Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today is Day #1

"Wait, what?!?"  you say. "Two letters in one day!!"

Yes, it's true.  Maybe I've turned over a new leaf ;)

Actually, in the spirit of New Year's Resolutions, I am making one I'd like to share.

This is going to be a fun and challenging year for me as I try mixing full-time school, part-time work, part-time Homeschooling, and full-time parenting.  One of the biggest challenges I see in this year for me will be a financial one.  Working only part-time will mean less money.  But my goal is that it doesn't have to mean that we feel like we have less money.

Moving into this house, one of my goals has been to create a home where my older kids would feel loved, welcomed, invited, and a part of the family.  I know there has to be some hurt in their hearts from the years I was away and I am doing everything in my power to at least make now as warm and welcoming as possible.

This has included for me making a place for each of them in my home, welcoming them at all times, making sure that there is enough food, or pillows, or whatever that they don't feel like a second-class member of this family.  Because they never will be.

Everyone was excited about my new plans.  Everyone, that is, except for Daniel.  Daniel has seen this last year the difficulties I have placed us in due to my poor planning, and I am certain that he is worried big time when he hears we are about to live on less.

So my number one goal this year is to find ways to live the best we've ever lived while living with less than we've had.  I've been reading and thinking and making plans.

So far the rules of the game are:

1. We will still have all the luxuries I have already provided:  internet, cable (it's actually free, but...), phone service, plenty warm house, etc.
2. We will NOT end up eating only "beans and rice", like I have threatened in other hard times.
3. The kids will not feel like we are poor.
4. I will NOT skip birthdays, holidays, or other "fun" things for our family.

And yet:

5.  I will have approximately half the income from working as I had before.

I have decided that I am going to make a goal to learn one new money-saving trick every day for the whole year.  Things that will help me use less or make what I have stretch without the kids feeling the pinch.  Real, usable things that I am excited to pass on to you.  Here we go:

Tip #1:  Milk

I have found that if you buy whole milk instead of the 1% or 2% I'm assuming you usually use, you can mix it with water and it will taste just the same as the milk you usually buy but it will go so much farther!  I have been trying this for about a month now and have worked out the details:
1 gallon 1% or 2%  = approx. $2.50
1 gallon whole milk = about 30 cents more
whole milk can be mixed about 1:2 with water to create a milk that tastes just like the other
1 gallon "Mommy milk" = $1.05 

This can be done with soy or almond milk, also, I just haven't experimented with the amounts yet.

love always,


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