New Year

2 Jan

One thing I’m really looking forward to in the new house is that there are no stairs. Not because I’m lazy, but because the children are constitutionally incapable of going up and down without acting, and sounding, like an entire herd of thundering elephants.

Food waste: some bean soup I defrosted. We ate some but there was just too much of it. Note to self: freeze in smaller portions. Some chia seeds I had soaking. It should have occurred to me that I can’t just keep adding seeds and water to the solution. Part of a tomato that drifted to the bottom of the fruit bowl and acted like an apple until it got a bit black. I bravely ate the unaffected portion. And the usual suspects from the children’s lunches.

I filled the trunk of my car on Sunday and took it to the Goodwill: clothes, toys, books, old kitchen stuff. I also shredded many documents with the able help of #1Child, who’s discovered a new avocation in shredding. And I sold another book on and several magazines on ebay. I freecycled two decrepit kids’ bikes and a open container of goldfish (the goldfish kept dying, we moved onto a sturdy betta fish). I think I can get rid of 3 bookcases, a couple of small storage units, the enormous and unwieldy dresser in #2Child’s room, and my huge desk which is just a clutter magnet anyway. Phew!

Moving stuff out to move

11 Dec

Probably buying a house, which means moving, so decluttering is accelerating.  I took 6 grocery bags of clothes/shoes to Goodwill this week, donated some books to the Prison Library Project, and managed to sell a dress, a pair of shoes, and three books on eBay or half[dot]com. Tomorrow when the consignment place opens I’ll call them about taking a couple of jackets and dresses and combine that with taking in some old-fashioned jewelry to the place that buys such things. 

Went out for a pricy dinner last week.  Somehow I thought “we want to take you out” meant the other couple would treat … that plus the babysitting added up fast.  It was fun, though, and they are wonderful friends.  It evens out because they threw a great party (catered!) this past weekend and my parent came and watched the children, so we had a free fun night out.

Ate lunch for free at work twice last week.  Free lunch today and free dinner tomorrow.  And with Other Adult working through dinner time 5x/week, my dinners are much cheaper. 

Have to remember to make the luminarias with the children to use up the thrift store candles and the miscellaneous glass jars.

Raffle for savings

8 Dec

Last week my mother treated the children and me to a Christmas party put on by one of the clubs to which she belongs.  There were snacks and, excitingly, a raffle for which not many attendees bought tickets, apparently.  I bought 6 tickets for $5 (the party was a fundraiser for a Good Cause) and won a $20 gift card to a local toy/bookstore and a $10 gift card to a local cafe with a pound of coffee.  Each child got a craft kit. My mother (who bought 12 tickets) won a giant Christmas wreath and a journal. SCORE!  We used the cafe card the very next day.

Thrift store this week: I got a bag of miscellaneous candles — I want to make luminarias with the children; a holiday dress for #2Child; a pair of knee-high boots, real leather; 4 tops; and a puzzle for #2Child for Christmas. $35.  The dress was the most expensive item at $9.99.

Had free lunch at work twice.

All this, and we’re buying a house and about to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt and see our monthly expenses rise, not in rent/mortgage so much as in utilities.  Lalala!

Double food save

4 Dec

I hope this counts, haha.  I’ve been saving the uneaten fruit slices (apple, mostly) in the freezer.  The bag filled up so I made a simple fruit puree.  I thought #2Child might eat some, but that wasn’t happening, so I used it in baked goods instead, breakfast cookies and some oatmeal muffins for Other Adult.

I realized that I haven’t bought cheese sticks in a long time.  The plastic packaging was the deal breaker there.  That also led to the homemade yogurt and to the cessation of granola bar purchasing, although OA gets them, and Clif bars, frequently. Now the argument is that OA needs them “for work” although OA also goes out to lunch every. single. day.  OA is not a brown bagger.  OA thinks my efforts to reduce waste and to conserve energy are silly.  Okay, now I’m pissed off.

What’s the money going on?

30 Nov

I have a bag in the freezer where I put random leftover fruit, mostly apple slices from the children’s lunches.  It was full so I put the fruit in a pan and cooked it til soft, then pureed it.  Then I made breakfast cookies and used some of the fruit puree there — as well as the leftover egg yolks from the Thanksgiving meringue.

Made turkey soup. Other Adult expressed not wanting to eat any more turkey. I ended up giving all the leftover turkey and the leftover soup to my mother, who was happy. 

Used stale bread from the freezer for #2Child’s french toast. #2Child likes it cut up in small pieces anyway.

Made a palatial lasagna last night thinking it would be two nights’ dinners, but everyone was so hungry that now there is enough leftover for a weekend lunch at best.  I can’t regret being the victim of my own cooking success.

Totalled up October’s food costs.  Even leaving out our dinner out with friends ($40) and the kids’ school lunches, I spent almost $600.  HOW?! 

Must speak with Other Adult about a better way to share paying for household costs.  The business where I pay for everything is not good or necessary any more.

Post-Thanksgiving update

25 Nov

Food waste: half a can of coconut milk, carefully placed in a glass jar in the fridge. Should have frozen it. I made half sandwiches for the children’s lunches at home the other day, they didn’t eat them. Horrible war between eating them myself (saving! but fattening!) and throwing them away (wasting! but slimming!).  I made a meringue for dessert on Tday and saved the egg yolks in the fridge, and keep forgetting to use them in either of the two batches of pancakes or the muffins (made with leftover cranberry relish), so I fear those may turn. I should get off my fat turkey-eating ass and freeze them.

No shopping was committed on Friday.  Small Business Saturday saw us trekking to our local downtown and me spending $32 (including tax) on stocking stuffers. We also ate at a place that turned out not to be participating so Other Adult didn’t get the $25 Amex credit. Whoops.

Hypothetical extra money

15 Nov

I always love this kind of dreaming.  The Non Consumer Advocate asks here ( what would you do with an extra $100? $1000?  $10,000?

$100: get my hair cut and buy a new pair of shoes.  Oh no, that was before I got a traffic ticket this morning. Pay ticket.

$1000: Put it towards the car repair bill.

$10,000: Put some in the children’s college savings funds, use some for family vacation. I received a legacy in this amount a year ago and that’s what I did with it. Some stayed in the emergency fund.

Now, if I didn’t want to save any of it, just spend spend spend, I’d do this:

$1000: family weekend out of town at a nice hotel OR send the money to my sister so she and her partner could come and visit.

$10,000: arrange a family vacation in some fun spot like Costa Rica, pay for mother, sister and sister’s partner to join us.  Extra money, I would invite a couple of friends to come as well.