income that may come in that we want or need. These funds will be where all extra money is ear marked for.  While I will not list all 26 envelopes and their catagories, they are things like the extra money we need for propane heat or extra gas for the truck for the hospital visits. Home ownership, dining out , clothing, new car fund, car repairs and well you get the idea! All those things this basic budget just does not have any room for.

Without extra money? Well then there would not be any wiggle room and this would be it, but there is always extra money that filters through the cracks!  This also is  one of the reasons I set the budget at hubbys very low end of his paychecks, this will allow for extra money from almost every paycheck as they are typically higher than the budgeted amount!

For now the Food stamps are also remaining in place and kind of waiting to  see what my results are in a couple of weeks. I am in the midst of planning however on ways to raise 80% or more of our own food supply and not only get back off of the food stamps but from supermarket dependancy altogether!

What percentage of  food are you able to raise do you think?


  1. Carrie
    You are an inspiration. I have always lived below my take home pay,and continue to do so. If I have the funds to splurge on something, great, if not, the budget determines where/how to spend what I do have. I pinch here and there in order to acquire needs/wants in the material goods category. Often, these choices are second hand, and i am totally ok with that, as are 3 of my 4 kids. One is materialistic, none of us know how!
    I currently am in a rental, and suppose that I could ask to put in a garden. I am about to have surgery,however, so that is out for this year, assuming that we remain here. I do have plans to do some containers on the deck and I have joined a CSA organic farm for once a week pickup from June thru roughly Oct.

    1. Thankyou CTMOM, you are such an inspiration too and I am always reading your blog! You can actually do quite a bit with container gardening and I bet they would look fabulous on your deck. With surgery coming I am sure you will love the CSA farm. May your surgery go well!

  2. Hi Carrie,
    I would guess that we grow about 1/2 to 2/3 of all our produce for the year. And that probably accounts for 1/3 of our diet. During the summer months, I can go weeks without buying produce, and we can fill our plates quite full with fruits and vegetables, adding some grains and legumes or meat to round it all out.

    In addition to growing our own, we also do a bit of urban foraging. Blackberries grow wild in our area and we have several good spots within walking distance to fill several buckets of berries each summer.

    Have you ever visited the Prudent Homemaker's website and blog? Of course she lives in a favorable climate for growing a lot of different fruits and veggies, and more months of the year, but even so, her garden is amazing. They live on a small lot and have packed the yard with fruit trees and vegetables. She makes the most of every inch of her yard. And she doesn't even have chickens! So, I imagine you could grow 80% yourself, even in your climate. I believe that I read that she spends about $100/month on groceries, and that's to feed a very large family (maybe 7 kids, not sure).

    Good luck with your plans.

  3. I know I could grow a lot more food than I do, but it's hard to estimate how much. My main limitation is time. I have enough space to put in at least another 60 sq ft of growing beds, but I question if I can take care of them all. Weeding and watering take time, and I'm already maintaining a 20 foot row of raspberries, 200 sq ft of growing beds, and another yard full of ornamentals (front and back). This year I plan to add a grape vine (I'm trading some of the raspberry canes for it) and some hops (hopefully by end of next year they'll be producing enough to trade/sell to a local craft brewer). If I didn't work full time it would be easier to grow my food, but then again I'd have no way to pay the mortgage or utilities, so it's sort of a toss up. ;-)

    I'm impressed that you can raise your family on that budget! That takes a lot of innovative thinking and discipline. I bet you also have fun with each other, too, which makes it worthwhile.