Is it on Sale?

There is a closet in our basement that I believe was intended for linens or something, but has been repurposed into what I call “The Food Bunker”.

We have four growing boys to feed and that adds up. Our commitment to keeping our spending down involves savvy shopping. Bearded Husband is quite adept at keeping the costs down. He seems to have memorized the standard price of everything.

Me: Hey! Chicken is on sale. I can stop on my way home.

BH: If it’s not less than $3.00 per pound, don’t bother.

I can’t keep those numbers in my head. In fact, I had to check that price with him before I wrote this.

Me: I picked up Oreos, they were on sale.

BH: Less than $1.99? No? Hope you kept the receipt.

Living on a budget means you have to be patient.

Me: We’re out of apples.

BH: I know. I’m waiting for the fall when they go on sale.

I’ll just start taking some Vitamin C supplements for a while.

When there are sales, we stock up. And I mean stock up. That’s when the Food Bunker really comes in handy.

We'll be eating vegetarian for the next while, boys.
We’ll be eating vegetarian for the next while, boys.
No one is allowed to be lactose intolerant for the next few weeks.
No one is allowed to be lactose intolerant for the next few weeks.
You may have sliced black olives or French sliced black olives, but no kalamata - they weren't on sale.
You may have sliced black olives or French sliced black olives, but no kalamata – they weren’t on sale.
You are in luck, natural AND processed peanut butter were on sale.
You are in luck, natural AND processed peanut butter were on sale.

The boys have grown up with the understanding that very little is bought that is not on sale, or at the very least on for a reasonable price. But they use this knowledge to try to get non-essentials into the grocery cart.

Son: Oh! Can we get these? Look, they are on sale. I love those chips.

Me: That’s a featured item, it’s not on sale.

_______

Son: Can we get some Fruit to Gos?

Me: Not on sale.

Son: But that is a good price…

________

Son: Cheesestrings are ON SALE. Can we get some? You never buy us those.

Me: Nope, still a rip-off.*

_______

Living within our means and keeping to a budget doesn’t mean we don’t treat ourselves, though. In fact, look what we are enjoying today (please ignore the pink sticker).

photo-9
I haven’t indulged in these because raisins are involved.
photo-8
They might be 50% off, but they are 100% delicious.

What do you do to save a buck or two? Seriously, I’d really like to know.

_____________

*More of my thoughts on Cheesestrings coming soon.

Why I Don’t do Organized Sports

Bearded husband says I pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch on him.  He claims that when we were dating, I was sporty… and into sports…. and liked sports and stuff. He’s deluded. WE WERE DATING.

Ok, ok, I admit I was more into that stuff 15 years ago. But we clearly remember the past differently.

Him: You used to play baseball with me.

Me: I let you practice pitching with me as back catcher. It hurt. A lot.

Him: Remember how you used to play badminton?

Me: In the backyard with lots of lemonade breaks.

Him: Well, we played squash together.

Me: We were dating.

Him: You played beach volleyball for a while.

Me: Until I went home in tears, remember that part?

Him: Alright, but we would go for runs together, remember?

Me: I had a wedding dress to fit into.

Truthfully, I actually do enjoy sports, but not enough. I like to play for fun. FUN. Don’t count on me to get the winning goal or the impossible save. The only good game is one where I get to laugh. A lot. Mostly at myself.

I chat when I exercise, it’s how I know I haven’t pushed myself too hard. In between at-bats is the perfect time to catch up on the latest news. Right after the serve is a great opportunity to tell my teammate I like her shoes. Waiting for a pitch is when I do my best meal-planning. This is who I am. This is who he married.

If anything I have gotten better with sports. Now, when I go to watch a game, I bring along really good snacks and sometimes even a chair, not just a blanket. Oh, and I also bring four small spectators with me. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the effort that takes.

Sometimes I even pretend to follow along when SportsCentre is on. And not just the Top 10 stuff, the real clips and commentaries. And for each professional sport, I memorize one or two players’ names so I can act like I know what’s going on. Kirk Gibson still plays for the Tigers, right?

Maybe he’s right, though. Maybe I did pull a bait-and-switch. I baited him with a mediocre sports enthusiast and switched into the Spectator Extraordinaire. That guy always wins.

So, I married David Suzuki

I did not know this at the time, but I married David Suzuki.

You might be thinking, “now, wait a second. David Suzuki the 77 year old environmental activist and host of ‘The Nature of Things’? The guy with the PhD in zoology? Retired Professor of genetics?”

Ok, not him exactly, but a younger version.

Wait, before you dismiss my assertion, hear me out. There are a couple of key similarities that must be noted: They are both bearded Canadians who speak Japanese, have appeared on the CBC, and work to stop climate change.

Alright, Bearded Husband doesn’t speak Japanese. Ok, ok, he hasn’t appeared on the CBC, either. And although he doesn’t work to stop climate change, he does really care about the environment. For real. Kind of to the point of being irritating.

Agh! Yes, I admit it, sometimes being married to David Suzuki is hard. Now, some of his Suzuki-ist tendencies are acceptable and even worth doing. Recycling, composting, choosing energy saving products. I can’t say I was thrilled to get geo-thermal installed with a newborn baby in the house, but in the long run it has been well worth it. Solar panels installed on the roof 2 years later with a different newborn in the house, also bad timing, but worth it. And I was the one who suggested we go with cloth diapers.

My friends, here’s the reality of life with a David Suzuki-ist. He doesn’t like the fridge door to be left open EVER. Watch your limbs. He also doesn’t appreciate having extra lights left on so eat a lot of carrots and walk carefully after sunset. And don’t even think about running the dishwasher when it’s not off-peak time (ok, that’s more of a budget thing and an entirely different post).

But the worst part…

is…

…the…

…WAITING.

In an effort to be environmentally friendly, many purchases and decisions need to be thoroughly researched. We’re talking weeks worth of time. To buy eco-friendly paint. To replace the water softener with a salt-free alternative. To replace the chlorine filter for the pool. This is very difficult for an impulse-buyer such as myself. As a shopper, I am inclined to think, “Hey! That looks convenient – the skull and crossbones symbol is really just a friendly suggestion.”

But as much as I might joke and complain about my marriage to young David Suzuki, I appreciate how much he cares about his family and the planet, and the example he sets for our boys (and even for me). It’s worth the wait.

Dr. Google

Self-diagnosis can save you a lot of unnecessary time in medical offices and those bothersome things like “medical diagnosis” and “prescription medication”. But it doesn’t always work in your favour. Trust me.

I am a big believer in googling any and all medical issues.

Wake up and can’t raise my left arm comfortably? Google it.

Suspicious my eyebrows are not symmetrical? Google it – there must be a serious medical condition causing that. Recent attempt at self-grooming is irrelevant.

Baby suddenly does not like bananas? We must check Google should it be a rare tropical disease he picked up at the park.

But even I draw the line at self-diagnosing broken bones. My bearded husband, however, does not.

“You know, I worked in a clinic for years. I think I’d know if it was broken.” Yes, I would think that. And I’d be wrong.

Last summer, in a fit of rage at the former owners of our house and their questionable gardening choices, he ripped up a metal rail (it also goes by some more colourful names). In disgust, he tossed it on the patio and did some other outdoor maintenance. A short while later, he jogged through the yard to get a tool and tripped over the cursed rail, landed face first with his left index finger taking the most impact.

Concerned about the swelling and immobility, I gently suggested he see the doctor, a real one.

“Nope, just gonna ice it, I’ll be fine.”

A few days later, I suggested it again, since this injury was seriously limiting his diaper-changing abilities. And dishwashing.

“It’s fine. See I can bend it a bit.”

The finger inspired imitations by the boys. “Look, I’m Daddy opening the jam.” “Look, I’m Daddy changing the radio station.” All this was done with the offending finger extended gingerly. It was top notch material that was lost on Bearded Husband.

A few months passed and finally he agreed that a visit to the doctor might be necessary. One x-ray later it was revealed that the finger was broken. Shocking.

That diagnosis was life-changing. Now we needed to schedule in time for Finger Physiotherapy. It’s a real thing. A “one hour, twice a week” kind of real thing.

Until they come up with google.com/bodyscan, trust me, go see the doctor.

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