1. Food: I brought croissants and mixed vegetables to my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I made the croissants from scratch for a cost of $2.25. The recipe is very similar to puff pastry, but far easier to make. I got it from this book.
2. Clothing: I put together Baby's Thanksgiving outfit for free—the socks were from a garage sale free box, and the shirt and pants I got from the "sharing corner" hosted by a local church (where you can donate a bunch of stuff, and then look through everyone else's donated stuff to take home). I thought this was a real accomplishment, because I am not an "outfit" person at all.
My sister-in-law gave us six garbage bags full of toddler clothing to look though. And that was just the stuff she didn't keep! I had so much fun going through the clothes. There were sizes 18 mos., 2T, 3T, and 4T, plus accessories like tights, shoes and hair bows. I already had some clothes for Baby in 2T and 3T, but now I can keep the best of what we have and get rid of the styles I really don't like, or that aren't practical. Over the weekend I listened to the audiobook, Lessons from Madam Chic by Jennifer Scott. The author promotes the idea of a "10 item wardrobe". When sorting through the baby clothes, I tried to keep pieces that would all match with each other, and that would look good with Baby's skin tone and eyes. I'd love to do a 10 item wardrobe for myself, too, at some point.
3. Decluttering: I threw away or donated a bunch of items. During bath time I've been reading Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. Inspired, I sorted through my kitchen gadgets and tossed broken items and put unneeded, gently used items in a box for Goodwill. I also put seasonal items in storage. We have a relatively small kitchen, but I think having fewer items just makes it easier and faster to get things done. It also helps me actually use the things I have.
In the bathroom, I also tossed old lotions, cosmetics, and put unneeded items in the Goodwill box. Several years ago I bought a hair straightener. I used to use it quite a bit when I had bangs, but that was four years ago, and I haven't used it since. I also moved medical items into the medicine cabinet in another room, to free up storage space in the bathroom. Getting rid of unneeded or unused items always makes me feel better about our home. I think it's important to re-evaluate possessions every so often as our lives or lifestyles gradually change.
4. Black Friday: For the last few months, I've been making a "Black Friday" list of things to buy, either for Christmas or just everyday use. On Thanksgiving I also looked through all of the store ads to see if there was anything we "needed". I only found two things, and one was a Christmas present. The other was a 20-piece Pyrex set with four different sizes of round containers. I spent $20.00 on the set, which normally retails for $40.00. I've been wanting to replace my plastic storage containers with glass for a while now, and this was the perfect chance to do so!
When I got home, I threw away all of my old (free) freezer boxes. I moved the plastic Rubbermaid storage boxes from their prominent place in our kitchen to our pantry, where I'm using them as mouse-proof storage for dry beans, pasta, etc. The round Pyrex containers are SO, so nice. I can bake or cook the food in it (in the Instant Pot, no less!), serve food in it, and when we're done eating, and store the food in it! The smallest containers are the perfect size for Baby. Today she was napping during lunch, so I set aside a little container of lunch for her. When she woke up, I pulled the lid off and set the whole thing in front of her. She happily ate most of the food, and even used her fork, which is unusual! To say I'm excited about the Pyrex is probably an understatement. I would still like to get one of those casserole/carrying case combinations in the future.
In addition to the Walmart purchases, I also got one other Christmas present and some cloth diapering stuff. I was hoping to get a new car seat for Baby on sale, but the one I was waiting for never went on sale. So I ended up buying that, and some books, and some home items, at full price. Well, at least I tried!
Until next time,