Frugality: Trying to Save While Not Existing on Just Ramen Noodles

I have always tried to be a frugal person.  I admit, it isn’t easy.  I come from a military family-my dad was in the navy and was often out to sea for months at a time, not to mention we moved frequently.  My Mom was a stay at home mom-therefore we didn’t have a lot of money.  We always pinched pennies and it was a lifestyle that we just always knew.  My wonderful husband also hails from a family that never had a ton of dough, but alas, does not get the whole “frugal thing”.

So I bet you know where I’m going with this.  We have been through several job losses and then through my husband returning to school full-time during the last thirteen years.  He graduated at the end of last year, and accepted an internship which last week became a full time engineering position.  Yay!  Buuuuuuuuuut-we are also trying to get back on our feet after having been working either part-time and/or not at all the last couple of years.  And lately it has really gotten tight.  Not a ramen noodle every night type of thing (HAHAHA-what is THAT from.  *ahem*  I watch too much TV).  But I am being a lot more diligent about cracking down on our grocery spending.  We are not extravagant people.  But when I am standing in the grocery aisle I would MUCH rather purchase the frozen stir fry mix as opposed to making my own from scratch.  Did I mention I don’t exactly cook like Martha Stewart?  Or any good cook for that matter.  I do make a mean taco soup (if tacos are a secret ingredient and I ever get to compete on Iron Chef let me tell you I am SET!)  I also love diet pop and sugar free frozen treats like nothing else.

Giving up the pop is not going well, but we did set out this past week to make our own pudding pops.  For some reason I have accumulated many packages of sugar free pudding.  Maybe there was a sale.  Or maybe I just really wanted pudding.  Either way, I looked up recipes and decided that it was waaaaaaaaaaay cheaper to make my own.  So I did.  And they were pretty good.  I have some tupperware mickey mouse ear popsicle molds I bought at a rummage sale years ago.  This was back when I could still GO to rummage sales (that’s a story for another post).  I found a recipe that I found and modified a bit.  Now this is really complicated, you might want to get a pen with a lot of ink and then follow this recipe EXACTLY or you will screw it up:

Frugal Pudding Pops (not Bill Cosby Approved)

1 pkg pudding (we used chocolate)

1 cup milk

1 cup cool whip

Directions:  Mix together and put in molds.  Freeze.  Eat.

See what I did there? That was hard…  My son would not get that because he’s sarcasm impaired.

We decided that maybe we could make more than one kind since we really like frozen stuff and wanted variety, so when we went grocery shopping we looked for molds.  These were $1 at Wal-Mart.  There were ones at Target for $5, so I figured DAMN that’s a GREAT deal!  Then I realized that it may be hard to get the frozen stuff out of the mold. Was it?  I dont know because I have not been motivated to make more yet.  Hey, it’s been a busy week!

I’ve also been toying with the idea of making homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener.  The idea has become more and more appealing to me.  I actually put the ingredients on my shopping list, but we’ll see if it actually happens.  I see all of these things online-I WANT to be more natural and organic and all that jazz.  I must admit putting stuff like that when I see it on Pinterest sure gets me a lot of repins!

It’s My First Blog Post! Truths About Me, Scary or Otherwise

I am not a cat… but I like this picture…

Apparently, I amuse people.  I find this quite hard to believe, but at least in print I have been told I am somewhat entertaining.  Not just me, necessarily, but me and the combination my two children, who are as unique as they come.  Somehow the mix here just works.  Time and time again I keep being told I need to blog.  Things that are true about me:

1-I am a Mom.  I guess I just said that.  I have two children, a boy and a girl, ages 7 and 4.  I also have a husband who can be a child.

This is not my family.  But we are very strange.

2-I used to have a life.  Ok, not much of a life, but I used to frequent places that didn’t feature groceries and one stop shopping in them.

There are usually two children crying when I am at the store.  Yes they belong to me.

3-I used to be a teacher.  I even went to school to be one.  The kids were great, it was the grown-ups who sucked.  I think the teacher choice was correct, it was the field that I chose to teach.  Hence the name of the blog, The Sadder But Wiser Girl. A gold star for you if you know what movie had a song in it of the same name.  Currently I am a KOSAHM (not to be confused with KOSAMA)-A kind of stay at home mom.  I work some, my hours and where I work vary greatly from week to week.  I don’t make much therefore I must take my kids to work with me when I work outside the house and attempt to work while I am home with them.  As a start this blog my elementary aged child has been out of school for a week, and I am already nearly nuts.

No this wasn’t me when I was teaching.  I didn’t really have a desk…

4-I live in a very small town in the Midwest.  One of those towns where the streets literally had no name until recently.  One of those towns where every event is done on the same date, at the same time, at the same place.  I am not from this town, not even from anywhere around here.  Therefore, I do not know what is going on.  Ever.

These are all everyday images for me.

5-I would like to be one of those moms who bakes everything from scratch, sews and makes all her own clothes, grows all her own food, and uses only all natural and organic products.  You know, I’d open my windows and start singing and small animals and birds would gather and join in.  Guess what, I am NOT that person.  Instead I am an anxiety ridden, ADD mom who makes a lot of food from a box that people in this house don’t eat, loves the organic grocery store but can’t really afford to buy anything there, and has a garden planted by my husband that I know the location of but really can’t tell you where anything is in it.  I also spend a lot of time clipping coupons and looking at those blogs that the frugal thrifty people have that I never actually use much of the advice on there-mainly because I lose the coupons before I get to the store or the recipe before I make it.  But I try.  What were we talking about again?

This isn’t me by the way.  That isn’t either.  But I’d kill for that hair.

6-Which leads me to this-I’m looking for something.  Really I am.  Most of my time is spent looking for something.  Keys, my son’s glasses, the remote, the box of pasta I KNOW I bought last week.  I’m also REALLY looking for something.  Purpose.  What I want to be when I grow up.  Inner peace. A good nights sleep.

And with these truths I start my blog.  Remember when reading it some important advice-enjoy it if you like it, stop reading if you don’t, and if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!