OK, starting this blog on a bit of a whiny note: I am currently hitting a bit of a slump in this here hiatus. I think a lot of that comes from spending so much time at home right now. Espen can really only handle being awake for about two hours at a time, so once I've fed and changed him, there's not really enough time to go anywhere before he should really be back in bed again. This is compounded by the fact that we only have one car, so if I ever do want to take him out and about, it means packing Espen up twice to take Nick to work and then pick him up again later. So, as a result, I spend a lot of time at home, looking at things I'd like to change/improve/spend money on. Or, when I do go out, I'm just dying to shop or eat out or see a movie. Or all three sound just great to me!
Having got my whining out, let me say that the past week was a good one. As you can see, Espen has been enjoying his new/borrowed Exersaucer, and Nick and I are finding new ways to keep ourselves entertained at home, including playing board games (thanks to this pretty set given to us at our baby shower, I am now a Memory addict!), watching movies and baking cookies. Now that Espen has been going to bed for the night around 7 PM (and sometimes as early as 6!) we are really having to get used to spending our evenings at home. It's definitely a money saver!
Speaking of cookies and money savers, that is actually one of my money saving tips for you this week! We don't really have a lot of vices at our house, but our one, true and tested weakness is our evening treat. More or less every night for our entire five years of marriage, we have had a little somethin'-somethin' good to eat. And that adds up (both in terms of money and in the extra squishiness I've picked up along the way, but that is for another project).
Last Tuesday night we approached the Holy Grail of saving money, time AND being healthy (ish) by baking our own oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and freezing them.
OK, quit rolling your eyes and hear me out. We took this recipe and used whole wheat flour instead of the regular white baking flour. Which made them a wee bit healthier and whole grainy than the regular recipe, and likely muuuuch better for you than the frozen ones at the store with hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Next time we're thinking we might try replacing at least some of the butter with apple sauce for extra virtue points.
They saved us time because it basically takes as long to make a batch of 3 dozen plus cookies as it does to make one. And, next time we're feeling the need for something tasty, we can just pull them out of the freezer and bake them right away. Note that the recipe says to freeze the dough and then thaw it until you can form it into cookies. We froze little balls of dough on a cookie sheet in the freezer, before putting them in freezer bags by the dozen.
And the money saving part is fairly obvious, because it would have cost us close to three times as much to buy that many pre-made from the freezer aisle. Ta-dah!
Where we saved
- First off, Nick brought lunch with him to work every day this week, rather then falling prey to the wiles of the cafeteria. Which I would.
- When grocery shopping this week, I used a couple of coupons and shopped the sale shelves. An added bonus to this is that you're not only saving money, but a lot of the time you get to try out new things that you might not have picked up otherwise. Anything to keep us out of the food rut!
- We didn't go out to dinner or get take out this week, which felt like it was going to be a huge sacrifice for me, but we ended making some tasty dinners at home, so I survived just fine.
- And my final, and biggest, sacrifice of the week was that we didn't go to the Bijou Market. Sigh. A marketful of handcrafted lovelies held in an orchard! But, it would have been painful to go and not be able to buy anything, and I wasn't really tempted to bring Espen out into 80 degree weather, so we abstained. Next time!
- The biggest expense was Nick's Father's Day present. And, seeing as that is a secret surprise, that is as much as I'm going to say about that.
- And we did buy shakes at Granny's in Heber on Saturday, but that's just something you gotta do.
We actually did quite well on curbing our spending this week, however:
Please stop by later this week as I have something I've been meaning to ask you. Until next time, my bunnykins!