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Posts tagged with: grocery shopping

The End of a Decade plus


Hello BAD Community, I apologize for my long absence. I’ve visited often, with the thought to write an update, but never seem to focus on something to write about.  We are fully settled into small town life in Georgia, our lives in Virginia settling into mostly fond memories.  I think Gymnast still struggles the most.  Change is hard for everyone, but I know the kids are resilient and in time will find their groove here.

Not much has changed as far as busy-ness from my last update (you can read it here .) I’m still working all my jobs and continuing to pick up odd jobs (primarily from previous customers – websites, etc.) Since we had gotten rid of EVERYTHING over the last couple of years, it took a little while to fully furnish our home.  The last big purchase was a used washer and dryer with a one year warranty for just at $500 for the set delivered.

It’s been nice to be in our own home again after 2 1/2 years of tiny living and then glamping. I certainly do not miss either of these living spaces, but there are a number of things that linger.  First, we are still very much minimalist.  There is  nothing in our home that is not used every day.  As a result, our approx 1200 square foot home feels large because it is not cluttered.

We spend a great deal of time in one room – our eat in kitchen. I know it’s always called the heart of the home, but I think we take that to the extreme.  We school in there, eat in there, I work in there and we hang out in there doing crafts and playing lots of board games.  So much so that I’ve decided to divide the boys (Sea Cadet and Gymnast) from the bedroom they are sharing and move Sea Cadet into the living room (it has a door) when Sea Cadet returns from his summer away working at summer camp.

The frugal habits that we were forced into because of being completely broke are now in our nature.  While I do grocery shop once a week, I typically spend less than $100 and just purchase fresh produce and milk, etc.  (We buy meat in bulk at Sams Club and keep it in the freezer. The 20lbs of frozen chicken breast, 2 family packs of pork chops, 1 roast and 10 lbs of ground beef I purchased in April have lasted us and we will probably go another month or so before we need to restock.)

We are spending our “free” time visiting small towns around us, free festivals and lots of live music. I say free time loosely as I still work the bulk of every day between my full time job and my part time jobs.  The kids are asking more frequently when I will slow down, but as of now, I haven’t made definitive plans.  I keep thinking/saying the end of the summer, but I’m not certain I will.  I just don’t ever, ever want to go through what we’ve been through again – ever!  The money is nice but even moreso, the security of knowing if one jobs fails, I have the others.

I still have not sat down and come up with a budget…I keep saying I’m going too.  And I am. Soon. I’m continuing to save 10% of all income in a hard to reach account. And I guess  most impressive to myself, is that I’ve continued to control my travel bug.  I think fear more than anything is guiding my financial decisions.  Which I’m sure is not healthy, but right now, it’s working.

I promise to write a more finance oriented post soon.  We are doing well. Sea Cadet leaves this week for the summer (returning to the camp in VA where he will work as a Senior Camp Counselor through August.)  When he returns, he will be attending the local community college under the GA MOWR program for his last year of high school, focused on pursuing an EMS certificate.  Princess continues to work hard at her academics, and is ready for collegiate classes in some subjects, but not old enough to attend the local community college.  I will have to address that soon.  Gymnast continues to train and will move up another level this fall.  The two littles are looking forward to going to camp this month for two weeks.  I am looking forward to that as well, no kids, two weeks.  I may even treat myself to a day off, but have made no plans for that yet.


Car Wreck, Real Estate Agent and Rotten Food


Yup, the title says it all about how my day went today…not exactly how I’d planned it.

Over the weekend, we discovered that our refrigerator had lost power, and it had been off for at least a couple of days.  Can you say grotesque smelling!!!  How? You ask, could I have gone that long without noticing the power was out?  Well, the kids had said, “Hey Mom, the refrigerator light is out?” and I took that to mean that we needed a new bulb, not that we lost power.  Ugh!  I didn’t cook a lot either since I was the event planner for a large event on Saturday and then Sunday went from church to choir practice to…you see how it went.

So today after I dropped the twins at the FIRST (competitive robotics) team’s weekly meeting, the little’s and I went to Sam’s to grocery shop.  Then I had to head to the bank to get the money to pay my replacement painter…who finished yesterday!  It was raining, there was lots of traffic and we were stopped at a red light…the CRASH!  A large work van rammed into the back of my large van.  Boy, was I grateful we were in the large van and not the little Honda Accord I will be driving once it sells.  So grateful!  But his van is now un-driveable and mine is damaged.

So while I was dealing with the police and firemen and insurance companies and children who were excited to be so close to all this action, my phone rang and I let it go to voicemail.  I’m thankful that the other driver has car insurance.  I am thankful that the police responded so quickly so my new replacement food did not spoil.  I am grateful that no one was hurt (this is really my first grateful so don’t take these as order of importance.) And what I’m really grateful for is that my dad took us to the movies this week to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! If you haven’t seen it, you should, and you will understand why it meant a lot after the day I was having.

So got the insurance claim filed, got home with my new groceries, ran the gymnast to his workout, ran back to pick up the twins, walked the dogs in the rain and went back to pick up little gymnast.  It was a crazy full day.  It was hard and full of bickering between the kids, lots of chauffeuring to activities and so much more.

But as I wound down from the wreck, I noticed a voice mail on my phone….

A real estate agent called and has a client who is VERY INTERESTED in my house and wants to show it tomorrow.  So today was Hope’s Stress Filled, Over-crowded, Rain Filled, Over the top Day…and someone who is VERY INTERESTED in buying my house is going to look at it tomorrow morning. (The ad went out today, the website went up yesterday.)

So sorry for the late post, but today I am so grateful for my many, many blessings…money to buy more groceries when the power is out, a cozy home on a rainy day, a big car that protected us from what could have been a very bad wreck, that my kids are bright and engaged and involved and mostly, right now…that someone who is VERY INTERESTED is going to see my house tomorrow.


Grocery Shopping with DD


I had a bad idea yesterday after work and picking up DD from camp–to make a quick stop at the grocery store for a few necessary items.  I’m already off to a bad start because I didn’t get the week’s shopping done as I usually do on the weekends AND I was sleep deprived.  I figured we’d zip in and grab a few items.  As you probably suspect–this resulted in a totally flustered Mom and Daughter and too much money spent! 

I know I must have a plan and a list when I go into a grocery store…but what do I do when there is nothing to eat at home AND I have no plan?!  I almost ran by a local vegetarian restaurant known for its real food but knew that would be expensive.  I told myself I could run in and out of the grocery store and grab just what I needed–the items on my mental list that I really should have put down on paper.  Add to this DD going through processed food detox and we had a mess of a time!  She isn’t normally one to ask for lots of things but that’s because she usually has all the junk she wants.  With the new rules and the post-vacation blahs…her requests were non-stop!  Wow!  Stuff she doesn’t even have a history of liking were being begged for with all out drama! 

It was an all-around bad idea and exhausting for both of us.  I spent $35 on random stuff—all “real food” except for the pringles I agreed to in a huge moment of weakness.  After I got home I confirmed that I did get some things for DD’s lunches for camp but other than that virtually nothing I got can create a meal.  🙁

Today is a new day and I’m not off to a great start.  I didn’t have time to make my oatmeal at home and paid $2 for oatmeal from the downstairs cafe.  They were happy to see me again but I was not happy to pay them $2.00 for a bowl of oatmeal.

I’m giving myself a break–and I’ll find some time to make a plan today!

Super Shopping…


Hubby came down with the flu yesterday. Normally, I pick up our son, and he stops at the grocery store if we are missing an item or two for dinner since shopping with a six month old is difficult.

Last night, hubby requested brown rice water for dinner to calm his stomach, but was unable to get to the store from his ‘deathbed’ on the couch.

Naturally, I’m all out of brown rice and naturally, it’s pouring down rain for my afternoon commute home.

I picked up our son, circled the grocery store parking lot for a spot, and struggled to get him out of his car seat without getting either of us soaked. I run inside, manage to step into a huge puddle of water that looked deceptively small, and grimace as water fills my hi-heels.

I walk the grocery store aisle, trying desperately not to slip with my wet shoes, and grab a bag of brown rice. Usually, after grabbing the item I need, I make a quick circle of the store, check out the sale items or grab produce. I always purchase at least one item not on my grocery list – an item I don’t necessarily need.

I looked down at my sweet son, smiling despite his snotty nose and swollen teething gums. Nope. No circle around the store. I went straight to the checkout. I didn’t even grab a pack of gum from the check stand. Total bill? $2.

Gone are my days of leisure grocery spending.

Who needs to go on a debt diet? Just bring a baby.

My $8 Secret


I don’t buy chips. Heck, I don’t buy junk food in general.

Sure, it’s not good for you, but it’s also expensive. That $4 spent on chips could be spent on chicken or veggies.


I went grocery shopping hungry (MISTAKE) and as I was buying a box of wheat crackers, I heard a bag of Lays potato chips calling my name from across the aisle. I tried to stare them down, tell them how evil they were, but the bag said, ‘I’m extra salty and crunchy. Just the way you like it!’

I moved on. Shopped a few more aisles.

But that stupid bag of potato chips wouldn’t shut up.

Sooo… I bought them…with some creamy ranch dipping sauce.

Total cost of the chips and dip? $8. Geez!

I haven’t splurged and chips and dip for… um…

I can’t remember the last time.

So, I hid them behind the Costco sized bag of Quinoa in the pantry – because hubby hates Quinoa and won’t touch the bag. Sure, I’d like to say it was because I was embarrassed that I wasted $8 but let’s face it, it’s because I didn’t want to share.

It was a heavenly week. I’d sneak a few chips here and there while hubby was cleaning the garage or playing with the baby.

Sure, I felt guilty, but man oh man was it worth it.

Last night, hubby caught me. I expected him to chastise me for wasting grocery money or for hiding them. Instead, he dove into the bag with both hands and we polished off the whole thing.


I wasted 8 bucks.

But sometimes, that’s OK.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do 900 sit ups. My budget is a little more forgiving than my body.

Family Week…


I’m starting to see an accidental theme on my posts this week – looks like it’s family week!

E-mealz notified me that this week is their family week. You can get a free recipe and download a game each night to play with the family. I checked out the activities and recipes and let’s just say Monday’s ‘Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles’ look awfully delicious! Hmmm… I’m wondering if it’s too early to run to the grocery store and have them for breakfast.

Check out the fun at: http://www.e-mealz.com/family-week

E-mealz is also offering discounts on their meal plans if you enter the code FAMWEEK

Click the photo below if you’d like to sign up


Goodbye Grocery Budget…


I never go grocery shopping by myself with the little guy but decided to try it out on Wednesday afternoon rather than wait until the weekend for hubby’s help. I gave myself a huge pat on the back as I was able to complete an entire week’s worth of grocery shopping.

Then came Thursday’s power outage.

I had purchased mostly dairy and meat products… the very things you need to throw out after a power failure.

I practically cried on Friday as I threw out the precious contents of the refrigerator.

We’re living on a really tight budget since I’m off work for 3 more weeks so I can’t go out and replace anything I bought. Soooo….

looks like we’re living off canned goods and pasta this week.

Thankfully, our box freezer in the garage was locked and held it’s temp. We were able to keep our frozen stash of discounted turkey meat and chicken. Whew!