Friday, November 12, 2010

Commission a Study....

Please commission a study... I want to know how many accidents happen on the Monday after the time change due to people trying to adjust the digital clock in their car while they are driving.....

Monday, November 08, 2010

The process of reflection and reinvention.

The process of reflection and reinvention.

I realized reinvention does not occur without reflection.

And so we will take a moment to reflect.


And now to proceed.

I need to talk about Costco.  It isn't that I WANT to talk about it, no, I need.

This is about our budget.  For October's reinvention I made a simple plan.

Costco.  Every two weeks.  $200 or less.  One hour or less. 

That's it.  That's the budget for money and time.  With an additional $25/week for "non Costco" grocery items... in our house that's mostly dressing mix packets, vanilla yogurt (Mountain High Low-Fat), wonton wrappers, canned soup in cartoon characters & sour cream. 

So.... 4 weeks in... let's reflect on how it is working out. 

1.  The actual budget:  Weeks 1-2 I was at $206 for Costco and $23 for the grocery store.  Weeks 3-4 saw $218 at Costco and $5 at the grocery store.  There was also an outlay at Target for post-holiday candy that I plan to absorb into future weeks.

2.  I'm amazed at how many non-grocery things I sneak into that $200 or less list..... expensive prilosec, batteries, coffee cups (travel ones... with coupon), dog treats, dish soap, antibacterial wipes.  I don't know what my initial plan really was going to include... I just had to start somewhere and see how it played out.

3.  I confess that Weeks 3-4 included a bottle of wine for $9.  Mmmm.  But Hot has a separate "wicked" fund that includes his alcohol and, ahem tabacco products.  I just sneak my booze into the grocery budget.  I'm ok with eating Kirkland brand mac-n-cheese a few nights so Mama can have a bottle of creme de menthe (sp?) for the holidays.  Also.... there were several splurge items in weeks 1-2.  Oops.

4.  I thought about taking whatever was leftover from the $450/month and using that for eating out the next month.... but what I'm finding is it is more fun to see what things I can sneak in that I am not spending elsewhere....  like Hot's daily prilosec. 

5.  I'm keeping us well stocked.... possibly over-stocked on some items.  Hot is back to packing a field-style lunch most days.  This means more sandwiches and less leftovers.  So I have LOTS of bread in the freezer.... way more than we can eat in the next two weeks.  But I figure as long as I rotate the stock that is ok.  I also keep an extra bag of chicken nuggets, butter, chocolate chips, flour and a bag of coffee in the garage freezer at all times.  Essentials. 

6.  We don't drink as much milk as I thought.  Only about a gallon a week.

7.  We will see how I maintain as baking season gears up.  And gift buying.  Can I sneak some gifts into my grocery budget?  Hmmmm. 

Next up will will discuss how I hope to convert this time savings in the grocery shopping category into physical activity.

Friday, November 05, 2010



I've decided to reinvent myself once a month.  That seems about right. 

Jimmy Buffett sings about spending a few days trying to recall the whole year ('round here we call that writing the Christmas form letter).  I change toothbrushes quarterly and update menus seasonally.  Clothes seem to follow a seasonal update schedule and then, of course, there is the summer-school breakdown of time. 

I come up with a plan, live with it a few weeks, tweak it until it works and then..... something changes.  So I've decided the only way to cope is to reinvent every month. 

Remember when I was so excited to be on schedule in October?  The morning schedule was really working.... and then Hot got a different job.  And now I am in charge of get up-get ready-make lunches-school and daycare drop off and things are ok but not great.... that's an example of what I'm talking about.

So.... what are you going to reinvent this month?