Monday, August 9, 2010


Last night, I officially registered Sarah for kindergarten. The county school system went back to school today, and city schools started last week. Although we are homeschooling, she does need to be officially registered as attending school somewhere.

It was weird. She's not actually "going" anywhere (until September, when we start classes with a local co-op), but I still got a little teary-eyed going through the registration process. How did my baby get old enough to be in kindergarten anyway?

Natalie is now zooming up the stairs. She's quite pleased with herself.

I noticed Tara posted her grocery shopping results and a few menu ideas. I've kind of slacked off in that department. I've actually not been doing too badly though, as far as grocery shopping and menus go. It's funny; when you really don't have much money available, it really forces you to be creative and make the most of what you have. We've eaten pretty well, all things considered. Unfortunately, I don't remember specific purchases and prices, or even much in the way of specific meals. I know I bought a whole chicken. The chicken meat has already provided three meals, and I think I can get one more out of it. The bones will make stock, which will at least contribute to one or two more meals. Not bad at all!

I bought a "white whole wheat" flour last time I was at the store. I had been buying plain old whole wheat flour and white bread flour for my bread baking needs. But boy, did we love this white whole wheat stuff! So far, it's made an excellent loaf of sandwich bread and a lovely batch of rolls as well. I think I'm sold!

My friend Leah is challenging herself to go an entire year without eating out. I'm not that committed. I honestly enjoy eating out when I have the chance, and I know myself well enough to know I'd never make it a year. But I am learning to do a better job of finding a "Plan B" or thinking through what options we have on hand to come up with a tasty meal. It does take some creativity at times, since I can't eat most convenience foods, but I'm getting better at it!

I've been experimenting with whether it's better to plan a menu before I shop, or plan afterward with what I have on hand. Certainly a strong case can be made for either one! I've known incredibly frugal people who've done it either way. I'm kind of doing a mixture of the two right now. My Grocery Deals is a great resource. If you enter your zip code, it will link to the weekly sales ads for stores in your area. You can see what's a good buy and start making a list before you leave the house. Money Saving Mom posts store deals for just about every store out there (even combining them with coupons for the best savings), so I try to visit her site as well. Coupon Mom can also help with pairing coupons and sales, but I confess I find that site a bit cumbersome to use, and I don't visit there often.

Personal gripe: my favorite recipe search site was Recipe Zaar. I loved its ease of use. They have now revamped the site, including changing the name to (how unoriginal is that?). I do not like it as well at all. I'm sulking. However, it never fails that if I like something, it either goes away entirely or changes beyond recognition. Blech. Okay, sulk over now.

As soon as Nelson sends me the pictures he got off the camera, I will post them here. So stay tuned!

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