Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making do

Times are tight. At least that is what the media is screaming in my ear. And yes, I do agree it is. We've gotten ourselves into a big fat financial mess over the past 4+ years or so, as a country I mean, and there are lots and lots of fingers to point and blame to place. But fixing things I guess has to start at home. Since our "home" is about to expand by two fold (square footage wise, not children wise), I suppose that means we are going to be buckling our belts even more so than usual.

And so with all the changes that are going to be happening to us in the next few months, I've been trying really hard to stretch our good old, hard earned (by Shawn) American dollar to the fullest extent. I think of us as fairly frugal family, but there are definitely areas we can cut back on. Am I getting rid of my cell phone? Heck no. But we cut our landline years ago and that saves us quite a bit, as well as cutting telemarketing calls in half - if not more. I am turning off lights more and more, every time I leave a room. I like natural light better anyway. I have been opening the windows during the day so that we won't use the A/C. And at night, since it is still cooler, I have lowered the thermostat a few degrees and snuggled down deeper in our blankets. I've also been trying to extend my grocery shopping trips to every 10 days instead of every 7. Using up all of our pantry before I go fill it with more. This has lead to some interesting meals towards the end of that week and a half time period. We had pancakes for dinner last night. And everyone loved it. For lunch yesterday I had a mish-mash chopped salad of tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Know what? It was DELICIOUS! And the boys' lunches have been bits of this and that - apples, carrots, grapes, chicken nuggets, a slice of cheese -- and they have loved that as well. We haven't seemed to miss not having a full pantry of food. It has actually been sort of "fun" to see what meals I can come up with towards the end. Almost like a game.

I'm scrounging for free newspapers and boxes for the move . Reading Craig's List looking for any "new" furniture items we might need in the new house. Insisting to Shawn that we don't have to paint the new house right away. We can "live with" the current colors and see what changes we want to make. All the little things, I hope, will start to add up.

I know we are not as hard up as so many families during this economic crisis. We have seen this economy affect many of our friends and loved ones. We know how very fortunate we have been. Shawn has a good, secure job (we hope). I'm making a little extra on the side doing photography. Our boys are small, so for now, they are not too expensive to keep (ha ha). I'll potty train Holden this summer so we will at last be done paying for landfill-bombs. I'm just holding tight to some promised changes that are due to come our way as a country in the next year or so. And in the mean time, we are making do, just like everyone else I suppose.

I'm curious what changes you are making to get through this recession, if any? Pass along any tips you have that save time, money, or both!


Sara said...

I love your ideas. I'm curious how you manage to go to the grocery store only every 7-10 days with 2 boys in the house. I haven't figured that one out yet.

We done two things that have seemed to make a huge difference. I changed my cell phone to one with prepaid minutes. You can get 1000 minutes a year for $100 - that's all you pay. I don't use my phone all that often, but it's no so limiting that I feel as though I'm being stingy with my minutes.

We also started buying my boys clothes at resale shops. The price differences are amazing, and if you search through the racks, you can find a lot of clothes that are in great shape. Kids outgrow them so fast that some of these clothes are literally brand new but half the price.

Good luck with your cost cutting!

Tales from the Crib said...

Great idea on resale. I've definitely found some bargains that way, too. And I sell outgrown toys at a resale shop so I use my "earnings" to buy clothes.

The last few days before a grocery trip are definitely "interesting" meal days. We do have milk delivery, at home, so I get milk weekly. I couldn't go 10 days b/w milk purchase, that's for sure!

Kimi said...

Coupons, coupons, coupons! Nothing gets bought at full price. Although, I started this a couple of years ago- the GROCERY GAME! You have got to get into the grocery game!!! It's time consuming at first, but once you get the hang of it and get your system down, it will be worth every dollar you save! I say at least 50% a week!

Tales from the Crib said...

Kimi - I SO need to do the grocery game. I keep saying I'm going to, but then life happens. I usually shop with the boys so I'm full of trepidation about trying to manage coupons and boys. I need you to come down and train me! I tell all my friends about how good you are at the GG!!!!!!!!!