Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You call that full???

One memory that sticks out to me from my childhood is that when you bought something at the grocery store was that is was full. I get so frustrated every time I buy a bag of chips. Why is it that you get half a bag of chips and half a bag of air.  I feel like I am being robbed over and over again when I go to the grocery store. It is not just chips, but lots of different types of food. I discovered the other day it is not just food, but all sorts of products we have to buy each day. 

The one that really gets me is toilet paper. Can I just say how much I hate to buy it and then just watch it as it gets flushed down the toilet, literally!  The only reason they charge so much for it is because they know that you have to have it. One day while watching Extreme Cheapskates I saw this lady who does not use toilet paper. Yes, you read that right. She does not use toilet paper. She has a small trash can by her toilet and they have rags that they use, then drop into the trash can, so she can wash them and use them all over again.  I consider myself a cheapskate, but not even I am that cheap!!  I am not going to lie, I have washed and reused things like paper plates, plastic spoons, etc., but not even I am going to go that far. I will just use coupons and try to find the best deal I can on TP.
It seems that all the products that we buy have shrunk in size and increased in price.  I have seen the price of items I buy regularly go up in price over the last 10 years.  How in the world are we expected to provide for our families when you can't get anything for your money?  I get so frustrated sometimes I could just scream. Here we are doing all we can to make it and the person in front of me is stocking up using food stamps, then using their cash to buy lottery tickets, beer, etc.  It just makes me so happy to know my husband works and pays taxes so they can support their habit (I say in my most sarcastic voice). Of course that is a whole different topic and a blog post in itself. 
I am sure that so many people out there feel the same as me.  I hate the feeling of being robbed at every place I go. I recently was searching for a place to have my daughters birthday party this year and called the park I have used many times before. They told me that a new rule was put in place last year that meant an extra $20 to rent the picnic shelter if you didn't leave in that city limit. What!?! I guess they would rather let it stay empty and not make anything than rent it out for the regular price.  Like I said, we are getting rob at every turn in life and there does not seem to be anything we can do about it, except for coupons and you can't use those for everything.  
Another thing is that you keep hearing all this about eating healthy. We should eat more fruits/veggies and less processed food. Well they should make those things more affordable to people. I still buy it in and out of season.  I really hate spending as much as we do, but I would rather spend it now and eat healthy, than give my money to the doctor later on.  One thing I do is to buy it when it is in season and freeze it for later in the year, having a big freezer is a huge help.
Does anybody else out there feel like your being robbed at every turn? If so, leave a comment and maybe it will spark a discussion and eventually a change.
Anyway, that is my rant for the day and for this blog, I got to get back to the whole housewife/Mom/Tink thing that I do.
                                     "That's my 'two-cents worth, what's yours?"

Monday, March 30, 2015

When My Calling was called Inadequate (at least it felt that way)

I recenly had a interesting conversation with another mother. We are friends and our children  play together. I am a stay at home mom. She is a working mother. They have new cars and live in a brick home. (They are making payments) We have used cars and live in a modest home. (All of it is paid for).  Her children are giving almost everything by their grandparents. I fuss at my parents when they give to my kids. I feel if you give to them everyday they will not and can not appreciate it. We get together for the children to play, but I always leave feeling uncomfortable. It always seems to feel as if all they have is being flaunted in my face. Of course I am sure that is only way it comes across. It is still hard when my youngest always leaves talking about all these kids have and how she wants the same stuff. My response to her is, "there is always your birthday and Christmas, put them on your list."  I often feel as if she believes  that by being a stay at home I am depriving my children of things, that I am not living up to my potential. Can I just say that I resent being made to feel this way (even if it is not the intention). I feel like my job is one of the most important there is. I am always available to be with my children. If they are sick at school I can go right to pick them up and not have to call someone else. I am there if they are sick or hurt. I recall the time I spent with my oldest as she was going through chemo treatments and think about how I would not have been able to be with her and work a full time job.

I have always lived a financially conservative lifestyle. Some would call me cheap, but I just call it being money responsible, a lesson I am trying to teach my children.  I coupon, save, price match and do anything else I can to make each and every dollar stretch and go as far as possible.  I am sure some people wonder about how we vacation like we do. Simple, we have a certain amount each year budgeted for vacation and we only do big vacations (like Disney) after we have saved up all the funds needed for the trip.  I am completely and totally against charging vacations or any big purchase. You should only buy those types of things if you have the cash money to pay for them. For example, we just bought a new to us minivan and we paid cash for it. The idea of buying a brand new car, having 7 years of payments and having it loss $5000 in value as soon as you drive off the lot is unbearable to me.

My husband works hard to provide for us. We have never been hungry or done without the necessities of life. The Lord has always provided for us all of our needs and even some of our wants.  There have been lots of times we have had to say no, not only to our children, but to ourselves as well. There have been numerous times I have wanted something, but I will leave it to think about it. Most often I find I really didn't really want it after all. I don't feel the need to buy my kids brand new clothes and shoes every week. In fact often times I buy most of their clothes at thrift stores, yard sales and consignments.

My children may not have all they want, but they do have all their needs meet. They do have a mother that does all she can to take care of them. These are the important things. If people choose to work or even have no choice that is fine, but not degrade what I do (or make me feel that way) just because you don't like my choice.  I am a modern women. I do not live in the 1950's and my husband does not make me stay home. I choose to do it because it is all I have ever wanted to do.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

How We Prepared for Disney

The fact that I am writing this blog means that we have already been on our Disney vacation, that is such a sad thought. Two weeks ago we were soaking up the Florida sunshine and today we are freezing and having what I call our second winter.  I tried to tell my husband I am suffering from vacation depression, meaning I need to go back, he didn't buy it.

Anyway that is another post all by itself.  I have shared with you in a previous post about how we saved for our trip, so today I wanted to share how we prepared for our trip.

Preparing for Disney:
1. The first part of this is of course the saving. I am sure lots of people make this same trip every year and then come home to the huge bill for it that they have to pay off. We do not go every year and will not go until the trip can be paid for in full, including all spending/gas money. Here is the link to my saving post, http://mywayofthinkin.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-i-saved-for-disney.html

2. I read lots of blogs and checked out post on Pinterest to learn what to pack, bring and things to do while we were there. One blog that I follow and read almost daily is http://www.couponingtodisney.com/. Kristen always had some great tips, not just on Disney, but on how to save as well.  I also created a Pinterest board with all sorts of tips and tricks for our trip, https://www.pinterest.com/graciemoon1/our-next-disney-trip/.

3. I created a packing list for each and every member of my family. I used an example from Pinterest and adjusted it for my family. I am happy to say that I didn't forget anything, but I did over pack just a little. My excuse, you can never be to prepared. We may have needed to change clothes for some reason one day.

4.I bought lots of things to pack a snack bag.  We were on the Disney Dining plan, so we each got one snack a day at the parks. I used our packed bag for the trip to and from and also for snacks back at the hotel in the evenings. I also packed bottled water and drinks in a cooler for the trip. We took the empty bottles into the parks and filled them up at the fountains.

5. We each decided on the must do's while we were at Disney. There were rides and shows that the girls wanted to do and see. We made it a point to work our way around the park and try our best to take in all that the kids and us wanted to do. We used up our fastpasses and then made more when we could. We also did some  waiting in line, but the longest was 45 minutes so Rapunzel could sign my frying pan. I am happy to say that all the other lines were around 20 minutes, not to bad for Disney, is you ask me.

So, there you have it, the main and most important ways we prepared for our trip. I am now in the process of saving all over again for our next big trip, which is not going to be Disney. Shocked? I am sure lots of people who know me will be, but I love to travel and see new things. I do plan on returning to Disney again, but right now I feel Alaska calling my name. I am hoping and praying to be able to take that trip in 2018.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Terribles

This weekends blog post should bring some reality and a little laughter to your day. I think back to when my first born was almost two years old and what they called the Terrible Twos set in. Oh my goodness, what a trying time that was for me.  I took some comfort from the fact that her pediatrician explained that all children go through the same stage. When our second child was almost two I expected the same thing, but her experience was much different than her sister.  She was not quite as bad. One day during a conversation with my mother we were talking about the little girl that I babysit during the day and how she was beginning the stage of the Terrible Twos. During our conversation we talked about how we knew some adults that never grew out of the Terrible Twos.

After hanging up the phone with her, I really got to thinking about that idea. I mean do any of us ever really grow out of the terribles? Sure we become adults, live in the adult world and act like adults for the most part, but do we ever really get out of that I want it now stage?

Some of us live each day the best we can, striving to be the best we can be in all situations. Still when we have worked on and planned something and it doesn't work out. When we have prayed and ask continually for something and it goes the other way, we may find our selves exhibiting The Terribles. Our attitudes get bad, we fuss, sulk and just act like little children.  Should we? Of course not, but I think it is just the way we as humans are. Then after some time for contemplation we realize that things don't always go our way. We get back to our "normal" selves and go on with life.

Of course there are the other types of adults who literally act like children. When things don't go their way they pitch hissy fits and tantrums. They never grow up and insist on making other peoples lives miserable. I mean they have to know what they look and sound like.  I am sure in their minds they have what seems to be a perfectly good reason for what they do, but whatever the reason they have for their actions, it is still ridiculous! Nobody wants to spend time with someone like this and  they only do it if they are the same way or they have no choice.

I know all of us have times when we want to just lay in the floor, kick, scream and just act out, but we can't. I mean what the world be like if everyone reacted to life like a two year old?

So no matter your age or stage of life The Terribles will still be there, you just have to be prepared to make sure they don't get the upper hand.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"