A little bit of everything. Just not summer. 

I’ve been playing with my yarn stash this last week quite a bit. Trying to decide what pattern I want to make next or what yarn is speaking to me at the moment. 

One evening I sat down and sorted through my queue and stash on Ravelry.com and had a few tabs pulled up at the same time. I now have all my yarn (except my handspun) matched to a project with enough to make a different project every month for the next 3-4 years. Yes, years. 

Now I can just shop in my stash and queue and decide what I want to make next. Of course, I may change my mind on some things between now and when I get to them, but they’re all organized for now! My OCD is very happy right now. 

Also perfect timing because it is snowing…again…today. So I’m just staying inside and knitting hot water bottle cozies while I drink my tea and watch the snow fall. 

Speaking of hot water bottles, I decided about a month or so ago that we were paying too much on our utility bill to heat the house while we were gone or slept. I went out and bought $5 water bottles for everyone and started turning the heat down a bit more at night. We now keep it more on the cool side than the comfortable side when we’re gone or sleeping and bump it up to cool-comfortable when we’re home and awake. The boys get their bottles in line on the kitchen counter while they get ready for bed and as I get them full of hot water I stash them under their covers so their bed is warm when they climb in at night. I just got our next bill and it went down $60 for this month! Score! 

We do have dried corn/rice bags, but they don’t stay warm very long. Maybe 30 minutes. They’re perfect to warm up in the microwave when I get up in the morning and then I hand them to the boys as I get them up to snuggle and stay warm while they get dressed. 

Anyone else have any ideas for saving on heat? I’ve already informed the boys that if they’re cold they need to put on another sweater or socks. Usually they’re complaining that they’re cold and they’re running around in just their pajama pants. Tough luck dude. I’m not cranking up the heat when you can wear more clothes. It’s not like I’ve turned off the heat and I’m making you wear scarves, gloves and a winter coat. Anyway…

So much snow!!!

This is a picture at the beginning of our snow-pocalypse. Just a few inches of snow.
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And after building an igloo. It was a one man igloo. Kind of to tempting stay inside since it was quiet and no one else could fit. But too cold!!!
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How’s everyone fairing with all the cold and snow?!

Grocery Budgets

So, how much does your family spend per person in groceries? We’re a family of 5 and we spend about $150/week on groceries only. That works out to $120/month/person on food. I’m not sure where else to cut costs. We don’t do boxed meals and try to buy organic/natural as much as possible so I know we’re going to spend more than if we bought more conventional foods. Here’s a look at this weeks grocery bill:
Total items – 47
Total savings – $21.43
Total cost – $150.44

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Is this normal? Can we save more? Are we already saving as much as we can? I’ve planned out the menu for the week and reused as much as possible. I did need a few staples this week, but try to buy in bulk as much as I can. Not sure what else to do to help cut costs. Thanks for any suggestions, tips, or ideas!

So far so good.

Well, things are moving along nicely. Hubby is talking to a recruiter this week and we might know by this weekend if re-enlisting is an option for when he graduates with his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing next May. Otherwise we’ll be relocating as civilians.

The game plan is laid out, everyone knows the basic idea. I love it once we finally reach a decision. Coming to the conclusion is always the hardest part for me.

Also, I’ve been wrestling with the idea of stopping working altogether and I just don’t know if I want to. I’ve enjoyed the mental stimulation (as much as you can get working retail) of just not being home by myself all day. We’re tossing around the idea of taking my hobby and trying to make a very small income from it. Starting an Etsy shop for my hand dyed yarn, hand spun yarn, and hand knit items. Nothing fancy or a huge amount of inventory, but just something that I like doing anyway. We’ll see. It’s the start-up part that is freaking me out mostly right now.

That’s it. I’m giving my notice as work next month. I’m planning out if I want to start a home business and I’ll be crazy busy getting our house ready to sell next spring now that the foundation repair is completed. New paint, trim, doors, etc. One room at a time. And lots of shopping Pinterest for ideas in the mean time. Let’s do this!!

Trying before buying

As part of our plan to get ready for me to stay home again, we’ve decided to forgo using my income in our budget. We have 2 months to see if we can make it work on one income (the math says we can) plus the 1 month notice that I’ll give my work. We should know within those 2 months if it’s gonna actually work or not. Plus not spending my paycheck will help us save that much more for our emergency fund! It’s like a trial run without the commitment. These two posts have really been helpful as we’ve discussed what’s right for our family. And that’s the major point, deciding what’s right for your family.

http://www.stacymakescents.com/10-questions-for-a-potential-stay-at-home-mom

http://www.stacymakescents.com/cost-stay-home-mom#utm_sguid=149086,7fc49d9d-ca9c-e264-d6b5-fe0e39158aeb

Working out of the home was right for our family when I started. And maybe it’ll be right again at some later point. But for right now, I don’t think it is.

Going back to the job I love.

I started working out of the home for the first time in almost 10 years about 15 months ago. I’d done a lot of volunteering and other non-paid jobs during that time, but my main focus was on my home and my boys.

Then my husband graduated nursing school and got a job. Then he switched floors and got paid less for better day shift hours. About that time my youngest started kindergarten. So I got a full-time retail job. It’s retail. I hated it. After about 6 months I was able to somehow convince them to let me switch to part-time afternoons.

Then summer break came. We had it all planned out. Childcare, back-up care, everything. Then 3 weeks into summer our main provider ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks. Our boys hated the back-up care. It was the worst month ever.

Finally school started back up. But things just aren’t going as smoothly as I want. One month into the new school year Hubby switched companies completely. He’s making more now than both of us put together before he switched and he’s due for a significant promotion by summer.

I’ve been doing a lot of planning and prepping and we finally decided that I’m going to put my notice in at work. My last day will be about 1 week before the boys’ last day since there’s so many end-of-school activities. I’m thrilled. I’m trying to save up as much as I can to help build our savings account even more before I quit. I’ve got our monthly budget adjusted and planned so we’ll be all set. Only 3 more months of retail!!