Day 25

Had a startling realization last night:  Christmas is 3 months from today.  Straight off this 30 Days experiment, I’m moving right into the Christmas shopping season. (Usually I start early. I’ve got a lot of people to cover!)

But I’m wondering…is this experiment going to make me more mindful of my Christmas shopping.  I think so.  I hope so.  I’d like to focus more on the right gifts instead of lots of gifts for my kids.

Speaking of shopping.  Ahem.  Yeah…  My 14 year old informed me yesterday that he owns ONE pair of jeans that fit, and ONE shirt nice enough for Sunday wear. Actually he’s been gently reminding me of this fact for the last month.

This time when he reminded me, though, instead of Walmart, I thought of the thrift shop.  I used to shop at the thrift shop all the time early in our marriage, but I kinda got out of the habit.  Well, after my trip there this afternoon, I think I’m back in the habit.

Not only did I find him a nice pair of jeans and TWO button-down shirts (one short-sleeved, one long), I also found hubby a great pair of like-new jeans which he really needed.  Total spent?  $17.85. 

 I still am wondering if I should have waited til next week.  But I feel really good about what I got for the money, so I think I’ll forgive myself the timing. 

Oh, and I also bought cat food–$10.  That brings our grocery total to $308.

Breakfast- French toast with homemade bread, Fir Fir (made with leftover Ethiopian flat bread), and home-made apple juice (well-strained this time).  Yum.

Lunch-Chap Chae (Korean pasta) with veggies, and ice cream.   We have judiciously served the ice cream and still have a teeny bit left!

Dinner- I had some lentil stew AND some chili left over, but I wanted to jazz it up a little.  So I mixed them up, spread them in a casserole dish and topped it with a recipe for cheesy corn bread.  It rose hugely in the oven and turned out SO yummy.  Way more interesting than just zapping the chili in the microwave.

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  1. ohhhhhh interesting recipe….yum! I’d forgive the thrift shop finds…..after all-before this experiment you would have gone to the department store and spent a lot more- we’ve been pondering the christmas shopping as well- and our motto is “back to basics”…..a few wants peppered with some necessities surrounded by the true meaning of Christmas….can’t go wrong with that!
    Meg

  2. I think you’ve done a wonderful job. Last week I went into the store thinking it was going ot be a tiny trip for groceries and walked out $200 poorer. My husband would be over the moon if I only spent $308 all month.

  3. I too shop at the thift store. I love the prices!

  4. Great deals! I don’t mind shopping at thrift store but I’ve found I can find stuff at Target and Kolh’s on clearance for about the same price. It’s always nice to get a bargain!!

  5. I am going to try that recipe – sounds super good =)

  6. Hey Mary – check out my news. 🙂

  7. Awesome deals…great recipes…

    You’ve done just about a month’s worth of conservation and you should be satisfied with what you accomplished (I didn’t want to say “proud”)…You were/are obedient….

  8. You’re almost there! What an interesting, profitable month you’ve had! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Yes, it will be interesting to see how differently you feel about your consumption in the next couple of months. And what next month’s bills looks like. When I’ve had to focus on conserving to get through a month, the bills of the following month have been unusually high because our staples got so depleted.

    I’m an early Christmas shopper, too. As of ebay auction ending tomorrow night, I should be totally done shopping for my 4 children (except a few edibles for their stockings, of course)!! I usually get at least my brain going on it in August, and try to be completely done shopping by the beginning of November. Invariably I forget something or find out later about another gift- “needed” occasion, but picking up a couple of last -minutes is not so stressful, and does give me an excuse to make one foray out into the dazzling mass of holiday consumerism for fun. Late August through December is always such a huge whirlwind of activity and family birthdays to boot, so it’s nice to spread shopping out and have a fighting chance to actually focus on something besides shopping as Christmas approaches, like,,, oh… say… hmmmm…. oh, yeah– Jesus birth!

  9. Okay, I’m way behind in my reading, as you can tell. Here’s something we do about Christmas that you might like, though your kids may not. We’ve been doing it since before ours were born so they don’t know any different.

    we don’t do “CHRISTMAS” in that we don’t go for the big tree and presents for everyone, etc. Since it is the celebration of Jesus birth and his gift to the world, on CHristmas we give Jesus a present, by finding a way to take care of someone HE loves that needs our help. The ideas are different every year, every one discusses it and decides together, but it is a real relief from the treadmill that is American Christmas. We still get together and have a big dinner and party, we hang balloons ’cause it’s a birthday 🙂 if we can we invite all the people we know that we think Jesus would like to have at his party.

    My MIL started giving my children little envelopes of money at Christmas, not for them, but for them to ask Jesus how he would like them to use it to help someone else. THen they need to write it down and she is saving them in a book for when they are older, to see what they have done over the years.

    We also keep the biblical feast days so our kids actually get more celebrations and special dinners than most, and they get presents on their birthdays. We tell other family members that they may give us gifts if they wish, but we won’t be returning them. For those who are very set in their ways we have started using the world Vision gift catalog and buying helpful items for third world families in their name. They get it, and appreciate it, so far.

    Anyway, you seem like the type fo family that would enjoy/embrace something like that so I thought I’d share.