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I’ve made it through four-ish years of the combination of Full-Time Work+Full-Time Life+School+Blogging.

And it would figure that it would be the semester I have weekend classes–easy! Drive into Boston 2x a week instead of three! No re-configuring work schedules!– that kills blogging. And honestly, blogging deals has been on my to-do-list Every. Single. Week. And every week, I’m up doing homework or at some event that I can’t miss. Life, you know.Plus, it turns out that with no free time on the weekends, it pretty much kills everything except sleep, work, classes & homework. BIG chunks of time are best, I’ve learned.

All that to say, is, I’m defeated for now–BUT. My last final for this semester is May 3. I do start summer classes June 1, but they’re not on the weekends, so I’m hoping I’ll be back to my same schedule starting May…May what? May the 7th.

And in the meantime, I apologize SO MUCH for not as much as leaving a note to let all you wonderful people know where I am. It’s not just you, either…facebook, friends who’ve called, to everyone, I’m sure I’ve dropped off the planet.

Some slight adjustments are coming, however. I’m going to keep blogging Market Basket and Hannafords, but I’m planning on dropping Shaws and Stop & Shop just to make my life less hectic in my last year of school. 2 hours instead of 4 is a lot of time, that might actually allow me to clip some coupons and start getting deals again myself! I also hope to roll out my new blog sometime relatively soon, but no promises there.

So that’s that…and I’ll see you on the other side of the semester!

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Snapware 18pc Glasslock Tempered Glass Storage Containers 18piece Set with Lids

A mere few days ago, my sister-in-law gave us our Christmas present (Since she flew out with her 3-year-old from Seattle, and then there was the snow storm to keep us all apart even longer). Glasslock Snapware. And I Love It. Love it, Love it. Before, we had been using a combination of recycled containers from all those family-run Italian joints around and 2 packs of leaky flat tupperware, plus about 4 bowls with maybe 3 lids. We needed something different, and I admit my mind had been running on whatever brand those commercials show everything locking and stacking, as we DO have a serious problem with tupperware falling on our heads, and then into a sink full of dirty dishes. Much hatred ensued.

But these–no leeching worries in the back of my mind. And the lids LOCK–I had really, really soupy gravy with my pot roast, and even though I dumped it over, no spillage. Now, they don’t really stack, and while I don’t want plastic falling on my head, I certainly don’t want glass falling on my head–some of the smaller ones can fit in the larger ones, but not in a particularly neat & organized way, especially with the 4-flap lids involved and the fact that while it’s convenient to have 2 identically sized containers, they don’t fit in each other, and then what can you do? (Yes, that is a run on sentence).

But, I love the clinking of glass, and OH, they HEAT FASTER. And when you’re as busy at work as I am-or at least all your coworkers are sitting & eating and you’re STILL waiting for that food to heat up-this is a decided bonus.

So, that’s my entirely unbought recommendation, and that’s what works for me.

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Of course, the week I had no time (rather unexpectedly) to post at all, is the week after I intentionally “took” a week off.

Sigh.

To those who’re new, or who’ve forgotten ;-), I work full time AND I’m a student. And, this semester I’m happy to report I’m finally at my “last” campus (I did one year at Ithaca College before leaving to get married, got my associates this past spring (so that I got a discount at state school/could get my Gen Eds out of the way locally), and now am finally about 33 credits away from my B.A. *phew!*

While working on my AA, it worked out nicely since most of my classes were online or only 15 minutes away. Plus, they were community college courses. It was rather like Middle School. The only difficult courses were 2 due to this 1 professor, so last fall I only took 2 courses, this past spring just 1, and this summer I had off. Great for blogging regularly.

NOW, however, I’m commuting about 45 min-1 hr. each way in and out of Boston, taking 3 classes at “normal” college level, actually getting challenging homework/tests, and still working 40+ hours a week. In fact, let’s go all the way and write out my schedule for this fall:

Monday: Work 9-5:30, home at 6.
Tuesday: Get up at 5 AM, work 6:30-3:00, drive straight to Boston, class until 5:15, home at 6:30/7 PM (yay traffic!)
Wednesday: Work 9-5:30, husband’s Bible Study till 10 PM (I’ve been skipping a lot)
Thursday: Up at 5, work 6:30-3:00, TWO classes in Boston, get home at 10-10:30 PM
Friday: Work 9-5:30
Saturday: Class w/ driving times: 10:30-3:30; Class if I take the commuter rail: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: Church including after-church ministries

And add in dates with friends, and most importantly, homework, and I’ve found my blogging time reduced to about 2 hours if I’m on top of everything. Last week I was obviously rushed since I was camping all weekend, and that carried over…so, long story short, it’s hard, and I’m NOT planning on temporarily shutting down…but I beg your patience in the meantime. I’m ahead of the game this week, so…*crosses fingers*.

Thanks,

Kat

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I generally am a once-or-twice a month stock-up person. There are some weeks where the deals aren’t so great, and others when I’m just too tired to go out. Lately, I’ve been HORRIBLE at even going out once a month (I attribute some of that to getting behind on clipping coupons), but it has led to some interesting finds on my part. For example, I HATE shopping without coupons, and even now, I won’t buy something if I know there’s a coupon out there. Just can’t do it. BUT, all those Tightwad Gazette readers who like their generic brands just fine? That works too!

A bit ago, I decided we needed more than milk, bread, eggs, & butter, so I shopped. Sans coupons. And…it worked out about the same. Yes, I didn’t get the “brands” that I normally would, but we really didn’t notice a difference with the exception of cereal. And now I know, should I need to buy food without coupons, I can. It certainly won’t be a long-term strategy for me…I love the “free” deals, I love getting higher-priced items for pennies, and I like expensive Sour Cream, but it’s sort of released me from the complicated shopping lists that I generally enjoy concocting, but that can sometimes get in the way during busy periods.

Also, newly discovered: when I do the once or twice a month shops, I plan out meals. And rotate meals. And get sick of meals. And more often than not, end up eating out when the cupboards aren’t bare, but merely boring.

Recently? I’ve been going French-style. And unfortunately I don’t have a cute little market on my direct (walking) route home from work, but we all know we have Market Basket! So, I’ve been stopping every night, spending anywhere from $5.00 to $19.00, and picking up ingredients for 2 meals, max. I get the ingredients for supper that night, and sometimes lunch if there won’t be enough leftovers. And it’s completely reinvigorated my cooking somehow. Even though it eats up 30 minutes in driving/parking/shopping/waiting in line/getting back on the highway. But I’m getting excited for new recipes, I’m loving incorporating multiple–NEW–elements into my meals, and we’re eating different food for once. And this is certainly not a long-term strategy either, as it’s not that cost effective¬† money-wise or time-and-gas wise…but it could be during those weeks when we’d normally eat out every night shovel down pasta and eat chicken for the millionth time.

Thus I’m thankful that even though I can sometimes still feel behind…I’m really furthering my frugal life education! And that works for me.

See more WFMW here.

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Once upon a time, I would chuck all those spare buttons that came with pants, shirts, coats into a junk drawer. Then came a day when I lost not one, but two buttons off my everyday winter coat. And where were those buttons? Off to join the missing-sock, other-glove, pair-less mystery haven, I would guess.

So now, when I buy a new item that has those said attached buttons, I immediately grab the nearest Sharpie and label it with the brand (if it’s just in a clear baggie), and a simple description of what it goes to. For example: “Green & White striped shirt (banded waist).” I just write the description if it’s in an envelope-like pocket that already states the brand.

And, probably most importantly of all, I gave them all a home. Now, I’d like to say that they live in some cool, flea-market found, local-artist-handmade sort of trinket box, but they’re trying to save money, so they live in a plastic baggie that pokes out of the top of a Victoria’s Secret bag I got picking up my latest freebie. Easy, accessible, and requires very little work.

So now, I know where all those buttons are, should the need arise, and even if it doesn’t, I have the seeds of a one-day button collection for any funky sewing projects. So, that’s what works for me!

See more WFMW at its new home here.

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