Five Thought Friday (Week 1)

A recap of this week’s adventures in simple living…

#1: Our January focus has been on cutting grocery costs. We did a bit of stocking up this week, with a trip to Sam’s Club and Kroger. If we can make it these next two days without buying anything else, we will have reduced our spending on groceries and household goods by 32% this month. The biggest help – we went back to using our meal calendar.

Meal Planner Calendar
Once upon a time, Angie and I created the meal calendar. It resides on the side of our fridge. Our favorite foods are printed on magnets. Some magnets have 2 choices because we only had so many magnets at the time. Whoever is cooking that night gets to choose between the two.

#2: Angie finally said goodbye to The Tank, her ancient laptop computer. She had been sitting on some Christmas money for just such a purchase and by accident found a super deal on a Samsung Chromebook at Best Buy. When she was recycling the Sunday paper, the Best Buy flyer fell open to the page showing Chromebooks on sale for $149. When she went online to get it, she was able to snag an open box one for $133 with free shipping.

#3: In the interest of frugality, I started looking into “hidden benefits” this week. It all started when my mom mentioned that membership to the local indoor walking track was included in her health insurance plan. Sadly, we don’t have that benefit but we can get a discount. My AAA membership also comes with free identity theft protection (so I signed up). My Office 365 subscription comes with 60 minutes of free Skype calling per month. Angie’s new computer came with 3 free movies from the Play Store and 12 passes for in-flight internet. Those may come in handy when we finally select a summer vacation destination for this year.

#4: We experienced our first snowfall since moving to Tennessee. Having lived in Colorado for 6 years, we didn’t think it would be all that exciting to see snow. But it was. We stayed inside while it came down but the next day, we ventured out for a photo hike and even managed to build a mini snowman (and a snow poodle??) in my mom’s backyard.

Snow People

#5: Speaking of mom…yesterday was her birthday. The best one in a decade, she said. I’m glad we were here to celebrate it with her (with a nice homemade Italian dinner and a cake). I’m also glad she has such wonderful friends at work. They gave her flowers, cupcakes, gifts, and made her dinner too (on a different  night). My mom still works a few days a week in the office of a home health agency. She has been a nurse for 48 years – one of the best, in my opinion – and though I didn’t mean to, I put her nursing skills to work on her special day. Somehow I managed to cut the tip end of my finger almost completely off. I sit here typing with Steri-Strips and what looks like Saran Wrap on my finger (it’s actually some new kind of waterproof bandage). My mom saved me from a trip to the ER and what she says would have been “at least 4 stitches”.
Mom's Cake

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