Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Thrifty Three

So, the roofers have been pounding away overhead for two solid days now. This is how the entire house looks, and also a visual representation of how I'm feeling.

Crooked. Caddy Wampus. Off Kilter. And maybe even a little cockeyed. Time to SLANT my focus the other direction and, shall we say, read the writing on the wall?? :) Be STILL and KNOW that I Am God. God is in the details, and when I'm up to my eyeballs in the details, I need to take some time to be still and remember that it is an opportunity to feel surrounded by Him. "Busy" is a terrible thing. Does anyone else tend to feel God the least when you need Him the most? Today is dedicated to tackling the details around here that are about to choke the fun out of this place. So I think I'll hike up a ladder and get that sign centered, then see what I can do about centering my heart, and let the rest of the "details" fall in to place.

Sounds like a plan.

And here's another plan I have to reveal. I've set out on a journey of restraint and discipline. I'm calling it The Thrifty Three. The last six months have been a constant parade of huge expenditures for us, so I decided to go three solid months with spending as little money as possible. I will confess that I'm not known for my stellar budgeting capabilities. That is really Buzz's area of expertise. I'm a tad more spendy than he. :) Oh, he is so cute. (And tolerant.)

When I first revealed my plan to Buzz he enjoyed all manner of belly laughing and told me he looked very forward to my various rationales for what I would consider "necessary spending". But, in the end, I think I convinced him of my resolve to display untold amounts of self discipline and he is heartily supportive. In fact, he agreed to join in too! (Which is a total joke since the only money he EVER spends is on cheap fast food for lunch every day. But, the man has left the house every day this week with his zip lock baggies of PBJ and pretzels because, as I mentioned, he is very cute.)

So, the thrifty three is officially underway. And here's living proof.

My very own in-home brewing station. It has been fairly well documented on this blog that I have a propensity for frequenting a certain beverage establishment. (Don't judge me just because I am powerless when it comes to seasonal flavors like caramel brulee and peppermint white chocolate.) Buzzard was particularly sympathetic when I sorrowfully announced that the thrifty three would involve parting ways with my little warm beverage problem. He proudly presented me with a Mr. Coffee for Christmas, and even picked out this sack of Cinnamon Spice coffee for me. This was huge progress, because he hates the smell of coffee, so I've never owned a coffee pot! Lucky for us both, he actually likes the smell of cinnamon spice percolating away (who wouldn't?), and with an added splash of International Delight, it is pretty dang delicious. If I close my eyes and try real hard I can ALMOST imagine myself holding a paper cup with a half naked green mermaid on it and being completely surrounded by overpriced wi-fi.


And because my Buzzard is heroic, and is never one to overestimate my self control, he also included this....for emergencies.

Because we all know that a three month spending moratorium has "emergency cinnamon dolce latte" (with EXTRA whip) written all over it.

Here's my plan for sticking to the thrifty three....

1. NO Starbucks, except with my gift card, which needs to be appropriately parceled over a 90 day time span.

2. Food is our biggest budget buster, so we're eating in, not out!

3. Serve a few $5 dinners! This is a challenge for a family of our size, but it can be done. I'd like to try to do this at least once or twice each week.

4. Shop grocery ads and faithfully clip my coupons.

5. The boys still need a few winter clothes. I plan to shop resale and thrift for some long sleeves and "new" jeans.

6. Eat from the pantry and freezer as much as possible these first few weeks. I tend to "stock up" on way too much food, and we really have quite a bit on hand that needs to be used.

7. Stay out of the stores! If I don't know what's out there, I won't be tempted to buy.

8. Write down my spending and keep track of receipts for three entire months.

That's about it! I'm going to check in from time to time to report progress. Tidy hoe, pals. I'm off to pinch me some pennies!

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