Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tightwaddery and tiny accomplishments

I've gotten a lot done lately, or at least I feel like that. I think this is mostly due to me lowering my expectations on calling a chore done. I've started to put it on my list as being "done" if I work on it at all. Today I spent 10 frantic minutes balancing the checkbook, did not get it up to date, but did get some progress made, and therefore I put it on my "to done list". Other things that took about the same amount of time, yet made my got-er-done list include making 3 phone calls, paying three bills and picking out books at the library.

I've been reading the Tightwad Gazette during middle of the night feedings and rockings. There are large chunks of this book that are seriously out of date. For instance, the tip that you can save on your phone bill by requesting pulse service instead of tone service. Also, she repeatedly suggests writing thoughtful letters instead of paying 9 cents per minute for long distance. I think it's been nearly as long as we've been married since we paid for long distance per minute.

On the other hand, some things are timeless like eat simpler meals, hang dry laundry if you can, shop garage sales and thrift stores, and how to find more storage space in your house. The last of which made me want to call my former neighbor to give her some space saving ideas. Then I realized that since she moved, and doubled their square footage, she probably doesn't need these tips any more.

Baking more from scratch probably wouldn't save me much money due to how much I might bake non-edible items. Also mixes and baked goods are extremely cheap! Can you really bake 2 dozen cookies for less than $1.29?

I have made a Tightwad Gazette grocery notebook this week. The Gazette, combined with the show Extreme Couponing, has encouraged me to at least examine if we could use coupons to save money beyond the Aldi prices. For several years, each time I've examined prices at non-Aldi stores, Aldi still has THE best prices and generally tastes better than Kroger brand. As a result, I've stopped looking at prices and don't know what things cost right now. The notebook will help me with this. The notebook is a portable listing of the place, size, cost, and cost per unit of products, listing one item per page. For instance, sliced bread has one page and I can list what Aldi, Kroger, and Walmart have for standard prices. That way I'll actually know a sale when I see one.


Since Hank was born, I've gone to the grocery store about twice as often for 3 items that I feel cannot wait. This is driving me nuts and, I'm sure, costing me more in impulse purchases. Also, I'm eating a TON carbohydrates and still weigh less than I did when I was 28 1/2 (AKA when my body decided to have a new, standard, larger number.)


Rechargeable batteries are great - EXCEPT IF THEY ARE SIZE D! We are very firm believers in rechargeable batteries. When I was like 12 and my dad realized that we teenagers were plowing through tons of AA batteries for our Walkmans, he bought us a charger and enough batteries so that some could always be on the charger and some always in our Walkmans. We basically stopped needing to buy AA batteries. Incidentally, just within the last year or two have I called my daddy to tell him that THOSE SAME BATTERIES from when I was twelve, have now officially died. Me and my husband agreed and we trashed those 4 batteries. Yes folks, that's 20 years.

We have also recently tried to use some size D rechargeable batteries from my husband's childhood. These would not run any of our kid's toys. We thought they were just dead. But then I read the actual batteries. Size D rechargeable batteries have a different amount of volts than disposable batteries. A lower amount of volts. Which means they will not run the baby swing, or the bouncy seat. Why did the battery mafia do this?!

Still, the single D battery that runs the vibrator part of the bouncy seat still only costs us about $6 per month. Gee, is it worth $6 per month to be able to get to sleep with a newborn in the house. OMG YES!!!


There is a children's book for adults called "Go the F**k to Sleep". Our local library has one copy. There are 14 holds on this book. That means that 14 people have requested this book when it is available. That has made me laugh many times in the last 48 hours. Sooz, I really wish you and I could snicker over this book. I do miss you on a regular basis!


We got to go to story time at the library today for the first time, and then play on the playground with the help of my local grandma. Yes, going to the park requires two adults for me, right now. Later, when Quint is better trained to public playgrounds and/or stopping when I say STOP, I'll be able to do this alone. But right now, I cannot chase a toddler and make sure no one steals Hank at the same time.


Hubby got his lap-band adjusted the other day. He had mentioned that he wanted to start eating better when he had that done, but he failed to mention that he would also be going hard core low carb - except for cookies. I had dreams of soon being able to make meals that Quint, Hubby and I could all eat - and therefore we all stop eating separate things at separate times. But no. If I don't eat a metric ton of carbs per day lately, I literally get dizzy while moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Protein is great. But carbs are a must. So the dinner I spent 3 days planning (this is a crock pot recipe that says it takes 20 minutes to prep) was eaten this evening by just me. I was not at all hurt that he didn't want to eat my cooking (how can you dislike something you haven't tried?) but was just more frustrated that I had planned for three days to prepare supper for my husband and I, to no avail. The primary ingredient was potatoes.


When you're home all the time with a toddler, you REALLY have to mop more than once a week. Otherwise the ants go marching one by one, horrah, HORRAH!


DING! is what my family says during our marathon phone conversations to indicate a complete and total subject change.


Why is it that when I ask my husband to help me with the kids I sometimes get the question, loaded with contempt, "Did you get a nap today?!" Indicating that he didn't get a nap today so he shouldn't have to do something. Sure I got a nap, but I also got up 2 hours earlier than you for the day and was up a total of about 2 hours during the night with feedings. Who is more oppressed here, WHO I ASK!!


My husband is wonderful and helpful and after I answer the above question in the affirmative, we split the current duties down the middle and get to work.

Speaking of which, he's trying to comfort our upset newborn without the aid of mammarys. OK, when you misspell mammarys, the suggested corrections are stammering, menageries, hammertoes, and miniseries. That's just funny. And I still spelt it rong. Gotta go.

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