cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

vexed87 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:39 am
Walking at 9 months? Like furniture walking or unassisted? If it's the latter, she really is thriving! Glad to hear she is doing so well.
She's been furniture walking since mid September so she was like 7.5 months old and has mastered that. She took her first unassisted steps last week and now this week she's able to go about 4 or 5 feet once in a while, but usually less than that, but it's pretty drunken stepped. :lol: She usually starts walking and then dives into our arms. She is so determined to stand/walk it's incredible how fast she is improving.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Here's the best proof I could capture....

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I remember folks enjoyed my renovation project a few years back and so I thought I share some of what we are doing here. It won't be as extensive, although if I were going to do it right I would completely gut this place - it does need it. Instead we are focusing on total cost instead and making the most cost effective improvements we can which amounts to painting and new flooring for the most part.

The house is severely lacking in even the most basic of storage areas (no closets, shelves, etc...) so we are also making some.

Here is an improvement we are making to our kitchen area. This was just a drywalled up section of wasted space so I cut out the drywall, re-drywalled the entire inside and we are making floating shelves using scrap wood and some very cheap plywood. I'll post a photo of the finished project when we get it done.

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C40
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by C40 »

Wow - sounds like you have a lot of good things going for you now. That's great :-)

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

C40 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:38 am
Wow - sounds like you have a lot of good things going for you now. That's great :-)
Yea we are in a great place in life currently. 2019 has been a very stressful, transformative year for the both of us, probably the most ever, with all that entailed bmonkey's birth, moving and job switching. We've also just been decompressing from the first half of the year.

classical_Liberal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Baby is cute as ever! Great to read the health scare is over.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Since moving to MN, we've been doing our part to reduce food waste in landfills. There's a program that operates across the upper midwest which takes near expired food and gives it to you for pennies on the dollar. Each month costs $20 (no tax).

Last night DW and I priced it all out and our best estimate is that we $258 bucks worth of food this month. Much of it is organic, expensive, premium stuff that simply isn't selling and so get's put into the pile of goods. Some stuff is a regular occurance like Halo Top ice cream and 6 lb bags (sometimes 2!) of Webstaurant Mashed Potatoes.

This month was really good, we got 15 lbs of chicken wings/nuggets, some Mexican pancake mix ($18 for this one) and a whole ton of really good snacks includig stuff from Kroger which is no where near us geographically. Also, the Halo Top would retail for $70 just by itself!

So far our food expenses are down about 48% since we moved, thanks in large part to this. It's sorta like getting 90% of the puzzle pieces you need each month to make meals and we have to fill in the remaining 10%. I'm pretty sure we can do better too.

Here's a pic of what we got -

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classical_Liberal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

@cmonkey
That's fantastic! What is the program called and how does it work? I'm assuming this is not taking from folks who would otherwise get it for free based on need.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:56 pm
@cmonkey
That's fantastic! What is the program called and how does it work? I'm assuming this is not taking from folks who would otherwise get it for free based on need.
It's not a food shelf program, no, but I suppose indirectly it does, since the leftovers of the leftovers go to food shelf folks. But there is always a lot of extra. If we go toward the end of the distribution they are practically throwing food at you. Thus the 18 pints of ice cream this month....

It's open to everyone regardless of income or asset level. Basically just for super frugal folks.

It's called Ruby's Pantry.

7Wannabe5
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Your baby is so cute!

I used to attend monthly food auctions in order to acquire similar deals. With the auction format, you had to make very quick decisions about whether you really did want that many boxes of fresh produce or that many servings of gourmet dessert. It did add some variety to our menu at the time which was otherwise limited to super frugal meals kids will eat, such as potato pancakes with homemade applesauce or the Tightwad Gazette Universal muffin and casserole recipes.

classical_Liberal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Thanks! They have two locations, each about 40 miles away though. Seems like a long journey for food when i have two grocery stores within 1 mile and a costco 5 miles away. Still, it'll be worth a try, at least for the experience. Whether or not I go back with depends on the overall usefulness of my haul. I have no idea what I'd do with so much ice cream! :lol:

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:58 pm
Still, it'll be worth a try, at least for the experience.
Nice, let me know how it goes! The food selection changes each time which is one of the exciting bits. Normally we don't get so much ice cream, usually just 6 or so. So we are good for a few months now..

Smashter
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Smashter »

@cmonkey thanks for the Ruby's Pantry rec. We went to one in SE Wisconsin and it was a cool experience. We'll need to get a chest freezer to really take advantage, but what a haul!

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I was about to get some protein powder from Costco and decided to hold off. I'm glad I did, because I now have about 3 months worth of good quality stuff.

We had a similar experience to you with the Halo Top — we were there toward the end and they were begging us to take more :)

LiberateMind
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by LiberateMind »

The baby is so cute.. :) Quiet awesome on achieving the FI.. How do you manage the kid with a job ? How are you planning out further as you have pretty much reached FI now?

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Smashter wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:20 pm
@cmonkey thanks for the Ruby's Pantry rec.
No problem! We have had a good experience each time, although some items are hit and miss. We have started saying no to the Halo Top though, just got way burned out on that one. :lol:

@LiberateMind, thanks! My job is pretty easy, only requiring a few hours a week of real work. The kid on the other hand! She is a handful, but she is amazing. I used to have days where I wondered if I should have had a kid, but those seem to be long gone now. She's becoming a lot more fun the older she gets and we have gotten a great routine down.

Not sure on plans for quitting the job, but we will likely be under a 2% WR later this year as our expenses are falling to a 4 figure level. The job is so easy it feels stupid to quit, especially given market valuations. We are also not sure what we want long term in life, so it makes sense to just keep it for now. We are basically just dry running FI now and shoveling my paychecks into 4 week bills, although I might start some buying if this correction keeps going.

theanimal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by theanimal »

Hey, Cmonkey, It's been nearly a year since your last update. How are you? How's the baby?

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Hey animal - things are pretty good with us. 2020 was a busy year for us so I kinda forgot about posting on here.

We spent much of the first half of the year doing what we could to fix up our old house in town before moving again in October. We found a place right outside town which gives us a lot more resilience with 5 acres of woodland and 1 acre of clear land for gardening and stuff. The price was a lot more than I had ultimately wanted to pay but given much of what's going on financially in the world I could only expect housing prices to keep going up. I have no regrets about buying this place.

In the end it meant going from 39 years of expenses saved down to our current 28. Still very secure but not quite FI like we were. As long as I hold my current job we'll be back at 40 years saved up in December of this year.

Bmonkey is now T(oddler)monkey and is doing well as far as we can tell. She hasn't seen a doctor since May due to the virus and our extreme aversion to catching it but she has an appointment at the end of the month. She's quite big now, talking some and we are trying to potty train but it's not going well yet. :lol:

classical_Liberal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

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Last edited by classical_Liberal on Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

We brought 2 of our chickens from Illinois and kept them at my in-laws house for a year, as our yard didn't work out for having chickens. They are here now at our house which is great because we missed them a lot!

I should definitely get posting pics again...especially now that we have a homestead again.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Thanks for the update. Glad you are doing well! Congratulations on the new place.

theanimal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by theanimal »

Glad to hear everyone's healthy and congrats on the move! Sounds like a good choice. Looking forward to seeing some pictures.

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