Sunday, January 10, 2010

A new (old) season

After a very busy 2009, Bryan was laid off on Friday. We welcome the time we'll get to spend together as a family, but not so much the hard times I suspect lie ahead. There have never been so many electricians laid-off during one of our past lay-offs, so I'm not optimistic that this will be a short one.

If I were to be completely honest with you, I'd say.... I've considered going back to work while Bryan waits on a call. This was never our plan, so I'm not exactly thrilled about it just yet. I do think it would be fun for the kids to get to have a stay-at-home-daddy for a while, but I am not confident that I would handle being the bread winner very well. Bryan has been so very good to me. He has absolutely no expectations of me as a stay-at-home-mom, so long as the kids are well cared for, happy and loved. They are, so the frequent messes, dirty laundry, no dinner plan and an empty pantry have never, ever, been a bother to Bryan. I am quite certain that I have higher standards...which I think can also be called a double standard. While it's been okay for me to let the house fall down around us while we play and lounge in jammies all day, I think I'd be a harsher critic if it were Bryan. Ack!!! I am sooo not happy with this realization and I hope that it will encourage me to be a better, more gracious, less selfish homemaker. More appreciative of how hard Bryan works. He was only laid off on Friday afternoon, but I have already learned a couple of lessons.... I don't appreciate my husband as much as I should (funny how that happened the moment I considered turning the tables and going to work), I often fail to be a good steward of our money, and much of our spending is wasteful.

As we process what our plan should be, I've decided to do my best to cut costs immediately. I even sprinted out to the curb to get discarded (not even looked at!) coupons out of our recycle bin in frigid temps and falling snow. I found a great local money saving blogger who provides the coupon matching run-downs for our grocery stores. That should make things easier. I'm so grateful to the gals who write those blogs! I'm counting on them to take the guess work out of buying $200 worth of groceries for a quarter.

Tonight I put my coupons and the Walgreens ad to good use. I bought only products that we use faithfully, that were on sale, combined them with mfg coupons and even two Walgreens coupons on top! I bought 2 Aveeno face scrubs (reg. $7.29/ea), 2 Lubriderm body lotions (reg. $7.99/ea), 2 Clean & Clear cleansers (reg. $6.99 ea). All of those items were buy 1 get 1 half price, plus $2-3 off coupons for each item. The mfgr is running a rebate special, so I will get $10 back in the mail.... 2 cans Lysol wipes (reg. 3.49/ea) - they were buy 1 get 1 free, plus $1 off coupon. 3 L'Oreal lip gloss (reg. 10/ea) on sale for $7/each plus $1 off coupon for each. Earned a $5 L'Oreal coupon with my $20 value purchase (pre-coupons)... Will go back tomorrow to use that coupon and get another lip gloss for just $2 (could have done it tonight -- rookie mistake).

My total value before sale prices and coupons was $98.60. After my rebate (and going back for one more lip gloss) my total is $35.35.

Thank you to Money Saving Mom for the Walgreens heads-up. I hope to do as well at the grocery store!!!

So... Here we go - into another season. While I've been distracted and a little upset today, I know that God's got a plan and I want to do my best to embrace it. I absolutely know that everything will turn out just fine. It always does. God has always been, and always will be, tremendously good to us. Far better than we deserve.

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