Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts...

I am thankful for -
*My husband who works very hard and is extremely dedicated to his family.
*My 2 teenage sons that would rather spend time at home with family than run wild.
*My spouse and I each having a solid job.
*Debt freedom
*The fact that my family appreciates the minimalist lifestyle.
*Our Disney vacation that has become an annual event over the past few years.

Other thoughts -
The frugal lifestyle is natural for us as my husband I have never desired to own many material things.  My kids have learned to appreciate this way of life.  They realize that they are trading owning material objects in exchange for family experiences like great family vacations and lots of time spent together.  They still have some brand name clothes but they are bought half off with coupons on top of that and often with gift cards that I purchase in drug stores with perks like up rewards.  We have a moderately nice house somewhat in the country but we drive 2 older cars and don't own things like 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, swimming pools, etc.  I am a teacher so I have been able to take a van load of kids to nearby lakes and water holes to swim.  We meet up with other mothers that also bring loads of kids.  I am not knocking owning a pool but these are some of the most memorable experiences my boys have of their summers off from school. 
I had 2 younger siblings that both died at a very young age from Friedreich's Ataxia and that experience taught me to appreciate everything that I have.  I miss them terribly but I find solace in the fact that I will see them sometime again in the future. 

Cheryl Crow - put it perfectly years ago -"It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Menu Plan for 11-24-13

Sunday - ham and scalloped potatoes with corn
Monday - rice crispy ranch chicken and green bean casserole
Tuesday - spaghetti with meat sauce, green giant steamer veggies with basil sauce
Wednesday - taco soup
Thursday - Thanksgiving dinner at my in laws house and my parents will also be there!
Friday - lemon pepper broiled haddock, parsley potatoes and broccoli, cauliflower, carrot medley
Saturday - If we are feeling better we will go out to eat at Applebee's.  We have a gift certificate and we need to pick up a few Christmas gifts for tags that my husband picked up at work.  The wrapped gifts are due by the 10th.  If we are home instead, I will make some kind of soup.

A few side notes -

*I love green bean casserole and we never have it for Thanksgiving so I am making it on Tuesday.  My husband's family has a great Thanksgiving spread, but they don't like this dish.

*My kids are soup freaks.  They ask for soup all the time.  This past week we had broccoli cheese, potato, vegetable beef, chicken tortellini and wedding soup.  I would love to move to Orlando when I retire, but I don't know what we will do without the northern winter.  It just seems like soup has it's own season when you live in the north!

*I don't need to buy anything for this menu although I will still shop this week.  The sales on frozen items have been great at my store.  We need to keep eating from our freezer, so we have room for the new items that are free or almost free.  This week green giant steamers are more than free after coupons and gas points.  I am expecting to buy around 25 bags. 

Sunday's List

I do much better when I have a list.  I did finish yesterday's to do list.

1.  All laundry washed and put away.  I am about 3 loads from seeing this happen.
2.  Make ham and scalloped potatoes.  I have a 50 lb. bag I am trying to work my way through before they go bad.  It is in the oven right now.
3.  Go to Rite Aid and the grocery store for some good deals.
4.  Clean off desk.  I have been putting this off but it really needs done.
5.  Make a menu plan for the rest of the week.
6.  Cut and file away Sunday coupons.

That is it.  I may do more, but I want to make the list manageable.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

To Do Today!

1.  Make Wedding Soup
2.  Make Chicken Tortellini Soup
3.  Move furniture and vacuum both living rooms
4.  Get all the holiday boxes from the attic a decorate for Christmas - 2 big and 3 small trees!
5.  Vacuum again
6.  Organize shopping list for Sunday

I just need to do number 6 and I can do that while watching the Suze Orman Show tonight.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Don't Shop on Thanksgiving!

I am REALLY bothered by the fact that stores are starting to open Thanksgiving evening.  This is meant to be a family holiday.  I love a great deal just as much as the next person but it is absolutely ridiculous!
When I was in college I worked at a grocery store and they were open until 4.  It wasn't bead because my family would have dinner around 5 so I could be there.  BUT now other stores are opening around 6.  What about a family where one kid has to work in a grocery store until 4 or 5 and another family member has to be at work at 6 at a retail store.  How are they supposed to enjoy the day as a family?
I pledge not to shop because it is crazy!  I never really shopped on Black Friday because I couldn't stand the crowds, so what will make me do it on Thursday after a great turkey dinner?  I really hope that the stores are making it voluntary and with a great pay incentive so only people that really want to work have to, but I highly doubt that is that case!  Who is with me?  Let's make a statement!