Friday, November 30, 2012

Saving Cash

I thought it might be helpful to list way I save money. Many things you may already know, but hey this helps just a little then yay!

- Shop at Aldi, Costco/Sam's, and the grocery store.
I go to Aldi for some produce, baking needs (flour, sugar, salt, milk) and anything where "brand" doesn't matter. Costco is where I score most non-food items like; toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, cleaning supplies... I also get a lot of meat and cheese there. I have a frezer full of ground turkey, chicken breasts and STEAK that I bought at the begining of the month and I will not need to buy more for a coupl more weeks :) I go to the grocery store for anything else. In my opinion certain items can not be bought generic, so I try to get a coupon for them and always use my shoppers card so I can earn fuel discounts.

-Get gas with a shoppers card from your favorite grocery store. Giant Eagle and Kroger (I am from Ohio so these are the stores I am familiar with, but I am sure the deals are similar across the U.S.) both have fuel saving programs. I prefer Giant Eagle's since you can save up for free gas, but Kroger is right on my route home in both directions so I use them, and I usually get 4 fill ups with a discount from  .10 - .30 depending on promotions.

-I shuttle to work. I use to pay $60 a month to park right next to my building. I now pay $15 and park about a mile away and take the shuttle. You may be able to find a bus that will work for you or a car pool.

-My work wardrobe consists of black pants, skirts and scrubs. Black pants go with almost everything and most people can't tell certain paris apart. So having 3 pairs of black pants is perfect for me. I always have a clean pair and can throw them on with almost any shirt in my closet without thinking. Saves time and money.

- Look at your bills. I mean LOOK at your bills. I do this when I feel the urge to make a purchase that may not be needed. "OMG that is so cool! I want one!" ::pause and look at bills:: " Ok, maybe that infomercial item is not great as it seems anyway...

-Thrift store first. I go to the thrift store first before the mall/outlet. It is a tough journey to pick through the stuff, but it can pay off. I got 2 J. Crew sweaters and a great pair of pants for $10. My mom told me that $10 for 3 items at a thrift store was a lot of money, but what does a J. Crew sweater retail for? EXACTLY! It was a steal!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Letter From Prison

The last communication I have had directly to or from my X (not involving divorce lawyers as an in-between) was in April of 2011. Unfortunately the streak of silence has ended.

This weekend encountered a letter with a stamped return address from the minimum security facility where X is living until 2018. My first thought was to send it back unopened... but I remember my lawyer telling me to keep everything in case he ever threatens me or incriminates himself. So, I opened it. My biggest fear was that he was going to mention taking me to court for one reason or another. I am still paying off debt from the first round in court.

My fear was for nothing. Inside the envelope was a thre page, hand written letter and nowhere did it mention lawyers, custody, visitation or anything like that. In fact the first 1.5 pages was all about how he has been doing. How is played softball this summer and is now in a basketball league. How he is taking online courses and earning another degree... blah blah blah! THEN he finally get around to apologizing AGAIN for hurting me.

All of that build up eventually led to him asking for infomation about Nugget. "What is her favorite toy/outfit/book? Does she talk alot? Can you send me pictures?" Yes folks, the pedophile with a preference for young girls asked me to send him pictures of my daughter.

The best part of the letter is when he tells me "I am not mad at you."

Readers you can now rest easy! He is not mad at me! When I think of all tha I did to HIM it is a miracle. ::sarcasm:: ::eye roll::

This letter ultimately tells me that he has not changed and he thinks being nice to me now will make me forget dragging me through hell and him being cruel and nasty during the divorce. It will not. I will not forget. I will never let him into our life.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick or Treat!

Nugget and I had a great Halloween despite Hurricane Sandy and her cold rain! Nugget was dressed as a monkey and had fun going door to door. Truth be told she had more fun seeing all the other costumes than she did getting the candy.

Halloween is also what I think of as the beginning of the holiday season. For the next 3 months there will be at least 1 major holiday to get ready for and enjoy. It is a given that even while surrounded by happy families a person may have a moment of two where they wish for "the perfect family", the mom, dad and child/children that we see in books, on TV or in real life at the local park. As happy as I am I still have times like this. IT IS OK!

As single parents it is possible to want a significant other and feel that longing a little more intensely around the holidays. Let yourself have a moment, acknowledge your feelings, and then let them go and embrace the wonderful things that are real in your life right now. It is not “wanting” that can be damaging to a soul it is “dwelling”. Do not dwell on what you do not have. Do not say "Things would be better if...." Focus on the magic in your life.

When Nugget was getting ready for Halloween she had her mom, aunt, two uncles and her grandparents by her side. She had a dedicated mother holding her hand when she was scared to go up to the porches by herself. Her Mimi sewed up her costume when it needed a little alteration. Nugget had a blast and I know she felt special. That is what is important.

Not having a male in her life with the label of "Dad" did not affect her attitude on this holiday and I am sure it will not be a factor in the ones to come, so I will not let it affect my holiday season either.