Just a quick check-in during the month of May.
I have no idea where we are on groceries. I am keeping an envelope on the bookshelf (my purse is just too disorganized, and I have to remember to record each transaction before I stuff it in an envelope and forget about it) for grocery receipts, and I will report back at the end of the month. April was an absolute free-for-all, and May started out that way, but now I am back to thinking about trying to be frugal. ish. Sometimes. We’ll see how it goes.
I have found that, since we started living The Low Life, the kids don’t ask for a lot of commercial snacks and treats they used to like. Instead, they ask for homemade granola bars, smoothies, our special-recipe wheat bread (and other homemade breads). It’s cool. I feel like they are eating more real, whole foods, so they are appreciating them more. Thanx to Pinterest, I found a great recipe for homemade “refried” beans that are made in the crockpot. Simplest recipe in the world, and we all like them so much better than the canned ones. I have been making a recipe every week or two and will never buy a can of refried beans again in my life. That saves us TONS of scratch, since refried beans are on Kaia’s list of approved foods.
The girls and I have also been doing a lot of sewing. When Kaia learned that she would need a sundress for her performance in the International Dance Festival at her school, she asked if we could make one. I agreed, and, next thing I knew, we were at the fabric store choosing fabrics for her and her sisters. She made the dress herself, and added a cute, coordinating purse with a big red flower button. In fact, it turned out so cute, that I soon found myself at Walmart, picking out fabric for my own sundress.
I have to be careful with the sewing. I mean, it’s great, and actually can save us money, if we are making things we need. However, if we just make a bunch of stuff we wouldn’t have bought in the first place, then maybe we are spending unnecessarily. On the other hand, it is a great thing for us to do together, and contributes tremendously to our joy, self-confidence and sense of well-being. That, of course, is invaluable. I consider it a necessary expense for that reason. Also, if you intend to do any amount of sewing, and you ever shop at Jo-Ann, make sure you sign up for their coupons and, if you have an iPhone, get their app (for more coupons). Shop sales, check out the bargain tables and remnant bins. Sometimes, there are great deals to be found. I haven’t bought a single scrap of fabric or a supply full price since the sewing bug bit me.
The garden has pretty much flopped due to my inability to tend it (stupid knee/ankle injuries!). Shane and the kids tried, but they aren’t home as much as I, so they just can’t keep up. We were too ambitious, under the circumstances. We’ve decided not to give up, but to scale back. We are going to do some container gardening, and focus on the things we use most ~ tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, zucchini, lettuce and radishes, I think. We have grown all of those successfully in the past, and the containers will help us keep our massive weeds at bay. I hope. Our herbs and flowers are looking magnificent, so that keeps us happy.
Shane lost two of his jobs, very unexpectedly, at about the same time. The work just dried up and went away. It happens a lot in this town, in his industry. He has work lined up for June, so we’ll be okay, but should probably tighten our belts just a bit. My current session of after school drama classes saw a significant drop in enrollment from last session. I have talked to others in the after school enrichment field, and they had the same experience. The general consensus seems to be that this is just not a great timme of year for our business. Kids are busy, parents are budgeting and planning for the summer… Nevertheless, every little bit counts, right?
Always eager to pitch in any way she can, Justice will be attending her first high school dance, a masquerade ball, at the end of this week. She will wear a beautiful evening gown she found at a thrift store and a mask she is making. And I’ll bet she’ll be the prettiest girl at the ball, too.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. I’d better go figure out what I can scare up for dinner (it’s early, but promises to be a very busy afternoon, so I have to plan now).