Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tortured by Dinnertime

I never know what I'm going to write about when I start these things. Today, I'm meeting a friend who's getting a puppy tomorrow and I'm going to lend her all my dog books and share the benefit of my wisdom. Having one puppy has made me an expert, and now I can bestow my knowledge on others. My puppy ate a pizza coupon the other day, which was a real bummer because I really wanted to use it. We got a pizza anyway, of course, but it would have been nice to have a coupon.
Speaking of coupons, I watched this Oprah the other day that was all about saving money, and she had this lady on there, the Coupon Mom, and this woman has a website that shows you how to maximize coupon usage, how to find free stuff, how to strategize grocery shopping and all that. Its pretty amazing. I read her little How-to booklet, and started doing what she suggests, but I hit a couple of snags. First of all, she says to use the grocery story circulars that come in the mail or in the newspaper to plan your menu for the week, only getting stuff that's on special. Problem there is, I really want to support organic agriculture, and the meats and produce that are on special in my circulars aren't organic. Whole Foods does have specials, though, so I'm hauling my butt up there to buy meat. Oddly, there are several things that you can find on my regular shopping list that are cheaper at Whole Foods, like Annie's Bunny Pasta, the mainstay of my daughters diet.
Then, you are suppose to get several issues of the Sunday paper, and keep the coupon circulars that come with it. When you make a shopping list, you go to her website and do a search in her coupon database for the item you want, say, shampoo, and it will spit out a list of coupons and where to find them in those circulars. I did this yesterday, and I saved $4.80, mostly on Halloween candy that I am going to ask my neighbor to store for me since I am already digging into it. I got 100 Grand bars, and I love those things; everything good in the world in in those, crispy rice, smooth chocolate, caramel... Anyway, the other part of her strategy is to take advantage of double and triple coupon days at the grocery stores, but my stores don't do that. Maybe its a midwestern thing. So, $4.80 is what I saved. I still spent a fortune, though, and the annoying thing was, I still didn't have anything to make for dinner, so we split a burrito and Leila at rice.
I am going out tonight, so I'm not making dinner. Actually, I have plenty of time to make and eat dinner before I go out, but I will use any excuse to tell these people in my house, "you're on your own!" My daughter is easy: she eats either cheese pizza or bunny pasta. My poor husband, on the other hand, has to forage around the fridge for leftovers, or yogurt or PB&J. He'll live.
I am going to the mom's cocktail party for Leila's class, so we can all get to know each other. I am now reminded that I was going to make an appetizer so I'll be going to the grocery store AGAIN for the third day in a row. I am so lame. I know there are moms out there who have this whole dinner/grocery shopping thing nailed. They have to because they have more kids and less time, and they have to get crackin', but I just can't seem to get my arms around it. No sooner have I fed the family one evening, and skated by on what's in the fridge, than I have to do it all over again. Remember that line in the Simpsons when they got the fancy dog and Homer says "This is the kind of dog you have to feed almost every day."? That's exactly how I feel about dinner, and mine is the kind of fancy family you have to feed almost every day.
I'm going to go blow dry my hair.

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