Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time for a new kitten!

My family went to an animal shelter that opened up recently. We have a cat who is now three years old and she has seemed very lonely lately.
My husband and I talked a lot about it and decided that maybe it was time to add some more chaos to our household ;-)
We thought a kitten would add some spice to our older cat's life and would let our smaller boys experience the fun and responsibility of a new pet.
Our old animal shelter smelled bad and looked worse. The new center was closer to us and brand new. They were having a "Summer Special" and cats had just a $10 adoption fee. That ten dollars included an amazing amount of care. The kittens had already been spayed or neutered, were all up to date on their shots and had been microchipped.
I was truly amazed at how wonderful the new shelter is.
Our older cat, who is named Smokey, was added to our family when a teenage girl came to our door and announced if we didn't take the kitten she was holding, that her stepfather was going to kill it. Wow, no pressure ;-)
Smokey is now a laid back cat who rarely leaves the couch and loves to cuddle. We are hoping that since she is so happy to cuddle that she will become affectionate towards the kitten, eventually.
We named the new kitty Niete, since it looks like she has Egyptian eyeliner on. Here she is.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Couch Fever

I am getting new couch fever again. It is the affliction that is similar to the New Car Fever my Grandfather used to get, but on a smaller scale that is better suited to my bare bones budget.

My Grandfather raised me and about every 3 years he would start really paying attention to the car commercials and making weekly visits to the local car dealers. He never had any specific model in mind. He said he would "just know" which car was meant for him. It would take about two months for him to find "The One" and he would baby that car and find excuses to drive for months afterward.

20 years later, I periodically get new couch fever. I start going to the furniture departments of stores that I normally don't even shop at. I sit and think about exactly what fabrics would work in my house (leather is a big no-no because of the sweat and stick factor). I page through the ads in the Sunday paper and compare prices and features.

I dream about having a couch that doesn't smell like children, or the food of children.

I dream about having a couch that doesn't have a permanent indentation of my husband's rump.

I dream about a couch that has no crumbs or toys lurking inside.

I dream about a couch whose springs are neither visible nor audible.

Then I come back to reality and realize that the couches I buy only look nice for about a month. Koolaid and mac and cheese take their toll. So does the never ending jumping of three active children.

I don't now how much longer my New Couch Fever will last but until they start making teflon couches; I am going to try and control my impulse to buy a new one. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More money saving ideas.

As I posted before, my kids love to eat but I like actually having enough money to keep the electricity on at our house, so it can be a delicate balance :-)

Here are some more things that I am doing to make sure that my bank account isn't as empty as their stomachs seem to be.

Farmer's Markets and Fruit Stands. Where else can you get a bunch of carrots for 50 cents? I have two of these places that I always hit on my way home from the grocery store. The zucchini is $1.49 a pound at the store but only 79 cents a pound at these places. Bananas, apples, squash (basically anything that comes out of the ground) is almost always a better deal here.

Aldi's. Yes, I am really late to the party here but if you have an Aldi's available, check them out. Have a quarter on hand to free a cart and take your own bags or boxes and you are ready to roll. I started going there a few weeks ago and I have been thrilled with both price and quality. Their milk is at least $1 less than anywhere else and eggs are 79 cents/dozen compared with the $1.49 and $1.29 at two other grocery stores.

Put dates on freezer food. I was really bad about finding questionable meat in the bottom of my freezer and guilty of throwing a lot of it away because I just wasn't sure if it was still okay to use. Now everything that gets put in, has a date marked on the foil with a Sharpie. Once a month, I go through and get the older stuff back up to the top and put it in my meal plan. Meat is too expensive to waste, and now I am not having to toss anything.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saving money while feeding children who eat like pirannahs.

Okay, it is Summertime, which means the kids are home 24/7. Which also means that I am going to the grocery store often enough to have my photo on the wall. My 3 boys have been home from school for about a month and they eat like locusts. I think if we left them home alone, they would eat the doors off the pantry.

I am convinced I am going to need to start buying farm animals to satiate their appetites. They eat about 6 meals a day and are all as skinny as greyhounds.

Because my spending is reaching astonishing levels, I have decided to work harder at budgeting and have come up with this list.

1. Stick to the list. Do not put junk food in the cart or even allow it to come near the cart, since it seems to have a stronger center of gravity than food that is good for you.

2. Coupons are your friend. There is a great website called Southern Savers: http://www.southernsavers.com that matches up grocery store sales and coupons and takes a lot of the work out of it.

3. Plan meals ahead of time. When Summer started, I was giving them a lot of fast food but I have started planning a week in advance. It makes is a whole lot easier to avoid calling the pizza man when you already have chicken thawed out and ready to go in the fridge.

I will continue this later, and if anyone has any other comments, please feel free to share.

Over Boy'd Begins

I'm a full time mom and part time nurse with three sons. It isn't easy having so much testosterone in one house. If I even say the word Pink, the kids scream and run away.