I actually miss the laundry

I probably shouldn’t admit this in public, but I haven’t done laundry in a week and a half!  I re-use my after-shower towel for a few days before I wash it since I’m clean when I use it and I hang it up to dry.  Lovebug has about 50 pairs of panties since her sensory issues often cause her to try on 5 pair before finding one that works for the day.  Evidently I have a sufficient number of my own, although not quite as many as she does, but I have been clean each day, don’t worry.  Lovebug also tends to wear the same outfit over and over and over until it’s visibly dirty, I take it away from her and put it in the laundry, the weather changes, or I need her to wear something specific in which case she goes back to her favorite clothes as soon as possible.

So, today I went to do laundry and I rounded up all the dirty clothes.   After that, I went looking for more.  There MUST be more, where are they?  In the bathroom on the floor? Nope.  In the closet on the floor? Nope.

I only have 1 load of lights, and 1 load of darks.  Plus sheets.

Then it hit me. There just isn’t that much laundry anymore.

Hubby isn’t here, so that cuts down on some, but the biggest reason is that Little Bear isn’t here.  He would go through 2 outfits a day minimum, plus bibs, burp cloths, towels and washcloths.

I never thought I would say I missed the laundry, but I do.

 

On a happier note, I got to spend some time with Little Bear’s mom yesterday! She’s doing well and had visited with LB just the day before.  She got to meet his current foster mom, which is very unusual and he is doing really well! He’s in what seems to be a great home – they took him for pictures with Santa, are continuing his therapy and doctor’s appts.  All good signs that it’s a great foster home that really cares for him.  The foster mom even gave LB’s mom one of the Santa pictures and I took a picture of it with my camera phone.  Isn’t he precious???

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It’s such a blessing to know that he is doing well.  He’s got 2 teeth now (he had one when he left us)!  There is some movement in the case and some options being considered (nothing to do with us), so I just pray that God’s hand be in every detail…and I know it is.  God is good!!

I blew it!

I went to the grocery store this afternoon (sans kids thanks to Hubby’s grandmother!) to grab a few things.  Ok, several things.  However, I didn’t take my normal list which is an Excel spreadsheet with each item listed next to how much it costs (rounded to the dollar, I’m not that neurotic!).  I also didn’t take cash because I hadn’t been to the bank yet which meant I was using the debit card.  Never a good idea for groceries!

Ever since we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, we have been a cash-only family!  Actually, we’ve been cash only (no credit) for the last 8 years.  But Dave Ramsey taught us the envelope system which we’ve been using for oh, a couple years now maybe? I’d have to look back, but I doubt you care that much so I’ll just guess.

Anyway, that means that each pay period we take out cash for things like tithe (because our church doesn’t always cash checks promptly we found this was easier), groceries, ‘fun money’, clothing, etc.  The only thing we put on the debit card regularly is gas.  It’s just easier to pay at the pump, especially with kids.  And frankly, it’s hard to go over budget there.  I mean, we fill it till it’s full, and we only buy when needed.

Back the grocery store.  I was in a hurry because I didn’t want to leave Granny too long, so I didn’t stop and make my usual wise choices.  I bought a couple things on a whim, and just felt a little frantic.  In the end, I actually did NOT go over my budget and have plenty left over, but it didn’t feel controlled and I don’t like that.

I also bought some pre-packaged gluten free products and I am looking forward to not doing too much more of that.  The pre-packaged, expensive stuff, that is.  We are huge Larabar consumers, but I have a great recipe I found online to make my own, so I’m going to do that very soon.  I also bought a couple other things that I know I can make myself with the right flours and practice, so I’m going to be working on that as well.  That will bring my monthly costs down too!  Some things I will still buy, but the more I can make myself the better.

Big Savings with Big Tex at the State Fair!

The Texas State Fair is almost here!  It opens on September 24 and runs though October 17.  The food, the rides, the gadgets for sale (that I love to see but never buy), the arts & crafts, the animals, the pyrotechnics!  We look forward to it every year.  You all know I love to be frugal though, so I am definitely not going to pay full price to go to the fair, and I hope you won’t either!  Save that money for the giant Ferris Wheel!

Let me share my favorite tips for enjoying the Texas State Fair:

  • We are members of the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science so we get free one-time tickets to the fair! You just can’t see it all in one day though, so I’m sure we will go more than once and take advantage of one of these awesome discount days below.  Sure the cost of membership at the museum is more than the fair, but you can enjoy the museum all year long!
  • I also save money and keep a tight reign on the “gimmies” by giving Lovebug a certain dollar amount that she’s allowed to spend on rides & games. When it’s gone, it’s gone! Might as well teach a little math while we’re there.  You can ride 2 5-ticket rides, or you can ride 5 2-ticket rides.  I don’t think there are any 2-ticket rides, but you get the idea.
  • Take your own food! I take a backpack or a small cooler that fits in the stroller with our own snacks, sandwiches, etc.  We might splurge on one food item, but for the most part we save a lot of money bringing our own food.  You could easily save $50-100 bucks this way.  If you have a large family this could make all the difference in being able to go at all.  I also bring my own treats like cotton candy from the Natural Candy Store website since we are a Gluten-Free/Dye-Free household and most of the treats at the fair don’t meet our criteria.  I want Lovebug to have the fun experience of those treats without the adverse affects.
  • Ride the DART train.  It drops you off right at the gate so you can save the $10-15 for parking!  Kroger has a COMBO ticket available for $16 that includes admission and round trip transportation to the fair if you aren’t taking advantage of a discount day.
  • Get there early! If you arrive when they open at 10:00, it will be much less crowded than if you wait until after lunch!
  • Avoid school field trip days! Unless of course you are the parent of a child on the field trip 🙂  The Dallas elementary schools are scheduled to visit the State Fair on October 1st and the secondary schools are slotted to visit on October 8th. Fort Worth State Fair Day is October 11th, which is also Columbus Day.
  • Visit the fair on one of the DISCOUNT DAYS to save a bunch on admission!

ENJOY!!

Bringing back the Mason jars!

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I read this post by Pioneer Woman the other day, and felt a twinge of nostalgia.  I’ve always loved Mason jars, and similar glass jars, bowls, etc.  I love looking at antique stores at the old milk glass or depression glass and seeing all the beautiful colors, textures, and shapes.  I don’t own much, but I would if I could justify it in my budget.

I also remember growing up, we used to go to a restaurant that served the drinks in Mason jars and I always loved that! How fun to drink iced tea or lemonade out of one!

So, the PW post got me thinking, and I’m going to start collecting Mason jars.  I know you can buy them at the grocery store (as my sweet Hubby told me when I let him in on my new plan), and I just might start there.  But I’m also going to keep my eye out at garage sales, and recycle the ones we get food in anyway.   Just look though the PW post, and all the comments and there are so many great ideas! I can’t wait!  Really, I’m excited about this.  Probably more than I should be.

Candle holders. Pencil holders. Storage for my buttons and other sewing notions. Marbles. Candy (think M&Ms!). Vases for flowers.  They are so multi-purpose! I don’t know why I haven’t done this before.  It’s perfect for me.  I love frugality and simplicity.  I also like recycling food containers, boxes, toilet paper rolls, etc into other things.  I have a huge box of “recyclables” that LoveBug and I make crafts out of.

We’ve been wanting to get rid of a lot of the plastic food storage containers anyway, and with the jars you can just wash them and reuse them – no staining!

So, I started today.  I emptied a jar of Classico spaghetti sauce while making lunch, so I washed it out, used some Goo-Gone to wash off the label, found the Mason jar underneath, and poured in some iced tea! Love it!

 

Need more ideas on how to use your Mason jars?

50 Ways to Hack a Mason Jar

Mason Jars Are Your New Best Friends

Fun Uses for Mason Jars

Tip: Blender and Mason Jar