This is probably going to be a really random list of things that have been going on, but in my attempt to do more writing this year, I thought a random list of things was better than nothing!
1. We are (well, I am) trying to enter the wonderful and overwhelming world of couponing. I am still a little overwhelmed, but I am learning. I am not getting everything for “free” yet but I am saving more money on things we buy. I know it is a process and it can take awhile to build up to that. I am hoping that by the time Baby Brother is here, we will have gotten to that point, or at least be really close. We’ve decided to concentrate on a couple of stores, such as Target, Schnucks, and CVS, with occasional trips to Walgreen’s and Staples when they have great deals on items we would normally buy. As cheap as I know Walmart is, I just don’t like to go in that place so I haven’t been doing much there.
2. I found a year-long reading plan for the Bible. Starting Jan. 7, it gives you daily readings so that by the that day next year, you will have read the entire Bible. I am almost 2 weeks into it and I can’t believe how much of this stuff I’m reading that I’ve forgotten about. It’s really neat to be working on this project and I hope I can keep it up.
3. In my Resolutions post, I never really talked about our travel plans for the year, not that they are anything big (compared to last year). We will probably do our annual Anniversary weekend somewhere a few hours away from here. I would like to maybe do a winery weekend or day sometime this summer since it has been awhile since we have done anything like that. We have also decided to go to Chattanooga over my maternity leave. I know we are probably crazy to take an almost 3 year old and a newborn 4 and a half hours away, but I’m determined to get this baby boy acclimated to our lifestyle as soon as possible. We found a great deal on Groupon Getaways to be able to stay at Chattanooga Choo Choo. It has a New Orlean’s style trolley that takes you around the “resort” area. There are five or six restaurants on site, along with several pools, one of them being an indoor pool. It is also right next to the free downtown shuttle that takes you downtown. We purchased 5 nights at around $93 (before tax) a night that also includes a daily $25 credit to any of the restaurants on site. We could have stayed on the actual train (that doesn’t move) but decided we needed more room so we booked a standard room, which ended up being slightly cheaper anyway. We will be going sometime in mid-May.
4. We have been trying to find ways to save some money. I am not working as much anymore, which means we aren’t bringing in as much income. It is not so much that we will go broke without me working a full time schedule, but we won’t be able to do as much travelling and other “extras” if we don’t find a way to cut some of our costs. We are in the process of evaulating our spending. So far, we have cut down on how much we spend eating out. We like to eat out and we still do it frequently, but we are trying to go to less expensive places and pay more attention to coupons and groupon deals, etc. We are also looking at getting rid of cable and setting something up through Netflicks and/or Amazon Prime. The start-up cost looks to be between $100 and $200 but would save us money in the long run because we would no longer be paying for cable. When our cell phone contract is up in the fall, we will also be switching providers to get a better deal and save some money there. And of course, there is the couponing that we are doing, which I think will save us more every week that we do it.
5. I can’t believe that Baby Brother will be here in about 2 months or so…we started working a little more on his room this past weekend and I’ve started washing some of the clothes we have for him. Anya seems excited and keeps telling us things she wants to buy for him. I hope she is this helpful when he is actually here! Our friends are hosting a sprinkle for us in February so we are looking forward to celebrating the imminent arrival of our new addition!
6. I have been wanting to start a new blog about something other than our lives (and my Music Therapy blog) and I’ve finally set something up. I’ve decided to go with a travel blog where I can write about things like our own trips, cities we’ve visited, hotel reviews, ways to travel cheaply, eating for cheap in Europe, travelling with a toddler, etc. I have found a couple of blogs that are about travel and I’m hoping to make some connections there to promote my blog outside of just my circle of friends. I’m sure it will be a slow process with how busy I am, but you have to start somewhere!
I’m sure I will think of more later, but that’s all for now!