Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's Dish

Gosh, I wish I had time to blog, but instead? I'm doing dishes. Yup. Seems that fixing the broken latch on the dishwasher door wasn't as high on Larry's list as it was on mine, at least not until last night when he came home to a wife who would not stop talking about all the dishes she washed that day. Inspired by this scintillating conversation, he went online and ordered (nay, had FedExed) the broken part. Which he may or may not be able to install himself...

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For all of you who are thinking that I am being a bit too strict with Anna (no IPod!), let me clarify things a bit. She is more than welcome to buy herself an IPod. She would prefer, however, to be given one. Cellphone? Same deal.

But we do let her share one of ours.

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We did our commissary trip today (which, um, made me fall behind on those danged dishes, but that's another story) and, as usual, I ran up quite a bill. I don't know about you, but I always feel as though I've spent too much, could have been more frugal, shouldn't have bought that one bag of cookies, etc. The entire commissary trip turns into an exercise of second-guessing and self-recrimination. In other words, not fun. So I wasn't surprised when the cashier, after ringing up my total (466 dollars), said, "That's amazing!" "

"It is a lot," I said. "But it's 6 kids, and 3 weeks of groceries..."

"No," he said. "Usually, an order this size will come to 700 dollars. You are one smart shopper."

Thank you, oh wonderful stranger. I really needed to hear that today. And I'll make sure to pass it on.



And now, back to the dishes...



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26 comments:

  1. You need to give private grocery shopping lessons. And I should be your FIRST student.

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  2. Why are you doing the dishes? Don't you have kids?! They're never to young to start!

    I must have been about seven when the dishes became my daily chore. I had to do all the dishes for every meal. Of course my mother probably ended up doing more than I did. At least I did some.

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  3. um. Someone commented on you being too hard on Anna? After hearing about what you go through? Harsh.

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  4. $700.00 - $466.00 = $334.00.

    Excellent!

    What are you going to buy with all that money you saved?

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you won't spend it on an ipod.

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  5. rushbaby - they all do the dishes from age 7 on...but there are plenty to go around!

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  6. About the grocery bill - I am impressed!

    About the cell phone - we all survived without them, why have they suddenly become a necessity?

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  7. I'm a little jealous that you are getting a new part for your broken dishwasher. Due to a broken stove, (which will never be replaced due to the second wall oven we have in the basement) I've been reduced to running up and down the basement stairs. I wish a kid was big enough to do that. . .

    Kudos on the grocery shopping. I am amazed.

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  8. I miss my commissary. *sigh*

    We just got our daughter an ipod for Christmas. It was used from ebay, and is a combo Christmas/birthday, but she's thrilled. We scored, she scored. She has no cell phone. Nor will she.

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  9. You are a shopping genius!! Our monthly bill is close to $1200 (3 teen boys, 1 preteen boy, plus SuperDad and myself, and the cat but she hardly counts).

    Too hard on Anna? heh. My oldest at 17-1/2 just got an i-pod shuffle from grandma (she spends $50 per kid at Christmas, and it was $49.99). He has his dad's cast-off tracfone (work issued dad a BlackBerry) and if he wants more than the basic minutes we need him to have (and therefore pay for), he has to buy them...ditto for a fancier phone. The other kids have no phones or i-pods. I doubt they care... much. Boys can be easier than girls.

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  10. OK first: you have too many children to be doing any dishes.

    second: both my kids bought their own iPods. And interestingly, since it was their dough, they opted to buy reconditioned ones at the Apple Store.

    I do want you grocery shopping tips.

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  11. We can't afford cellphones for the kids, so they don't have them.

    And I shop on the cheap too, taking the perimeter first, then the middles. I've gone in with those member cards, combined with ample coupons, and a refusal to buy prepackaged processed junk that I'm allergic to anyway. I also load the conveyor belt with my groceries in like categories to make the bagging process more idiot proof.
    So it gets loaded like this: boxed/bagged, canned/jar/bottles, cold, frozen, meat, produce. Store crew appreciates it. I come home with fewer bags. I don't find screwy combinations of items in the bags like soap in with cheese and chips.

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  12. Ha! I load my groceries in a specific order also: non-food, produce, grocery, perishables.

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  13. Giving you a sitting ovation on the grocery shopping. And a 5-DP knitting ovation as an encore. I used to feed our family of 7 on about $125 a month, 19 years ago. [*Lots* of generics, and boy did I want a cell phone.] I may have spent $125 on perishables in the past two months, to supplement the staples in my pantry and food storage. Ask me how much I love the local scratch-and-dent grocery store...

    I'd spend that $300+ you saved, on yarn.

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  14. I hate our commissary! I always end up spending more then I think we need...

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  15. Larry, tsk, tsk.

    Anna, your Mom is right.

    S.C., you go girl...a compliment from anyone, even a cashier, can send me over the moon. Also, two words: paper plates.

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  16. OOH I would love to swap grocery stories with you, maybe a future "Survivor: Grocery" post? If you spend more than .40 on your Colgate your voted off?? I load mine exactly like Fiesty Irish (maybe we share the same heritage, hmm?) In reusable bags too!!

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  17. Excellent job on the groceries. Food is so expensive. We bought our daughter an Ipod, but she buys her own songs.

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  18. Been livin the no-dishwasher funk for a couple of months now. It doesn't get any easier. But considering the damage the last dishwasher did to my kitchen I'm leary of getting another one. UGH!

    I agree with Katy. I so want to get some grocery shopping lessons from you. When I don't plan out what we're eating ahead of time I can easily spend over $400 a week on food. You are amazing my dear.

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  19. Thank God you've got that part. I've been picturing you doing dishes for your entire army platoon, and it's giving me post-traumatic flashbacks to the time our dishwasher crapped out-- first on Thanksgiving Day! And then, the following Christmas! And of course in both cases, we had a houseful of guests.

    Now get that husband of yours to install it. And I'll get mine to TAKE DOWN the CHRISTMAS TREE. (Which is artificial, eight feet high and TOO HEAVY FOR ME to lift, so it's been standing in my living room with no ornaments on it, waiting for the big strong man to deal with it.)

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  20. I would like to hear more about your grocery shopping strategy.

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  21. Good job.

    And I was teasing about the iPod!

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  22. i think your shopping skills are great! you spend roughly 60 bucks per person for 3 weeks (so 20 dollars per week). that is amazing! especially considering the higher prices for food in the US (compared to Germany)

    regarding the phone and ipod, very good attitude if you ask me (i know you didn't but i'll tell you anyways). :-)

    franzi

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  23. I made my kids research the features on ipods vs. other mp3 players. The result? $40-$60 buys a perfectly wonderful mp3 player with 2G space *and* FM. You pay a lot for that ipod name.

    They have to spend their own money too. So far, one daughter has, the others are thinking about it.

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  24. Nothing like a compliment from a stranger to REALLY make your day.

    If I plan meals ahead and make mostly from scratch, not "convenience" foods, we do ok, but I don't think I'm anywhere near your level!

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  25. Ooh! I love eBay for ridiculous frills like Gameboy (Advance) and xBox (not 360). I find that if you stay a generation or two behind the technological curve, you can get real bargains on the accessories! ;)

    Even The Boy has discovered that "used" and "older" makes his toys MUCH cheaper for him to buy himself.

    We'll be praying for your dishwasher. I was raised with a mechanical dishwasher, even in the late 60's, and I can't imagine life without one. You may as well send me out in the back yard to boil the clothes in a kettle. Call me spoiled...

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  26. What kind of cookies did you buy?

    Now I want cookies.

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