Sunday, May 24, 2009

I ran around for two hours yesterday inquiring about part-time jobs and picking up applications. I'm trying to have a good attitude, but after working so hard to finish my degree, I'm bummed that I'm still having to resort to part-time jobs. I'm pretty sure I'm going to apply to graduate school for the spring semester, and I'm going to try my hardest to get a graduate assistant position to help offset the cost of school. It will also give me much needed experience for my resume. After having not worked for so long while I was home with the boys or just having part-time jobs, I just don't have much in the way of real work experience to attract a potential employer. I had two job interviews in the last couple of months, but neither one panned out. All signs seem to be pointing to grad school :) I want to pursue a career in education so that is probably going to be necessary anyway. My area is very competetive.

Anyway, I finished four job applications last night, and plan to do a couple more this week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This morning I was woken up way too early. The only good thing that usually comes of that is that while I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep, I usually do some good thinking. Michael and I have both been trying to get part-time jobs for the summer, since we're both free the whole summer, and we really need some additional income. There is a slight possibility that he would be teaching summer school very part-time, but other than that, we don't really have anything going on.

I don't think I've tried very hard to find something, so today I committed myself to trying harder. When I really thought about it, I thought of about five different places I could inquire. I've only inquired about one other job, and applied for one job with the city as a counselor for their summer camp. I'm not going to pretend that I've committed myself to finding a part-time job, when I honestly haven't given it my best effort.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My frugal happenings today:

Not going anywhere--saves gas!

Cut Andy's hair.

Made a batch of laundry soap.

Breakfast was homemade banana muffins. I prep all the dry ingredients the night before to save time. I bought a bunch of brown bananas for 0.29/lb. at Save a lot to use for this purpose.

Dinner tonight is bubble and squeak, using only 1 leftover pork chop from dinner last night and a few other cheap ingredients (cabbage, a couple of potatoes and onion). Ethan has a baseball game tonight, so I'm planning an early dinner (avoiding fast/convenience food).

Made plans to get together with friends for a playdate tomorrow at a park.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Have I mentioned that I love Goodwill?

Today was their 50% off everything in the store sale! I did awesome!

Stuff I got for Ethan:

pair of dressy summer sandals
Spider-Man boxers (they are both really into Spider-Man!)
camo cargo shorts
Spider-Man T-shirt
nice button-down short sleeve shirt
A shirt that reads "I'm only pretending to listen" (I usually hate shirts with sayings, but I SO could not resist--if you know Ethan, you know why!)

For Andy:
khaki dress pants
Levi jeans
another spider-man t-shirt
Nice button-down short sleeve shirt
Thomas pajamas (top & bottom)
cute Old Navy monkey PJ's

For Me:
A summer tote

No rips, stains, missing buttons, etc. I told Michael about it when he got home, and he just headed out to see if he can find any work clothes.

And my grand total? $21.10. Yep, I rock.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dieting doesn't have to be expensive

I read all the time that "dieting is expensive" or "diet foods are so expensive". In my own weight loss experience, I just haven't found that to be the case at all. I think it's all about your approach. I do think certain diet "plans" can be expensive. They are often meant to be. Not that programs are necessarily "bad", but they want you to rely on their products so you will continue to buy them. If you feel like your success is dependent on certain-brand products, you will continue to purchase them.

I think people also use money as a reason that they can't lose weight--they think they can't afford to lose weight.

Portion control and calorie counting is free :) The method I've used to lose 50 lbs. has actually saved my family money. We haven't added anything to our budget for food since I started losing weight last summer. In fact, we've really saved money on things like cokes and processed junk food. I also had a pretty bad dairy addiction, and we buy much less of things like cheese, butter, and sour cream now, which has been replaced by more fruits and veggies.

I find that our main dinner dish stretches a lot further now. I still mostly make the same things that I used to, but I eat a much smaller portion and fill the rest of my plate up with veggies. This leaves us more for lunches the next day.

For help with calorie counting, I use , and there are numerous other sites that can help with tracking food.

I spent $140 on two weeks worth of groceries yesterday. My produce tray and fruit bowls are stuffed full of "diet food"....I have a whole watermelon, honeydew melon, several lbs. of apples, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, avocados, etc. I stocked up on green leaf and romaine lettuce for 77 cents at Kroger, and tomatoes for 39 cents/lb. at Fiesta, for salads. I shop the sale ads to find the best prices on produce and stock up on everything that is on sale.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Time to shop for summer kids clothes

My kids are in dire need of clothes. Most of Ethan's pants have massive holes in the knees, and are stained beyond all hope. I've been keeping a list on their closet, and as I think of things they need, I add to the list, along with sizes.

I took the list to Goodwill last week and got a few things that they needed. I made sure only to look for the things on the list, since I only had $25 to spend. I still have a lot more things that they need, but this was a start.

I found a pair of khakis for Andy, khaki shorts for Ethan, a button-down shirt and a really cute yellow Tommy Hilfiger polo for Andy. I also got a dressy olive green t-shirt for Ethan (his best color for his gorgeous green eyes), and I had to buy him a pair of baseball pants since he's about to start playing at the Y. I spent $16 at goodwill and $8 at Academy for the baseball pants.

I'll have to go back to Goodwill later this month--they have one day a month where everything is 50% off. I had my eye on an old-fashioned ice cream maker.
Sorry I haven't updated in a while! I've been really focusing on my weight loss since February, and have dropped another 25 lbs. :)

Anyway, an update on my plants. So far, it doesn't look like we will actually succeed in getting edible food out of them. I do not seem to have a green thumb! I started the first ones in paper cups, which kept getting knocked off the windowsill by little hands. I had one sickly little tomato plant sprout up and promptly die. So I trashed those and started over.

The next time I used an egg carton to start my seeds. It's a lot more stable--it's only been knocked over once, which sacrificed one plant. However, I can't seem to keep the soil moist at all. It seems like they need water like twice a day. I am so clueless about how to grow anything! I'm still trying to be optimistic that maybe, somehow, they might grow--you know, positive thinking and all. Really, I think I'm going to give them another week. Maybe gardening just isn't in my bag of frugality tricks.