I can't believe I just wrote that! Addicted to saving – me! No one in a million years would have accused me of that a year or two ago! However it's absolutely true and certainly in the case of being addicted to Simple Savings. I know I'm not the only one judging by some of the hilarious forum postings, but I wonder if they get as much flack from their families as I do? In the last week alone my family has done their best to curb my SS obsession. I was amazed when Noel leapt into my office late one night recently and pounced on my computer ' Aha! I've caught you!' he declared triumphantly. Yep, I was caught fair and square – in the Vault trying to track down the secret to getting rid of dog wee patches on the lawn, not having an illicit Internet affair as he had imagined. Honestly, would be nice if I had the time! Not that I did much to help quell his suspicions I suppose. The last straw was on Sunday – our one precious sleep-in day, when I leapt out of bed at 7.00am, saying I needed to go to the bathroom and returned 40 minutes later after checking the latest posts in the Forum. A cup of coffee and a sheepish grin did nothing to placate Noel, who told me in no uncertain terms that if I ever chose to forego the sacred Sunday sleep-in in favour of the Forum again, I could keep on walking!
Unfortunately even this threat didn't deter me completely and later that evening I was aghast to hear the boys yelling 'Mum, dinner's on fire!'. I rushed out to see flames billowing around a pot of what used to be carrots. I was far too embarrassed to admit that while I had been waiting for them to boil I had been in the next room, sneaking yet another peek at the Forum. Thank goodness the kids noticed, it could have been disastrous! Even they have ganged up on me now though. Ali has banned me from using his iPod after he found no less than six Simple Savings radio shows downloaded on it. He was appalled when he plugged himself in to what he thought was heavy metal and learned all he never wanted to know about the Diva Cup instead! I think we could safely say that the dog was most successful in thwarting my Simple Savings fix though. I couldn't understand why I couldn't get online properly for three days and my Internet connection had been dodgy well before that after yet another power cut. With over 100 $21 Challenge guides to send out, I was panicking, I couldn't let everyone down! I tried in vain to call my local computer guru out but he wasn't answering the phone. Thank goodness I never managed to get hold of him or I would have been extremely embarrassed to pay $80 for a call out and find that I had got him out to tell me that a certain puppy had completely chewed through a rather important cable. I was able to get the Telecom man to fix the cable for me when he finally came to sort out the rest of my Internet problems for free, but it was a very lucky saving! Tui has also done the toilet roll trail a further two times since my last update (yep, now I can see exactly how the TV advertisers came up with such a concept!) but luckily has been caught before getting right to the bottom of the stairs. We really have to keep that toilet door closed! This week is school speech week and Ali has proudly regaled the virtues of his dog to the whole school. 'She is cute and funny and her best trick is fetching – but that's her only trick' he reeled off to me. Hmm, I could think of a few more sunshine!
Another pet family gripe was that we were always late for school because I would be browsing Simple Savings while eating breakfast and before I knew it half an hour had passed and we should have been out the door but the kids' lunch boxes weren't even made! Not that I was the only culprit mind! While I was merrily carrying out my pre-school browsing, the boys were still languishing around in their pyjamas, teeth not brushed, bags not packed, engrossed in their Game Boys. Honestly, I wish those things had never been invented! But whose fault was it that they were so disorganised in the mornings? Mine – all because of my savings addiction! Not that there's anything wrong with being addicted to saving, but there's a time and a place. So we installed a new set of rules, or as we call it, The Morning Drill. Flylady would be proud of me! The boys have a chart in their rooms of a list of things they have to complete. They are not allowed to turn on the TV or play any games before school until they are fed, washed, dressed, have made their beds, put away their breakfast things and put their shoes on. It's working like a dream and week-day mornings are happy and stress free. This simple change has got the boys organised and ready for school a whole HOUR earlier than before! As for me, I'm keeping to my end of the bargain too, but I only have one rule to remember – no turning my computer on before 9am!
How's everyone going with the $21 Challenge? Things have been going pretty well here – so far I have spent just $8.54, although I'll have to buy milk today. The milk would have lasted another day had the bottle not split and leaked everywhere while defrosting. I flagged the zucchini as there weren't any in the shop and didn't miss them in my Carnation Pasta last night. I haven't needed to buy more bread yet but things are starting to look pretty darn bare! The boys have gone to school without any chippies in their lunchboxes after Liam pigged a family sized pack in one sitting on Tuesday. I bought them on special for $1.30 and put them away in order to divide them up into smaller portions. Unfortunately Liam got to them before I could do so. He was horrified when I said 'well matey, that's your lot. I told you they had to last you the week!' I can't believe how much he eats at the moment, I think I'm going to have to hit the Vault and find that Canteen System by Jo Pritt (It's in the Simple Savings Free Stuff section) to make him accountable for what he eats. I'll just have to make sure the coast is clear so the family don't catch me surfing too long again - I'm sure they'll thank me in the long run!