Tag Archives: budget

Saving money in the dirt

photo on Flickr by Harpo42

The wifey is making some changes at work. She’s set to end maternity leave in about a week, and when she heads back to the office, it will be on a smaller scale. So, part time work means part time income, which lead us to talk some turkey this weekend about what we’ll change in our life with a smaller budget. Let’s call it our “happy up, money down” plan.

One line on the old Dave Ramsey-inspired budget that needs some polishing is food. We spend a lot on it. So the obvious part is cutting out the lunches at Wild Sage, Parker’s and Uno Zoni, and brown bagging it. The other part is cutting on the grocery bill. We decided a few years ago to pay more for our groceries. Why? Because real food generally costs more money than fake food. We want to feed our kids goodness from the Earth, not crap, so we pay more. Not saying we never buy any high-fructose-in-a-box, but we try to cook well-rounded meals with ingredients that our grandmothers might have actually fed to our parents as often as we can. It’s a journey.

So, back to the budget. We need to grow our own food. We got way behind nature’s eight ball this year with our garden. Our house was pretty busy this spring, you know? So, the garden pretty much sucks right now. We’ll be leaning heavily on the Farmer’s Market, community garden and the Co-op. And Denny’s extra garden bounty for sure. But, we figure, it’ll save us big bucks if we don’t have to buy so much. We’re even planning to learn the art of canning.

Synchronistically, I ran across an article on the topic today on Mother Nature Network’s blog about a couple who actually kept track of the money they put into their garden, and what it would have cost them to eat the same food from a grocery store.  Read “How Much is Your Vegetable Garden Worth” here.

For this Maine couple, over one year it came to 834 pounds of veggies from their garden, that would have set them back $2,200 at the store. Wowsers.

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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Food, garden, money


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TV Alert

So we bought that shiny new LCD HDTV yesterday. Holy crap those things cost a fortune–we had an emergency budget meeting right there on the sales floor while the girls watched B Movie in blu-ray surround sound theater seats. (I think we could have left them a couple hours before they noticed we were gone.) The 37-incher we bought was out of stock, so it should show up on Thursday. Guess I’ll have to wait another ten years to try our no-TV-family-for-a-year experiment.

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Posted by on February 17, 2009 in etc., money


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Greening the budget

If you’re a regular bartblog reader, you know we’ve done some things over the years to try to lighten our footprint on Mother Nature around our house. You also know that we are pretty strict Dave Ramsey-ish budgeters around here. We craft a new plan every month and tell every dollar what to do ahead of time and on purpose.

Yesterday, while putting together our January household budget, we decided to create a new budget line called “Green Steps.” It was inspired by a heftier-than-ususal water bill for December. This month it will be replacing our shower heads with shiny new ones that use less than half as much water (now if Hope and I can both just learn to take shorter showers…), and a rechargeable battery set to fire up those AAs powering our Wii remotes and other nonsensical toys (inspired by my annual smoke detector battery replacement on New Years Day).

1/4/2009 UPDATE:

A note on those CFL bulbs (Listen up, Sis)–if you break one, be careful. But don’t panic. Here are some helpful links:

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Posted by on January 2, 2009 in going green, money


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Naughty and Nice Eats (plus expensive lattes)

The Nutrition Action Healthletter in Washington DC shares some insight into some popular foods that are really crappy for us (steer clear of the whole milk and whipped cream at starbucks!). They also share a list of “superfoods” (we love sweet potatoes at the Bartmann house!).

Food for thought: visit the website or  download the pdf.

Speaking of Starbucks…Here’s a nice little nugget for all you fellow Dave Ramsey budgeters out there. We all know gas is hurting our wallets (a 26% price jump in the last year). Bet you didn’t realize how bad those fabulous lattes are kicking your butt (and making it bigger if you get ’em with whole milk and whipped cream). One of Dave’s fans (a math teacher) points out those lattes at Starbucks cost about 29 bucks a gallon!

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Posted by on May 23, 2008 in Food, money


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