Save Money and the Environment Next Christmas!

Hello, my Gals!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ or whatever else you may celebrate, and that going into 2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ9๏ธโƒฃ has been full of fun and happiness and good things to come! ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ

A couple of posts ago, I said I’d share what I’ve been doing to keep things low cost this Christmas, so here ya go! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

That DIY label, tho. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ #nailedit

Just a quick photo of some Keto Honey Roasted Peanuts I made for my Dad with Type 2 Diabetes. ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฅœ Sugar free and still delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹

I used ingredients we already had, with the exception of brown sugar substitute and peanuts. Recipe linked in the top picture!


โค๏ธDespite being Introvert AF, I know and am pretty close with a lot of people. I have my biological family, my blended family, my in-laws, and my own growing family. Not to mention my diverse circles of friends.

That being said, I have a lot of people to shop for. Which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you can be stressful, both socially (wth do I get this person this time??) and financially.

In the past I could wild tf out on Christmas shopping with my “disposable” income, but with a mortgage, kids, and life expenses, I definitely don’t have that luxury anymore. ๐Ÿ˜…

I refuse to go into debt over the pressure of commercialism, but at the same time I do want to do or give something to my loved ones to show how much I appreciate them๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฅฐ

So how have I managed to cut down on this stress this year? I’ll tell you! ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™


๐Ÿ›Stop Shopping Altogether๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

In recent years, amongst my in laws we’ve all agreed to stop buying gifts for each other entirely, ๐ŸŽโŒ opting instead to enjoy each others’ company and maybe baking/cooking for each other.

This has been AMAZING. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Now we just get the kids gifts, which is honestly so much more fun! ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ฐSo obviously this is the best way to save money, and it encourages appreciation for what you already have. This would probably work best if you have a group of people that doesn’t need anything or who are impossible to buy for.

And if you don’t feel right not having anything to offer on Christmas Day, agree to make each other baked goods or freezer dinners or something of that nature. Everyone loves cookies and not having to cook! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Not to mention, time spent together is so precious. The best gift we can give each other truly is ourselves. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐ŸงฎSet A Strict Budget๐Ÿ‘

If you don’t think any of your family members or friends would want to go the no-gifts approach, the next best thing is to set a strict spending budget for each person on your list. ๐Ÿ’ต

This year for my immediate and blended family, I set a budget for $10 per person. And you’d be surprised what you can find for under $10. ๐Ÿ’Ž๐ŸŽฏ๐Ÿคฉ

๐Ÿ’ญI’ve found that setting these spending limits forces me to be more creative and thoughtful with what I give. For example, I know my younger stepbrother is a guitar player ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽธso I’ve bought for him this year and last a different guitar accessory he doesn’t have, but would be useful, that was under $10!

I did something like this with each person, thinking hard about their interests and needs and going Amazon hunting for the best items within my range. ๐Ÿ‘€

It can be helpful to perhaps look through your expenses and see realistically how much you can afford to spend on Christmas shopping. Then make a physical list of who you have to shop for, and do some…

For instance, if you can afford to spend $200 on gifts that season, and have 15 people to shop for, the price cap would be about $13 per person (dividing 15 by 200…Or is it 200 by 15? ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… Math was never my strong suit).

Think long and hard about what each person needs or what would really make them happy, and set your sights on stores and websites that work with your ideas and your budget.

You could also coordinate with other family members to see what they are buying for others to see if you could contribute an add-on to their gift. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

For example, if you have a niece who is obsessed with LOL Dolls and you know Grandma is buying her an LOL Dollhouse, you could buy her a piece of furniture or whatever goes with that thing. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Don’t feel the need to break bank over these fad toys. Chances are she’ll be over it in a year or two. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ’กI’ve also seen on Facebook to start a fund in the New Year set aside for gifts for the next Christmas Season. So maybe every other paycheck set aside $5-10 or whatever you can swing and put it in a shoebox, open a new account, or whatever will help you not touch it until you start your shopping. ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ“œGive Them An IOU๐Ÿ˜˜

So this is my favorite because it combines repurposing with saving money and forces you to think outside the box. ๐Ÿ“ค๐Ÿ“ฆ

And it is helpful if you really can’t think of anything to get a person on your list that would be useful or appreciated within the budget you just set. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜…

As you can see, my DIY skills could get me a spot on Netflix’s Nailed It! ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ˜‚

For my close friends this year, I got the idea (although I never checked to see if it was a case of parallel thinking but I like to believe this was an original idea ๐Ÿ˜…) to create “IOU Jars.”

๐ŸฅœI buy Teddy’s peanut butter for my family, which comes in a glass jar. In the past I have used these jars for storing food items, loose change, and even for other holiday-related things like hot cocoa and cookie mixes for Yankee Swaps.

This year, I took my collection of peanut butter jars and lids and filled them with my friends’ favorite candy that I purchased from the dollar store, a packet of hot cocoa that I got in bulk, and enclosed a personalized note telling them how much they mean to me and why I appreciate them individually. โค๏ธ๐Ÿฅฐ

On this note I also included an “IOU,” or something that I would get/do for them in the upcoming year.

๐ŸทSo instead of spending a chunk of change on a bunch of hastily picked out stuff for the sake of getting a gift (I go into panic mode if I don’t know what to get someone and I end up just grabbing stuff that they might vaguely like), I included in my note that I owed them either a matinee to see a movie they’re excited about coming up, a brunch date to a cute but affordable restaurant, or a night in with a bottle or two of wine for them to “cash in” at some point during the year.

This way, I still feel like I’ve gotten all my special friends a good gift, but didn’t have to stress about the extra expense all at once.

Not because they’re not worth it. They deserve that and so much more. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธWe just happened to have a bit of unexpected expenses come up just before to Christmastime and money was getting a bit tight, so this idea came to light as a result.

๐Ÿ“ฆGo Ahead And Horde (Responsibly!)

Lastly as a bit of an afterthought, I save almost everything. Which as a recovering pack rat and someone who is trying to convert to minimalism can be a challenge, but in cases like this it helps!

๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽI have amassed a collection of gift bags and tissue paper over the years for birthdays, showers, and of course Christmas, so I actually haven’t bought any of the stuff in a couple of years. If you have the storage space, I highly suggest starting a big “bag of bags and tissue paper” you can visit for your gift-Giving needs.

I used to spend a ridiculous extra amount on gift wrapping… ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ

Also, save those candy canes!! Most people don’t like to eat them, and I feel like a lot of them get thrown away, but they make super cute decorations for things other than the tree!

My Insta Pic skills arenโ€™t the sharpest, but just an example of what you can do with those cute candy canes! ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŽจAnd instead of spending extra money on decorations, make some with your kids! It will keep them busy and happy during cold days and your house will be festive and adorable!

Not to mention the priceless keepsakes you’ll have afterwards. ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃMy little Vinnyโ€™s Christmas Tree Foot๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ’ฌDid I miss anything? What tips do you have for saving money over the holidays? Leave them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Stay tuned for posts on What’s In My Hospital Bag For Baby 2, Why Spending Time Away From My Son Makes Me A Better Mom, and maybe a Second Pregnancy Update/How This Time Is Different Than The First.

If any of those sound interesting to you, subscribe so you don’t miss it! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

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Posts from my phone: Mean Mom Thoughts ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿ’ญ

((This is a phone post so it’s not gonna be particularly fancy with gifs and memes I’m sorry ๐Ÿ˜ but I’m at least able to use emojis from phone posts, so w00t! ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ))

So clearly I didn’t end up posting the next week, or even the week after my last post. But, this is better than going 4+ months without posting anything, right? ๐Ÿ˜… I’m getting there, you guys!

The next post will actually be about how to repurpose old formula tins. Not that you couldn’t use your perfectly capable imaginations or look to Pinterest for ideas, but maybe, just maybe, I have some ideas that they don’t ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, being at home all of the time with my son is a blessing. It really is. Having said that though, after a while being a full time SAHM admittedly has kind of, well, sucked from time to time.

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, for reasons I’ll get into later…but during these trying times, My patience has become paper thin. Actually, is there a substance thinner than paper?

My son has been going through his one year leap, too, and as a result he has been testier than usual. And on the particularly bad days, I’ve found myself thinking “mean thoughts.”

To be clear, these are not harmful nor destructive thoughts, just kind of, well, mean. I feel like I’m not the only one who’s thought similarly, though, so I’m here to share them with you!

Here are some Mean Mom Thoughts I’ve had and what they mean!


๐Ÿ’ญAdvice to women whose husbands ask you to about trying to start a family: You know how when you were a kid and you asked your parents for a puppy, kitten, what have you, and you promised to take care of them, feed them, clean up after them, etc? And how many of you actually held up your end of the bargain when you eventually got your beloved furry companion?

๐Ÿ’ญThis is like that. Like your parents and your dog, you will end up doing all of the hard work while your husband enjoys the fun parts like snuggling and playing, etc. It’s a bum deal. Proceed with caution.

((It should be noted that my husband is ๐Ÿ’ฏ percent the real deal when it comes to sharing the burden. He’s proactive and sympathetic, and I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I try to give him his well-deserved time off, too, although he claims helping out with our son is time off to him. Honestly, he is amazing. #dadsdontbabysit ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป))

๐Ÿ’ญ*child is wild’n out for absolutely no good reason*

๐Ÿ’ญ*googles if it’s harmful to the body to give night time cold medicine to someone who doesn’t have a cold*

((I would NEVER, of course, but sometimes…))

๐Ÿ’ญHusband: Idk I think it would be nice to have 5 or 6 kids…

๐Ÿ’ญMe: Well I’ll tell you what, they’re gonna be our live-in cleaning staff otherwise why would you do that to yourself? That’s the only reason people had that many kids back in the day, it’s the only logical explanation.

((Let it be known, I have nothing but admiration for people with 4+ kids. Seriously, more power to you! And I get the whole more to love mindset, but honestly, I’m walking the delicate tightrope of patience and sanity with just one, I cannot imagine what state I’d be in (mentally and maybe even geographically at some point…) if it were a bad day with three times the crazy I have now. God bless Moms of lots! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป))

๐Ÿ’ญ*Baby begins his waking klaxon call upstairs 2 minutes before anticipated to wake up time.*

๐Ÿ’ญ*Me, completely invested in a Netflix binge ignoring sink full of dishes and a pile of laundry with a two mile summit at the bottom of the staircase*

๐Ÿ’ญNah, d00d, he’s just talking in his sleep he’s fine. Carry on.

((Sure enough he usually isn’t just talking in his sleep and I do get myself up to tend to him. What becomes of the dishes and laundry is a story for another day…))

๐Ÿ’ญ*Grandparent asks if they can take the child for the day at the end of the week*

๐Ÿ’ญy3333e333eee333ee3333333eee333eee33t.

((We all need a break once in a while. Even the ones who are inseparable from their progeny at some point, I imagine, must need some space to b r e a t h e. Every Mom needs a MOMent to herself, for her health. I don’t feel too bad about this one. What’s that they say about empty cups?))


And for the sake of this being too long, I will end it here. I may or may not have a sequel to this, though. Most likely, yes.

Formula can story first, I promise!! ๐Ÿ˜œ

But long story short, we all have “Mean thoughts” as moms sometimes. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our little ones, nor does it mean we are actually mean moms. It means we are human, we are tired, and we are coping.

Hang in there, Mom. I see you. And I know you see me, too.

Thanks for reading, my gals! Now let’s see if I can make another post within a month! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Donโ€™t Leave Home Without It! ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ

(I know I said I’d post about reusing formula tins and scoops, but I’m sickly, tired, and I need to vent about this. It may not be very coherent, but I present to you my horror story)

My Gals.

Today was a day.

So it started out okay, went to the doctor for a good old Pap smear and blood test, and found out I have a virus making its way through me. ๐Ÿ˜ท Nothing a little vitamin c and rest won’t fix, tho.

Except there ain’t no rest for the momkind. Not even when we close our eyes for good, because we all know we’re gonna be hovering over our kids as ghosts just to make sure they’re taking their centrum and brushing their dentures.

But I digress.

So I’m running around feeling sick as a dog, getting my doctor stuff done, getting a phone interview done, running to the bank to get some cash for OfferUp Baby Supplies purchases I had lined up and fixing my debit card, and then I had to pick up my son who was at my mother’s so I could bring him to his 6 month checkup.

Well everything was running relatively smoothly, albeit tight. When what do my new super mom-ears should hear, but my darling son grunting and pushing into his rear.

Okay, so he’s pooping. I think to myself as I approach the halfway point between my mother’s and my family practice. I can just change him real quick at the doctor’s.

Except, oh wait, no I can’t…left the damn diaper bag at Mom’s for the sake of saving a good two minutes. Didn’t think I’d need it in the one hour and change I would be out.

Big. Mistake. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

I pull into the country store on the way to the doctor and take my boi out and point out a grinning bulldog for him to reciprocate the sanguine gesture to. Then we wander around the tiny shop in search of a pack of overpriced diapers and a 10 pack of wipes.

Well, quite the assortment of condoms, but no baby amenities…

I hastily made a hand sanitizer purchase and made my way out, having my son wave bye-bye to the smiling doggie. As I went to put him in his car seat, I felt something drip down my wrist.

I looked down in hopes of seeing drool, but no such luck…

This was a big one.

In a viral, mind-hazed panic, I raced to the CVS down the street from my Doctor’s office. We wandered around looking for the smallest pack of diapers and wipes to get us by in this emergency situation, but I swear the price tag of every item read, “Arm, Leg, and Kidney.” In desperation I grabbed a 28 pack of size four diapers and a to-go pallet of store-brand wipes.

After I gave the convenience store clerk the down payment on a Ferrari in exchange for some infant essentials, I made our way to the bathroom, awkwardly dodging yet to be stocked inventory and pulling the plastic bag out of my son’s Kung-fu grip.

So we get into the ladies room and naturally, it is equipped with everything but a changing station…so I have to make due with what I’ve got. I pull my son’s shorts off to confirm that they have indeed been compromised, so I have no choice but to have him go without.

Let me just tell you, changing a category 6 diaper in a car seat on the floor of a public restroom is literally the worst.

๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ e v e r y w h e r e ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ

While I’m sweating like a mofo, I wrestle with my son to keep his hands out of his diaper whilst simultaneously trying to pry single wipes out of this cheap container like medieval basic bros trying to pry Excalibur from the fabled stone, only to have them come out three and four at a time. It’s either peel them apart and save some of them and risk my little boy do what little boys do and have all hell break loose, or sacrifice a few wipes in the interest of getting him clean.

And that is how that whole entire inventory of wipes got cleared tf out.

This whole time he’s squirming, uncomfortable, and crying, people are beginning to knock, and I’m losing balance while trying to get him clean without getting anything over his car seat. It was a challenge to say the least.

Finally I manage to get him cleaned up as best I can, throw the diaper in the open trash receptacle (in retrospect I totally forgot to cover it so I feel bad for whoever walked in on that…) and get the dock out of fudge, of course 10 minutes late at this point, with my baby in a tank top and diaper only.

And so now I have to desperately explain to the receptionist, who very patiently and politely pretends to listen to my plight, the series of events that just unfolded in hopes that I will not look like a neglectful parent. To what avail, I’m not sure…

We get our favorite medical assistant, at least, and we get him measured and weighed. Then the doctor comes in to look him over and of course I look down when he removes his diaper to see that I had MiSSeD a sPoT when I was cleaning ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฉ But other than that, he got a squeaky clean bill of health. At least something was clean today…

So we finish up the 6 month requirements and go to check out and make his 9 month visit, all while I try to face his car seat away from people so they don’t see my baby in just a diaper and shirt like the son of rif-raf. Once I take the appointment card and go to do my walk of shame, what should happen but a convoy of the slowest moving people make their way into the practice, while others make their way out, all looking at my practically naked child, and then to me, judgement clearly plastered on their faces. I made my way to the car, buckled my upset son in, and made my way home in a sickly, sulky funk.

While all of this was happening, I felt like the biggest loser of a Mom. I started thinking crazy thoughts like, “I can’t do this!” And, “I don’t deserve to be a mom…” I let this one time I was not overprepared have me believe that I was a failure and a bad mom. I know you’ve been there, too, and I know I’ll be there again. We all have those #momfail moments that drain almost all of our HP and make us want to ragequit. But we know we can’t, and so we persevere.

I had a long talk with myself and realized that if I really was a bad mom, I wouldn’t have felt as badly as I did. I realize that I made a mistake, I did all I could do at the time to correct it, and I’ve learned from it. I know now that I should always have supplies on me, even if I’m only out with my son for an hour or even less, because you really never know when the Call of Doodie will strike.

So my Gals (and d00ds), be sure to keep an extra bag full of diapers, wipes, creams, powders, etc, and most importantly a change of clothes in your car at all times!! Learn from my mistakes!

We all feel like we suck at this game, but we got this!! It doesn’t get any easier, but we are always leveling up to meet whatever boss battles come our way.

Thanks for reading! Next post will be on ways to reuse those formula cans and scoops so you can really get your money’s worth!!