Mid-January Check-in

It's still early enough in the year that most people are following their resolutions. For accountability sake it's time to look at my resolutions and see how I'm doing.

1. Do a better job with using coupons/ pantry stockpiling
Well, if there is one thing that has suffered this month it's the grocery shopping. I have been working to rebuild my coupon stash and get it reorganized, but I haven't gone on a real grocery shopping trip due to some schedule conflicts. On the other hand, we haven't really needed it either. I have managed to not lose my CVS Extra Bucks so I've stocked up on some items from there.

2. Continue to find creative ways to cut expenses
No movement here, but then again I haven't increased the expenses either.

3.  Meal Planning/ Smart Planning
This is where I've targeted my energies because it's where I thought I could get the most bang for my buck - so to speak. We still ate out a couple of times each week, but I never got caught at 4 o'clock thinking 'jeez, i wonder what we're going to eat tonight' and we had MUCH less wasted food. 

4. Increase my income as a stay at home parent.
Last year I started doing Mystery Shopping and online surveys. One of the survey companies I signed up with is Ipsos I-say Survey Panel [you'll find them at the bottom of this page] and they've been great to work with. They don't send out a lot of surveys but a few I've gotten have led to in-home product testing and that's been great. Nothing like getting something free that you were going to use anyway. 
I'm also making a concerted effort to find mystery shops in my area instead of waiting for the company emails to reach out to me. I've bookmarked their sites and set up a rotation to check them throughout the week. One of the companies I'll check more often because it's for a grocery store and who wouldn't want free groceries!! So far this month I have a bank shop and a restaurant shop scheduled.

5. Find a way to live a smarter in the balance between frugality and the environment
This is a hard one especially as the weather gets colder. It's tempting to pump up the thermostat so that the entire house is comfortable while I sit here typing. Instead, I have my favorite wool sweater on and a blanket on my legs. My feet are still cold but I'm sitting downstairs. The girls are all toasty in their beds upstairs. I'd be upstairs working, too, except that if I got too comfy I'd also want some rest time;)

Resolutions are definitely Cool Ideas! We can't let them lose momentum. Whatever your resolutions are - keep going. We've almost formed a habit. Just a couple more weeks and this will seem like we've been doing it forever. 


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