State of the Blog: January 2016

Ice storms and head colds! We’ve gotten to the end of January 2016 and it’s time for our monthly wrap up of updates to various blog posts and life in general.

We survived Snowmageddon 2016. It really wasn’t too bad in Raleigh, and thanks to our power company’s careful pruning this summer, we actually maintained power this round! Way to go, tree crew! We had two days of snow, ice and freezing rain, which added up to about an inch that no one around here could drive on. (Hard not to slide when it’s ice) I spent most of the icy weekend on the couch, within arm’s reach of the kleenex, because I caught a rotten head cold the day after my article about working sick came out. Between the ice and the runny nose, I stayed home and protected my coworkers and clients from the crud. (and also protected my car from folks who try to drive on ice.)

Said head cold temporarily stopped my progress I was making on my New Year’s resolutions. Before the cold, I was meeting my goal to average 5000 steps a day this month and was working toward 5500, but 72 hours of extreme couch potatoing got me off track. I still haven’t gotten back to meeting my step goals, but I haven’t changed the basic goal and will be trying to average 5500 per day next month. Little Bit’s been helping me by playing “The Walking Game” where we walk-race from one side of the house to the other multiple times on days when my steps are below where I want them. She seems to really enjoy it, and I’m finding it easier to hit the goal and have a little Mother/Daughter time.

The head cold also derailed my progress with getting a couple of posts ahead. I managed to get one post ahead for about a week before the cold and Little Bit’s extra time out of school ate into my margin again. Getting ahead is still on the to do list, especially as work gets busier next month. Fortunately, I will be home while Little Bit has a makeup day Saturday.

Speaking of school, we decided we’d definitely keep Little Bit on her year-round school track instead of switching to allow her to take advantage of summer camp opportunities. While it would be nice to have some summer camp fun, it’s probably more important that she stay with her friends, even if it means November and February track outs. Meanwhile, Jon’s preparing for the upcoming three week Camp Dad track out by getting as much as possible done before February 12.

Jon is extremely proud of himself for finding a cheaper source of one of our regular outlays, especially in winter. We have gas logs, that we fuel with LP gas. He also loves to grill out. When he went out on the obligatory milk and bread run last week, he planned to refill a tank of gas for the fire place at the corner gas station for $20. Instead, he ended up at BJs for other reasons and got the tank refilled for $8.99. Every year we debate whether our warehouse club membership is worth it, but we’ve found yet another way we’ll make up far more than the $40 cost despite the fact that we’re a family of 3. Now if I can just resist the chocolate aisle chip samples cheese counter….

Jon’s also taken a break this week from his resolution to cook rice and beans once a week. Okay, I begged him, because he’s been cooking such big portions that we’ve eaten rice and beans 4-5 meals a week (including lunches). I convinced him to let me fix an equally thrifty dinner of scrambled eggs and cheese grits. His goal has meant he’s cooking more often and more healthy options than frozen pizza and burritos, and that our only dining out this month was for an after-school frozen yogurt treat.

Sometimes, you need to hit the (frogurt) bar after a long hard day of Kindergarten.

All told, we spent $545 on groceries and eating out this month, including putting enough money in Little Bit’s school lunch account to cover any days she wants to buy lunch for the rest of the school year. That’s pretty darn good for us!

And, while we didn’t actually cut the cord this week, we did reduce our cable/internet bill significantly by switching providers and going with the 20 channel basic plan. Our cable/internet/streaming bill went from $180 a month to $81. Between our Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions, we still have plenty of viewing options when we want to veg out in front of the television.I wouldn’t be surprised to see us watching a little less over the next few months, though I still have PBS and Downton Abbey. (Yes! Tom’s back!)

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6 Responses to “State of the Blog: January 2016”
    • Emily Jividen 01/29/2016
  1. Holly@ClubThrifty 01/29/2016
    • Emily Jividen 01/30/2016
  2. John Paul 03/15/2016
    • Emily Jividen 03/15/2016

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