Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Month of Doing More with Less - Week 3

Week 3

Day 1/July 19
No shopping today. A friend had given us a can of lentils so I whipped it into a soup tonight with garlic, onions, broth, and a can of rosemary oregano tomatoes.  Quite tasty with homemade rolls.  The rushed dinner time and the promise of pudding for dessert probably didn't hurt in getting the kids to eat it, either.

Day 2/July 20
Posted 9 things on Craigslist and 2 have already sold. I'm glad to be freeing up some space around here and generating some funds for our curriculum.

My husband met with our insurance agent to review our policies and was able to increase our coverage for only a few dollars more than what we had been paying.  He inquired about a cash discount, but they don't offer that, so we'll be happy to take the credit card points.
Humbled and blessed by the mail today.  Thankful!

Day 3/July 21
I rose early to volunteer at our Bountiful Baskets site.  3 conventional baskets this time yielded 4 cantelope, 5 bunches broccoli, 3 bags black grapes, 13 ears red sweet corn, 3 lbs. carrots, 3 lbs. strawberries, 3 - 6oz. packages raspberries, 8 English cucumbers, 15 plums, and 3 living butter lettuce.  The total for this portion of the order was $46.50.  I also added 5 loaves of sourdough ($10) and approx. 18 lbs. Rainier cherries ($25).  I contributed for this on Monday, so that expense came from last week's tally.  Our fridge is now very packed! 
Safeway - ham and turkey for sandwiches

Sold another 3 items today.  Clearing out what we no longer need plus some extras funds is a win-win in my books.

I'm thankful for health insurance and that we had the option of urgent care vs. an ER visit tonight.  Our little guy needed staples after taking a tumble on the coffee table.   I'm also thankful for a steam cleaner.  That $100 purchase many years ago has certainly paid for itself.  :)

Day 4/July 22
Missed church due to a child's sore throat and wanting to protect our little guy's head from rambunctious play at the nursery.
Target - 16 oz. coffee creamer, 11 notebooks, nail polish, ream of paper, 8 boxes crayons, 2 6-ct. glue sticks, 4 manual pencil sharpeners, 4 pads drawing paper, box of pasta, gummy bears, 8 erasers, 2 sets flash cards, nail clippers.  Many of these items may make it into Operation Christmas Child boxes or last minute birthday party gifts.

Day 5/July 23 - no purchases today

Day 6/July 24
This month I've been trying to use up the bits and pieces that we in the fridge and freezer (condiments, little bits of meats, one of this and one of that) as well as the bathroom.  I'm not sure how we've ended up with so many little hotel soaps and shampoos, but I've been using them up which seems to be freeing up some space and reducing clutter.

Day 7/July 25
We were out to the gym today and for a quick errand and drove through Chick-Fil-A on the way home.  The sandwiches were free with a food bank donation. 
Chick-Fil-A - 5 sandwiches, 2 large fries to share, 1 Dr. Pepper (coupon)
$3.97 + food donation

Tonight we were given lots of food from sweet friends who are moving away soon. Lots of frozen fruit, canned chili, oils, baking supplies, shortening, canned goods, chicken, tea and a lot more.  We could probably eat for a week to 10 days just on what they gave us tonight.  Such a blessing!  I am again humbled and grateful for God's provision for us, right down to the little details of life. We've been out of regular white flour for a few weeks and I was considering purchasing a big bag of brown rice and we were out of meats, and those things were among the bags of groceries we received. 

Week 1 purchases - $172.44
Week 2 purchases - $165.87
Week 3 purchases -  $35.48
Total after week 3 = $373.79 of $375

This week:
- I felt a sense of accomplishment with getting dinner on the table early each evening that our kids attended VBS. Our time to get out the door was very limited, but we did it!  Hooray!
- We've still been eating well with lots of fresh produce.
- We committed to getting a 1/4 of beef which will be ready sometime in August.  We had not been preparing for this large purchase, but we're thankful for the opportunity to get good meat closer to the source at a good price.
- I still did not defrost the freezer, but we'll continue eating down the freezer and I'll need to defrost it before we fill it with beef in August.
- We had some challenges in the parenting department with a child who is unable unwilling to keep their room clean.  We ended up removing almost every last thing from that room for a time and have been taking the time to go through the stuff which will be allowed back in.  This process has made me realize the true excess of this American life.  I don't think our kids actually have an excessive amount of toys or clothes compared to their peers, but it is just.too.much.stuff.   Sometimes I think it would be easier if we had a play room, or more than one living space.  But the problem remains, and I'm owning it.  We simply need to live well in the space we have, even if that means getting rid of more. 

Goals for Week 4:
- Finish the challenge without going over...too much. I know I will need to spend more than $1.21 which remains in the budget I set.  Needs: milk & produce co-op order  / Wants: Dominos $3.99 pizzas
- Finally get our school shelf sorted out and organized for the coming school year.
- Make a skirt from a dress.
- Take a full load of stuff to Goodwill.

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