Four weeks on our simplicity journey. Four weeks, and I haven’t been to Target once. Can I get a high five for that?! That’s a pretty big change from my once-a-week trek up the hill for groceries and anything else that happened to fall into my cart. Honestly, I haven’t really missed it. I’ve chosen not to do my regular Target grocery run in order to avoid all the other isles of loveliness the store holds. Instead, I’ve made two trips to a grocery store much closer to us. I think I can say it’s actually been a fun change. Sam and I swing in just for groceries. It reminds me of when I was little and loved going to the grocery store with my mom, making our way up and down every isle, getting only what was on her list. We’ve been doing the same.
I think I mentioned earlier that we’ve continued our date nights. That time is vital to our relationship and to the overall health of our family. It gives us an opportunity to simply be a couple, not parents with busy kids. We both look forward to our date night with great anticipation. We know that even if the week is incredibly full and our paths aren’t crossing as often as we would like, we still get our few hours together one night a week. We kept the line in our budget for paying our weekly babysitter, though we did cut out any money to do things during our dates. We thought we’d challenge ourselves to get creative and come up with no-cost date options. I’ll tell you, though, it’s just not as easy to find cheap options up here in the winter. Our favorite and most utilized option is Barnes & Noble. Cozy chairs and mountains of books to skim. Aside from “the library store,” as Ella calls it, we’ve also been using gift cards during our dates. I was actually quite surprised at the number of cards we had when I gathered them all in one place. We’re gift card hoarders, apparently.
On our date two weeks ago, we chose to use a card to Red Lobster, which is probably Pete’s favorite chain restaurant. When we arrived at our table, I set the gift card next to my glass so we wouldn’t forget to use it. But guess what we forgot? We’re so used to pulling out our card to pay after a meal that we did it again! We didn’t realize it until we were about to leave the restaurant and it was too late. Put that down for our first mistake of the 6 months of no extra spending. We felt bad, but the up side is that we still have that card for Red Lobster! Last week, though, we went to Blackwoods, a local restaurant with most entrees between 14 and 20 dollars. We had just one gift card for $20, but we managed to finish our meal with a final total of $20.90. We didn’t even share our plates. That was from two separate orders! The host was sweet enough to cover the last 90 cents (no, we didn’t ask her to do it) and we left a tip with a little cash I had in my purse. Success! We left that night feeling pretty happy about our choices. And for remembering to use the gift card.
We really haven’t had anything outside our budget yet. After four weeks, though, we’re starting to run out of a few things. This is a part of this journey that I’ve sort of been looking forward to reaching, mostly because it’s a new mindset for us. For example, yesterday we used the last of our dishwasher detergent. Since we’re trying to use what we have in the house before buying anything more, I did a search on Pinterest for a simple, homemade concoction. I did manage to find a very basic recipe using ingredients I had in my laundry room! Borax and washing soda were the two main ingredients. The third was sugar-free lemonade for the scent. I had to pick that up with the groceries, but it’s something that will definitely be used. Tonight I’ll be using the mix for the first time. I really hope it works! The blog I found it on was pretty hopeful, so we’ll see how it goes.
There has been one other big change in our budget since starting this journey, but it deserves its very own post. Can you guess what it might be? I’ll leave you hanging on that thought for a couple days, but be sure to swing by Tuesday because we’re going to be doing a fun giveaway in light of Valentine’s Day next weekend! You won’t wan to miss it!
This post has been linked on A Little R&R