Modern homemaking for the frugal urban mama.
Posts tagged we paid cash
After creating last week’s new housekeeping schedule, I decided to start things off on the right foot by doing a whole-house general cleaning and decluttering. My timing couldn’t be better because the donation truck is rolling through our neighborhood on Monday morning and I will be ready!
Yes, this does go against my declaration of
having claiming weekend’s off. But hopefully, this will be the last chore-filled weekend for a long while. Means to an end, people. Plus, I’m feeling especially “nesty” right now and when the urge to clean strikes, you’ve gotta seize the moment!
Yesterday, I deep cleaned the whole kitchen. Man, that felt so good. I loved getting all those little areas clean that rarely get touched. Today, I’m going to work on the master bedroom and the kids’ bedrooms. Oh, and I want to move our holiday stuff down to our new storage locker in the garage. Lots to do! All while hopefully fitting in an hour at the gym this afternoon.
In other housey news, after a search spanning many months, I found the perfect runners for our long hallway and ordered the rugs. I LOVE them and I can’t wait to see them in our space. I placed the order right before bed last night and I was so giddy about the whole thing that I fell asleep and literally dreamed about rugs all night. How sad is it that I am this excited about my new rugs? (Answer: Quite sad, actually.)
Anyway, the best part is that we paid cash (as we ALWAYS do these days because we are credit card FREE) and we got a smokin’ deal on some pieces for the house that I am really in love with. We’ve got our whole lives to get this place exactly how we want it, so I refuse to settle. Nothing is coming through our front door unless I really love it. And these rugs definitely fit the bill!
I’ll do a before and after hallway post in mid-August once our new runners have arrived!
It’s a beautiful sunny San Francisco morning and I’m really looking forward to enjoying a quiet Sunday puttering around at home. Puttering Sundays are THE BEST.
So I sorta disappeared over these last two days. It was, as I like to refer to it, “a spontaneous unplugging”. It wasn’t planned or anything, I’ve just subconsciously kept all online activities to a minimum for the past 48 hours. I was feeling so good after the first day of unplugging, I just kept rolling with it. It was a lovely little internet vacation and I’m ready to get back in the saddle today.
And what I’ve lacked in inter webs lately, I made up for in groovy weekend fun. Here’s what I’ve been up to, lo these past 2 days:
- The street we live on is having a sidewalk fair all weekend. Yesterday we walked for blocks and blocks in both directions, enjoying the activities. So much fun stuff to see and do!
- We bought a cabinet for the living room! At the aforementioned sidewalk fair. We found it at this great antique store and snapped it up for a song (and needless to say, we paid cash). I’ll post some pics at some point in the future, but I want to surprise my mom with it when my parents come to visit us in a couple of weeks. And since she reads this blog (Hi, mom!), I’ll wait until after she sees it to put it on the blog. But hey - spoiler alert - it’s antique, hand-painted and GORGEOUS! Yeah, I’m pretty much in love with my new cabinet.
- I sold a few things on Craigslist. That’s me, always trying to declutter and simplify. Feels so good.
- Lots of tea drinking and book reading has been going on this weekend. I’d like to say the tea is because I’ve quit coffee completely but no, that hasn’t exactly happened. But I’ve certainly cut back. Baby steps, right? As for the books, I’m currently reading this and this.
- We had tuna sandwiches for dinner last night. Ha! Sufficed to say, my trusty meal plan got a bit jumbled this weekend. It happens sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. But when it comes to meal planning, I truly believe that rigidity is a recipe for failure. Sometimes ya just gotta roll with it. The good news is that now I’ve got some unexpected meals in my arsenal for next week. And funnily enough, Dennis said the tuna sandwiches were one of the best dinners he’s had in awhile. (I’m not sure how to take that… Compliment or insult?)
- I think I’m going to make some cherry jam today. I think it’s a touch early in the season for local cherries because some of those pretty babies I bought at the farmers’ market last week turned out to be a bit tart. But we don’t waste food around here, no sir! So I shall repurpose them.
That’s about it for now! Hope you’re having a delicious Sunday.
Last night, we ate at a restaurant.
It’s true. We did.
You’re probably thinking, “Yeah? So? What’s the big deal?”
Well I’ll tell you: It is a very big deal for us. Since I took over the managing of our finances a few months ago, we have been in spending lockdown, especially when it comes to food. This means absolutely no perks or frills. No take-out meals, no expensive packaged stuff, no Starbucks, and absolutely no eating out (save for our monthly Date Night, which I work into our budget).
But last night, we broke our rule and we went out for dinner.
I didn’t expect this. In fact, I had a perfectly good dinner all planned out and ready to cook. So what happened?
Earlier in the afternoon, we went to a neighborhood Cinco de Mayo party in the park and had a great time. But Maya has been fighting a cold for the past few days and while we were out, it really started to get the better of her. Near the end of the party, she looked so tired.
And she wasn’t the only one. Henry missed his nap, thanks to all the festivities, and he was totally exhausted too. So we left a bit early and put the kids down for a nap as soon as we got home. With both kids sleeping (such a rarity!), Den and I decided to follow suit. We’d all had a lot of sun at the party and a nap sounded really nice. I was only planning to have a quick 20-minute snooze, but we all fell into a long, deep afternoon sleep.
I was the first one to wake up. And when I looked at the clock and saw that it was already 5:15pm, I was completely shocked. We’d all slept over 3 hours!
I went into panic mode. I nudged Dennis awake and told him to hurry and get up, and help me wake up the kids, I needed to get dinner started right away or we’d be eating at midnight!
Den and the kids were totally out of it. And I was running around in little panicked circles, pulling things out of the cupboards and drawers, rushing to start dinner. And then, as if every fiber of my being gave up, I stopped rushing and stood perfectly still while the most incredible idea washed over me: We could just go out to eat. All the panic, all the stress simply melted away and I felt utterly rescued by the thought of not having to race to get dinner on the table.
I cannot express what a big deal going out to eat is for us, especially unexpectedly like this. We used to frequent restaurants or order take-out all the time, but that extravagant life is long gone. Times have indeed changed for this frugal family as we’ve shifted our priorities big time in order to get out of debt.
I proposed the idea of going out for dinner to Dennis and I definitely didn’t need to twist his arm. We all got dressed and headed down the block to the best little family-friendly Italian bistro in our neighborhood. I felt like I was getting away with something.
We ordered as cheaply as we could, getting the most inexpensive entrées on the menu. We declined the temptation of ordering beverages, water was good enough. We asked for an extra basket of complimentary bread just to stretch our dining dollar further. The meal came to $30 including the tip and of course, we paid cash. And while we certainly had fun, enjoyed the occasion of being out to a family dinner together, and it was nice having the evening off from cooking, I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt.
I work so hard every day to save our money. I have literally walked half a mile out of my way to save 25 cents. The idea that we threw away $30 - over half a week’s grocery budget (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) - in one meal just kills me. And I’ve been torturing myself about it ever since.
I told my mom all about it this morning. She had a great idea: She suggested keeping 1 or 2 frozen pizzas stashed away for situations just like these. Just put ‘em in the freezer and forget about them. I normally don’t buy pre-packaged anything, but I think I’m going to make an exception in this case. Because even at $5 to $10 per frozen pizza, it’s definitely a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant. I am definitely going to do this. Because life happens.
I realize this all sounds a bit overly dramatic. It’s only dinner, it was only $30 bucks and it was only once. It’s not the dinner itself that bothers me so much; Dennis and I have a regular date night once a month and we go out to eat. I think the real problem was that I didn’t plan for this expense, and if I’d been a little more organized, I could have avoided spending the money altogether.