13 February 2008

Keeping To A Grocery Budget



As I'm sure you've come to expect, Wednesday means time for a new installment of WFMW! This week, it's being hosted by Don't Try This At Home because Rocks In My Dryer is in Uganda on a live-blogging relief mission.

So...what works for me this Wednesday? Well, I decided at the end of summer that I was going to make more of an effort to make and stick to (and that's the hard part of me!) a budget, especially a grocery budget. It shames me to admit that last year we ate more than our fair share of crap and that might account for the fact that my arse has expanded to unknown proportions!

So this year, I created a budget. I'm still fine tuning it, as I find things that I really should budget for, but when it comes to the grocery portion, I'm doing exceptionally well.

What's working for me, is that each Sunday, I create a menu for the following week, run out to the grocery store, pick up what I need for those meals, and I don't go back until the following Sunday. Not once. That means I'm not tempted to pick up a quick fix for dinner, or stop at McDonald's on the way home, because I KNOW what is for dinner when I wake up in the morning. It's not a scramble to try at 5pm to dream up something for the monsters to eat.

I'm hoping to stretch this to a two week shopping excursion shortly. Then all I'll have to pick up (maybe) in between major trips is milk. But for now, I'm doing very well on a weekly plan.

I've got another tip for creating menus, but that will have to wait until next week. Because this Wednesday, keeping to my grocery budget is what works for me.

Head on over to Don't Try This At Home to find out what works for others in Bloglandia.

Until later...

11 February 2008

Free Stuff...

Don't forget that this week, Chased by Children is having give-aways all week to celebrate her 200th post and Valentine's Day...

So go over and win stuff...or leave it for me to win...

Until later...

08 February 2008

Friday Snow...

This morning dawned early, as all mornings do. And I really shouldn't say "dawned" because I'm at my desk furiously working (okay...I'm really slacking today) by the time the sun creeps beyond the Hinterland horizon in the winter.

I got the monsters out of bed, ready and out the door. As we pulled out of the garage, I noticed that a light dusting of snow was falling.

As is our routine, Bugaboo and I stopped for coffee and hot chocolate before heading off to the school to drop him at Before Care. We couldn't have been in the store for more than five minutes, but when I came out, the car was covered in the snow. It was no longer a light dusting.

I'm not sure how long the snow is supposed to last, but I'm actually quite happy about it. That first few hours after the snow stops, everything is so pretty and fresh. After a while, it turns grey and dingy from the melting and the spray from the roads.

If the snow keeps up throughout the day, it'll be nice and quiet tonight as I laze in my comfy clothes reading my book. There's something special about the quiet as snow falls on a Hinterland winter evening.

I've got no real plans this weekend, so the quiet and the coziness of a Friday evening is looking pretty good to me right now.

Until later...

07 February 2008

Why Don't You Get Married Again???

It's my favorite question. Okay, I lie. But I've heard it a lot lately. From friends, from family, from the guy who delivers my eBay purchases...okay, maybe not that last one, but I swear I hear this question often.

The monsters have asked me it a few times lately too. When their dad first got remarried they asked a lot. When their baby sister was born, they asked again. Now, it was family this last weekend. I think part of that is the fact that my cousin is getting married in March and another cousin announced that she was getting married in June.

Me? Not getting married. Not any time soon.

I can't say that I haven't thought about how nice it would be some days to have someone here at home when I'm overwhelmed and just need a break from the hectic life. Or someone to listen to me kvetch about how work went that day. Or someone to just put their arm around my shoulders as we watch tv at night after the monsters have gone to bed.

Then I look at my life as it is, and think about how it was when there was someone here to do those things. And you know what? I don't miss it enough to give up my independence. I like being able to eat whatever it is that I want on the weekends when the boys are gone. I like not having to tell someone why I didn't come home right after work. I like not having to explain why I just spent money on clothes that I might not need, but really wanted. And maybe when I open up my email to a particularly idiotic email from my ex and it reminds me of everything I went through when I was married, I just get the feeling I don't have the patience for another individual's quirks and idiosyncrasies.

I've decided that I'm just too selfish any more to give enough of myself to build a relationship with another person, to the extent that I believe that marriages deserve.

I have interests and hobbies that I enjoy. I have friends and family that I spend time with doing things that interest us all. I'm by no means a solitary individual.

And I think that's what those who want to put me on the Marriage Ark can't believe. I don't think they understand that I'm happy and satisfied with the way things are. They're all paired up with their spouses and fianc├ęs, shouldn't I be? And my only answer is, "Maybe...some day...but don't count on it."

And I'm really okay with that.

Until later...

06 February 2008

Shopping!



It's funny how much I've started looking forward to Wednesdays. They used to be just another day to go to work, but now with WFMWs, I have a lot of new hints to look at, which might help out my busy little family.

This week however is all about online shopping. The mall used to be my life. From the time I was in Junior High until sometime in my twenties, I could spend hours, if not days, in the mall.

Now? Now, I prefer to shop in the comfort of my flannel pj pants and a sweatshirt. Most of the time I do it late at night, or early in the morning.

And my favorite sites to browse?

Well there's WOOT which has some decent deals...but only for a limited time. And WOOT's sister site, Shirt WOOT has some cute tshirts now and again. I found Fresh Trend during the holiday shopping season, and it's fun to go and read their blog to see the unique items they've found. Amazon isn't just for books any more, and since I'm usually spending $25 each time I shop, the shipping is free! I've had good luck with Target online, but then I never seem to go wrong with Target, even its brick and mortar stores.

Those are just a few of the online shopping sites that work for me. Head on over to Rocks In My Dryer to see what others in Bloglandia deem their favorite sites.

Until later...

01 February 2008

Just Once....

It's winter in the Hinterlands...and I mean it is winter! We've had some of the coldest weather I can remember in the past two weeks and almost no snow, which if I'm going to have cold, I want snow to go with it.

Since the boys began to roughhouse and play outside, I've not made it through a winter without having to buy another coat, or another pair of snowpants, or another hat, or another pair of gloves. Not one winter.

Apparently, this winter is no exception. Bugaboo came out of school yesterday with his jacket open. The Nonnie in me was getting ready to lecture about the fact that it was cold and he NEEDED to zip up, when he got in the car and said, "I need a new coat." Yes, the zipper had broken on his coat.

Now, some other mom might take her son to the fabric store, grab a new zipper and spend the evening ripping out the old one and putting in the new one. I'm not one of those moms. Bugaboo and I went up to a neighboring town and bought him the same jacket he started the winter with, albeit on clearance.

So, he'll go to school again today with a jacket that zips and I'll start dreaming those parental dreams of something lasting more than one season...It does happen, doesn't it?

Until later...