Thursday, August 15, 2019

Goals, Blackberries, and the Grocery Budget

So, I like setting goals for myself. Goals keep me motivated. Often times, I set my goals just slightly out of reach, if I were performing at my normal and comfortable level. This can be a really good thing for other people who are depending on me, because I think I'm a pretty hard worker, and others get to enjoy the benefit of my hard work. For me, personally, it's a mixed blessing. yes, I get the satisfaction of doing well on a job. But also, hard work is hard work, and I do get exhausted. Despite this, I don't really know how to be any other way. I do try to give myself time off when I've exhausted myself.

For this summer, my goal-setting is a good thing. I've goaled myself to fill the small freezer with blackberries and other free produce. In specific, my goal is for our family to fill 20 ice cream pails with foraged blackberries. This is far more than we've ever picked in one summer. These blackberries are completely free for us, only taking our time and energy. And my whole small family (4 of us) is on board with picking all of these berries. We have gone out picking just one or two of us as well as all four of us. This week, we've been out picking on four days. So far, we have filled 14 ice cream pails with blackberries. We are definitely within reach of our goal. If the four of us go picking together on Sunday afternoon, we should add another 3 pails. That leaves just one more afternoon of picking some day next week.

We've consumed about 1 to 2 ice cream pails as fresh berries, filling our need for much of our fresh fruit for this month. The rest have all gone into the freezer or made into jam. And how does my small freezer look? It is filling up rapidly, too. It is almost all blackberries in there. We'll be able to use these berries in homemade yogurt, smoothies, baked goods, jam, pancake syrup, and for upside-down pancakes. I'm pretty proud of how hard my family has been working on this.

About our grocery budget -- it's going well for the month. And, I think we have enough in our overall budget that I can increase our grocery spending by a small amount, $10 per month beginning next month. For 6 months, we only spent $125 to feed the four of us. Beginning in September, I'll allocate $135 per month. If this goes well, and if our overall budget can give a bit more, then I'll be able to increase the grocery budget by additional small amounts. In the past 6 months, we've learned that we can push ourselves further than I ever believed possible. I remember when we combed the budget and set grocery spending at $125. I wondered if this was even possible. It was. The bonus in all of this is I am so much more disciplined in my spending than I ever was before. My plan is to continue with discipline and use that extra $10 on basic ingredients, and not convenience foods. Thanks for all of your good thoughts for me and my small family. Your support has gotten me through rough moments. Thank you.

8 comments:

Lona said...

Thank you for all of your encouragement and inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Your blackberry freezer sounds heavenly! How awesome that you will be able to enjoy them all winter long in such different ways!

I am very happy that you guys will be able to increase your budget to $135.00. What a blessing!

I don’t comment all the time but I read your posts daily and even comb back and get more nuggets of wisdom!
Thank you for all your inspiration! I truly appreciate it!

All the best
Cathie

Alice said...

Lili,
You give ME so much inspiration with all your GOOD homemaking skills!

My grocery budget must stay low for a looooong time because I had van trouble with a repair that wasn't too bad but one I didn't want to have to do. I've anticipated selling this vehicle and now with the repair the new owner will have a good start (if anyone buys its!). I have purchased my newer vehicle already. Add into all this is a pre-diabetic/diabetic diagnosis for me. I already am so careful with food and almost all of it homemade that I have no idea what to change. I don't even bake anymore so sweets can't be the culprit. It has to be carbs. But I bake all our bread and rarely use prepackaged food. You won't find boxes of anything in my cupboard (well, stuffing for a certain casserole).

Alice

Frugal in the USA said...

So glad things are getting a little easier for you. You have worked hard for it.

Lili said...

Thank you for the kind words, Lona!

Lili said...

Cathie said...
Your blackberry freezer sounds heavenly! How awesome that you will be able to enjoy them all winter long in such different ways.


Thank you, Cathie.
The blackberries will be very nice to have in winter. We do tend to feel a bit ho-hum about them, here, because blackberry canes are just everywhere we go. But I will try to remember how blessed we are when we use them this coming winter.

Lili said...

Alice said...
My grocery budget must stay low for a looooong time because I had van trouble with a repair that wasn't too bad but one I didn't want to have to do. I've anticipated selling this vehicle and now with the repair the new owner will have a good start (if anyone buys its!). I have purchased my newer vehicle already. Add into all this is a pre-diabetic/diabetic diagnosis for me. I already am so careful with food and almost all of it homemade that I have no idea what to change.


Hi Alice,
I'm sorry about the diagnosis. That's a real challenge. It may not be because of anything you eat or don't eat, but may just be genetic. I know from what you've described about your cooking that you don't prepare a lot of sweets, and eat basic, healthy foods. I'll keep you in my prayers.

I'm so excited for you to have a new car. And you're right, whoever buys your van will be getting a good deal, with just having had repairs done on it. Good luck!

Lili said...

Thank you, Frugal in the USA, It's something of a relief for me, to have a bit more money for groceries.