Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spending Hiatus: Week 2 Update

This last week passed much as the previous one. What I'm finding is that it's pretty easy to keep our spending in check during the week (because we don't get out much!), but much, much harder on the weekends. Like most of the Western world, Friday and Saturday are the days we try to cram the bulk of our fun and productivity into, and surprise, surprise, those are things that often cost money.

Another thing that I am learning is that it can be really hard to tell the difference between a want and a need. Especially where Espen is concerned. Things just seem more important when they're for our baby. For example, the kid is in the 94th percentile for height, and just keeps getting longer and longer, so his footy pajamas no longer fit. But does he need new ones when we could technically just put him in socks and a onesie? We thought so, so we bought him three new ones. Also, he is starting to be really interested in sitting up, so we looked at things like Exersaucers and Jumperoos for him. We've put him one at a friend's house before and he got all kinds of smiley and excited, which makes me feel like it would be good to get him one. But isn't it likely that he will grow and develop just as well without one?

Where we saved
  • We're continuing to cook using food that we already have on hand, and have come up with some pretty amazing dinners. For example, last night we had roast lamb with peas, roasted potatoes and fresh rolls. Amazingly,all we had to buy were the potatoes. We also made a big lasagna for dinner last Sunday and froze the leftovers into portions that will make us two dinners. Seeing as all we needed to buy to make the lasagna was the cheese, that little maneuver brings us into the territory of saving money and time.
  • We made shopping lists and stuck to them. Knowing what you need before you go and making a list not only stops you from not making random impulse buys, it also keeps you from meandering aimlessly around the store asking yourself "Now, what do we need?"
  • After looking at all of the Jumperoo/Exersaucer/devices for sticking your child into for self-entertainment, we asked some friends how their son had enjoyed his exersaucer. They had been so happy with it that they bought two, and would we like to borrow one of them. Absolutely, we would!

Where we didn't
  • The same friends that lent us their Exersaucer came over for dinner on Saturday. As they have an 18 month-old son and we have Espen, and eating out has lost some of its sparkle, we decided to get take-out from the Bombay House. It was so nice to be able to enjoy good food with good friends, without worrying about Espen being too loud for the rest of the restaurant. Much as I love going out, motherhood is definitely converting me to the joys of staying in!
  • We did our weekend shopping, and ended up buying quite a lot of stuff for Espen, including three new pairs of pajamas, as well as some other things on his "need" list. He probably didn't need three, but they were cute and on sale, so now they're his.

And while I'm summarizing our week in list form, let me add a third category, entitled:

Where I'm having a hard time
  • Gardening stuff! I love summer, I love being outside and I love pretty flowers! Not being able to buy new flowers for our tiny flowerbeds is really killing me softly with its song. Not to mention I reeeeeeaallly want some new garden furniture!
  • Home projects. Being home with Espen means that I spend a lot of time thinking about changes I want to make, from painting our bedroom to building raised flower beds in the garden, or putting up hooks in Espen's bathroom. Or getting frames for some of the art I want to put up on the walls. Or, or, or!
  • And can I just get a pedicure?

OK, deep breath. It's all for the greater good.

Image borrowed here.


  1. You sound like your doing so well! I wouldnt, oh and I am jealous! the famous bombay house! I want to go!

  2. We've got a 4 mo. old, and the exersaucer has been great. It wears him out so he takes longer naps- and it's just nice to put him somewhere to play while I'm on the computer! Could you get one off craigslist? They clean up real well, and I've thrown the fabric seat right into the washer- while sanitizing the toys in either the dishwasher or using clorox wipes.

  3. For example, the kid is in the 94th percentile for height, and just keeps getting longer and longer, so his footy pajamas no longer fit.
    So what you do is the following: You cut off the feet,find your nitting needels or simply take the "vrangbord" of an old cardigan and sow them on where the feet (on the pajamas) used to be. Keep doing this and they will last him well into his teens (with todays fashion anyway). I think your doing good.

  4. Madsta: When you finally make it out here to Utah Valley, I will take you out to dinner at the Bombay House. I promise!

    Ashley: Espen is really enjoying the Exersaucer that our friends lent us. We keep it in the kitchen so I can stick him in there for 10 minutes while I attack the dishes. I love that he has something fun to do while I get a few minutes to myself!

    Sigrid: Jeg skal gi deg vrangbord, jeg! :)