I thought I would go back through the archives a bit and give an update on things I have tried, things I have said ....... you know, clean it all up a bit.
7/13/09: saving some dough. We got around to fixing the second car just in time for the school year to begin. Unfortunately I did not have the courage to stay a single car family. Even though we live within a couple of miles of school, I knew not having a vehicle would impede me from volunteering. In addition, Iowa winters can be harsh (this year, for example) and I wasn't ready to brave the walk in sub-zero wind chills.
We continue to live without the extras on our phone line, but have increased the cell service to include Maddi. While this increased our monthly budget, Dave's new job pays us $100 towards a cellular plan if he holds his own service. All in all, we are paying about $15 more a month than this summer.
The next budget buster was our DirecTV service, so canceling the service freed up some money. I thought this transition would be difficult, however, the kids have not missed a thing and I find we ALL find plenty of other means of entertainment besides sitting in front of the television.
Finally, the money saving change of planting a garden was a success! In terms of learning a new skill, that it. I'd say the money invested in building and planting the garden verses the money saved in harvesting fresh vegetables was about equal. The best part was getting our 'first try' out of the way, knowing the next summer would be easier.
08/03/09: secrets. I am thrilled to report everyone is still sleeping in their rightful bed and, barring nightmares and illness, nights have been what they intended for: rest and rejuvenation. Ahhhhhhh.
10/03/09: OAMC. Once a month cooking was something I have always wanted to try, and I am happy with the attempt made to make it happen. At first we were all thrilled at the convenience of pulling something out from the freezer and having dinner already prepared. After awhile, however, the convenience of it wore off when we realized everything started to taste the same. Actually, the texture of the food was all the same. Mushy. Not so bad that we didn't enjoy the meal, but enough that we all decided the effort wasn't worth the return.
What I DID take away from the experience, however, was the idea of cooking up large (2-4 servings worth) of the meat portion so I could have one portion of the work completed when I set out to make a meal. For instance, if I am going to brown some beef for tacos, I might as well brown up and season enough beef for several meals worth. Divide out and freeze the remainders and voila, part of a later meal already done. This goes the same for chicken. If I am going to roast one, I might as well roast 3 and have the extra meat for later.
Am I putting all of this into practice? Heck no. But I do it when I remember and that's the whole point, tight?
Wow, this post is getting rather long! I think I will finish part II another time. Yes, yes ..... that is what I will do.