We’ve had a lot going on lately at Casa de Wench. Sickness has made the rounds, a couple of times, and I have just been very busy. But hopefully things will calm down now and I’ll be able to post more often.
My son, BabyBoy, is ONE today! ONE!!! It’s hard to reconcile the very active toddler he is, with the very active infant he was. But I have proof in video form. Mister and I were watching old videos last night, and wow…it seems like he’s been walking forever, though I know it’s only been 3 months.
So we threw a party for him on Saturday, and it was fall/harvest themed. If you’re expecting lots of awesome pictures of thoughtfully planned out pumpkin-laden tables and placards with cutesy little ghosts, please take your behind over to Pinterest. I didn’t get nearly that into it, though I originally wanted to.
See, I live in South Jersey, so things are rather expensive here. On his toys, we spent nearly 100 bucks. Our motto this year for kids presents and such is quality over quantity. We simply don’t have room for massive amounts of toys right now. The food was less than we originally planned, which left me a little leeway in the decorating department. All in all, between the party and my usual grocery shopping, we spent…enough. Correction…Mister spent enough.
Mister and I don’t argue about much (though we do argue somewhat regularly…lol), but what we argue most about is money. It never used to be an issue when I got unemployment, because I took care of the domestic bills (food, clothing, diapers, wipes, formula, cleaning supplies and pet expenses), and Mister took care of the hard bills (ie mortgage, utilities, phones, etc.) this arrangement worked rather well.
And then I lost my unemployment. Well, it ended. And suddenly Mister had to take over the domestic bills for a household of five, that on a good months fall just under 700 dollars. With couponing. Which I did for awhile, but to be honest, thanks to that show on TLC (Extreme Couponing), many stores have changed their coupon policy and most of the time it’s just not worth it. But boy oh boy did those stockpiles look glorious on that show!!!!
A lot of times, couponing led to me getting things we don’t even really use or need because “It’s such a great deal!!” Here’s the thing about coupons. Maybe they’re a good thing where food is already inexpensive. But if I buy refrigerated cookie dough just so I can save 1.50 on it…I’m still spending a dollar that normally wouldn’t have gone to that. If I’m buying a massive amount of items, I have to worry about where to put them, and worry about if we’re going to use them before they expire. We have a small house, and I have no room for a chest freezer to stockpile perishables. I don’t have enough space to stockpile non-perishables, even.
But I digress. Mister has had to pick up the domestic bills. And he’s been sick for the past month, which has led to a lot of missed work and a drastically reduced paycheck each week. He says I don’t understand, but I do. It can’t be easy to provide for all of us like he does. And as I watch the ever rising food prices, and try to downsize the needs of our family (ie, Does SchoolGirl really need a box of snackpacks at Christmas Tree Shoppe on sale for 2.99? Or can I just give her pretzels from the huge bag I got? Can I make her mini-quiches or mac and cheese muffins this week or would it be more prudent to buy bread, lunchmeat, and snack for the week?) I try to downsize where I can, but with a one year old who absolutely must have fruit every day (horrible constipation issues), still in diapers, and two older children with HUGE appetites (except when it comes to dinner), it can be difficult.
So I think, for Christmas this year, if anyone asks what I want, I will tell them gift cards for grocery stores, gift cards for clothes for the children. Nothing for me. I have what I want already. I have a hardworking, wonderful Mister who works hard to provide for us, and three beautiful children I adore. I don’t need anything. They do.
(But if anyone decides they absolutely must get me something, I’d like a huge box of pumpkin spice coffee k-cups.)
I’d like to hear from you. What size is your family, and how much do you spend a month on domestic expenses where you live? What do you do to save money? And what do you want for Christmas?