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Moms, Making Lists, and Money

I had a fun morning with my friend Erika. She and her youngest came over to visit with Addy, Lily and me. I rushed around to make cranberry oatmeal muffins for us this morning. Should’ve planned it out a little better, so I didn’t rush, but everything turned out. I was going to make bread in the bread maker, but I still had some from Monday’s loaf; I went with muffins instead. We got out of bed later than usual, so I got started a little later than I had hoped. Nothing like running around all crazy to make muffins, get a shower, get little ones dressed and get to preschool on time. We ended up being early to school; I have no clue how that happened! πŸ™‚

Addy and Lily were trying my patience while Erika and little T were here. But, I was glad to have the company. It’s funny because she and I almost always talk about coupons and housework and saving money. It is really enjoyable to have another mom who is overly interested in all of that, like I am. We often save on the same deals, so it’s nice to compare and share what we got for the week. 

I ran into CVS with Lily and Addy after we dropped off Iris. My favorite employee, Beth, was there. She is super nice, and she is always encouraging me to break up my orders to use my ECB’s on the next items. Great lady. I ended up getting six 12-packs of Pepsi products (2 Pepsi, 2 Wild Cherry Pepsi, and 2 Sierra Mist) for $10! They were 3/$10, but if you purchased $20 worth you got 10 ECB’s back! I plan to use those ECB’s before Saturday to get more toilet paper and Puffs…to then get more ECB’s. We are in needing of stocking up on toilet paper, so I think 32 rolls in that next deal ought to cover it, right? πŸ™‚

For the new year (yes, I know it’s already the third week of January!), I am making goals/resolutions by month. Instead of just one thing to accomplish or change this year, I want to get on the ball with several by completing or making a certain habit each month. This month’s goal is menu planning. I really enjoy cooking, and I don’t mind searching around for a recipe but I really need to stick to the habit of menu planning. I’m on-again, off-again with that habit. I need it to stick. So, I’m working on making a pantry inventory sheet, a toiletries inventory sheet (not really related to menu planning but related to the grocery list I’ll be making for my menu), and creating a weekly menu guide. I really liked the latest video on MoneySavingMom’s site (her “31 weeks to a better grocery budget” series; week 2) where she showed her printout of the list of 7 items for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in a week. She didn’t have specific days assigned to each meal, but she had them listed, so they’d know what was available for a meal. We tend to eat the same things for breakfast several times a week. I want to make sure we’re consuming all those great steals I’ve been getting! πŸ™‚ Today, along with deciding to bake muffins late in the morning, I also decided to make my husband and I hash browns with egg and bacon. He made the eggs, and I made the hash browns and bacon. I felt to rushed because I decided two minutes before we needed to start cooking that we should do it. If I had written it out as an idea on a menu guide, I could have quickly just referred to the guide for that idea or a less time consuming meal for this morning’s craziness. 

My other goals for the year include: freezing meals for when Baby Artie arrives (probably will do this in late April or early May), organizing the kids’ closet to accommodate yet another set of clothes, maintaining a written Daily To Do list to help maintain my routine and also track my water intake (really need to work on consuming more water each day), pick out and order curriculum for Iris (goal is May/June), plan out field trips and budget for them before school starts(hopefully completed by early August), and purchase a freezer (February/March). And somewhere in there I’m going to have a baby, recuperate, adjust to having 4 kids at home, and enjoy summer break. Should I add more to the list? Haha!

I am very excited to do all these things. I’ve been thinking about them all for a month or more, so I figured I should set some timelines for accomplishing them. I desperately want to stay on top of the homeschooling BEFORE August rolls around. I hear I need to order everything by early summer before the tons of orders come in and mine gets backordered. I have received all the catalogs I requested, so I just need to sit down with Arthur and go over the budget and the things we NEED as well as the additional items I’d LIKE to purchase. Field trip days and costs will need to be budgeted out in advance as well, so I can be sure Arthur is available to go with on the ones I’ll need him for, as well as making sure the money doesn’t get allocated for something else. As much as I can make run smoothly, I’d like to make that way. 

My mom has graciously agreed to sew a cover for our crib bumper (yes, I still use one..don’t tell on me. lol.), so we don’t have to go buy a whole new bedding set. Ours is pink and butterflies; I figured that’d be a bit much for a boy. πŸ™‚ Not that he cares or anything. And the crib’s duvet has a girly cover we can remove; she said she could sew a boyish cover for that, too. Hoping we can find some material on sale, so that doesn’t add up! We’ll just need to get some blue or green crib sheets. Thankfully, we thought ahead enough to buy the stroller, baby carrier, and pack-and-play in neutral colors, so they can all be used for a boy. The only thing we’ll be in need of is clothing. Hoping to find some good garage sales this Spring and stock up on whatever I can find. 

I should get back to my list making, so I can get started on printing out my first menu plan. I’m thinking I’ll go Tuesday through Monday on my guides because I grocery shop on Tuesdays, and that’ll help me plan for the first evening once I’ve purchased new items. I feel like I’m making it a more difficult task than it should be. πŸ™‚

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