The Making of Plans

green pumpkinWe still have a few weeks left of warm weather but the signs are there. Late summer is here and so is the coming of fall around here. Already some of the trees are showing their bright red fall colors, the grass is wet with dew every morning and the fall wild flowers are starting to bloom and the days are getting shorter.

It’s time to start thinking about the coming of winter around this house…

Over the next few days I will be sharing with you a few thoughts and plans I am making for our family this winter. This year will be a bit different but not a lot from any other year. As fall and winter are about to set in here so come the added expenses of winter such as heat and increased electrical and the cost of food rises.  And too the end to Dick’s summer job until the spring. What is different this year is we don’t have my income to rely on, only what our “winter jobs” will bring. Our savings for winter and our emergency saving are very low this year.

My goal like any other year is to fill the pantry and shop from that over the winter with trips to town only for fresh produce, fruit and things like milk.

This year’s earlier plans were to preserve from our own garden, that isn’t going to happen. So I will stock up on store bought canned and frozen veggies and put up any fresh that come this way from friends and neighbors. So far that isn’t happening this year, their garden’s are as sad as ours.

Our home doesn’t use many cleaning or paper goods but what we do use I will stock up on. Things like, salt, vinegar, castile soap, baking soda and a bit of ammonia and bleach for cleaning. Bathroom paper, wax paper and diapers.

green pumpkin 2Things like herbs and spices. There are a few herbs I have been drying form our garden all summer and those are doing well for us. There won’t be extra for trading this year though.

Grain and hay for the animals. While this isn’t my first choice for grain as I like to purchase it monthly so it’s fresher I will be putting what I need in the cellar to last us until spring. Our hay has been saved for us so I don’t need to worry about that.

Continue to cut back on electric use. This is a tough one for us. Over 1/2 of our monthly bill is all sorts of fees & taxes-they can not be reduced. The actual energy used here is below the average for our area. But to help I will purchase another wooden drying rack as I generally don’t use our dryer and most of the winter hanging clothes outside is a miserable job to say the least. Shoveling mountains of snow to get to the line, freezing hands….inside is easier for me. The use of lanterns and rechargeable solar lighting inside the house.

green applesTrying to cut back on our propane use for heating this winter. Our home is very energy efficient and well weather proofed but there still are a couple of things I would like to do to help. Window coverings and winter drapes, draft stoppers across the bottom of the doors.

Working out and preparing healthy well balanced meals while cutting back on the cost of those meals. This will be a tricky one, but I have a few ideas.

So while I have been quiet lately I have been busy making plans and ready to share them with you.


Posted on August 25, 2009, in In the House, Planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Mitchell Webster

    Just love the canning jars on the “Canning on the Homestead”
    You do such a great job of photography K!!


  2. Winter comes quickly. The reality that we might be heating the home in a month or so ( we really try to stretch it) means that the only thing on our minds is wood. We are anticipating some financial belt tightening. Hubby started a new job and he pays more for health insurance than his last job. Our living arrangement may change because of my husband’s new job so that may add more financial strain.

    My knitting basket is full of wool socks that need to be darned. We are planning on a mostly handmade Christmas, not just for extended family, but for the kids. I am working hard every week to put more food up and hope that I can keep that expense down this winter. Like you we have a low electric bill but there are always ways we try to trim this part of the budget.

    Winter brings some financial worries but I do look forward to it.;especially after this busy time of year. It is nice to have the excuse of of a snow storm to sit home, bake bread, drink tea and knit:)

  3. It is nice when things slow down around here too. We will be turning on the heat here all too soon. I miss our wood stove there is something so comforting about them. Sadly we had to make the tough decision not to have one due to my son’s allergies and asthma.

    Boy I wish we had a low electric bill. While we don’t use much for electricity the monthly charges add up quick and equal a little more that 1/2 the bill…Go figure.


  4. Karyn

    It is already cold here. I put the laundry on the line outside in the morning and the jeans still don’t get dry by supper hour. What an unusual summer it has been. Now fall is upon us early. I am hoping we get a few weeks break in october like last year to enjoy being out in the woods for walks before the woodstove has to come on all the time.

    Enjoy the last of summer.

  5. I strung a couple clothes lines in the garage from one side to the other. I hang the thick items there to air dry over night or for a couple days. Then I just have to pop them in the dryer for a few minutes to finish up. I also hang things on every door jamb and shower rod in the winter. The heat is on anyway, and the humidity from the clothes is welcome in the house. All my bulbs are flourescent, and everything is plugged into power strips that I can turn off to save even more $$$. When the oven is on I load it up with several things to save $$. The crock pot only uses 2cents per hour, so I use it a LOT!

  6. Kathy,

    We do that around here too, the added moisture in the air is very welcome in the winter. We also have power strips but a couple things like the TV have to stay with their power on as not to damage it, it’s a fancy wide screen thing and the guy who sold it to us said not to keep turning it off like that. It is energy star rated though.

    I also unplug the electric fence everynight, the horses are in the barn anyway so it’s not being used. The electric fence doesn’t use much power, maybe $2.00 a month but it helps and it will extend the life of the charger in the long run. I just plug it back in when the horses go out in the morning. It’s part of the routine, plug the fence in and shut the door.


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