Happy December! I can’t believe it’s already almost halfway through December and 2017 is almost over! This year has absolutely flown by!
I’m not really sure if I’m going to do a traditional year in review this year. If I do, I’ll post it on January 1st, but let me just say, that while this year hasn’t had a lot of milestones, per se, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.
Darryl and I have worked pretty hard to get more work done on our house. When it comes to manual labor, it’s mainly him, and he’s pretty awesome at tackling things. I help more with the brainstorming and planning parts of things, and I do a lot of designing how our rooms are set up/decorated.
You’d think that this long after buying the house (we’re at a year and 8 months already!) we’d have everything just so, but that’s soooooo not the case. Most of the big furniture stays pretty stationary, but we tinker with moving other stuff around all the time. I think I’ve rearranged my half of our home office 3 times this year. I think I’ve FINALLY (literally, today) got it the way it’s going to stay. The only room that really needs work now is our spare bedroom. It’s usable but also is kind of our catch all room for things until we get around to find permanent places for them. Out of sight, out of mind!
I’ve worked pretty hard this year to cut down on our money spent eating out. I’ve really worked on meal planning for the pay period and making sure we get everything for those meals and whatever household or pet items we need on one big shopping trip after we get paid, so we’re at the store less and therefore less likely to buy a bunch of little things that we don’t really need.
I made it one of my goals for 2017 to cook more and try to save money by cooking at home, and I try to focus on simple things that don’t have a ton of ingredients (less money spent and more likely to be eaten by Darryl, who is the absolute pickiest eater I’ve ever met!). I’ve started using my crockpot a little more, and I actually ended up using ALL of them (I went from having one to having 3 when I asked for another one at Christmas last year, then we won a tiny one at Darryl’s family reunion a few months ago) during Forest Festival this year.
All in all, the meal planning and limited shopping trips plan has seemed to work pretty well. I know after we go to the store that I have enough food to cook for us for two weeks (I just freeze whatever won’t keep in the fridge for that long). We don’t always follow the meal plan exactly, but the stuff is there whether we make it in the right order or not, and if we don’t use it all, it’s less we have to buy next time!
So, yeah...to some, this stuff might not seem like much, but honestly, it’s been kind of huge for us. We were wasting so much money ordering in or going out to eat, and doing it this way, we split our shopping total down the middle, he pays for half and I pay for half, and we usually don’t pay more than around $65 each (and that would be on a big trip when we need more stuff than usual!). Do that twice a month and compare the numbers to what we spend on restaurants and it’s a big deal, especially on a limited budget.
I’m thinking of writing a bit more about it later, because my whole method is slightly more complex and could probably be fodder for its own post!
How has everyone else been doing with their 2017 goals?