Friday, February 26, 2010

Confessions of a suburban housewife...

I've learned two things about myself recently.
1. I'm a slight perfectionist.
2. Most of my life is all or nothing.

Here's what this looks like... I wanted to lose weight. I knew I needed to live healthier for a million different reasons. I worked at it, I threw out the junk food, and I worked out daily. Because of complications with my birth control, I couldn't lose weight. Not a pound. I was frustrated and gave up. Now I don't work out and I eat whatever I want.
I want my house to be clean tidy perfect. So I tend to spend an entire day killing myself to make it spotless. Then I get frustrated when the dogs track grass indoors and give up for several days. Then I clean like mad for eight to ten hours. Yes, I realize this is not a healthy cycle.
On the flip side, this cycle has some huge positive aspects. For example, I'm passionate about loving D.J. and making our marriage a long term success. So I pour my entire heart into daily loving him in a way he's never been loved before.

Last week, I spoke with a high school friend who has maintained a monthly grocery budget of $100. She's kept this budget even when she was sick with a fibroid and now that there's a new little mouth to feed. Her budget was a small fraction of what mine was! I was inspired! We e-mailed back and forth about tips and strategies and I felt armed and ready to go. I was deteremined to bring our grocery bills under control and I was confident that I could slice the bill in a single month! So, despite the on-set of strep and a nasty cold, D.J. and I spent all day last weekend traveling to the various grocery stores in and around our little town. We had a list of every single item we purchase on a regular basis and compared the prices in 6 different stores. I then went through the list and figured out who offered the best price on each and every item. My conclusion? Target had the best every day prices. (Not Wal-Mart! Woo hoo!) They also have significant sales on a regular basis. Their toiletries and paper goods are also pretty much rock bottom prices! (Especially if you can get your hands on a coupon!) However, if you really wanted to save big, huge, mega bucks then Tom Thumb was the way to go! The prices were a bit high, but they had sales you wouldn't believe, AND they double and triple coupons. AND you can load coupons onto your store card and get the discount on the card, plus the paper coupons I'd clipped! But I digress...
So yesterday, I worked hard to work on a menu yesterday and carefully planned out two weeks of meals. I found coupons for every single item on my list and headed off to Tom Thumb. I was thrilled! I carefully selected the cheapest items on each shelf and refused to stray from my list. I was so proud of myself! And then I was devestated when the total rang up. It was almost twice what I'd planned on spending. (Dern me for not adding as I went!) My heart sank. I beat myself up all the way home and fought tears as I put the groceries away. Then I sat down and looked at the receipt with my sweet husband. We realized that I'd sliced our original grocery budget by more than half and I'd saved 23% on groceries in coupons alone, not to mention what I saved by buying store brand instead of name brand!

And that's when it hit me... I need to give myself more grace. I need to allow myself to not be perfect. My grocery trip was quite an accomplishment in a single day. It'll take time for me to master coupons and build up a stock pile. I'm getting there. I'm making progress. I just need to allow myself the grace to learn on a curve. So today my goal is to take baby steps. Put away the laundry, put away the clean dishes, shine the sink, and do a little painting to satisfy my creative side. I can bleach the bathrooms another day. For now, I need to learn to give myself grace and not attack life as an all or nothing event.

1 comment:

Charree said...

I "suffered" from always wanting my whole house to be perfect all the time and realized I could clean all day everyday and there would still be something dirty in my house when I went to bed. Through another friend's blog I discovered FlyLady and I started doing a variation of her monthly zones along with her daily and weekly cleaning lists. In regards to grace, I am really having to learn that I can't do all I used to do and spend time with him. So, I am having to give myself a break about my perfect house, for the time being. Way to go on the coupons!
Have a blessed week!