A few extras – is it really cheating?

My husband outright complained yesterday that there was “nothing in the house to eat” (apparently grilled cheese, strawberries and frozen pizza don’t count), so I took out $60 in extra cash leftover from my childcare budget this month (I already know what I’ll have to pay the nanny for next week, so I left that in there) and we bought two loaves of Great Harvest bread and some cheese/Boar’s Head lunch meat for sandwiches during the week. We even “splurged” on a little baggie of potato chips and a Coke, which was actually such a refreshing treat. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, but we’re both losing weight on this Mid Year’s Resolution, and I think it IS because a) we’re buying less junk because we aren’t spending as freely at the grocery store and b) we generally do just have less food around, even if it’s NOT junk (and most of it isn’t, I swear!). I don’t know how Lisa Leake did 100 Days straight of all Real Food on a Budget. I know they had a little leeway too, but probably not as much as we did this weekend! Two cheap dinners out plus that snack and a dessert last night were seriously uncharacteristic for us these days. But it felt good. Reminds me of how Carrie used to buy Vogue instead of dinner sometimes. Sometimes you just have to enjoy an ice-cold Coke instead of thinking about what else you could get with that dollar, whether healthier or more long lasting.

Cheat Meals

On another note, I tweeted about this last night, I was so grossed out by the canned salmon that I was going to use for our salmon cakes, which is why we ate out again. Given our coupon dinner was cheap again (only $11 for the three of us!), but we obviously couldn’t have done that had I not taken out that extra cash. My only concern is still that stupid graph that Mint keeps showing me, so I did write to them and should hear back pretty soon about whether or not they do “debit” your account twice for things you 1) charge to a credit card and then 2) pay that bill off later. If they’re counting that first charge as a spend, even though it’s put on a card instead of taken out of your checking account, that’s just plain stupid. I may just have to avert my eyes every day. But depending on what they say, I may not. We may have to keep buckling down even more, in which case this extra cash I used this weekend WOULD be cheating. It’s just really hard to look at this plan in the long term, because it’s such a change for us. It feels sacrificial, uncomfortable. Like the 10,000 diet and meal plans I’ve tried, I find myself wondering if we can really stick to this food budget for the long haul.

In part, we may not need to — I just discovered some serious cash-saving techniques in the phone and TV department…but oh, that’s right, my washing machine just died, so that’s going to be on another one of those no-interest plans. Remind me why I’m reconsidering possibly having another child again? What am I, crazy? I just have to keep telling myself, Leap and the net will appear. We’ll move…or we’ll make more money…or I’ll stop dumping so much money into my 401k…or something. Right?

At least it finally cooled off here enough for us to go on a walk yesterday afternoon, and although we had some more major storms, the baby didn’t even wake during the night and luckily the roof has not leaked again. Oh yeah. Have to sell my husband’s car to get that fixed, too.

I need to start acting “As if” again. It is so true that when one bad thing happens, your day can totally spiral out of control. I remember saying not too long ago that I couldn’t even remember the last bad day I had. Well, Friday was one, and it rolled into yesterday, too. So I really need to shake it off. I’m getting it out there in the hopes that I’ve said it once, I don’t need to say it again, and therefore I can turn it around.

So we’ll see what good things we can do today! I have lots of ideas, but it’s hideous outside, so time to move on already. Have a blessed day.

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