Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The last day...

...of the 30 day challenge. I am amazed at our progress and that we really lacked nothing this month. We are very rich with blessings.

At the beginning of the month I kept adding things to a mental list to buy at the end of the month, but as the month has gone on that is no longer the plan. For the most part. I will be purchasing a package of diapers (tonight my daughter is in the last one) we have been using cloth all day but disposables work better for us at night.

If I were to go out and buy everything that I wanted all month long it would just counter act any of the savings this month has brought us. It is VERY nice to have money in the bank right now, usually this is the week that we check the bank account to see how close we are to make it until Friday when the next check comes in. It's been nice to have some extra cushion. Must of which will be an extra payoff to our HELOC, yippee!

I think the biggest thing for me is entitlement. "I worked hard so I deserve it." Right?! Well goodness, my husband works hard for the money we spend so do I really need more shoes, hair things, or garden tools? Or can I make do with what I have for just a little longer. I think Mary spoke about this a week or so ago. But the biggest thing I am taking out of this is when something comes up that we need maybe we can get along just one more day, week, or month before we purchase it. Delaying the purchase may help squash the desire all together or heighten the need, making the choice a bit clearer.

I do deserve a nice hot cup of tea after a long day, peace and quiet once in awhile, a ladies retreat weekend away (with the baby, two weekends from now!!) and hugs, LOTS of hugs from my family. These things I know I am entitled too but the stuff, I'll leave it for now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Scout's Honor

Dear Michael Chertoff,

(or any local Homeland Security Representative for that matter.)

My son (he's four) wants to be a rocket ship for Halloween. I've been Googleing "rocket ship costumes", "patterns for rocket ship costume" and whatever else I can think of, to find a way to make him one. I'm not having much luck.

I know, I know what's this to you? I'm getting to my point, I think I have one today. In my defense, I really didn't know what I was clicking on, I read the link right as my fingers were clicking. A homem@de shou!der-f*red rocket l@uncher is never going to be made in this house, of this I am certain. See, I'm purposely trying to keep anyone really looking for such a device far away from here.

Please do not send any of your task force to my humble (albeit clean) home, you will be wasting (precious) tax dollars! Your search will only reveal a frumpy house wife and two pretty well cared for children. Possibly one very startled husband depending on the time of day.

I know you understand that accidents do happen, quite frequently in fact! Seriously, I am ignorant enough that I have never even imagined making one of the a for mentioned devices from PVC pipe. The most creative thing I've ever done with that is pretending to be in Blue Man Group.

While I have my issues with government, I'd be more likely to peacefully protest and even more likely to write to my representatives.

Thank you for your time, any help turning my four year old into a rocket ship is of course at your own discretion.

Humbly,

Frumpy Butterfly Mama

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life goes on...

With no time to blog. I've been cleaning my house like crazy for pictures etc. We had one showing but they wanted a downstairs master (it says ours is upstairs in the listing thankyouverymuch!) Anyway, this is way more low key when we don't have to get out of it like we did the last time we sold a house! I just do my best, maybe I'll even take some pictures of it to prove that the house doesn't always have some sort of clutter around!

Some pictures of life around here...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Me??!!!

The wonderful Linds has given me an award! Many thanks to you Linds (and I hope today went well!) Her blog rocking chair reflections is one of my favorites so if you haven't been over there to check her out it's worth a few hours of reading. Oh, and her youngest just flew off to university so if you pop in, say, "hi"!

Now is always the hardest part for me about awards...picking six more people to bless with them. Just six out of the many, many, many I read. Well, here goes, in no particular order.

Amy of Never A Dull Moment! She's a great mommy, they have a brand new baby and her husband's getting ready to be deployed shortly.

Ashlee of mama's nest has been one of my favorites for a long time now. I love her writing style and way of seeing the world.

Lilith of Crunchy Green Lovin' Mom is one I'm new to reading but love just the same. She's witty and fun and loves to tweet.

Mamacita Tina of Carpe Diem! She's got two great kids and sounds like a fantastic mommy!!

GreenStyleMom is another new read of mine. She's doing the mommy thing the very environmentally friendly way and yet is totally down to earth! They live in a co housing community and it is just wonderfully inspiring!

Wendy of Showered With Grace has been one of my long time reads and she is very refreshing, honest and inspiring as well.

There you have it...I wanted to list so many, many more! So many blogs, so little time! Must learn to read faster!

Since we've been fighting off the flu for the last few days our meals have been pretty much chicken and rice or chicken soup or veggie soup, in between a banana when appetites have allowed. Easy, boring and cheap I guess!

The last several days

we have all been fighting off some sort of flu. I have had a couple of interesting conversations with my son.

Son:I feel ill.

Me:Really.

S:Ill means sick.

M:I know.

S:Really, really sick.

I asked him where it hurt and he said,"My throat, tummy, chest, and arms." Yeah, I have to admit at this point I thought he was faking just to get to eat banana, drink juice and watch an extra bit of tv.

Then he kept asking for me to hold him (which he just about never does) and he did have a low fever.

Later in the day I was checking in with him,

Me:How are you feeling buddy?

Son:Like a tomato.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why was I lying on the grocery store floor??

Funny you should ask. The answer is: my kids, they both seem prone to getting body parts stuck in grocery carts and other random places. My daughter reaches her whole arm into the shape sorter and gets it stuck on a daily basis.

Yes, back to the floor. I had just pulled out my baby girl's foot from between two bars just outside the proper leg hole in the cart (remind me again why all my baby carriers were at home.) I turn my back for 10 seconds to pick out some ground turkey and hear this "Mommmmmyyyyyy! ah, ah, Mooooommyyyyy!" Turn around (and I wish I had my wits about me to have taken a picture I really do) and my son is under the cart on that little shelf, you know the one you throw the dog food on, with his elbow stuck between two bars.

Yeah, I really don't know. But he was freaking out a bit so I (major ick factor) was lying there on the floor trying to get him to relax enough so that I could figure out how not to have to call the fire department - is that who you even call for such craziness?

Finally I relaxed him and had the presence of mind to ask him to straighten his arm and it loosened enough to get out. Then guess what, we got out to the car my daughter's foot was wrenched in the same spot again! Only I didn't realize it until I lifted her out and her foot stayed behind! Poor thing, but she survived, we all did for that matter. :)

So I guess I'm the only one brave enough to admit I've seen Lil' Abner huh. Or maybe I needed to include the chorus in my quote too... Anyway.

We are now just over our $300 grocery goal for the month but I'm not fretting because seriously we are spending a significant amount less than we normally do and that is the point. Plus there's just one week left and I don't think I'll have to go back to the store again!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

About as political as I've been on this blog is to say go vote. And please do that in six weeks or so ok?! Right now though, I'm loosing it. I hate this part of the process, the ads, the interviews, the debates, the part where they try to convince us that they are who they are not.

Bonus points to anyone who can guess where this quote is from.

Them GOP's and Democrats each hates the other one. They's always criticizing how the country should be run. But neither tells the public what the other's gone and done. As long as no one knows where no one stands, The country's in the very best of hands.

Hint: It's a musical.

Each year before the elections I get to this point. I just don't trust what they say! I want someone to vote for not someone I dislike less than the other guy. Ugh. I've voted third party before for just that reason.

Even though I'm currently on the fence you can be sure I'll jump down before election day.

*******

Menu: Breakfast-muffins, fruit, Lunch-pb&j, dinner- Chicken soup and rice

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thought for the day

People will not always remember exactly what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.

On the menu today was Breakfast: eggs, cantalope, banana. Lunch: Leftovers. Dinner:Zesty Quinoa and Ginger flank steak with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.

Also I'm finally done with the raspberries and peaches but my wonderful husband bought me some pears too. He's so sweet! I am so sick of being in the kitchen! Alas, I will probably try making some pear sauce with them tomorrow. I wasn't a big fan of just canned pears when I did it so we'll see how the sauce works.

Then we'll do apples next week. I'm sort of glad my tomatoes aren't producing as much as they normally do, I've only done five pints of sauce, hardly seems worth it, but it's more than I had last year. Having just moved and a newborn baby not much was done last year so it'll be nice to have a bunch in the pantry this year.

My son loves the book Blueberries for Sal, so he keeps saying we're canning these for the winter just like the Mom does in the story! I think it's cute! I'm addicted to exclamation points again!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

To market, to market

So I'm just going to get right down to it. We've decided to sell our house. It's a good thing, really.

I do feel bittersweet about it, it is the first house we purchased. We lived in it, then rented out it while we lived a few miles away. We moved back last July and now I feel bittersweet about leaving it again.

Not to mention moving again and the keeping the house in tip top shape again. Which will be nearly impossible with my little one year old tornado. I clean a room and not five minutes later it's like the Tasmanian devil zoomed through!

Seriously, it is a good thing! (I resist change so I'm still convincing myself!) We will be able to purchase something with more land, hopefully out of a subdivision without cc&r's and further away from town. Something we've wanted since we moved to the area four and a half years ago.

It's sort of funny because I really don't particularly like this house, oh it's a great home and I'm very grateful for it, now that we're selling it I'm getting all nostalgic! Which I tend to do anyway, like I said I do change kicking and screaming holding to the past firmly until I'm sure that everything will be fine.

I'm turning over a new leaf this time, or letting the leaves fall off, since it's almost autumn. I'm just going to sit back and relax and see where this goes. It's not like we have to sell so there's no need to stress!

TODAY'S MEALS: Breakfast - granola, raspberries Lunch - we went out to lunch (said with head in the sand) Dinner - quinoa pasta with pesto, zucchini, cantaloupe.

We usually go meet my husband for lunch about 3 times a month and so I'm justifying this one visit to spend time with him during his day. We have greatly improved resisting the urge to go out to eat and I am SO grateful for that!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coming down off of yesterday's soap box...

I have the serious giggles today!

I was getting my daughter ready for bed while Adam brushed my son's teeth and I hear this little voice ask, "Why to you have hair in your nose?" I just about fell over laughing so hard, tears streaming down, through which I hear Adam answer,"That's what happens when you get old." I still can't get it together. Next thing I know this little half naked boy is at my side and says, "Mommy you have gray hair" as he runs back to Daddy. Still, I'm cracking up.

Oh, and apparently I'm going to be a spicy noodle for Halloween. Where does he come up with this stuff, really??

Today's menu, waffles, leftover fish and sweet potatoes, bbq ribs with corn, cucs and tomatoes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shame, shame, shame

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Shame on you food industry.

Our journey through elimination diets this year has been rough at times but very enlightening. For awhile we gave up all sweeteners you may or may not remember. And now we mostly only use fruit sweetened or natural sweeteners (honey, REAL maple syrup.) I still have sugar left from a 10 pound bag I bought in January.

No matter because many people I know say, I never use sugar. Oh, yeah...how much of what you eat to you make yourself?? How much sugar is in the instant oatmeal (even organic) that you eat in the morning? The bread on your sandwich (even the sandwich meat) probably has a double whammy of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. My point, it is in everything. I go batty reading labels and then usually just end up making it myself.

The food industry does it on purpose it's simple dollars and sense. If there is sugar in it we eat more of it and they make more money.

I can totally see this when we start to eat more processed foods, we go through more of them. If you didn't catch High Fructose Corn Syrup: The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing last week it is well worth the read now! Seriously all sugars are best in (extreme) moderation but how are we supposed to eat them in moderation if they are put in everything we eat?

Monday, September 15, 2008

1/2

We've come 15 days on this 30 days of Nothing experiment and I'm drained. It could have to do with the fact that I'm in the kitchen all day lately. I'm making two more batches of jam tonight.

A friend in one of my pilates classes offered me to come pick raspberries and keep what we picked. As if I needed more work ;). But I couldn't say no to such sweet juicy goodness. Honestly, I had forgotten how much work it is to pick that many but now we've got a bunch to freeze and make yummy jam out of!

Mostly for my own inspiration I'm going to link to some of the many nonprofits I like and would love to have LOTS more money to give too.

Care has been on my sidebar for years now and I really dig what they do for women!

One that probably doesn't need mentioning here is Compassion International. Most of us I'm sure followed Shannon to Uganda last spring and will followMary to the Dominican Republic in a couple months!!

Mercy Corps is one that I found this year and I like really like their philosophy. One of their core values, "We are awed by human resilience, and believe in the ability of all people to thrive, not just exist."

This one I've always thought really cool Medicines Global. It's enough to make me want to take a backpacking trip to Nepal just to bring in needed medical supplies!

We've been eating just nothing great to post about...tonight we had taco's which are just about everyone's favorite.

Oh, and Scribbit is having a September write away contest. I can't wait to read all those entries! I'll need to learn to read faster though...so much to read and so little time!!! Off to my raspberries...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All is going well here, just feeling busy!

Please pray for this family. They are going through a heart wrenching tragedy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today in numbers

37 pints of peaches cooling on my counter top, plus three pints of jam.

3 jars broke while being processed (all were wide mouth is this common?)

13 sticky kitchen towels waiting to be washed.

2 soggy sticky potholders waiting to be washed.

Dinners put into the slow cooker this morning - ZERO! (We ate mac and cheese, peaches and frozen yogurt for dinner, LOL!)

60 minutes downstairs without tripping over kids.

Number of naps the baby took today: 1 (really it was quite short for her too.)

95 minutes putting the baby to sleep tonight - shared with hubby.

27 peaches left on my counter to make more jam.

6 layers of peaches in the freezer

Oh, seemingly one hundred times yelling, "Please get along today!"

2 kids that will get alot more of Mommy tomorrow than they did today!

8 sticky feet, 1 sticky floor and one tired Mommy!

Squeezy hugs

Today is one of those days that I can't help but go scoop my kids up and give them hugs and kisses a bit more frequently than usual. We remember while we keep living.

It didn't really help that my son awoke this morning telling about a dream where he was all alone in the house and couldn't find us. Hearing my son say, "I was looking for you Mommy and I couldn't find you anywhere" is just heart wrenching.

Still seven years later I, like a deer caught in on coming headlights, can't turn away. I have to dvr everything I find about it and so, CNN replaces PBS this morning as I clean up from breakfast and get ready to can peaches.

BTW, my friend that I mention in the link above who worked at the WTC is getting married on Saturday. Oh how I wish I were in NY for her special day - not to mention this is my favorite time of year back there!

I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER 9/11/01

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Leftovers

Another thing I am learning (something I really already knew) on this 30 days of nothing (comparatively) project is how much our leftovers are getting put to good use. With our small family, most meals leave us with leftovers but we don't always make the most of them.

I have become less wasteful in other areas of my life but it seems like in this arena I still enjoyed leaving leftovers to become a science experiment. Well between not eating out for spontaneous dinners and sending Adam with lunch and snacks everyday it seems a lot less food is getting thrown in the trash. And my friends that is a very good thing!

Yesterday we picked peaches that cost us $25 and they are currently filling my kitchen with a heavenly aroma. The day before my grocery bill was about $25 and I think that should make us another week. Including that first $200 I spent we are at $250 on food even though the peaches will last us all winter once I spend the better part of tomorrow canning and freezing them.

Yesterday's meals: Cereal - it was a lazy morning! Lunch - (you guessed it) levtovers and grapes, Dinner - bbq steak, huge salad, rice. We did have 2 vegetarian dinners in a row and I have one more planned for tomorrow.

On today's menu: Breakfast - oatmeal with cut up peaches, Lunch - leftovers, Dinner - Cornish Game Hen (we skip the bacon), fried rice, and probably some kind of zucchini side and sliced peaches.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On Her Christmas List

Unsorted recycling.

Why do we have a million toys again???

Oh, and the plastic bags have been moved since this photo was taken!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Are we done yet??

With teething??? She only has two teeth and I am ready to be done! Isn't that terrible, I am compassionate, I feel bad that she is hurting but I didn't feel bad leaving her at the gym to be fussy for someone else while I taught pilates today. I'm pretty sure I've seen every hour of the night for the last two.

I am not trying to rush her babyhood away, I know too soon she'll be telling me that I need to call a friend's Mommy to ask if they can come to the park. When I answer that we are just riding bikes for a quick visit to the park and they won't have time to come with us he points out, "Mommy, they have cars."

Today we had muesli and fruit smoothies for breakfast, Adam had leftovers from last nights dinner and we had pb&j's and bananas for lunch. Dinner was veggie lasagna and sweet potatoes.

Before dinner I found myself secretly hoping that Adam would call and say we were going out to dinner tonight. We made it without going. I did go shopping after my class at noon with 2 hungry kids for bananas and grapes and a few other essentials. I deemed canning lids essential since we are going to get peaches and hopefully apples tomorrow. I also deemed some granola bars and it turns out $6 worth of carob chips essential. Looking back, I'm not so sure that was a need...but looking forward, it could be carob/chocolate sometimes keeps a Mom from going over the edge!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And for all of you holding your breath...

Penny is OUT! All is fine! Yippee!

As for this 30 days of nothing project, it has been wonderful and difficult this last week. I feel like I'm getting us back into a routine and it is SO very nice to know what is for dinner when (not that I 100% have stuck to the menu.) I tend to change my mind and rearranged some meals but it is so nice to have two weeks of meals to pick from and all the ingredients for each meal.

It is very nice not to be spending money every day! Since it is Sunday I'm going to share a few verses that are on my heart right now and call it a night! I think we may even watch a movie or something.

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy 15:7 "But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish." Psalm 9:18

Meals:Breakfast- eggs, left over corn bread and plums. Lunch-leftover chili. Dinner- Stir fried veggies, bean threads and cantaloupe. It was so pretty and orange I had to take a picture, which as it turns out would have looked better if the flash was actually on!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A penny for your thoughts

Yesterday, (sigh) honestly, I felt like an incompetent parent but I rose above my feelings of inadequacy, conquered them if you will. Simply, I can only become the Mom I want to be through these moments - the ones where I don't know what the heck I'm supposed to do- these are the times when I am learning and growing into that Mom of my dreams. Right?!

Thursday night at dinner my son told us that while he was up in his room for a time out he "swallowed a coin down into his tummy." At this point he'd already eaten most of his dinner and was acting fine so I figured it was down safely and would just keep going.

My fury (kept tapped) began when I realized that he did this in his room ALONE, what if he had choked on it, he was in there for five minutes alone. At one point in the day I knew he had mentioned putting it in his pocket. Praise God for safe swallowing of said coin. At an after dinner coin line up the penny was picked out as the culprit.

Friday morning I changed my mind after he threw up. Dr said to come in that it could be blocking something. X-ray showed penny in pylorus, (where stomach enters into intestine) she conferred with a gastroenterologist on staff and he thought it would need to come out via a scope (I've seen them take many things out of dogs this way - you'd be amazed what they will eat. One golden retriever puppy kept eating socks so the family stopped wearing them one summer. - another Mom who couldn't get her kids to put the socks where they go!) Back on topic, I'm slightly freaked out about this being done to my son.

Talking with the Dr. she said that she had a call in to a pediatric gastroenterologist downtown and would confer with him. She came back in laughing because he said that in most cases even thought for now it seems like it's blocking it will go through.

My husband is still worried because tonight he was asking everyone we know if their kids have ever done anything like this but I'm convinced (still praying) it will go through.

As for nothing today that will be oh, probably about $200 -we have new insurance and I know we have a HUGE deductible so I think we will have to pay it all out of pocket. Oh, and his Dr wants to have follow up films done in two weeks to double check that it goes. Since we don't want to do that (more $ and more radiation for both of us to be exposed to) we will be watching and waiting for a penny to go kurplunk.

Fun times oh yeah, fun fun times!

Today's meals: Breakfast - oatmeal with blueberries, Lunch - bananas, carrot sticks, leftovers, Dinner - Chili, GF corn bread, zucchini

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spoiled Rotten

Today was the third day in a row I only left the house to take my son on a bike ride or to the park. The weather has been gorgeous so I'm grateful that we have had so many opportunities outdoors. I am excited about getting out to the bank, post office and to teach a pilates class tomorrow - combining errands plus a bit of adult conversation to boot!

Todays Meals

Breakfast:Smoothie and meusli

Lunch:Leftovers from last nights dinner Dinner:Falafels, baked potatoes, cantaloupe, garden salad

Dinner conversation consisted of how spoiled we are to have cravings for different types of food and act on them at will. We thought for a long while about people from other parts of the world, especially the third world where they grow one type of grain and eat it all year long. And that's if they are lucky enough to have grown enough to last the whole year!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It is Wednsesday

Not that's it's wordless but I love having a baby that naps!!!

On the menu today:Breakfast: Gluten freed blueberry waffles and eggs, Lunch:pb&j on waffles and chicken salad, Dinner:BBQ a la hubby, broccoli, fried rice.

Oddly enough this was my first time ever making fried rice and let me tell you it was a big hit. Joy your comment on my dinner notes from yesterday is right on! If I can extend the life of my pantry and not discard leftovers because we are sick of the same old thing my grocery bill will go down and we will be wasting less. Plus the leftover rice we all have been sick of since Saturday is now in our tummies which also satisfied another thing my hubby and I love.

We adore ethnic food. I would say 9 times out of ten when we go out to eat it is for sushi, greek, chinese, thai or some other type of food. I recently started making gyros and falafel but I'm realizing that maybe I need to start finding other ethnic recipes that we like so that by making them ourselves we can decrease those last minute, "I feel like dolmas tonight" or whatever the food of the moment is.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

House arrest ;)

Well, yesterday is over and today is going much better. My hubby has today and tomorrow off so it was nice to have a very relaxing day. It's amazing how much less stress there is when I have a menu prepared!

We walked/rode to the park and Adam and I had a nice chat while one kid played and the other slept. We discussed many things but the topic kept coming back to what's the fastest and best way to get rid of our debt and start saving. Everthing from doing nothing and paying it down slowly, to selling my car and selling our house are all viable options. It just depends on how quickly we'd like to be done with it and further discussion will ensure I'm sure.

I really wasn't judging my negatives yesterday, I was mindful about the spending and mistakes are bound to happen, it's just that it was on the very first day! Today, I've hung laundry out on the line, made powdered laundry detergent and we used no gas! Oh, and my husband told me on our walk that we could replace our dishwasher for $159 as they are on sale now. It would be the same not so great model we currently have and I hit him on the arm because that would be a good chunk of the money we could potentially save this month. He said he didn't want to buy it now either I guess it's nice to know just how much I'm saving us by getting dishpan hands every day.

On the menu today was:Breakfast:Fruit and gluten free banana muffins Lunch:leftovers and peanut butter on muffins Dinner: Due to a snafu in my menu and memory (I thought there was a roast in the freezer but I must have used it) roasted red potatoes, leftover pasta mixed with lots of tomatoes and cucs from the garden to make a pasta salad and a large garden salad with leftover zucchini and chicken. It worked and used up all our leftovers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Positive and Negative

As I sit here, the overwhelming feeling is that we failed today on the 30 day challenge. It's not the best feeling on the first official day! I'll start with the negative and work toward the positive.

I sent my husband with lunch this morning forgetting that he was working a twelve hour day. Usually on these days I pack extra snacks or one and a half sandwiches so he can have a snack at 5 o'clock or so. I didn't even give him any snacks today at all so he spent $8 on a sandwich for dinner - ugh.

I was in the neighborhood of my favorite kids thrift store and they were having a sale. Generally we accept any hand me downs for our kids and I buy what I can used both to save the expense and to reuse perfectly good items. So I spent $11 buying my son 4 sets of pj's for this winter, long underwear and 3 pair of pants. I could have waited until October to do this but it would have cost me probably $4-5 dollars more so it was worth it to me to do it today. I'm counting this as a neutral since it still saved me money. I plan to take some items in the next time I'm in the area and they give cash or store credit for used items so I'll just get the cash, enough hopefully to wash this expense.

I planned two weeks of meals and have a loose idea of the other two so I did a large grocery shop today for $200 and I have just about all of the main dishes we will need for the month. I will probably have to go back for fresh fruits but our garden should provide much of the veggies. Included in the $200 was a $20 vat of olive oil - the cheapest per pint and this will last much longer than just September.

I used up the very last drop of laundry detergent this morning and put that on my list too. Since I have made this before I looked in the cabinet and saw that I have enough ingredients to make another batch which should last us through the month.

The shopping trip seems like a lot since Mary's goal is $200 for a family 3 times the size of ours. For us though I'm aiming for about $300 or so for the month which should be doable.

It seems like I'm over analyzing everything but I think that is the point. As I looked at my cart checking out of the store I realized that there is NO way this experiment is really going to let me know what it feels like to actually live with nothing. It will show me how to live with less, still by the world's standards a bounty!