"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Monday, February 21, 2011


Not me, silly.

Our piggy bank.

Time to get serious.

Well, actually, the time to get serious was roughly 18 to 30 years ago.

But who's counting?

I better be, and counting every dime, because three months from tomorrow is Daniel's high school graduation.  The first tuition bill will be here before my last Pomp and Circumstance-induced tear has dried.

Gotta stash some extra cash.

So I have issued my husband, John -- our kitchen chief and family cook -- a rather interesting challenge:

Let's plump up the pig a bit by immediately reducing our ridiculously high weekly grocery bill.

Let's leave no can, carton, jar, bottle, box, styrofoam container or frozen Baggie of food unopened before we spend one more red cent at the local grocery store.

May take some creativity.

If we have to eat Easy Mac with olives dipped in Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter for dinner for the next three months, so be it.

No more impulse shopping every time we run to the store for milk.

Speaking of milk, there will obviously be a few exceptions to the "no grocery shopping till our cupboard and fridge are bare" challenge . We can replenish milk, eggs, fresh fruit and veggies in quantities as needed, but meals must be planned so we put every drop, every morsel, to good use and not let stuff go a glimmerin' as we -- OK, I --  sometimes do.

Waste not, want not. And all that jazz.

I think John is really getting into it.  Almost too into it.

As he was whipping up a batch of Clean Out The Refrigerator Stew last night, I spied a can of Friskies Special Diet Beef and Chicken Entree sitting out on the counter suspiciously close to the stove.

"Uh, honey, about the cat food," I stammered.

He just laughed -- rather maniacally, I might add -- and assured me he had just fed the cats and hadn't yet returned the can to the fridge. But just in case, I reminded him that I mean we have to eat everything we have on hand within reason before we grocery shop again.

He nodded as if he understood.  And yet...

Meanwhile, we are instituting other money-saving ideas right away.

No lights after the sun goes down. Only flashlights and candles. Thank goodness it's staying lighter longer. Computer and TV OK.  For now.

No more bottled water. Too expensive. Tap water only. We'll worry about chlorine and sediment after May 22.

Two minute showers. Only a dime-sized dab of the cheapest shampoo.

No new makeup for me till every smidge of every serum, concealer and eye shadow is gone and my Magic Face Drawer is completely empty.

No more dining out for lunch during the workweek for me, either. It's hummus or nothing. Why did I buy all that yucky, blah hummus again?  Oh, yeah... the Tummy Tuck diet...what the hell was I thinking?

Hmm.  Perhaps Friskies Special Diet Beef and Chicken Entree wouldn't be that bad after all...

(The Home Stretch welcomes any and all money saving tips. Just post them as a comment or email me at anniejen@crmu.net.)

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