Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Winners! my best domestic discoveries this Fall

Six weeks of trying to get into domestic shape, and I certainly didn't accomplish everything I wanted.  For instance, there is still a shameful amount of dog hair under my bed (so much for "fall cleaning").  And my pantry (yes, Again with the pantry!) is still under some duress, although at least I cleared out the seven cans of creamed corn lurking in the back!  And after diligently cleaning my bathroom sink daily, I've started slacking, allowing an unsightly film to make its reappearance.

Thus domestic perfection was not attained.  Apart from my shortcomings, however, I did manage to accomplish a few key goals to getting organized.  They were undoubtedly my "best finds and practices" of this Fall.  They were, in no particular order:

1.  My cooking extravaganza.  Yes, I'll admit that cooking for 15 hours straight is a bit insane, and I probably won't do it again.  But the results were great!  Not only did it really help with meal planning (I just have to select meals from my list of frozen entrees), but we will be eating healthy right through the holiday season, and with very little effort on 
my part.  Grocery shopping is a cinch now, and I'm only cooking a couple times a week.  Even better, replacing what I use is easy (no cooking marathons necessary), promising more of the same convenience for months to come.  So, call me a cooking marathon convert!  A bit of investment in time and money up front, and it's smooth sailing for months!

2.  The Leftover Challenge.  I know that I blew it at the end of the challenge (I ordered pizza), but creating a week's worth of meals from the leftover contents of my fridge and pantry was a really good exercise.  It taught me to be creative with my resources, and saved me money.  Best of all, it helped me to avoid food waste, which is something I'm more and more uncomfortable with.

3.  Charting my finances with  Logging on and using hasn't saved me bundles of money or radically changed my spending patterns.  But what it has done is make me a lot more mindful of my spending.  And mindfulness was my number one financial goal for this Fall.  I now know much more about how and where I spend my money, and the practice of consistently logging in and viewing my transactions has forced me to examine my impulse spending with a more attentive eye.  Furthermore, I feel much better about going into the holiday season with a foundation already laid for responsible spending.

So there you have it--it's a short list, I know.  But more than any other activities I did this Fall, these three really managed to make a lasting impact on me and the way I run my household.  And I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to get more organized and save money.

Read other highlights from my Back to the Basics experiment:

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