For those who don’t yet know, my family leads a “Feast & Famine” lifestyle. Our paychecks fluctuate by as much as a third. March was a feasting time for us. We were finally able to buy several things we’d been putting off and to tell the truth we really celebrated the abundance.
Then we got paid again last Friday and it was less than we expected. About the lowest check we’ve gotten in 2 years. So we looked at it to see why, and the company has now doubled the amount they’re taking out for Health Care. Ouch! Big fat blistering ouch! So Fred will have to work an extra (12-hour) day every 2 weeks to pay for it. As it is he’s gone more than he’s home. This will eat into the short time he has here at home with us.
He works for the railroad, driving the choo-choo trains as an Engineer.
(singing) Whooooo-Whooooo! Chugg-etta, Chugg-etta, Clickity Clack. Going down the railroad tracks. Whooooo-Whooooo! Choooooo-Chooooo Train!(end singing)
I used to sing made-up onomatopoeia songs for the guys when they were little. They loved it then. Now they holler when I even try to sing it. My nephew Douglas on the other hand, is about 18mos and he LOVES it! when I sing to him about the choo-choo trains.
Anyway, since March was the first feasting time we’ve had this year, Fred and I did not squirrel away any of the extra cash. We paid all of our bills (yay!) and then went sort of nuts with non-necessities. I collect dolls. Fred collects firearms. Our oldest is into exercise equipment and our youngest is into Wii video games. (they saved up their birthday and christmas money to buy the Wii, I would Never (never) buy one for them because I think they eat children’s brains, but that’s another story). So we each indulged in our respective collections which was marvelously satisfying. But now we’re feeling foolish because we should have added to our savings, and we didn’t. Sigh!
So anyway, in an effort to free up any money I could, I went through my expenses. We get paid every fortnight (2-weeks) so that’s how long I budget for.
Prescription meds for everyone–$80
Groceries–$300 (includes catfood, dog food, over the counter meds (asprin, acne cream etc.) shampoo, toothpaste, paper products, cleaning products, laundry, bath and dish soap)
Miscellaneous–$40-$50 (Doctor Co-Pays, clothes and shoes (thrift stores & good-will), library fines (eek!) and a biscuit from Bojangles every now and then)
Total–about $500 to $510
At the present moment I cannot tell if this is a lot or a little. Since everything I buy costs more now, (even the Good-Will raised it’s prices!) I no longer have a sense of what is cheap and what is expensive. Flour almost doubled in price! Flour of all things. Something I use everyday.
Also, while Fred and I were feasting in March he convinced me to do low-carb, sugar-free stuff. And he’s right. I do feel much better when I give up sugar completely. I did Atkins for 3-weeks and got back down to 200 pounds, I had jumped up to 210. Now of course, there’s no way we can afford to keep that up, Atkins is about the most expensive diet on the planet, even if it does work. So anyway, at his request, I have added poultry back into the family’s diet, and am trying to continue to modify our carb intake a’La Sugar Busters, South Beach or Glycemic Index. I don’t follow any of them exactly, but sort of make them up as I go along.
So I am eating artificial sweeteners again, in case anyone is interested. I go back and forth with the sugar vs. splenda thing. I was firmly in the “no artificial sweeteners” camp, but for now I’ve jumped ship to the other side. Not that it makes so much difference one way or the other. I do try to keep all of my theories and philosophies aligned with some sense of integrity though, and that’s why I share.
As for eating poultry again, I have lots of mixed feelings about it, but the family is really thankful for ground turkey right now, and that is a wonderful thing. In times past they have been fussy about ground turkey, but since they’ve been eating love-burger (TVP) for so long, they’re tickled pink to have ground turkey back on the menu.
So anyway, I’m back on the wagon of spending as little as possible. I did good in January and most of February. And hopefully I can do just as well in April and May. In addition I’m trying to address Fred & my dietary requirments more aggressively by increasing animal protein and choosings carbs with a low glycemic index, also using non-nutritive sweeteners (albeit with mixed emotions).
And that is the state of the Fred & Maggie union.
Quick Question. Has anyone ever sold homemade doll clothes on e-bay? I’m pretty good at sewing doll clothes, and am thinking about selling them, either on e-bay or in a small section of one of my web-sites. Any advice? Since things are getting tight for everyone right now, it seems to me that there is probably less of a demand for luxuries like doll clothes.
For the record, I can make them for 18″, 14″ & 7″ to 8″ dolls. I can do anything from exquisitely accurate historical items to fast and fresh modern ensembles. Does anyone know which are more popular or would have a better chance of earning cash?