I am thankful that I am feeling better, so that definitely helps things. It is amazing how much energy, or lack of, affects the budget. It is so easy to rely on convenience items. That is motivation to me to put a few more easy freezer meals together, like crock pot ones or frozen homemade soup, that we can pull out when we're sick.
We are also beginning the dreaming and exploring stage of purchasing land and building a new home. When we built this home, we thought it would be our forever home, but we're realizing there are things about the neighborhood and road that will never change. So, we're looking to move closer to my mom and into her neighborhood, which has lots of kids and very, well, neighborly neighbors. This would allow the boys to walk to her house as they get older, and would give them playmates in the neighborhood.
Here's how we stuck to our budget this past week:
- Cooked all meals at home including crock pot Asian chicken with veggies, cauliflower and cheese sauce, banana nut whole wheat muffins, crock pot oatmeal, smoothies, "big boy breakfast" of eggs and bacon, whole wheat pizza, and salad.
- Took advantage of four community meals with our parenting class, our school faculty, our church, and my mom. This kept our kitchen clean and meant that we only had to take one dish or item to share. We took a salad to church, salad to school, and potatoes to Mom's to roast.
- Thankful for items from the food pantry this week: gluten free crackers, cereal, plain instant oatmeal, fresh fruit (melon, pineapple, and grapes), and some pouches of baby food (I use them in smoothies, though sometimes the boys will eat them). These are items that clients typically don't take, so we're glad to use them.
- Composted all possible items including food scraps, brown paper tubes, paper towels, tea bags, and coffee grounds. Compost will be added to the gardens to prepare them for winter.
- Kept grocery spending to $10 for pie crust, refrigerator biscuits, eggs, snack pack (free item of the week), celery, and peanuts (small cans for stockings). We used coupons for the pie crust, biscuits, and peanuts. Trying really hard to keep our grocery spending to $70-80 this month, not $150.
- Continued with cloth diapers, except at night. We're using free diapers from the diaper bank at the Children's Council for our night time ones, saving expense there. Grateful for this newfound resource.
- We made our OCC shoebox this weekend and shopped at home first. We found: plastic cups, plastic spoons, foam balls, blanket, new towel, stickers and small toys, new toothbrush and soap. We went to the Dollar Tree to purchase seven items. Little man had a great time shopping and picking out items for the box. We wrote a note to them as a family, and paid the processing fee online. (This allowed us to use our credit card = points which we'll use for a future vacation.) Little man is really excited about the possibility of seeing where our box goes, which is enabled by the QR code on the label. It was nice to be able to do this with things we had around the house.
- Took advantage of our Children's Playhouse membership (thank you Mom!) and went on Saturday. The boys had a ball.
- Combined all errands when possible. Sundays we usually do our grocery shopping before church, since the boys are up early anyway. This is nice because it combines the errands, but the store is also very empty before church, so it's easier with the boys.
- Had a doctor's appointment out of town on Thursday, but went with Benny and baby. We were able to make a date of it, use a gift card for lunch, and get some work done for Benny's boss while we were near Best Buy. This meant that we could count some of the time in the trip as work time for him, which is really nice.
- Began taking pictures to post more items on eBay. These funds will help pay for my medical expenses, and it helps to clear out the house some. We're beginning to feel overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" we have, so this is helping, even if we can only do a few items at a time.
- Started another bag of stuff to take to Goodwill. Will get a tax receipt for this.
- Had a short craft date with little man last night and really enjoyed painting together. Going to try to do this more; it really feeds both of our souls.
- Began cleaning up the boys' room and craft room some more. Hoping to weed out more things by the end of the year. Might set a tally amount, just to keep us going and motivated to continue weeding.
I'd love to hear what you did to live and save green this past week? How do you do it with the holidays just ahead? Please share!