Sunday, February 27, 2011

Okay, So This May Be Harder Than I Thought...

I started a low carb diet (more on that later) a week ago and realized I didnt have enough fresh veggies and quick low carb meal components to help me be successful this coming week (it's going to be a really crazy week work-wise for me).

So I spent an additional $300 at the store on groceries.


My new goal is that what we have needs to last us 2 weeks (except for milk and toothpaste, for the kids).  After that, I really have enough meats in the freezer so I'm hoping I can just buy fruits and vegetables for a week or two.

I also am planning on trying out, as recommended, but I've got to wait until I deplete my stash a bit.

Hi, my name is Lauren.  And I'm addicted to groceries.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Need an Intervention!!!

So I recently joined  It's an online budgeting tool that integrated in with all of your various financial accounts so you can see how much you're spending where and on what.  If you haven't checked it out - I highly recommend it. 

Unless you like burying your head in the sand...


like me.

I started doing this officially at the beginning of the year but I hadn't updated all of my transactions by categorizing them until today.  And that's when I realized that I spent a whopping

*drum roll please*

THOUSAND DOLLARS on groceries in January.

All of the couponers out there are cringing at this admission, I know.

Yes, I coupon and I usually get great deals, but maybe, just maybe, I buy too much, or the wrong stuff, or too many exotic things for new recipes I make.  Who knows?  I certainly don't because it doesnt FEEL like we eat wagyu beef every night sprinkled with truffle oil.  But we might as well!

So, I'm on a mission.  I'm not going grocery shopping the rest of this month (as I've already reached $661) and I'm determined to spend less than $500 next month.  That still may be exhorbitant for a family of four, but I've got to start somewhere and I figure that even $500 will take some getting used to.

It's odd to me that I'm having this problem.  I clip coupons, I follow several deal websites and I buy a lot at discount stores like Target, etc.  I dont feel like I have the time to be an extreme couponer, but I do pretty well.  Apparently, though, I'm missing the key element of sticking to a certain amount each week and then monitoring what I'm spending on a more regular basis. 

So here I am.  I'm coming clean.  I'm a grocery over-spender.  Join me as I try to figure out the best way to feed my family (as well as buy them household cleaners, laundry detergent, paper products, foils, etc) for half of what I'm currently spending while also not spending lots of time at the store, eating ramen or more than 15 minutes a day clipping coupons.  We'll see how this goes....

**If any of you have any tips and tricks for making this work for a family that likes to eat things other than chicken and rice casserole 5 nights a week, please let me know.  We're foodies and I like to buy a lot of fresh fruits and veggies for the kids.  I'm hoping I can still maintain a level of excitement about our meals while eating on a budget.  I need all the help I can get!**

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Sad Farewell

After a lot of thinking and praying we made the hard decision to discontinue the homeschool preschool group we were a part of two days a week.  It just got to be too much with all of the errands I needed to run for the rest of the week plus work plus quality time with the kids at home plus chores around the house, yada yada yada.  I was stressed when we got home, Natalie was distracted while we were there and Liam spent his time at preschool running around the playroom emptying toys and puzzles left and right. 

Regardless, it was a hard decision as we'd made a lot of good friends there and the kids really did have fun each week.  I'm thinking the Fall might be good for another try as they'll both be a little older. We'll see...



Making muffins with Ms Erin.  I love Abel's face!  This is right before he dumped half the can of baking powder in the bowl.  It's a wonder those things turned out - but, MAN, were they good!



Rory - eating a donut for Sequoia's birthday.

Sequoia (celebrating her 4th birthday at preschool!)

We'll definitely miss the preschool bunch, but hope to develop a routine of educational play/activities and scripture memory here at home.  If anything, being a part of the preschool group helped me to gain more confidence with my role as an educator at home.

It also helped me realize that I'm probably not cut out to homeschool my kids.  Of course I could change my mind, but I think I realized how BIG of an undertaking that truly is.  I'm missing some of the creativity and patience factors that I think you'd have to have to do this well.  I'm also missing all of the science and math skills I used to once posess (where DOES all that information go?).

Ah well, your kids thinking you dont know anything comes with the territory of being a parent I guess.  I better just accept it now.  

That and mom jeans. 

Okay... sorry, Mom, but I'm going to be fighting that one til the day I die.

Fanny Pack

You may think this is cool now...

but you're going to be burning pictures like this here in about 12 years.  (Note the drool drenched shirt to top off the look!)

Too bad I've got a backup of the digital copy!!!!

Say Cheese!

Natalie got a camera for Christmas.  Granted it takes .3 megapixel pictures so the quality isnt that good. 

.3 megapixels!??!!??  I mean my GRANDMA has more megapixels than that!!!

I digress.

The big selling point on the camera was not the quality but it's ability to be dropped, stomped on, thrown and used as a club for your brothers head.  We were sold!  (Actually Nana and Papa were sold... but I digress again.)

So here are some pictures that Natalie has taken with it.  Yes, they're all pretty fuzzy and these really are the best out of all 400 she took.  I just thought it was interesting to see what life looks like through the lens of a 3 year old.

Seeping Gooty (thats how she pronounces it)

Kevin...aka Dad

Ms. Jody

Stinky Pants

Me (bending down, of course, because otherwise you would have just seen my crotch...and this is a family blog, people!)

Nana and Papa at Christmas

Self Portrait!