Grocery shopping MORE often, SAVES money.
I am now an advocate for grocery shopping weekly. Just ask my sister in law, she might tell you I talk about it way too much. ;) Shaun and I got our budget situation worked out and rolling smoothly almost a year ago (took us three years of marriage to really be on the same page with it.) But I am so thankful, because living responsibly and within our means allowed me to stay home with our babies and stop working this fall. And baaack to grocery shopping. K, so when I was working I would grocery shop like once a month. I was not very good at doing housewifely and good mommy-ish things and working... Anyways, I would go to the store like once a month, we would be out of everything, I wouldn't really have a menu/meal plan worked out, I would get tons of produce, spend lots of money, and think that because I shopped less often we were probably saving money. What I didn't take note of was the fact that we would make little trips to the store for a couple things here and there, and get take out when I couldn't make a meal out of the things in the pantry. And lots of the produce would go bad before we would have a chance to eat it. And that adds up. Now that I am not working, I have a specified grocery shopping day each week. For me it is Thursdays. (That's because we get the advertisements for what is going to be on sale on Tuesdays, and I make my menu/grocery list on wednesdays during nap time, and then I go to the store first thing on Thursday.) I've found that because I buy only what we need to make specific meals, and because I go more often and buy smaller amounts of produce at one time, I actually save money. Nothing goes to waste, I know what we have on hand, I make dinner on a more regular basis, and I am able to make several meals out of things that are on sale. For example, if sour cream is on sale, I might put tacos and chilli on my menu, then we use half the sour cream for tacos, half for chilli, and none of it gets wasted. Towards the end of the month if we are running low in the grocery budget envelope, I have a list of cheaper meals to make: Dried beef gravy, mac and cheese and stewed tomatoes, tuna melts, etc. I make a trip to a cheaper outlet grocery store first, to see what I can find there, then go to our regular grocery store second and finish up my list there. Just to be honest, our grocery budget is about $260 a month, and that includes cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and diapers. It is a fun challenge for me to cook yummy meals and stay within the budget. It makes me feel good to be responsible with the money that Shaun works hard for. And I could probably keep going on this topic, because I'm very into it right now, but it might get boring... so I'll stop at that. NEXT.
Buying dumbbells out of our clothing fund DOES make sense...
I just had a baby four months ago. We just got through the holidays. I didn't get food poisoning when my baby was 4 weeks old and lose 11 lbs in a week this time around.... All that to say I still have baby weight to lose. I'm pretty strong, and can carry around my 19 pound 4 month old baby all day long, but my arms are not very sculpted.... (maybe I should start doing curls with Isaiah...) I was thinking about just wearing or maybe even buying some things that I feel are more flattering to my arms.... but then I thought what's the sense in that? I can get one set of weights way cheaper than buying several new shirts, and I'll start feeling better about myself and wearing what I already have more confidently... it would really be a great investment! So dumbbells are on my clothing list. :)
SMILING at our kids when things aren't going well produces better results than frowning.
Shaun and I read a book called loving our kids on purpose. It presented the idea that we cannot control any human being but ourselves, and is very big on bringing our kids up to learn to handle freedom and make their own choices responsibly. It talks about how when toddlers are doing something that is not acceptable, you tell them they need to go to their room til they're ready to be fun again. You give them the choice of walking there or being carried. There's not really a time limit on how long they have to be there, it's more about the attitude adjustment than the length of time. K, not so incredibly revolutionary yet. But this is the part that got me... When they come out of their room you greet them with a SMILE, and ask them if they're ready to be fun again. Somehow I felt like I was supposed to still be stern and look semi-mad when Drew comes out of a time-out. (If for no other reason than that I am still feeling frustrated.) But if I choose to not let my attitude/mood be affected by his behavior, I can happily smile at him when he comes back into my space. And I've found it almost always gets a smile back out of him and a loud "Yeah!" when I ask if he's ready to be fun again. When he would come out of time-out and I'd still be mad, it would get one of two results, both of which were a downwards cycle. #1- he would laugh at me being mad, which would make me even madder, or #2- he would stay in his unhappy mood and continue to either cry or whine.
And that is why opposites sometimes make more sense.