Monday, November 15, 2010

College Mommy?

We interrupt the Great Grocery Challenge because I have no time for anything other than to have survived a sold-out weekend of musicals that #1 and #2 were in and my current Communications Law and Ethics class (which has been causing me much lamenting and gnashing of the teeth).  And, let's just throw in a little bit of normal life stress and blah.  No energy to be creative with microwave popcorn, a can of pumpkin and some freezer burned beef cubes.

Therefore, last week was a little bit of a stock up week....oh yes, Pop Tarts, animal crackers and even two boxes of Cheerios.  No meat entered the house and I have personally made it my mission to eat the rest of the peanut butter cereal bars (I got us into this mess, so I guess I'll eat us out of it).

But, enough about food.  I'm toying with the idea of a new blog called College Mommy or maybe even My Mom Goes to College (a funny little saying that #3 loved to say before I actually went to college). In this new blog I will chronicle whatever I happen to be learning that week.  So, for example this week I could entertain you with all sorts of court cases and appeals and defenses for defamation, libel, malice, appropriation and intrusion.  Are you still awake??  It's okay because I'm not.

I've had better weeks.  Aside from the online CL&E class that makes me want to stick a red hot poker in my eyeballs, dear friends of mine have suffered a recent loss that is heartbreaking.  In the midst of this, we are still paying off crazy medical bills and those wonderful end of the year taxes are lurking right around the corner when we are trying to save a tiny bit for Christmas shopping.  The Great Grocery Challenge savings helped pay for one of the brakes we had to replace on the much for my wish to use the extra cash as a Christmas Savings Club.

But, here is the super cool thing. I'm not freaking out!  In fact, I have such a wonderful peace in knowing that if God is for me, who can be against me??  The storms will come, but He never leaves us.  My praise is sincere and my heart even more grateful than when life is going a little "smoother".  I found myself praying a different prayer today rather than God, please help us pay off our debt it was Lord, please I want to be able to sponsor another Compassion International child.  So, until we can do that, I am praying for His provision to do this and even more!.  And, I am sharing a link here with you in the event you want to prayerfully consider sponsoring one of these precious kiddos.  Please comment and let me know if you did so I can give you a shout out!

I have made a deliberate decision that I will look for Him, not just on the mountain tops, but in the valleys and even the seemingly boring plains that we travel throughout life.  I will rejoice and be glad even when trying to write an analysis at 11pm on the New York Times v. Sullivan libel case!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week 2 and 3 - Great Grocery Challenge

The Poor Husband.

He wants Pop Tarts. 

I had to tell him that I could not accomodate that request unless:

1. We ate the 20-25 peanut butter cereal bars that are still in the pantry.
2. They were on sale with a coupon for $1 or less per box.
3. Someone left some on our doorstep (brown sugar cinnamon, please).

I did, however, make chocolate chip banana bread with the overly ripe bananas I sometimes throw away because I have no time to do anything with them.  A sure sign of our Great Grocery Challenge...within 24 hours the banana bread is gone!  It usually stays on the counter 4-5 days until I throw away the last few stale pieces because other, more interesting and new snack/breakfast food has entered the house.

I would call that progress, wouldn't you?

I did break down and buy 2 whole chickens for $0.89 a pound so I could make chicken stock (rather than buy cans of it).  Plus, that's a lot of chicken to last us for awhile (one went to live happily in the freezer where there is now actually some room to put things in).

I had a very crazy busy week last week and broke down to purchase the following items that were unauthorized:

  • $8.99 Chinese Kitchen triple entree with lo mien from Giant (but, all five of us ate it for dinner on trick-or-treat night and I made our own rice to go with it!).
  • 1 box of South Beach cereal bars (for #1 and #3 because it is an easy breakfast and I had a weak moment).
  • 1 box each week of cheese crackers (because they can't eat chips/pretzels with their lunches everyday, right?!).
  • 2 gallons of my favorite Turkey Hill Diet Green Tea because it was on sale for $2 a gallon (that only happens a few times each season and I usually buy 6 when they are on sale like that).
  • 4 packages of Christmas dessert plates and 2 packages of birthday dessert plates because I thought they were cute and were only $1. I was immediately convicted so they are in my car with the receipt ready to be returned.  I need more "special occasion" paper products like I need another bag of microwave popcorn.  Again, it is a sickness and I must ask for strength one day at a time to resist the temptation of those adorable gingerbread plates with snowmen on them that would be perfect for our annual cookie decorating party....and they were only $1!!!  Helpppp.  meeeeee.........
Well, as a result, my grocery bill was only slightly over half of what it usually is (remember I am still buying dairy, eggs, and produce on a weekly basis).  I am going through my coupons every week and trying to plan better instead of just running out for one thing and coming home with four bags. 

There is still a good bit of chicken breast and some miscellaneous meat items left, though I am starting to miss the ground turkey.  Maybe someone will leave that on our doorstep with the Pop Tarts.....