Monday, October 27, 2008

Stocking up

Well, with less than six weeks to go (and time is really flying, now!), I've been focusing on food lately. Namely, stocking up on quick, easy prep things that hubby might actually make, so that after Caitlyn arrives we won't end up eating Burger King at every meal for two weeks. We may not get the best nutrition ever during that time (not that we are now - I've barely been cooking in the last six weeks), but it'll be better than a constant diet of fast food, I'm sure.

My plan has been to cook ahead and put several things in the freezer. This hasn't worked out as well as I wanted it to, but so far we have three meals' worth of meatballs in there (for quick spaghetti) and three quarts of chili (made that yesterday. Good stuff!). I'd still like to make some creamed chicken base (for chicken and biscuits, chicken and stuffing, stuff like that), and some of hubby's favorite hamburger casserole (problem is actually getting that to the freezer before he eats it all!).

Yesterday I practically bought out Winco. Well, at least it felt like that, I spent so much money! At least at Winco when you spend $160 you have a full cart of food to show for it, unlike most of the other stores in town. I warned hubby ahead of time I was doing a stock up shop, so he didn't fall over when I came home with a trunk full of groceries! We now have stuff for chili dogs (including prepackaged shredded cheese, which I almost never buy, but it just seemed easier), Helper of all varieties, soup, tons of cold cereal (suddenly everyone has cold cereal on sale), a variety of juices, jambalaya, lots of canned fruit and veggies, and lots of other stuff.

I also bought all the nonperishables we need to take hubby's family's version of orange jello salad to Thanksgiving and Christmas, which will be our contribution to his family's meals (he'll make it so I don't have to!). No idea yet what we'll be contributing to ours, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Slowly, we're putting the finishing touches on getting ready. I really wish I could go buy a bunch more stuff that we need for the baby, but I have to wait till Babies R Us sends us our registry completion coupon, which won't be for several more weeks.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hunkering Down

I don't know if it's the economy, the return of fall (thank goodness!), nesting, or preparing to live with my income cut in half (I'm only going back to work part time after Caitlyn is born), but lately I have the urge to hunker down and get cozy.

I've started restocking the pantry - I could actually see the shelves in several places, which makes me nervous, like we don't have enough food on hand (odd, since I haven't been hungry a day in my life, but I'm weird that way). We cleaned out the big freezer (I still need to do the little one), and now I'm prepping food for easy meals come December. I have a list to work from, and I've decided to make one thing each weekend, as my schedule allows. Last weekend I made a big batch of meatballs, enough for four meals. We ate one as spaghetti and meatballs, and three went into the freezer.

I've gotten back on the internet (as much as my sore tailbone will allow, anyway), and am back to reading the frugal websites. I've also put down the childbirth books (I'll pick them up again in a week or two, I'm sure), and have gone back to reading my cookbooks, refreshing my meal ideas.

Although I let my garden go this year, I've been keeping an eye on what's still out there, thinking about how I can salvage it with my limited energy (which has come back a little bit in the last week or so, amazingly). Same with the apples that my parents didn't take - I gave them most of them, but there are still some left on the tree.

I've reworked the budget a couple of different times, just to see how much we can save even though our income will go down. Like everyone, our big savings has been drastically cut with the dip in the market, but I know it will come back eventually, and I know that now is the time to be setting more away if we can.

We're working on some big house projects that we want to finish before Caitlyn arrives. The new heating and cooling system will be installed on Monday; we got a new garage door opener yesterday (the old one hadn't worked since shortly after we moved in). I don't know if we'll get our pathways installed in the front yard this year or not, depends on the weather, but at least we finally have grass!

We have about two years' worth of firewood in our backyard, so bring on the cold!

All in all, I'm rapidly becoming a major homebody, more than normal. Now I just have to get my schedule to accommodate that urge!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Decluttering, continued

Ok, ok, so the decluttering is going in fits and spurts, rather than on a consistent, week to week basis.'s a cleaning day (well, hubby is cleaning, I'm doing bits and pieces but generally sitting around and hoping he doesn't notice, LOL!).

We're about to take a load to Goodwill, and it has, among other things, an old free weight set, my Ouija board that I've had for about 15 years and only used once or twice, a box of misc. kitchen crap, seven VHS movies (I'm slowly replacing my VHS stuff with DVDs), a garden watering kit we bought, hated, and never returned, an old TV, a bunch of old computer stuff, and who knows what else - the truck is looking kind of full! So, see, even though it's not consistent, at least it's happening! Have to do SOMETHING to make up for the piles of baby stuff that keep making their way into the house!

Next weekend is a hazardous waste pickup not too far from my house, so we'll be getting rid of even more. Yay!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Back up and running

Phew - it was just the router. We're back in business, folks! Yay! Thanks to the good folks at Verizon and UPS for getting us back up and running just when they said they would.

On another note, we're getting quotes this week to replace our furnace and put in an air conditioner. Them suckers are EXPENSIVE! Apparently we're lucky our furnace has lasted this long - both people who've come out to give us estimates said that most last 15 - 18 years, and ours is 24. I guess it's time! So, just when our income is about to be drastically cut, we're going to plunk down a huge chunk of change to put in the new system. Oh, and we ordered a new garage door opener last night, because it hasn't worked since we moved in and the door spring finally broke a few weeks ago. Ka-ching!

Between those and the stock market, my kitchen remodel is getting farther and farther away. It's ok, I can wait. I'm comforted by the fact that, once these purchases are made, about the only thing in this house that we haven't replaced since we moved in four and a half years ago is the water heater, which isn't original so hopefully it will hold out a while longer!

This homeowner stuff sure gets expensive sometimes...

On another note - tonight we start birth preparation class. Time's flying by!