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Acting Poor

In lieu of Money Saving Monday this week, here’s the money thoughts rattling around in my head.

By all accounts, I am not poor. Like most of you out there, I am decidedly middle class. Perhaps not upper middle class. More like comfortable middle class. For that, we are fortunate. My goal is not to make light of poverty. Poverty and hunger are real problems, not to be scoffed at. For our purposes here, ‘poor’ refers to ‘less’.

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Pictured above is a perfectly good, sealed bag of cereal. I picked it up on the way back to the car from our stroll through the Farmer’s Market. It was sitting in a heap of discarded items. Next to the sidewalk. Read more

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Chickens as Pets

No Chickens have been harmed in the making of this Urban Homestead. Much to Rocco’s chagrin, as I’ve mentioned. We’ve had many long talks on the topic. I’m guessing such conversations will continue for some time.

The Ladies are oblivious to the shadow of the clear and present danger they reside beneath. Danger not limited to the canine variety. Unfortunately, although I’ve named my girls and raised them from wee chickety-chicks, I don’t believe they are pets.

Go ahead. Call me a hard-hearted-harbinger. I’ll deal. I’ve given this a lot of thought over the past few months. I did not expect to feel this way. I did not intend to feel this way. I wanted to love my Chicken Girls like I love The Pack. Only, they would be The Flock. Equally dear, if not snuggling with us on the couch.

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Then Suzie happened. Read more

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Don’t Be Like Us

Next week we will conclude the Meet the Mutts series with an anticlimactic Pug. A cast member you’ve already met a time or two. As we wrap all this up, the astute amongst you will have a good idea of our total number of canine residents. Heck, the only-paying-half-attention should be able to figure it out. I’m still not saying the number. Like my mortgage total, sometimes a little bit of denial is in order.

Even if the evidence needs to be fed twice a day.
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Sunday Spending: Out With a Bang!

The Monday of a three day weekend is, for all intents and purposes, really Sunday. Or closely resembles it. It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to an increase in weekend. If they added an extra day onto my work week, you can bet I would feel it. But an addition to my weekend? That’s just plain natural. Monday becomes Sunday. Sunday proper becomes some sort of weekend Wednesday. A no man’s land in which blogging (and other Sunday like responsibilities) are not required.

That’s my long winded excuse for not writing a post yesterday. I am full of excuses. Exhibit A: See Above. Exhibit B: Grocery Spending.

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On Saturday, a perfectly normal day regardless of the length of the weekend, we were out of food. Abbreviated grocery shopping last week painted us into a corner. By noon, we had eaten leftover pizza toppings (canadian bacon, with slices of mozzarella and chunks of pineapple). By 2pm, I had devoured the last dozen almonds. We were out of options.
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Grandiose Overtures

As I write this, I’m noticing a theme of late. Lamenting my (and everyone’s) expensive life, at the same time I’m defending Stuff and getting bogged down in the slowness of projects (at least when done frugally). Sheesh, what a whiner!

Clearly, “somebody” is struggling with the day to day drudgery of frugality. Somebody. I get like this on occasion. I know it. When I do, there’s a little day dreaming I’m prone to. That is, I start to muddle over grandiose overtures. Big moves. Leaps. To fix or at least completely alter my situation. I’m curious to see if you do too.

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What do I mean by “big moves”? Over sweeping actions that would effectively render that penny pinching drudgery I’m rallying against moot. To be more specific, our go-to “what if” is moving.
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Meet the Mutts: Rocco

Let’s re-visit the dog situation for a moment. At this point in our lives, we had 4 dogs. Four. As in more than average. A house full. A pack.

We’d slowed way down on the fostering, focusing on our own mutts. Although occassionally there was a transient resident on their way to a more permanent existence. That exception is how we ended up with one wayward, very naughty, terribly cute, and altogether unnecessary Terrier.

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That’s Rocco when he was brand new to us. Approximately one year old, with three homes and a rescue under his belt already. All soft faced and innocent looking. Heh.
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Money Saving Monday: Coupons

I’m a long time, faithful Get Rich Slowly reader. I may be all over the map subject matter wise, but GRS brings me back to the money, frugality core time and time again. It rarely disappoints, and when it does, I still find it thought provoking.

Such is the case with last week’s article on How to Buy Brand Name Items at Generic Brand Prices. Or as call it, “How to Buy Processed Food for Cheaper Than Other Processed Food”. Bleck! But, it did get me thinking about coupons. Wouldn’t it be swell if I could score a BOGO coupon on grass fed beef? I can’t open up the Sunday paper and find a deal on happy chicken. Even when I’m lucky enough to find “organic” XYZ on sale, I have to be suspect. “Free Range” can mean that the warehouse full of over crowded chickens has access to a small doorway to a cemented patio. Boo. Not interested, even with a coupon.

Because the food industry (and their corresponding coupons) hasn’t gotten the memo about where we want our food to come from, nor are they likely to anytime soon, I have to dodge and weave to even attempt to compensate for my lack of manufacturer sponsored savings.

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The well loved coupon books which live in my car.
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Sunday Spending: Abroad

Groceries were a little interrupted this week. Being gone for the weekend does that. Planning, menus, and lists get a little bit squishy. What we lacked in plan, we attempted to make up with for our rural location. We are in the midst of agricultural country, and the local Farmers Market here kicked off this weekend. The whole community came out for live music, arts and crafts, vendors, and most importantly food.

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Strawberries. Oh, yes. In May. Small and sweet, I am so happy to see you. I bought a 1/2 flat for $15. I contemplated buying more. I probably should have. It’s early in strawberry season yet, but that decision may haunt me.
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