Mini/Grocery cramming

A few weeks ago my husband bought a Mini Cooper as his commuter car.  He loves it and we are trying to really take advantage of the great gas mileage compared to our SUV’s, so we drive it almost everywhere.  Although now that we’ve been used to having our larger cars, we’ve discovered the few hardships of having the Mini in comparison.

For instance, we have to load J through the rear hatch of the Mini because there just isn’t enough room to get the car seat loaded and buckled in from the front door.  Luckily the hubs has long monkey arms so he can reach over the rear seat to get J buckled.  Also, shopping of any kind is limited.  The first weekend we got the Mini we went to Home Depot for a few things…and forgot we had the Mini, so the large piece of dry erase board we bought had to run the full length of the car and the front corner poked me in the side of the head the whole way home.

Well we still haven’t fully adjusted to the size difference yet.  On Friday night we made our bi-weekly grocery run.  Costco and Wal-Mart for 2 full weeks of food and a few other items.

My menu board for the next 2 weeks has the following items: (all mostly homemade dishes)

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Soy Garlic Fish
Mac & Cheese
Chicken Fingers

Our grocery list:


Ground Beef
diapers & wipes x 2 (one set was a baby shower gift)
orange juice (individuals)


fudge bars
baby yogurt
mommy yogurt
frozen peas x 3
burner buns
egg noodles
mix frozen veggies
cream of chicken soup 2 cans
pie crust
tortilla chips
fresh berries

plus the following household items:

face lotion/wash
dry & wet cat food

We hit Costco first to get the large items out of the way…after we got those few (large) items loaded we weren’t sure we’d get all the rest of our groceries in the car with J and the two of us…But the Mini surprised us – it really is larger than it looks! Not too bad for around $260.00

grocery 1 grocery 2 grocery 3


Also had this cutie-pie moment 🙂  J’s starting to give love via hugs and “kisses”

cutie pie


If the stuffed dog hadn’t cost $17 he totally would have gotten it just by sheer cuteness and obvious attachment…sorry to whomever ended up with the slightly drooly pup.


Budget this, budget that…

First comes “adulthood”.  Time to be out on your own, work, pay your own bills, learn the way of the world.  AKA: work to pay rent, eat out more than you cook in (unless it’s ramen or frozen pizza), beg groceries off your parents (or eat at work), spend whatever money you do have leftover on booze or clothes or other worthless items, and sleep less than you have any other time in your life purely by choice (since now you are responsible for yourself and staying out until 2 am when you have to work at 7 is no biggie all of a sudden.) Ahhh adulthood, this is the life!

Then comes the REAL adulthood.  You’ve been out on your own for a while now.  Mom and Dad aren’t paying your car insurance or your health insurance anymore.  You spend money on gas and food and rent almost equally.  You still spend money on total crap but you are more aware of where your money is going and you’re starting to put some aside for those rainy days.  A few hundred in your savings account seems like a really great accomplishment. You have pets, you have credit cards, you have debt but not too much…yet.  Hmmm this “adult” thing isn’t as easy as it looks…

Then you get married.  Joint Adults.  Combine financials, belongings, goals, savings, dreams, debt x 2 now… Start to buy things for the future.  House = debt.  Car = debt.  New furniture, sure! = debt.  Those paychecks are getting a little more stretched now with all these great things that come with being an Adult, but hey – we’re building our future here!

And then the magical moment of offspring.  After all, this is what we were aiming towards all along, right?!  We’ve got insurance, we’ve got the house, the cars, the “stuff” to fill in the gaps.  We are ready!

Errr….wait…medical bills still almost 8k?  ^@%#$@%…Can we win the lotto?  No? Ok, now time to BUDGET!

The word Budget always seemed to (younger) me like something that was only necessary when you were really irresponsible with your spending.  When you had plenty of money to cover your bills but you chose to spend money on things that weren’t necessary instead of paying for the necessities.  Well, that’s still true, BUT budgeting takes on a whole new meaning when you become a PARENT.  Now budgeting is a godsend.  Probably the only way that families manage to stay afloat with all of the unexpected bills (new fridge, new car, medical) on top of the already necessary bills of everyday life as an Adult.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be such a “bad” word though.  There are different levels of budgeting depending on how your family spends money and how comfortable you are with your bills vs. income.  Now that I’m a parent, I doubt there are many families out there who are so comfortable with their spending that they don’t budget at all.  Maybe not a lot, but being aware of your spending is still budgeting to some degree.  Over the last 10 months our family has had to increase our budgeting quite a bit.  We are much more cautious and conscientious about how we spend our money and what we spend our money on.  Not that we have it down yet, we are constantly adjusting until we find what works best for our family.  And we still aren’t as careful as we probably could be. There are still months when we are living paycheck to paycheck.  My hope and goal is to get to a point where we aren’t doing that anymore.  Even if it does take us a few more months (or years) to get to that point…  As adults and parents we have the responsibility and privileged to do whatever it takes for our family, even if it means learning to budget.