“There’s a dark cloud following me…”

The furnace budget is beginning to irk me. I went grocery shopping this evening. And while I went $25 over, it actually worked out. Earlier this week, Jay put $25 worth of gas in the car, which is what I’d budgeted for this week. So we had an extra $25. And it was a good thing, too…Turns out the bambino needs diapers and wipes for daycare. We’re going to attempt potty-training “boot camp” this weekend, and I would like for this package of diapers to be the last I have to purchase for a good long while.


I picked up a few other things–Some stuff for the pantry:


And some dairy/refrigerated goods:

You’ll notice there’s absolutely no meat. This time around, we just couldn’t afford it. While a few things were on sale, I swear the price of milk has gone up yet again. And it’s a good thing Hy-Vee was out of Fage, otherwise I’d’ve gone over budget! It’ll at least be next week before I can get more yogurt, as well as more meat. I did also discover that Hy-Vee’s now got crème fraîche available, which is a good thing. We’re having a bake sale at work in a couple weeks, and I’m going to make some very decadent chocolate cinnamon rolls with crème fraîche icing. And I don’t want to have to buy separate containers of heavy cream & sour cream to make my own.

At least I came in within my expanded budget:


The thing that sucks about this the most is that of course, I have plenty of wants. The lack of meat doesn’t bother me–It’ll be harder or more annoying for Jay, I think. I hate the fact that I have nothing extra. No coffee treats (which is one reason I haven’t been taking the bambino with me when I’ve gone grocery shopping lately), no eating out, no weekend trips, no trips to Sioux Falls, no nothing. A couple weeks ago, I got an email coupon from Kate Spade, whose handbags I love. The coupon was for extra savings on their New Year’s sale. The messenger bag that I carry (which was a gift from Jay a few years ago) was on sale, and with the coupon, a replacement would’ve been at a very reasonable price. I also found a pseudo duffle bag/large tote that was plaid, that I REALLY wanted. I’m debating on expanding bags, just to house some extra blog stuff. But no. We’re on the spending freeze. And yeah, I need a new purse like I need a hole in my head. And I know, I’ve gotten new shoes recently, although they don’t count, as they were purchased with birthday & Christmas money from last year. It also sucks because I could seriously use some new work shirts, but like everything else right now, it’s going to have to wait. I need new printer ink for my printer. That too will have to wait.

I am trying to look at the bigger picture. We live in a fairly harsh climate, especially in winter. We need a furnace that’s reliable. I figure that since we’re beginning to save for a new one, our old clunker will continue working through the rest of this winter, because that’s just how things go. And if we seriously cut off eating out as much as we have in the past, Jay & I both will probably drop some weight, which would be fine. We both could stand to lose a few pounds. He was nice though, and bought me a treat tonight:


Chips, especially salt & vinegar chips, are my Kryptonite.


The fact that they’re kettle chips just puts it over the top. I’ll readily admit (because I am crabby and in need of carbs) I’ve already eaten half that bag…With some help from Jay & the bambino.

But it’s even little things like that which are off the grocery list until further notice. I’ve already informed Jay that he’s on his own for whatever junk food or soda he wants. I will only be buying bare necessities from now on…At least until we’ve saved up a huge chunk of money to plunk down on furnace repair. It just bugs me because I feel like Jay & I work hard, but we’re not getting anywhere. We can’t afford a second car, we can’t afford a second child, the price of everything keeps going up, and while I’ve been lucky & have gotten raises at work, they haven’t been enough to offset the increases in health insurance. Jay hasn’t gotten a raise in years. When I get to the point of feeling like I have to start robbing Peter to pay Paul, there’s a problem. And while I’m not quite at that point yet, I feel like I’m teetering on an edge, and I don’t like it at all.

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4 Replies to ““There’s a dark cloud following me…””

  1. I think January & February are the worst months. I get bored & want to get out of the house which usually means shopping – but its also the worst time to spend money. We get tight in winter months too but I feel like the boredom & being trapped by snow, etc. make it 10 times worse. What is potty training boot camp? Sounds fun – not!

    • I think you’re right–Being cooped up and spending all sorts of money on other people for the holidays is no fun at all. And it would probably be easier if I didn’t feel like we were kind of in panic-mode…Had we started this as soon as we bought the house, by now, we could’ve probably had the money for a new furnace as well as central air! I’ll probably be less grouchy about it once I can start working on my garden again. At least that will get me out of the house! As for potty training boot camp, that begins tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes!

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