Monday, May 28, 2012

Coupon Savings: May 2012

This month was pretty good. May is usually a VERY busy month for us, but we still came in under budget! Woohoo!

We hit $1,000 saved for the year this month!This is the first month I have saved less than 30% (but not much less), mainly because I was stocked up pretty well for the entire month so I spent most of our budget on things that we needed that we don't stockpile, or weren't on sale.

May 2012:
Total (before savings): $525.80
Spent: $372.56
Savings: $153.24
Percentage: 29.14%

2012 YTD:
Total (before savings): $3,351.37
Spent: $2,316.95
Savings: $1,034.42
Percentage: 30.87%

100 Days of Eating Better

Junk food. We all love it. I know I certainly do. Same with processed food. It's all so quick, easy, and oh so convenient. But its also pretty bad for you. French fries are probably one of my most favorite foods in the world. Especially Chick-Fil-A's. The waffley goodness, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, all covered in salt. They truly are heaven. :-)

Ok, enough day dreaming. We all recognize that we can eat better. High fructose corn syrup is in EVERYTHING, and as much as I love french fries (*sigh*), I know how bad they are for me.

So I found this site called 100 Days of Real Food, and got inspired. This woman, and her family, decided that for 100 days, they would eat absolutely nothing processed. Her list of rules included no processed sugars, whole grain everything, and lots of fruits and veggies. I love the idea of this, but I personally think some of her rules won't quite work for us (locally raised meats, organic everything). I don't really buy into the whole organic thing. If you disagree with me, fine. I'm not here to argue it. Just stating my point of view.

That being said, Travis and I really liked the idea, but realized that doing this cold turkey was going to be very difficult - especially for Penelope, who every time we go out for any sort of meal starts begging for french fries (looks like she got my tastebuds!) So what we've done is come up with a schedule for us that will help us to wean off of processed foods slowly, but still allow us to get there, and will allow us to try all sorts of new foods that we never would have considered. In fact, that's one of the new rules. Every 2 weeks, we have a try a new food we would never have considered before.

We've divided our steps into 14 weeks (which equals about 100 days), and each week, we will add a new "rule" to our habits. Some of them will be easy for us, some will be tough (NO soda, EEK!), and each of us will have different rules that are harder for us than others. Either way, we're both looking forward to doing this and giving it a try.

Our one other rule - we're going to be as strict as possible about this for ourselves when we're at home. However, if we're out with friends, or at a birthday party, we will eat whatever they provide and will not preach to them about what we're doing and cause a stink. If they offer us cake, you can guarantee we're gonna have cake. :-) Because honestly, if you completely deprive yourself of certain things, you're self control is eventually going to break down, and you're going to binge. That's why we're taking this in baby steps and only making single changes each week (sometimes 2 because of the new food rule)

So, that being said, here is our plan:

Week 1: No eating out – at all
Week 2: Try a new food
Week 3: At least 1 serving of fresh fruit everyday
Week 4: 1 soda the whole week. Try a new food
Week 5: New recipe week! Try a new recipe every day
Week 6: Make homemade stocks/broths. Try a new food
Week 7: To the farmer’s market for veggies
Week 8: Vegetables at every meal. Try a new food
Week 9: Only one small serving of sweets for the whole week
Week 10: Try making your own whole wheat bread. Try a new food
Week 11: New recipe week! Try a new recipe every day
Week 12: No soda. Try a new food
Week 13: No sweets
Week 14: Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label. Try a new food

Our weeks are going to start every Monday, because that is my grocery shopping days, and we've decided that today is our first day. One exception to the no eating out rule is on Monday afternoons. Penelope and I share a Publix sub for lunch, but its already included in the monthly budget, and frankly its just easier to give that to her to keep her busy when I'm trying to put groceries away. 

Care to join us? Feel free to use our plan, or create one that works better for your family. Either way, you'll be eating better, and it won't be quite so painful all at once!

Or don't. If you're happy with what you're doing then great! I'm not here to preach about this or judge you based on what you do (see previous post). I just know for us, this is the direction we need to head towards! 

So if you're going to try this, good luck! If not, look forward to weekly posts about our adventures, how things are changing, and how we're feeling!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


So I caused quite a stir on Facebook yesterday with a link I posted that really explained well how I feel about breastfeeding and parenting in general. (The link) And I didn't realize what all the stir was about until I clicked on the link and it brought me right to the comment that I had posted on the blog. Oops.

Let me first apologize for that mistake right now. It was not my intention to post my comment on the blog to Facebook. My intention was the post the entire blog post, as it screams what I feel about the topic. For those who's feelings were hurt because of what I said, I'm sorry your feelings were hurt.

That being said, I am not apologizing for the link, as I still believe it explains how I feel very well. I hate...HATE this arguing, judging, preaching, pushing, that is constantly happening between parents - especially mothers. Everyone seems to think their way is right, and is always trying to make the other side feel bad about it.

You're guilty of it and so am I. And it's not right. Not at all.

We moms should be supporting each other REGARDLESS of how we feel about someone else's parenting practices. It just frustrates me so much that we are constantly being pitted against each other when we should be more understanding of each other! We're all moms, doing the best that we can, and doing what we feel is best for our children! I'm about to impart a huge word of wisdom that will shock you. You ready?


Crazy I know.

I'm not going to go on and on about this, because, frankly, most people aren't going to listen. I don't want to start another riot, and this is all I'm going to say on this topic. So here it is: my stance on any and all things parenting:

You're going to do what you feel is best for your children, and I'm going to do what I feel is best for my children. If we don't agree, don't preach to me or judge me for doing parenting my way, and I won't preach to you or judge you for doing parenting your way. All children are different and we're all going to deal with our children as we see fit. Plain and simple.

So, breastfeed or don't. Circumcise or don't. Give birth in a hospital or don't. Use drugs during childbirth, or don't. Co-sleep or don't. Vaccinate or don't. Cloth diaper or don't. It's up to you and no one else.

Now, can we PLEASE just play nice?