October 20, 2008

Pizza Soup, Knitting, and Discount Shopping

I made this hat in a hurry the other day.

A teacher at 12YO's school had a baby and they were putting together a gift basket to give her. Yeah, it's a girl! Since we are on this quest to save money and all, making something for the baby seemed to be a bit better for us. I enlisted the help of my mom for this. The first hat was knitted last week. Then, we found out we had a little more time to get things in.

My mom put this blanket, burp cloth and bib together and crocheted around the edges of them. Those were always some of my favorite kinds of receiving blankets when my kids were little. I made the hat.

This is the smallest yarn I've used to make a hat. I actually went a lot more quickly than I had expected it to.

I was going to place a pom pon at the top, but I really suck at making those. My mom helped me with one (and she's really good at making them!) but my suckiness rubbed off on that one too. It started falling apart in big clumps, which is really the last thing you want to put on a baby right? I think the top turned out pretty cute anyway!

Like my model? My kids' heads are all too big to model baby hats, so their dolls will have to do. This one's head is just a bit smaller than that of a newborn. It should work out perfectly, I think. The garter stitch border even folds up nicely if the hat is too long.
Ohmygosh! The smell in my kitchen is driving me NUTS!!! I'm making Pizza Soup for dinner and it honestly smells like there is a pizza baking in my kitchen right now! Pizza makes me crave other junk foods, too. This jumpstarts a downward spiral into bad eating and big butt land. I don't like to go there too often, but sometimes it's sort of worth it!
We played hookey from the library...AGAIN. I guess I'm just getting so burned-out on cheer stuff that I want to hide in my cave the rest of the time. Then again, the weather is cooling down a bit too. It makes me want to hibernate.
I went shopping again yesterday for our weekly groceries. The one thing I know (and I cannot stress this enough!) is that the rest of the family simply cannot go along! I take so much cash in my wallet and use my cell phone as a calculator as I go along. I weigh the produce and simply round up to the nearest pound. I also don't deduct for coupons, not that I really get to use many of them anyway! It's always a pleasant surprise to get the the checkout and see that their total is two to four dollars less than mine. I got out of there for about $108.00. Not bad for a week's worth of food to feed five (or six or seven or eight) people for the week. Yeah, we sometimes have extras!
I've sort of turned into the 'Snack Nazi' when the kids get home from school. Produce is so much cheaper than chips and crackers, not to mention better for them. When they used to snack on Goldfish Crackers and chips and things, they can now choose from apples, bananas and grapes. They don't seem to mind that much and the Cheez-Its are actually lasting an entire week now. I still give them chips and crackers in their lunches, so I haven't totally entered the dark side yet!
And, the produce is actually all getting used now! When we had goats, I never really worried about wasting food. I didn't even need a garbage disposal because I had goats. Goats would be fun to have again. They make great lawn mowers.
I am doing pretty well on my budget nonetheless. Another thing I have learned that is crucial to sticking to a budget is to PLAN YOUR MEALS. I cannot stress this enough! I used to be the queen of stocking up on good deals, even if we would rarely use the things that I'd buy. I was also addicted to buying things in bulk. I honestly think that, somewhere in the back of my mind, if I bought enough stuff I'd never have to go shopping again.
Yeah....like THAT'S ever gonna happen!
My small pantry was always bursting at the seams with stuff...lots of stuff. It was hard to find anything in there or to looks like there was any method to all the madness! My fridge was almost as bad. Now, I'm shopping efficiently. It's a new concept for me, but I'm really trying to stick to it. I really like being able to find things in my pantry. It all fits in there now, yet my pantry is no larger than it was before! MAGIC, I tell you!
I just buy what I'll need for the week. I did break my own rule when it came to chicken broth yesterday. I'm finding that stuff is so great to have on hand...and the price was temporarily reduced. I cannot get chicken broth that cheap, so I bought TWO cartons of it instead of ONE. See? Even then it's not like I bought a whole CASE!!! And I just might used both cartons this week, you never know!
The one thing I would like to cut back on is CHEESE. You would think that we are a family of rats for all the cheese we go through! I must have spent almost 25 bucks on JUST CHEESE! We have string cheese, sliced cheese, and cheddar and mozzarella for cooking. And string cheese is like a drug to 2YO. I already had to cut her off today after her second one.
Well, this clutter around my desk is not going to clean itself. Trust me, I know this from experience! I might not clean it, but it definitely won't clean itself! Just because dinner is already done, that doesn't mean that I'm done working too. I put dinner together at 8:00 this morning for crying out loud!
Have a wonderful week!


Opal said...

I used to plan all my meals too and seriously need to get back in the habit because the cost of daily shopping for this troop is killing the budget.
I actually have a big jar filled with meal ideas all cut up so I can randomly pull one out of the jar and have it for dinner cause I hate deciding.

SJSFalter+ said...

The hat is absolutely adorable as are the burp clothes and blanket. Good job guys!
I really need to think about meal planning more because I have this feeling that is the only way to cut our budget down more. And the thought of everything fitting in the pantry and cupboards sounds really freaking nice. Are you sure they didnt get bigger?
Have a great week!

AMY said...

Awesome hat. I loved the homeade hats I got when Kenzie was in the NICU. I sent out a call for hats because she was so tiny and she had no hair and she was not keeping good temps. So out went te cry for hats and the ones people made were by far my favorite!! I hate grocery shopping. especially with the kiddos (and yes that includes the hubby)lol