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Frugal Tips: Owning or Renting

It’s been a long time since we rented. We have owned our own home for the last 15 years. There are pros and cons to both owning and renting. Today’s post is a guest post written by Bryce Thomas. She brings up some good points. I hope you enjoy her article.

Every morning I wake up in my little basement apartment and think of how nice it would be if I lived somewhere with windows. Now, I guess we do have two little holes up near the ceiling that you could call windows. And sometimes, usually around one in the afternoon, the sun is actually high enough in the sky to shine directly into the room. For an hour or so. After that, it disappears, and we’re left in the semi-darkness of our little cave home.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great things about renting. I like not having to worry about mowing the lawn. I like not having to fix serious problems in the house, I like knowing I can leave and move somewhere new at the end of my year-long lease. But there are quite a few downsides, not least of which is the quality of apartments I can find at a decent price. In this case, one with no real windows.

I also dislike not being able to make real changes to my surroundings without the approval of my landlord. And I would love to have a dog. Something that most landlords won’t even consider at an extra cost.

As I’m still working toward grad school, buying a home is out of the question. I have to be able to move wherever I get accepted, and living in a house for less than five years is basically losing money. But it’s not too early for me to figure out what I need to know about owning a house, and when it might be a good time for me to consider taking the plunge.

Home For Sale RE/MAX Nannette Saunders Realtor

(Photo credit: nannetteturner)

With these questions in mind, I contacted a local mortgage company, Axiom Financial, to ask about some of the benefits of owning vs. renting. The folks there were really helpful, and here are some of the main points I gained from the conversation:

Owning is Better in the Long Run

I wasn’t too surprised by this tip. It makes sense to me. When I pay rent, I never expect to see that money again. So while it might be less expensive for me monthly to rent, in the long run, I lose that money. When you own a house, you’re contributing to your equity. Eventually, you’ll see a return on that money, if you ever decide to sell your house. There are also several tax benefits that come from owning a home that you don’t get when renting.

prudent living

Time For The Spring Pantry Challenge

Just before the gardening season starts I try to go through our pantry and freezers and use up various food items that are lingering from last years harvest. Both our pantry and our freezer are well stocked. I usually have all the ingredients on hand at any given time to create a meal on short notice.

It won’t be long before the gardening season will be in full swing and I will have fresh produce from the garden to enjoy.

gardening, vegetables

Vegetables from the garden

To prepare for the harvest I want to make some room in both the pantry and the freezer! For the next 2-3 weeks I am going to challenge myself to use what we have on hand. I am only going to go to the grocery store to purchase items that are absolutely necessary! My budget for the grocery store will be $50.00 for the two weeks. During this time I will utilize food from the freezer and pantry. This will give me a chance to use of leftovers, pre-made dinners and make room in the pantry!

The first part of the challenge involves updating the inventory in my freezer. I was away when our ¼ cow wwas delivered and I’m thankful my husband packed it all away in the freezer for me but I like to know exactly where everything is and what I have on hand. So I emptied the freezer, updated my inventory and put everything back nice and neatly! Now I know what we need to work on eating up!

Newly organized freezer.

Newly organized freezer.

The challenge starts today and will run at least for two weeks! I will give you an update next week and share our menu plan as we go along. This is our meal plan for this week.

Monday: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs (two packages of chicken thighs from the freezer)
Tuesday: Corn and Cheddar Cakes (corn from the freezer)
Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese (pasta from the pantry, cheese from the fridge)
Thursday: Roast Turkey (we had a ½ turkey in the freezer left over from the turkeys our neighbors raised)
Friday: Mexican Turkey Salad (using leftover turkey)
Saturday: Bolognese Sauce (from the freezer)
Sunday: Easter Sunday, we will be eating with friends.

Breakfast is easy, we usually eat the same thing; homemade granola, oatmeal or eggs from our chickens. Homemade waffles are another option, which my husband loves! Lunches will be leftovers, soup or sandwiches from what is on hand using our homemade bread.

bread, whole wheat, homemade

Homemade Bread

I actually look forward to challenging myself this way each year. I cook from scratch most of the time and I like having to create meals from what we have on hand. Anyone else have

Recipe Box: Pasta with Leeks and Tomato Cream Sauce

The end of winter I usually try to start using up items in our freezer or pantry to make room for the next season’s harvest. I needed to make a dinner that made use of food we already had. A simple meal of pasta, canned tomatoes and leeks sounded perfect. I was able to use up some of the leeks I had previously frozen.

Pasta with Leeks and Tomato Cream Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced thin. (I used the leeks I had frozen)
½ cup dry sherry
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, drained, halved, seeded and chopped (you can also use home canned tomatoes)
¼ cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp  dried tarragon
1 pound of pasta, I used linguine

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium size skillet. Add the leeks and sauté until softened.

Saute leeks in butter.

Saute leeks in butter.

Add the sherry, tomatoes, and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook another 2 minutes. Add the tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.

Add remaining ingredients.

Add remaining ingredients.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil to cook your pasta. Cook until al dente and drain. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and serve immediately.

Pasta with Leeks and Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta with Leeks and Tomato Cream Sauce


Linked To: #FoodieFriday, FreedomFridays, FoodieFriendsFriday, FridayLinkParty, WhatToDoWeekends, RealFoodFriday, FoodtasticFriday, FridayFlashBlog, FoodieFriday, FridayFavorites, WeekendPotluck, #GetHimFedFridays, ShowStopperSaturday, SaturdayShowAndTell, MixItUpMonday, MeltInYourMouthMonday, What’DYouDoThisWeekend, SundaySocialBlogHop, InAndOutOfTheKitchen, HearthAndsoulHop, FatTuesday, TheGatheringSpot, AHumbleBumble, ShareYourStuffTuesdays, TotallyTalentedTuesdays, CreateLinkInspire, ShowMeWhatYouGot, TimeToSparkle

HomeAcre Hop #65


Welcome to The HomeAcre Hop!

Share your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts!

I don’t know about you but I am really looking forward to spring. We’re getting rain this week and the snow is rapidly melting! Looks like sugaring season has ended and the roads are muddy!

Sugaring season has ended.

Sugaring season has ended.

Won’t be long before my daffodils are coming up, I can’t wait. In the meantime I’m thankful for the distraction of this wonderful blog hop where I can read about what’s happening on your home front!

Now it’s time to link up with the  HomeAcre Hop!

You are invited to link up your favorite posts or just check out the various links, there are some very talented bloggers out there! I am learning so much each week from all of you. 

Please, only link posts that you haven’t linked before and follow the rules!

Be sure to visit the other hosts as well. We would love to have you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Google+, Instagram or by email! 

Sandra @ Clearwater Farm,

Kathi  @ Oak Hill Homestead,

Mary  @ Homegrown on the Hill,

Jenny  @ Black Fox Homestead,

Ann  @ Summers Acres,

Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre,

and Me! (Nancy @ On The Home Front)

Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. That means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don’t forget to link back to one of our blogs if you’d like to be featured!)

Becky over at Peace in the Pod shared an informative post on Big Gardens: Start Small: The Best Resources for New Gardeners. Great information whether you are a newbie or have been gardening for years!


 Thank you everyone for your fantastic posts. Jessica be sure to pick up your “I was featured” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!

Prudent Living on the Homefront

Before you link up your perfect post remember the rules!

1. All posts should be family friendly!

2. Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.

3. Link as many seasonal and harvest posts as you’d like! Older posts are great too.

4. Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!

5. If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s

My Garden: April Update

Recently I shared what March in Vermont looks like. We’ve had a lot of snow melt since then. Maple sugaring is just about finished.

It's been a good maple-sugaring season.

I can even see the corner of my herb garden! However we still have a bit of snow to melt before we begin to see spring flowers! Over the weekend we went to CT to visit family and it was wonderful to be out and about without any snow anywhere! The crocus are blooming.

Crocus are blooming

Crocus are blooming

Even the daffodils are getting ready to bloom.



We visited a local farm and my granddaughter was fascinated with the various animals.

Visiting the farm

Visiting the farm

There was a beautiful garden with raised beds.

I love raised beds.

I love raised beds.

The garlic was coming up in one garden bed.

Garlic coming up.

Garlic coming up.

It was a beautiful day to just enjoy the farm.

A beautiful spring day.

A beautiful spring day.

Linked to: TuesdayGardenParty, WakeUpWednesday, AdornedFromAbove, WonderfulWednesdayBlogHop, GardenTuesday, OutdoorWednesday, RuralityBlogHop, FourSeasonsBlogHop, TimeTravelThursday, SmallFootprintFriday, FromTheFarmBlogHop, TheBackyardFarmingConnection, TuesdaysWithATwist

Frugal Tips: A Simply Homemade Clean Book Giveaway

Recently I was given three copies of Lisa Barthuly’s book A Simply Homemade Clean, and would like to give them to three of my lucky readers. I have been making my own window cleaner and all-purpose cleaner for years. I have also made a wonderful solution for cleaning your floors.

Lisa’s book is full of similar recipes for helping you to rid your home of commercial, toxic products. Lisa will teach you to make your own! Create everything from your own laundry soap, to home made dryer sheets, antibacterial spray cleaner, potpourri blends, fabric softeners, homemade Vaseline and even tips for the outside of your homestead and more.

A Simply Homemade Clean

A Simply Homemade Clean

I decided to try Lisa’s recipe for Essential dishwashing Liquid, I had all the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients for dishwashing soap.

Ingredients for dishwashing soap.

22 oz Liquid Unscented Castile Soap
20 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
10 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract

Add the oils to the soap in the 22 oz plastic flip top container. Shake well to blend and add 1 Tbsp to warm dish water. If it does not lather for you as much as you would like, add 2-3 Tbsp of baking soda to your warm water and swish the water to form suds. It does a great job cleaning dishes and smells wonderful!

This book is a valuable resource for those of you looking not only to simplify but to cut your grocery bill down, create a healthier environment for your family and revive the art of making your own!

Three winners will be chosen at random. Enter below for your chance to own copy of this wonderful book, A Simply Homemade Clean.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linked To: TuesdaysWithATwist, WhimsyWednesday, PennyPinchingParty, WFMW, WonderfullyCreativeWednesday, #WakeUpWednesday, TurnItUpTuesday, ThursdayFavoriteThings, LHITSDIY, SimplyNaturalSaturdays

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