27 January 2009

$1/2 Quaker Coupon!

You should be able to go here and print $1/2 Quaker Instant Oatmeal coupons. We LOVE oatmeal in this house, so I get my hands on as many coupons for instant as I can. Then, when it's on sale (like last week at Meijer), we haul it all home. Enjoy!




For more Gratituesday, check out the links here.

The hardest part about striving to live gratefully is writing about it on days when you don't really want to be grateful for anything. Normally, if I happen upon one of those days, I can just continue on and no one is the wiser. I am not accountable for my lack of grateful behavior on a Wednesday or a Saturday, but when those 'not feeling so great ... ful' days happen on Tuesdays now, I find an even greater challenge. Today is for sure one of those Tuesdays.

However, even so, I can still be grateful for love today. I haven't felt well for the last few days, the gory details of which I will spare you. This means that I don't want to cook things or clean up things or get out of my bed (although I've had to go to work and school both ... boooooo). Last night, after coming home from work exhausted and icky feeling, I casually asked Be what he was making for dinner (in hopes that he'd say something amazing like, "Oh, psh, don't worry, I'll whip up a 4 course gourmet meal AND clean the kitchen while you rest" ... ok, not really). Be is not an "I cook dinner every night" kind of guy. He can cook. He just doesn't usually want to. Last night, though, without blinking, even on the brink of exhaustion after an all nighter, he almost immediately started dinner while I collapsed on the couch in front of Jeopardy.

I know he didn't feel like it. I know he could have just as easily said, "Screw it, I'll go get take out". I know that he was just as tired as I was. None of that stopped him. None of it stops him on an average day. For all his funny face making, I know he would do anything for me. Today, (and everyday) I am most grateful for that. I love you, doll.



26 January 2009

Difficulties Indeed.

I'm back!

What was supposedly a broken monitor or graphics card turned into a burned out power supply and a totally trashed motherboard. Of course, it took Be a couple days to figure this out, and then took me another couple days to decide what I was going to do about it. I mean, what's a frugal (read: mostly broke) girl to do? My options included buying a new motherboard and power supply (and graphics card ... because the motherboard killed the original one) or to buy a whole new CPU. I spent a lot of time weighing the options, looking at the long term impacts of each, checking out features, and complaining a LOT about not having my PC to work with. I not only blog from it, but also run another home business, teach high school kids, and go to school (still ...). All of those things require personal computing capabilities, and while I concur with those frugal headshakers out there that I could survive without my own operational computer by hitting up the school library or a public one, I knew that I at least had files I needed to retrieve from my (hopefully) OK hard drive.

So I thought.

And I thought some more.

(I need a lot of time to make decisions about spending money ... you should see me grocery shop ... takes for-ev-er)

And then all my thinking was for naught when Be walked in the house with a new CPU, gifted to us by a lovely someone whom I already adored. A huge huge huge huge thank you to them!

So, I'm back. I'm blogging with Vista now ... which isn't as weird as I thought it would be (the Vista, not the blogging). Just in time for me to get back, however, is an upcoming holiday from feeling bad for not posting (read: vacay-ish). I will be leaving Wednesday afternoon (-ish) for a state finals tournament with the kids I teach/coach that goes until late Saturday (hopefully, late means we did well). I will endeavor to blog, but more likely will be busy preparing my kids between rounds and the like. Know that I'm thinking of you, and of a ton of things I want to write about (including shoppping last weekend .... Me: 1, Walgreens, 0!) for you.

I will return ... I promise. As for Menu Monday, we have a menu but it's unlikely that anyone in this house will follow it while I'm gone. Pizza Rolls and freezer food for them, I guess.



PS, while I'm gone head over to The Grocery Cart Challenge and check out the Keurig giveaway. I've used those machines before and they are rockin' cool. Now, to figure out how to fill your own pod thing and escape having to buy expensive refills ....

20 January 2009

Technical Difficulties

My computer is mad at me. It started it's angry protest over the weekend. It turns on perfectly, but then the screen goes batty and it refuses to work correctly. Either the monitor is screwed, in which case it should be fixed sometime this evening or the graphics card has kicked it and it won't be fixed for another couple days. I apologize for the lag in posting in the interim, and hope to be back in the game just as soon as my personal computer repair man (read: Be) gets everything back in working order. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later ... I miss instant access to my own PC.



17 January 2009

Super Saving Saturday

Ok, really, I went shopping yesterday and today. I know, I know, craziness. Why must Meijer have these special weekend sales that persuade me to come back to their store again, but are not amazing enough to convince me to wait until the day of zoo-crazy people to do all of my grocery shopping? Ah, because they are brillant, that's why. Way to go marketing gurus, 1 point for you.

So this past fall, I didn't go grocery shopping for more than 2 months. I think I've mentioned that before. I got caught up in life, we have a giant stockpile of goods to cover the bases during the hiatus, and I was trying to save some serious money in the process. We did hit up the grocery for food for the holidays, but until this week I had not done any real grocery shopping/deal finding in F-O-R-Ever. There are a veritable ton of things we are out of because of it, and although we've been making due pretty well, it was time for some real shopping.

Now, before I post what I picked up, let me preface. I know I said at the beginning of the year that we'd be going to a $120/month grocery budget (for my family of 5). This first month, though, since I happened to come upon some much needed cash after all the other bills were paid, and since we haven't really grocery shopped in a million years, I'm cutting in some extra cash. Yea. That might make me a slacker or a cheater or something, but the point of a challenge is to improve each month. Last year we spent an average of $300/month on groceries (remember, for 5 adults ... not so shabby), so working toward anything less than that is progress enough for me. /preface, haha.

I should have taken some pictures when we hauled everything in (but I don't think of these things after hauling an entire car full of groceries through the blizzarding tundra). Next time, maybe? Here's what I got ... beware, I'm exclamation point happy today ...

2 Regular Lay's chips ... 1/2 price, now $1.99.
2 BBQ Lay's chips ... 1/2 price, now $1.99.
4 40oz Bisquick ... sale $1.99 - $1/1 coupons = 99c!
3 Kellogg's Mini-Wheats ... sale $1.99 - $1/1 coupons = 99c!
4 Eckrich Sausages ... sale, $2 - $1/2 coupons = $1.50!
(these are regular $3.89 at my store)
4 Crescent Rolls tubes ... sale, $1.50 - 25c/1 coupons - $1/4 Meijer store coupon = $1.
2 Betty Crocker frostings ... sale, $1.33 - 50c/1 coupons = 83c!
1 4pk DanActive yogurt ... sale, $2 - $1/1 coupon = $1!
4 boxes New York garlic toast ... sale, $2 - 55c/1 peel offs on box = $1.45.
(we use these for garlic bread pizzas ... soooooo yummy)
5 Betty Crocker muffin mixes ... sale, $1.67 - $1/2 coupons = $1.17.
4 Toaster Streudels ... sale, $2 - $1/1 coupons = $1!
2 big bags Green Giant veggies ... sale, $2.50 - $1/1 peel off on the bag - $1/2 Meijer store coupon = $1!
1 Premium saltines ... sale, $2.50.
16 Yoplait yogurt ... sale, 50c - $1/8 coupon = 38c!
6 boxes Fiber One granola bars ... sale, $2 - $1/2 coupons = $1.50.
2 boxes Fiber One toaster pastries ... sale, $1.67 - peel off coupons from granola bars = FREE!

In the 10 for $10 (11th FREE!)
4 Avocados
6 Hamburger Helper ... - $1/3 coupons = 66c.
2 bags Bugles snacks
3 Betty Crocker boxed potatoes ... -40c/1 coupons = 60c.
2 Betty Crocker cake mixes
4 Grands biscuits ... -$1/1 coupons = FREE!
8 boxes Green Giant veggies ... -$1/1 and $1/2 coupons = 50c or FREE!
1 bag Green Giant Steamers ... -60c/1 coupon = 40c!
5 Banquet microwave dinners
1 Hormel deli pepperoni ... -55c/1 coupon = 45c!
6 big cans Meijer diced tomatoes
6 bags Combos snacks
14 boxes Totinos Pizza Rolls ... -40c/1 and $1/2 coupons = 60c or 50c!
2 trays popcorn chicken
(we toss these in big giant dinner salads for 'fried chicken salad' ... yum.)
6 trays chicken nuggets
1 Aunt Millie's english muffins ... -35c/1 = 65c!
4 Dole salad mix
5 Michelina's microwave dinners ... -$1/5 coupon = 80c.
5 Lean Gourmet microwave dinners ... -$1/5 coupon = 80c.
(if that doesn't total 88 items, I missed something on my receipt ... it's possible.)

Plus, 8 of the above items were absolutely FREE because of the 10/$10 + 11th free promo. Yay!

My TOTAL would have been ... $297.64.
It was instead, ... $102.35.
(and would have only been $93.05 if my Meijer doubled up to 50c like the rest of the state ... non-doubling meanies)

That's a savings of $195.29! Yay!

Then, today we went back for the 3 day sale (and another couple 10/10 items), including ...

5 6pks of Diet Dr. Pepper ... sale, $7.96 total (Buy 2, Get 3 FREE!).
3 2 liters Coke ... $1.49 (Yea, not on sale ... picky Be)
1 Airwick Luminaire ... clearanced to $4.99 - $5/1 coupon = FREE!
4 Crescent Rolls ... sale, $1.50 - $25c/1 coupons - $1/4 Meijer store coupon = $1.
3 loaves Aunt Millie's bread ... $3.19 total (Buy 1, Get 2 FREE!).
3 Banquet microwave dinners
15 big cans Meijer diced and stewed tomatoes ... - $3/$15 Meijer brand catalina I got yesterday = 80c.
4 boxes Totinos Pizza Rolls ... -$1/2 coupons = 50c!
- $2 for FREE items from the 10/$10
- $1 for FREE Totinos catalina I got yesterday

My TOTAL would have been ...

It was instead ...
+60c for bottle deposit)

That's a savings of $49.15!

TOTAL Spent: $137.97
TOTAL Saved: $244.44!

Did you go shopping this weekend? Crystal at MoneySavingMom did, and from the looks of her ever-growing Mr. Linky, so did a whole bunch of other people. You can check them all out here if you like.



15 January 2009

GDA: Fazoli's

I got an email this afternoon from Fazolis, home of unlimited carb heaven (read: free-ish breadsticks, since they make you pay a quarter these days). If you head over to this website you should be able to "Join the Revolution for Free Spaghetti" which means you give them your email address and they let you print coupons for Buy One, Get One Small Spaghettis at your local Fazolis. The coupon expires 1/26, and when the box popped up to print the coupon it let me print as many as I wanted. Hoooray for BOGO spaghetti and (mostly) free breadsticks!!




14 January 2009

GDA: Target!

We made a stop at Target tonight to rove the perimeter (read: check for clearance) on the way home from work. I don't usually check anything other than food and hba/cleaning clearance, but someone wanted to look at DVDs, so we happened past the men's clothing section on the way to that end of the store. Oh. My. Goodness. That place is out of control clearance-wise ... 30%, 50%, and a TON of 75% off winter-ish clothes, sleepware, and undergarments. Hanes sweatshirts, for example, were clearanced to $1.62! There were also 3 piece PJ sets for less than $4, henleys and really nice sweaters for less than $3, and hooded sweatshirts for $2.74 as well. It was like clothing clearance heaven, and if you find yourself in need of cold weather clothes in the arctic tundra that we're trying to live through ... or if you're in the market for el cheap-o holiday gifts for next year (which is my favorite!!), then I suggest you head over to your local Target and take a look.

When it comes to holiday shopping, my absolute favorite thing is to find items on super clearance in the off (read: non-holiday) season. When I get home, I put them in a Rubbermaid (not really, it's generic, but whatever) tote in the back of my closet so I don't lose them somewhere or forget that I bought them. In December, I just start pulling things out of the bin so I know who else/what else I need to shop for. It's much more fun than paying full price or trying to beat awfully tempermented crowds, I think.

Also, found on clearance were ...

Kellogg's Shredded Mini-Wheats Vanilla for $1.48
Smart Start and a host of other cereals (Fiber One, Oatmeal Crisp, etc) for $1.47
Keebler Toasted Wheat Crackers for 63c
Herbal Essences shampoos for $1.63
Head and Shoulder's shampoos and conditioners for $2.12
Sunsilk shampoos and hairsprays, including the ones with the freebie full size style product attached for $1.67
Gillette Men's shampoos for $2.14
Tide with the sample Downy attached for $6.48
Burt's Bees gift sets from $11-$18
Hair Color ... I don't remember what kinds or prices, but there was a lot of it
Sterlite Lidded Bowls and Pitchers for $3.48
Yogurt, both Archer Farms and Yoplait, were also red tagged

If you have coupons for any of those things, (and you should) the deals are even sweeter. The Mini-Wheats, for example were 48c/box after my $1/1 coupons (exp 1/25). The Keebler crackers were 26c for two.


There were sweet $1/1 Ziplock container Target coupon peelies at my store. The containers are price dropped right now to $2.33/each. Paired with insert coupons (which, I don't recall, but it was super recent), they end up being 78c for each set. There are also stickers attached under the peelies, which are huge and obvious on the shelf, so make sure to check for them if you're in need of Ziplock containers (who isn't?).

Ah, what a gloriosu time I had at Target. I love thier clearance when it's chuck full of stuff I have coupons for. Hooray for nearly free goodies! Stay tuned for later this week, as I'll be headed to Meijer's rockin' 10/10 (11th free!) sale sometime this week with a wee fistful of coupons.



13 January 2009


For more of this week's Gratituesday, check here.

PS, I just deleted my entire Tuesday entry because I thought it was too story-teller and not enough grateful steward. Haha. Instead, my gratitude this week will be encapsulated in bullet points.

. It's sunny outside ... freezing artic cold, but sunny, which makes everything more enjoyable.
. The huge-o deposit I've been waiting for dropped into my account this morning. Yay!
. My family is healthy ... basically, and a riot to hang out with.
. I may be making progress on the ditch the cable front.
. We haven't screwed up the menu yet ... ok, so one day at a time, people.
. There is a basement pantry full of good things to eat in case we go broke, end up job less, or it's simply too cold to imagine going outside until spring.
. The dryer is fixed.
. My adorable Be digs carpooling with me, allowing us to hang out for a few minutes alone and saving both money and fuel emissions.
. The kids I work with are growing into amazing (almost) adults. They rock.
. I got to play another week's role in this amazing mystery, for which I will always be newly grateful.



12 January 2009

Menu Plan Monday

For more Menu Plan Monday, check out Org. Junkie.

I still haven't really gone grocery shopping ... ugh. I did make a quick stop at Meijer on the way home from work late on Saturday, but only to grab a handful of absolute loss leaders (most of which I had to get rain checks for anyway ... boo), but still didn't pick up most of the staples that we are currently lacking. I have $76.70 for this week's grocery trip, which may be a challenge given the magnitude of staples that we're out of. I'll keep you posted.

Firehouse Tortilla Pizzas. Yum!

Turkey Dirty Rice with Tomatoes and Chiles

Oven Glazed Ham Steaks, potatoes, veggies, and rolls.

Chili ... finally! Corn muffins.

Pasta (freezer) primavera, green salads, garlic bread.

BLT bagel melts, french fries, green salads.


Enjoy the week!



11 January 2009

Weekend Recap

When one plans menus, one should always check if everything you need for a recipe is on hand. At the very least, that there is something that can be substituted lurking in the back of your pantry. One should not, however, plan to have chili only to realize Monday that both the tomatoes AND the black beans (or any beans ... except garbanzos) that you were convinced were plenty stocked have actually run dry. Ugh. I like to *think* I have a solid handle on what is or isn't hiding in the pantry, but this week between not checking and not making it to the grocery store until Saturday night (super late), we had to move some things around.

Monday ended up being venison ChiliMac Helper. Low, how I hate the box powdered magic meals, but somehow they still rescue me from time to time. I should just stop acquiring them (for free usually), but it's nights like Monday when I'm happy to have a handful of them.

Tuesday we were on menu mostly, except the family wanted mashed potatoes rather than au gratins. I also made a pot of herbs de provence rice to go with my make believe chikin tenders (I don't eat pork ... or meat, if I can help it ... mostly, ps).

Wednesday we had neither ground beef nor diced tomatoes. I had been planning on shopping Tuesday. Lesson learned: Plan your menu only around things you already have, rather than things you may or may not get to the store to pick up. So, instead we pulled out some freezer meatballs (oh thank you, freezer, for being the keeper of such wonderful surprises!) and build a quick red sauce for spaghetti. I turned a crusty loaf of french bread into garlic cheese bread and we called it good. Yum!

Thursday was supposed to be something ... I don't even know. When I called home to ask someone to take the meat out of the freezer (because I perpetually forget to do it ... our freezer is in the basement of an unattached garage ... can you blame me? out of sight = out of mind), I was informed that my mother was treating the family to take out Chinese. Hooray! Fried rice and lo mein for me, please. We still have leftovers, and I endeavor to think of *something* to do with all the extra white rice they sent us.

Friday and Saturday I was gone at work. I have no clue what they ate, but likely one part leftovers and one part drive thru if I know them well enough.

Sunday was supposed to be a roasted chicken. Yea. After being gone for two days, there wasn't so much a likelihood that I was going to do much of anything. I didn't even change out of my pjs. The boys decided on pork steaks and chicken breasts, potatoes au gratins, and another quick change french loaf turned garlic bread.

The moral of this week's story was flexibility. Sometimes juggling is required, and keeping an open mind keeps us out of the take out window. Stay tuned for the upcoming week's menu, and keep your fingers crossed that I actually go to the grocery store at some point.



07 January 2009

Welcome to Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Wrapping Paper Edition!

For more WFMW posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Every year on the morning of December 25th, my heart sinks a little. I love seeing pretty presents stacked under a tree. I love taking the time to make them crisp and clean looking with modern papers (always found on clearance after the holidays) and hopefully not too squished bows. Wrapped presents make my (semi) OCD very happy indeed.

Then tragedy strikes, because eager present loving people that they are, my family is not the nicest or gentlest group when it comes to unwrapping gifts. They don't slip the tape off at the seams. They don't slide a package out at the ends. Nope. Every one of them tears the living goodness out of my precisely selected gift wrap.

And my crunchy-green-hippie-frugal self dies just a little.

Not only do I hate to see beautiful boxes torn asunder, I really cringe every time I think of the money spent on wrapping paper in the first place ... only to have a giant pile of it labeled "trash" at the end of the day. I could, like many a frugal present wrapper, attempt to convince my family to calm it down a bit so that I had a chance at saving and reusing the paper next year. I could, indeed, but this presents a number of challenges.

1. My family is still a bunch of very eager present loving people. They are not easily convinced of anything, most especially that one should not tear wrapping paper to bits.

2. My (quasi) OCD does not like trying to puzzle piece old wrapping paper onto new gifts which are invariably different sizes than the paper was cut for leading to pithy looking edges or an inevitable waste of paper from cutting things down to size.

3. I already have a stash of cardboard tubes, glass jars, styrofoam trays, and empty butter bowls to rival a recycling plant. They come in handy for an infinite number of projects and do-dads. Adding wrapping paper to that stash would possibly push my (lame/limited/failing) ability to keep what I already have organized over the edge. I wouldn't be here to blog for you as I'd be buried under a pile of pretty bow paper and cardboard boxes in my basement.

... but what is a crunchy-green-hippie-frugal girl to do?

This year, I have found the solution. Staring at the pile of crumpled paper, then staring at the woefully inadequate packaging in my holiday decor storage tub, I had an epiphany.

Wrapping paper is like tissue paper with a couple more layers. Aha! Instead of trying to salvage the years old, fraying, likely no longer useful as cushioning tissue paper in the ornament boxes (buying new tissue paper is of course out of the question, haha), we wrapped up the ornaments in the used gift wrap. I put the white side in as to not get any color transfer just in case, and it worked sublimly. I think I like it better than tissue paper honestly, and short of surrounding them all in bubble wrap (which is an expensive plastic nightmare), it's a pretty rockin' solution. Wooohooo!

Dillemma: Resolved.

I get to wrap pretty presents. My family gets to tear them apart like rabid wolves. I don't have to cry about killing trees for fun AND my tree ornaments don't get broken justling into each other on their yearly trip up from the dark reaches of the basement. Everyone wins! Yay!

What works for you this Wednesday?



06 January 2009


For more Gratituesday check out Laura's blog.

Things do not always go as planned. This is entirely disheartening for a listmaking plan-a-holic like myself, and often triggers a matchstick cranky response. Once I'm cranky, it isn't long before nothing can go right in the world ... ever. When I started thinking about what I would write for today, my plan was to talk about communicating and how even when things don't go well I can still always talk to Be about it. We don't always agree or come to any conclusion, but no matter how crabby or irritated either of us gets, we can always still have a conversation.

Then it kind of hit me that although I am entirely grateful for Be, this wasn't at all about him. What I'm really most grateful for today is being able to 'giveaway' my frustrations to something bigger and grander than myself. Things not going well makes me cranky, true, but in an instant I can put it in someone else's hands and free myself of that negativity. For that, for having that someone who is always listening, and always willing to shoulder my burden, I am forever grateful.

On Gratituesday and everday, I am ...



05 January 2009

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday!

For more Menu Plan Monday, check out Org. Junkie.

Menu planning is my friend, when I remember to do it. It makes it at least plausible that my family will cook something while I'm not home on the nights I'm in class. Without a menu the chances of my having to eat peanut butter and jelly when I get home at 10pm are nearly 100%. Also, menus keep us from squabbling about what to make at 730pm when someone wants this and someone else wants that. We are back on the menu plan wagon, hopefully to stay.

Venison Chili

Pork Chops, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans

Beef Goulash

Turkey Fried Rice and Veggies

Meatball Subs


Whole Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies, and Biscuits

Are you planning your menus in the new year? It's a great way to use up what you have on hand. Just take a stroll through your pantry and freezer, put some pieces together, and create some homemade goodness. If you're missing an ingredient, try a substitution. It could be your new favorite twist ... that's how we figured out that we like ground turkey so darn much.



04 January 2009

New Year, New Goals

I don't really like to make "resolutions".

To resolve, really, is to determine purpose or intention. Is it any surprise then that the average New Year's 'resolution', scribbled hastily and abstractly in the wee hours of a socially lubricated holiday, is often in the trash before you can make it through a round of Auld Lang Syne? I can make many a statement about my purpose or intention without ever actually doing anything about either. Inaction and failure to progress only frustrate people (and me) further, leading away from what could be positive change and back down the road of old habits. For fear of that same old fallback, I don't really make 'resolutions' at the stroke of 12 amid the bubbly and streamers.

I am still, however, a list maker at heart. I like to make goals and have action plans with steps and checklists for me to track my progress along the way. The beginning of a new calendar year is a helpful stop/start point for new goals, and evaluating new goals around this time of year helps me stave off the urge to create random (and oh so popular) "I will lose 50 lbs" or "I will save $10,000" statements that I will inevitably not act on or will forget in the coming weeks. Yes, goals. Goals are objectives with plans to get to them, and I much prefer them to inclinations or determinations.

On Gratitude ...
For the gratitude I have for this life and this world, I've put all of my personal (read: health) related goals under the gratitude category. How better can I give thanks, then by making the very best out of exactly what I was given? I've not paid as much attention as I likely should to the 'body as temple' concept in the past, and I'd like to slowly but surely make efforts to change that.

1. Carve 15 minutes of quiet time out of my day for contemplation, meditation, and devotion.
2. Add 2 Nalgenes (my favorite tried and true reuseable water bottle) of water to my day.
3. Eat 3 meals everday.
4. Take my vitamins and medicines.
5. Find flexible and fun options for 90 minutes of movement every week.

On Simplicity ...
January makes me think that we own too much stuff. Every. Single. Year. January is the month that we make the people at Goodwill the happiest because I get all antsy about the clutter (which there really isn't that much of), and decide to start passing on stuff left and right. If you lived near by, you could have first dibs. Usually, I think I need to sort through every single thing in our house in ... oh ... the next 12 minutes. It always starts our frantic and obsessive, and by about the second room I want to do nothing but climb up on top of the pile of no longer needed clothes on my bed and take a nap. I'm always exhausted, everything is a disaster, and it ends up worse than it started.

This year I am welcoming the Room a Month plan. It may take me the entire year to sift through what we have, but I won't be collapsed in a pile under a shelf in the basement by the second day and perhaps we'll finally get to the bottom of the hidden treasure trove called our basement. We have 11 rooms ... now to figure out what order to put them in.

On Frugality ...

1. Create a menu in an attempt to prevent dinner time spaz-outs. (We used to have a menu, but I let it slip when I went back to school ... I know, I know, the worst possible time.)
2. No more real money spent on fast food. Gift cards earned from points and the like are fine, but can't be purchased by us.
3. All lunches for school and work will be brown bagged.
4. I will challenge myself with a new, much lower grocery budget of $120 for my family of 5. Yay, challenges!
5. We will be debt free by 12/31/2009 (except the student loans and the house) if I can find $156 in extra snowflakes every month for debt. I cannot even believe I can say that, as we have long been convinced we wouldn't be debt free for another 100 years.

Now, before you think I'm going to launch into all of these at the same time, I much prefer the Goal A Month program. It takes the brain 21 or so days of continued effort and repetition to create a new habit, and as such I will focus on only one goal from each category at a time, and intend to blog more specifically about them as they arrive. There are only 5 goals in two of the three categories because I both want the flexibility to take more time if necessary, and the chance to reevaluate as I go. They're goals, remember, not resolutions!

Did you create any goals for the new year? Have you thrown out those crazy 'resolutions' yet?



02 January 2009

Happy (Day After) New Year!

New Year's Eve is a big deal at my house, primarily (ok, entirely) because it was on a New Year's Eve that I fell for the adorable Be. 8 years and counting, and I think he's a keeper so far. I had (semi-) intended on getting online yesterday to post some heroically eloquent goals/resolutions/summary/something post, but instead spent the day sleeping in and hanging out. It's a holiday, right? Holidays are for watching Iron Chef marathons and forgetting to cook dinner ... or at least mine was. Because of this (semi-) unintended hiatus, I don't exactly feel like it's the New Year yet ... like the new year's beginning has been put on hold because I didn't get my act together in time. Thank you world, for holding out in 2008 while I figure things out. I appreciate it, haha.

This would be a perfect segway into that blasted goals/resolutions/summary/something post, wouldn't it? Yes indeed, except ... I didn't write it yet. I have notes scribbled on an envelope, but rather than posting more, I have to take that envelope to the office of the district court and attempt to convince them the citation they gave me was bogus (long story ... ugh). Who schedules hearings on the 2nd day of the year, a Friday no less? My spidey sense tells me these will not be happy people that I'm going to see, not happy at all.

So, there's more coming, I promise. First, I have to go fight the man.