Must Buys

Starting to feel nervous because the season of “must buy” is coming. Although God knows I certainly spent money this summer, it was technically optional. Movies, snacks at the pool, trips to the beach… whenever I felt like funds were running low, I could and did tighten up. Spend a few days just hanging out at home, playing with the hose, cooking, cleaning, doing our summer reading, etc.

Now with fall coming, there are going to be a lot of non-optional outlays. School supplies. School clothes. Soccer cleats. Dentist visits. And eventually, the dreaded oil purchases. And the main problem right now is that I don’t really have time to shop around for deals or search through the thrift shops.

For school supplies, one good thing is that we have a lot of supplies here already. My oldest brought a whole bunch of stuff home in June that was not used at all over the year. The boys are reusing last year’s backpacks. But now that little miss is entering the school system, she has to have stuff. I got her a backpack at Burlington Coat Factory for cheap, but cheap is what it is, and destined to fall apart. I’m stressing over her clothes; I want her to look cute, but be comfortable, and all her current clothes are looking pretty stained or are too casual. I filled up an online shopping cart at Children’s Place because I have gift cards for it, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. My plan for today is to hit some thrift shops and see what I can find, and to get new shoes for the two younger ones. I also have to pick up some props for my sister’s bachelorette party on Saturday.

My oldest needs a haircut. I would like to have a professional do it, because he likes his hair to be kind of long, and my haircutting skills are restricted to buzz cuts. But he, for some reason, probably just shyness, doesn’t want to go to a barber, and wants me to do it. “It’ll save money! You said!” he told me. Yes, yes I did. So I might snip away at that birds’ nest on his head today.

So it will be good to get out of the house, since we stayed home all day yesterday, except for grocery shopping first thing in the morning. We had spaghetti and meatballs last night, and probably will have chicken, mashed potatoes and corn (from the garden!) tonight. I picked a bunch of corn last week, but ended up giving it to my sister-in-law. Lots of food to eat up in this house before we go on vacation next week!

Like some carrots we picked.

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By the way, my sister’s shower was a success. The theme was vintage seashore (sort of “Boardwalk Empire” but without the violence) because the wedding is at the Shore. My mom out together beautiful centerpieces using sand buckets that were decorated with vintage beach images that she filled with salt water taffy, old-fashioned lollipops, and pinwheels.

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A board with clothespins at the front of the room held the seating assignments as well as family beach pictures and other beach-themed art. (I think she found the board at Home Goods or someplace like that.)

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And there were sandcastle cookies and foil-wrapped chocolate fish for favors, and more… I’m going to put it all on Pinterest on her behalf.

My contribution was the “bridal Bingo” game cards. Seriously, the moment I’m most proud of last week was when I figured out how to add fonts from the Internet to Open Office so I could have this thematically matching font:

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So I didn’t spend any money on the cards, but then when my printer started to jam repeatedly as I was trying to get the last of them done, I had an “Office Space” moment with the printer and now it really doesn’t work. 😦 Add that to the list of must buys.

On a brighter note, I closed out the July budget and we had a small surplus!

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