Tag Archives: Thifty Students

My (Non)Thrifty Children

We have been on a budget for most of our marriage, but especially so after Ben graduated (hence the two jobs).  I thought I’ve taught my kids the importance of sticking to the budget.  Apparently I was wrong.

Just last week I explained to them that we needed to ration out our diapers and wipes.

“One diaper and ten wipes a day,” I said.

“Blahadadalelabladamamkama!” Andrew replied.

“I wanna drink!” Emily responded.

Alright, I thought, it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

Then they decided to get sick!  This more than quadrupled our diaper usage!  I couldn’t very well let them make messes on the floor, could I?  So I had to let them use more than their one diaper quota.

It’s even worse when we head to the store.

“Don’t touch anything!” I sternly warn them.

Before we are even down the first aisle, Emily has licked/bit on half the items.  I had only to buy milk, bread, and cheese, but by the time we head to the check-out stand, my cart is full from her diligent efforts at vandalizing my grocery budget.  Naturally, once I am loading all her groceries onto the conveyor belt, she grabs all the candy from the display, rips them open, and begins chowing down on her stolen goods.

Between my kids’ out of hand diaper usage and Emily’s expensive grocery trips, I’ve already spent my allotted allowance.  And it’s only the first of the month.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

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A day without running water

really really sucks, as I found out yesterday.  Although it was a good reminder that I am far from being pioneer worthy,  it also revealed just how much I use water for even the simplest of tasks.

1.  Washing hands.  Considering my hand washing compulsion, this was tough.  I used almost all of my hand sanitizer and tried not to touch any food.

2.  Washing dishes.  My obsession with clean dishes is comparable to clean hands; therefore, not being able to even rinse off, let alone wash, a dish was pretty unbearable.  I think we used every dish in our house by the end of the day.  (Okay,  this is not that big of a deal.  We have just enough dishes to feed ourselves and another couple and their kid.)

3.  Washing clothes.  A stomach bug plus being out of commission has placed us in a dire laundry situation.  Just ask my bedroom floor,  and my naked children.  Since I am feeling slightly better,  I wanted to remedy this.  Not to be.

4.  Cleaning up messes.  Without water,  cleaning up sticky messes requires creativity and lots and lots of wipes.

5.  Bathing.  This one is a bit obvious.  For a girl who never goes without a shower,  I felt disgusting by the end of day.  We had to use the tiny amounts of water left in my water bottle to brush teeth.  I guess the positive thing was we did brush our teeth.

6.  Drinking.  I love water.  Much more than juice or milk (soda comes a close second).  Once we realized we were without water, we went to the store and bought a gallon.  Unfortunately, this was divided between all of us and to  be used with cleaning and cooking.

7.  Cooking.  Even simple (and sanitary) things like washing vegetables was impossible.   Our meals were very simple.

I realize that we are so very lucky to even have running water,  but when you are used to the convenience it is difficult to manage without.   At least for me.

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Insanity Is My Middle Name

I want to have six children.   I have always wanted a big family, and when Ben and I got married, we agreed that six sounds like a nice number.  All right, we actually wanted more initially but my first pregnancy kind of scared us.  Besides, I want to be done before I turn thirty.  Yeah, before. I have plenty of reasons behind my choice, but I’ll limit it to the top five.

1. Youth.  Frankly, pregnancy is difficult.  Since I have a family history of pregnancy complications, I am hoping that starting and finishing young will keep them away.

2. Money.  Since we don’t have money, our options are limited.  It’s great! I don’t worry about setting up a nursery, buying cool toys, or getting new clothes.  I shop at used stores and set up the Pac N’ Plays in our tiny second bedroom when new babies arrive!  The awesome thing is, the babies don’t care.  Heck, they’d sleep in a box if I let them.  (Which I don’t.  Obviously.)

3.  Travel.  We don’t travel (reason # 2) But, because we are young (reason #1), the last kid will leave the house by the time we are fifty.  Fifty. That leaves Ben and me plenty of time for world traveling.  And we will even have money to spend.

4. Education.  I graduated with my bachelor’s degree and plan on pursuing a Masters sometime in the future.  Because I am young (reason #1), my options are not limited.  Once Ben is established in his career, the kids will have started school, and I will have time to attend classes.

5. Health.  My body bounces back quickly after each pregnancy.  It helps that I only gain 15-20 pounds.  (Hyperemesis Gravidarum does have its positive points.)   I actually weigh less now than before I was married.  I know that as I age, this may change, but I am counting on reason #1 to keep my body in line.

Ahh, who am I kidding.  The real reason is that I want more just like these two.

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Filed under seemingly bold

Finishing the 10 Things List

Hi friends.  My little guy has  been doing better and I am now back to my usual perky and silly self.  Or maybe that’s because it’s Friday.  You all know what Friday means right? Date night!! Okay, here it really means going out to eat.  Our weekly ritual.  It is what keeps me cooking during the week.

Moving on.

About that 10 things list, let’s see, I have 7 items left, right?  Anyone been counting?  Well, I say 7 items so 7 items it is.  I know I was going to do a day-to-day list, but my attention span is very slight.  Thus, I became rather bored with that idea. So, here’s a nice, smooth bulleted list of my last 7 things.

  • I often write comments and posts that are not completed thoughts.  Usually by the time I sit down to blog, I have only a few minutes so I am rushing through my comments before one of the kids wakes up.  Now you know why half my comments on your blog probably don’t make sense.  And why I jump around from freakishly happy to mournfully sad posts.  Sorry about that.
  • I am paranoid about hand washing.  I wash my hands AT LEAST 20 times a day.  If I know you don’t wash your hands (after using the restroom or changing diapers, that is), I will most likely not ask you to watch my kids (lucky you),  won’t eat at your house,  and will avoid letting you hold my babies.  Yes, it is that bad.
  • Hand washing isn’t my only tick.  If I find a piece of hair in my food, my appetite will vanish.  It will take me a few months to make that food again let alone eat it.
  • We don’t have a dishwasher so I am extremely anal about how my dishes are cleaned.  I don’t let Mr. B (or anyone else for that matter) wash the dishes because I know I will wash them again and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.  Hey, at least I have a heart, right?
  • We furnished our whole apartment with $300.   We went to hundreds of garage sales within a 2-month period, searching for the right furniture–kitchen table, queen sized bed and mattress, couches, end tables, bookshelves, desks, and dressers.  Obviously, our furniture does not match but, by golly, they are comfortable and make our apartment look cozy.
  • I will do laundry all week long and pile it up on our big couch.  By the end of the week,  there is no where to sit on said couch.  Classy, huh?
  • Mr. B’s real name is……Ben. I know, I know, we all have really plain names.  I am getting used to it now.

Now that I have virtually unclothed myself I am going to hide in my closet, er, I mean bedroom (I can’t fit in my closet).

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Saving Money and Cable TV

Over the summer, B was accepted into an internship that meant moving a few states over and into his mom’s house.  While not cooking dinner was nice, cable television was even nicer.

I was 5 months pregnant and tired.  Watching mindless television when the Queen was napping was fantastic.

I had my rules.  I would not turn the television on while the Queen was awake.  She deserved my full attention, even if it was from a couch (I was suffering through major guilt of having taken her babyhood away).  Besides, I really didn’t want her to have nightmares from watching my kind of television.  You know, the creepy kind of television.  I am a sucker for mysteries and thrillers.

Every night after we ate dinner, B and I would put the Queen to bed and snuggle on the couch to watch an episode of Cold Case.  Oh, how we loved that show.  It provided everything from romance to humor to mystery.  Fantastic.

If Cold Case was unavaliable, we’d watch some kind of documentary like Gang Land. That was cool.

All too soon, our little vacation was over.  We moved back to our dinky apartment and mourned the loss of modern technology.

You see, we don’t own a television.  That’s right.  We are medieval like that. (We also don’t own a dishwasher or laptop but that’s for another post.)

We didn’t intend to not own a television, it just worked out that way.  When we married, we had a tiny TV, but no cable.  After awhile, our computer was more convenient to watch movies on so we (literally) kicked the TV to the curb.  So long, sucka!

When we moved to our new apartment, we were faced with  a decision: do we get a new TV?  This led to a re-evaluation of why we decided no cable in the first place.

At this point in our lives, we do whatever is necessary to make ends meet.  We limit our eating out to once a week,  we are gravitating to cloth diapers, we turn on the heater only when it’s necessary, and we own very used–and old–vehicles.  Anything to save money.

When we talked about cable we discussed the pros and cons.  Sure, we might have nightly entertainment, but the money we would save without it seemed more important.

Without one second thought, we decided no cable and no new TV.

We haven’t looked back since.

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