Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Great Big Sweeping Proclamation

As I drove out of the Wal-Mart parking lot this afternoon, I made a great big decision. I am not going shopping for one full month. Not even grocery shopping. And I don't mean I'm sending Evan. I am going to see how we do with not buying anything for a month.

There are several reasons I decided to do something drastic. One of the obvious reasons, of course, is to save money. While I know I will do a massive shopping January 9th, I still think I will save money by not walking into a store every couple of days. I have just been shocked lately by how easy it is to run up a huge bill in a shopping trip. I don't buy things we won't use, but I'm interested in seeing how we would get by without getting something the minute we need it. I went birthday shopping for Cheyenne last night, and although I stuck to buying her the two things I had planned on buying her (a Bible with a snap and a cheap art set), I still spent an awful lot of money by the time I had gone to the four stores to find them. Sam's Club was the worst. Everything I bought there was on my grocery shopping list, but I had to buy a year's supply of it (another reason I think we could last a month! :-)

Anyway, I'm not planning on being totally ridiculous about this. I receive WIC checks from the state that let me get milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, etc. Beyond that, though, the only thing I won't do without is diapers. So a couple of shopping trips in the next month to pick up diapers and milk, and that's it.

It's not like I won't have enough food. When Evan remodeled our laundry room/bathroom three years ago, he built me a beautiful pantry shelf. I keep it full at all times. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to use up a lot of the food on there!

We're also buying a cow from Mom and Dad that we'll be picking up from the processor in a few weeks, so we'll have lots of beef-- and we need to eat up everything in our freezer in the meantime so we can fit it all in!

I know I will be frustrated by this idea many times over the next month, but I think it will help with several things--

I will learn to cook more with what I have on hand, rather than going and buying a bunch of ingredients specifically to try an exciting new recipe. While I will always love doing that, it's good to learn how to use what's already in the house.

It will force me to eat something other that Great Value Raisin Bran for breakfast. Since I didn't make this decision until I was done shopping, I didn't even buy any today. I can't decide whether to save the two boxes I have left over the month, or gobble it all up and then face the consequences! Anyone who know me knows how long I have been eating raisin bran for breakfast-- this is not a small thing to give up! :-)

In the non-food arena, maybe I'll actually use up some of my less favorite shampoos and lotions. Maybe by the time the month is up I will realize I can muddle through with a lot of things I would have bought without a second thought.

Anyway, I think it will be an interesting challenge, especially in a month most people associate with nonstop shopping! (Our family doesn't exchange Christmas gifts, so I don't have to worry about that anyway!)

Now, on to more interesting things... my kids!

I love Elliott's shy, tongue-in-cheek mode... They were all ready to play in the snow here--

Then Cheyenne set off in the snow, so Elliott followed...

And promptly fell down. Unfortunately, that's about all he does in snow. Cheyenne is big enough that she can get herself ready almost completely by herself, and has great fun out in the snow without anyone else around. Elliott can only play on the driveway with an adult around. With Miss Rilla-Roo, I can't really hang out outside, so that leaves a very frustrated Elliott lots of days.

Thankfully, Daddy had to shovel the driveway tonight, so the kids got to go out and "help." Then Daddy won the Daddy won the Daddy of the Year contest by helping them build a snowman. I haven't seen it in the daylight yet, but it sound like quite the sophisticated snowman! I'm glad the kids got at least one fun parent!

I love this picture of a concentrating Marilla...

And a MAD Marilla! Daddy had just moved her away from Mommy (because she was about to fall downstairs, but hey! It was still rude!)

Cheyenne had her first sick absence from school today! I noticed her eye getting very pink last night and suddenly realized why she'd been waking up with so many sleepies the last couple of mornings. I ended up getting all three kids appointments, since they've all had snot and stuff all over their face for the last couple of days. Elliott looks like he might get it, so the doctor gave me a prescription to fill in case. Cheyenne definitely can't go to school tomorrow, and she's pretty upset. Since it means I don't have to drag three kids to school tomorrow, I can't say I'm that upset! Of course, this morning, when we weren't even going to school, I had all three kids bathed, clothed and ready to go by 8:30 a.m.!

Then, after the doctor's appt., the transformative trip to Wal-Mart... I am glad I did shop today, though-- they had a rack of kids short sleeve shirts for a dollar a piece. $15 later, Cheyenne has clothes for the next three summers!

I'm off to bed, since Evan has Rilla snuggled fast asleep in his arms while he plays Runescape (an online game I adore to make fun of but, sadly, am actually fairly interested in. Just don't tell him.)

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