Resolution Recap

It's been a while since I've checked in with how I've been doing on my resolutions. There's just been so much else to talk about. I hope you've been able to see how it all connects though. But, in the spirit of accountability, here is a point-by-point post:

Here, again, were my resolutions:
  1. Do a better job with coupons and pantry stockpiling.
  2. Continue to find creative ways to cut expenses
  3. Meal planning/ smart planning
  4. Increase my income as a stay-at-home parent
  5. Find ways to live smarter in the balance between frugality and the environment
  6. [not sure yet but I feel like there's something still there to be explored - so I'm leaving room for one more]

So, #1: I'm still using The Grocery Game and according to the Kroger check out slip I'm averaging 45-50% off of my bill using coupons/ in-store discounts. It's not as great as seasoned, hard-core couponers but it's working for us right now. As for stockpiling we're doing great on Goldfish crax, TP, canned fruit, canned tomatoes, canned beans, and other assorted items we used less frequently.

#2: Cutting expenses has been harder since we'd already done a good job weeding through expenses in the past year but Cable gets nixed this month. The weather is nicer an we'll be spending more time together as family so no sense paying for staying in and watching TV. That'll save us $80/ month. I did notice that my newspaper subscription went up so I need to check out alternatives and see if there's a less expensive option. If not, decide if the savings at the grocery is worth the expense of the newspaper.

#3: Meal Planning/ Smart Planning: We definitely don't go out at the drop of a hat any more. I'm proud of that. I still don't have a handle on finding foods that Comfort and Joy will eat on a regular basis - other than pasta, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, quesadillas, etc - but then again they are toddlers. I've even toyed with putting the weekly menu plan here on the page so that it keeps me honest but then I'd really have to be ready each week and some weeks it's just not that well planned out;)

#4: This month I've had several good Mystery Shops!! I just finished 2 grocery store shops this week so I got some free groceries!! Two weeks ago I had a different kind of shop. It was a revealed shop, where I went in and checked out how the store had the products placed. I made under $10 for 15 mins work but it all helped. Also, I cashed in some points from My Points and Opinion Outpost. The survey points paid in cash and it was enough for the babysitter the day I got my haircut. The MyPoints paid in gift cards so I'll have enough for a good book from B&N and lunch at Panera. These are the ways that I've traded my time for money. Time I have while I sit with the kids and money I need:)

#5: It turns out that I think I'm more in tune with things in the environment than I thought I was. This isn't a bad thing. I've enjoyed the seasonal shift that meant that I had more time to do laundry and I've enjoyed that the Farmer's Market is open and the CSA is providing us with yummy good stuff. This week we opted for carrots that had gotten caught in a freeze. They aren't pretty since they split open but they'll taste just as good in a salad and they were half off. Comfort and Joy are pretty easy to please when it comes to things like this.

And now we're in the middle of May. Books are being read. Dinners are being cooked. Kids grow up. School is almost done. It's all amazing and definitely Cool. Hang on with me because we're almost half way through the year.


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