The annual January “to do” list …

How January’s to do list will save us over $2,480 this year and stock the pantry!

Every January I have a routine that helps maximize our resources and improves the odds for the rest of the year’s success. This action list saves us an average $200/month and increases our quality of living. Here is how:

1. Review the monthly expenses
Do you know where your money goes every month? We have a list (by day of the month) that shows exactly what gets taken out of our checking account. I go down that list and call those companies one by one to see what new deals they have to offer. The monthly savings are small but they add up quickly. This year I saved $206.77 a month (over $2,480 this year!!).  Here is an example of this year’s savings.

Day of the month
Monthly Amount saved
 $                  34.02
 $                    5.32
 $                  37.30
 $                    4.46
Cell phones
 $                  45.30
Rewards credit card
 $                  78.60
 $                        –  
Student loan
 $                        –  
 $                        –  
 $                    1.76
 $                206.77
2. Plan in the fun new farm projects
Every year we add a few new things to the farm. Last year we added more fruit trees, more goats, more meat chickens and turkeys. This year we will add a bee hive, ducks, more baby goats and possibly lambs.

Our turkey additions in 2014.

3. Plan the garden
Removing veggies that didn’t work for us last year and replacing them with new ones. Increasing plants for veggies that we consumed quickly and reducing plants for veggies we clearly weren’t eating. Identifying the sister plants to maximize production and plotting out the garden. This helps us identify the right time to start seeds.

This was no where near enough green beans for us last year.  We will triple our plants for 2015!!

4. Build seed starter pots
Recycling newspapers into little starter pots is a great way to start some vegetables.

Mini seed pots using newspaper.

5. Start some seeds and add to the small indoor garden
There are quite a few vegetables that will need to be started before January is over due to their long transplant lead time. For example I have already started some onions and celery to be planted outdoors this spring. I also keep a small indoor garden that I add to every January. I move these pots outdoors after the last day of frost so we can get our windows back in the spring!

This is a very zoomed in picture of some onions that were starting to bulb in mid February last year!