A Mom’s TOP 10 New School Year Resolutions!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

For some reason freshly-sharpened pencils, blank notebooks and new underwear say New Year to me far more than a ball dropping in Times Square.

I have always loved the beginning of a new school year, and it feels like a fresh start for mom, as well as for the kids. It’s time to get organized and be a better person.

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

I have spent the whole weekend cleaning and organizing the house. I went through all the kids’ drawers and closets pulling sizes that don’t fit, either to be passed down or given away. Then I organized all their remaining clothes.  I cleaned out and reorganized the basement and have a car load of baby accoutrement to take to the St. Vincent de Paul Society! I cleaned bathrooms (even under the sinks) and washed clothes. There is much more to do, and I’m on a roll.

I am feeling inspired by the kids’ new school year and have created my own New (School) Year Resolutions! The list is not in order of importance, just in order of how they logically lead to one another.

A Mom’s TOP 10 New (School) Year Resolutions

1. Clean the house more frequently and better - I’ve had a housekeeper come twice monthly since Walsh was born and Rose was 2. It was too hard with a baby and a toddler to do all that deep cleaning myself.  Now that the kids are older we want them to take responsibility for the house with us so we have given up that service.

So how will we make sure the house gets cleaned and this isn’t a broken resolution? Sunday afternoons have become our dedicated day for the whole family to work together to clean the house. I have cut back my work hours some for the blog so I have more time to clean during the week as well. I’ve also noticed that since I know no one is coming to clean for me I’m taking care of small problems before they get bigger.

2. Stay organized – This is a super tough one for me and for most moms. I think with the whole family cleaning together there will be less clutter, and it will be easier to stay organized. I’ve created dedicated space in wire Elfa baskets in the laundry room to store Rose and Walsh’s school work. I also have hung dedicated bulletin boards for each child to organize notices. I am working on cleaning out two slots on my desk for things I need to remember to do for them.

3. Use more coupons - I don’t have a plan yet for this and would love some ideas on how to make coupon usage a reality. Also I would like advice on how to use coupons to buy the things I want not just what I have coupons for.

4. Eat better - I am currently fatter than I have ever been and not been pregnant! Since getting back from our trip I have been working hard at making better food choices, working out and tracking my calories and workouts. I found a great free Web site, Livestrong.com, where you can figure out how many calories you can eat and lose your goal amount each week. The site lets you input your foods and it pulls up the calories for you. You also input your workouts, and it subtracts those calories and tells you what you have left to eat that day and still reach your goal. It also lets you track water. The nice thing is since it’s on the Internet you can fill it out at work or at home.

5. Use my Crock Pot moreThis is a small goal in the scheme of things. However, I think it would help me have a calmer day to have my dinner already prepared before the crunch hours of 5 to 7 p.m. when the kids are cranky and homework has to be done, and we have no Daddy around to help.

6. Don’t over-schedule myself - I am very good about not over scheduling the children and always respecting my baby’s nap time. However, I tend to over schedule myself. There’s a project I want to do for our school, but I’m going to wait until I see how much time I really have to devote to it before I commit.

7. Work during the day so I can spend more time with my husband at night - Cutting back my hours on the blog means I really can get my work done during the baby’s nap time so I can actually spend the nighttime with Michael. Usually it’s me at the computer in the living room listening to him laugh at the TV in the den. Very depressing.

8.  Read more books, watch less TV - I have trying for about four months to convince myself to give up my DVR in our bedroom. (It would save $25 a month on our cable bill!!) I haven’t quite been able to do it and Michael let me off the hook saying he can’t get the TV in High-Def without it (I can’t tell a difference so not really a reason for me to keep it.) However, I have been making a big effort to check out books from the library and read at night. I finished three books on vacation and have three novels on bedside table now, plus three cookbooks I wanted to peruse.

8A. Corollary resolution - To only use my library card instead of Michael’s because I finally got hooked up with the Library Elf system so no more late books and no more late fees!  The system emails you when your books are due and gives you a list so you won’t forget to turn them in. the service is free in Gwinnett and may be in other counties.

9. Get to bed earlier every night - When I watch TV before I go to bed, I just can’t turn it off. I just think about all the shows I want to catch up on and how I’m finally getting to watch something I want to watch instead of what the 2-year-old wants to watch. So I end up staying up way too late. Books lull me to sleep, hence I fall asleep earlier.

10. Exercise 5 days a week at least one hour a day- In theory if I’m going to bed earlier,  I won’t wake up dragging and could actually walk before getting the kids off to school and/or will have a better workout at the gym.  Which should in turn lead to feeling better about myself, having more energy and getting all the things above done.

Do you feel you like the new school year is a fresh start for you too? What are your New School Year Resolutions?

56 comments Add your comment

School Time | All Days Long

August 9th, 2009
10:31 pm

[...] A Mom's TOP 10 New School Year Resolutions! Atlanta Journal Constitution I have always loved the beginning of a new school year, and it feels like a fresh start for mom, as well as for the kids. It's time to get organized and be … See all stories on this topic [...]

Luka Horn

August 9th, 2009
11:07 pm

as the wise quote – \”Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.\” (Booker T. Washington)!

Michele Connolly, Get Organized Wizard

August 10th, 2009
4:13 am

Congratulations Theresa on your basement clean-out. I love that ‘I-just-decluttered’ feeling!

If you’re looking for some accountability and company for your ’stay organized’ resolution, you might like the free ★52 Organizing Missions★ program. You can check it out here:
http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/52missions/http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/52missions/

Have a great school year!
Michele :-)

Michele Connolly, Get Organized Wizard

August 10th, 2009
4:15 am

Congratulations Theresa on your basement clean-out. I love that ‘I-just-decluttered’ feeling!

If you’re looking for some accountability and company for your ’stay organized’ resolution, you might like the free ★52 Organizing Missions★ program. You can check it out here:
http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/52missions/

Have a great school year!
Michele :-)

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
7:23 am

The summer is a BIG clean out time for us. When we moved here 12 years ago, we had an empty basement….now it is full. We tend to drag stuff down there that we do not use. Since my son is home for a bit, he is living in the finished area, so we had to clear out those closets and it felt good.

We also just finished putting in hard woods floors and thus had to clean everything out in that area.
I am hoping to put in new carpet in our upstairs, so I am tackling the clean out job in the next 2 weeks. Since I am out of town usually 24 weekends per year, I tend to let big projects slide.
This is the perfect time for me to get busy.

BTW…if you live near the Mall of Ga and get a chance, the BOOKS FOR LESS is a great place to trade in books and save some money. They also have one near the Methodist church in Snellville.
You get credit for books you bring in, towards those you purchase. I have over $500 in credits now…YES, I read a LOT of books.

Re: coupons, I do one BIG coupon shop per month and save $50 at least. We frequently use coupons for eating out and save at least $15 per week…in a year, that is over $1000.

I will admit that I am bad about over scheduling…I cannot seem to master that one. When I am off
( like now) I feel somewhat lost…I am just used to being busy. If I am not working, I am volunteering or getting groups of friends together for lunch or dinner…I just enjoy socializing and have friends who are interesting and fun.

lakerat

August 10th, 2009
7:29 am

Don’t know about your cable system (my parents live in Gwinnett -Lawrenceville – and have Charter Cable) but with Comcast (our provider in Forsyth County) we have 2 HD boxes without DVR and one HD box with DVR – so Michael’s point on that issue may be moot!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 10th, 2009
7:37 am

lakerat I will have to check on that.

JJ

August 10th, 2009
7:59 am

Boy do I have suggestions for you……
Coupons. I sit down every Sunday a.m. with the Sunday Paper. I look at the Publix flyer and see what’s on sale. I make a list of meals for the week. I clip my coupons and keep them in an envelope in my purse. When I make my list, I have all the coupons with me, so I write “coupon” next to the item on my list. I don’t have to stand in each aisle, wondering if I have a coupon not. Also, if it’s not on the list, I don’t buy it. When I get home, I look at what I saved, then I get online, and transfer that amount from my checking account, to my savings account. ($5.73 may not be much at one time, but it does add up……)

As for tv shows you might miss, get a DVR. I only pay $5.00 a month. I am usually asleep by 10, and a lot of good shows are on then, so I set the DVR. I catch up on everything when there is nothing on, or the weekends.

Cleaning out our house this year has been different. My daughter took over the guest bedroom for a “dressing” room. She moved out of that room yesterday, and I reclaimed the room. She leaves next weekend, and my first project is to convert the room back into a guest room/office, and I’m bringing the computer upstairs. My goal is one level living……

It was very strange for me to get up and see the kids at the bus stop, knowing mine is off to college next week. It was very weird not having a child in the car with me this a.m. But, on a good note, I got to sleep until 6:30. I didn’t have to get up at 5:30, get my daughter up, and do all that morning stuff……..

Photius

August 10th, 2009
8:28 am

People don’t change because they want to…. People change because they have to.

Patrick

August 10th, 2009
8:33 am

Another way you can organize coupons is to place them in separate envelopes based on what department/aisle at the store they would be in(canned goods, health and beauty/pharmacy, bread, cereal, baking needs, etc.). When you make up your grocery list, check each envelope to see if you have a coupon for the items you need. For example, when you go to write “toothpaste for kids” on the list, check the envelope marked “HBA/Pharmacy” (or however you want to label it…I’d probably do it as “personal hygiene – kids”), and see if you have a coupon for the toothpaste the kids usually use, or any kids’ toothpaste. If you do, then pull it out and perhaps do what someone else suggested earlier, put “coupon” or “C” next to the item on your list, to remind yourself to use that coupon.

It’s always best to try to organize your list based on the categories or aisles the items are located in the store. This way you’re not wondering down the aisles and searching your list a million times for each item you put in the cart, to see if you actually need that item, or to see if you need something from that aisle. This way it takes less time to get the shopping done, which gives you more time to do other things. Like cleaning out the basement or attic or other cluttered areas of the house.

New Step Mom

August 10th, 2009
9:08 am

I am trying to get into the coupon habit myself. Coupon Mom is a great resource and they have restaurant coupons that are fabulous. Anyone with great coupon organization habits, please post them. I am still learning to be a wife, a part time mom, work full time, and have a few minutes for me. I know we can save lots with coupons, but I have not developed a system yet and I am a bit overwhelmed.

New Step Mom

August 10th, 2009
9:10 am

PS. THe other thing I have begun doing is when I am grocery shopping and I go under my weekly budget, I get a gift card to finish out that budgeted amount. Then when I do go over, I use the “banked gift card” and I am not blowing the budget. That has really helped us and allows us to splurge occasionally. It was my brother and sis-n-law’s idea and it is a great way that I have found to stay on budget.

FCM

August 10th, 2009
9:24 am

flylady.com

She recommends the baby step method. She is fantastic for just what your talking about.

This fly got swatted a few weeks back (along with the B & E) so I am still recovering.

Several BTS bags contents are on the floor of the living room.

One of these years I am going to remember to take 1st day of school off. Like Theresa I count years from BTS to Summer break.

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
9:42 am

Resolution….
I am trying not to put LOL in my comments, as I was criticized for doing this too much ( last week).

It made me think. The reason I do it is because I do laugh out loud a lot. A lady ( at my meeting in Memphis) told me this last week , “I’ll bet it is a riot to live at your house…you are fun to be with….”
NOT ALWAYS….but I do enjoy fun. I am sorry if it is perturbing those who read my posts. I apologize for the redundancy. Have fun…

Joyce

August 10th, 2009
9:50 am

I second FCM’s recommendation about flylady.com! As for coupons, I bought a small coupon organizer at Office Depot several years ago. Now, once I make a week’s menu and grocery list, I go through the coupon book and pull the coupons that it looks like I’ll need based on my shopping list. I stuff them in the front of the coupon book with the list and put it in my purse, and go! I find that I usually save much more this way than if I pull the coupons from the book while I’m in the store.

Stan

August 10th, 2009
10:36 am

MJG,
Stop worring about what random trolls on this blog say to you. Just be yourself. I normally enjoy reading you and if I don’t happen to like what you say, then that is MY problem and not yours.

On coupons:
I find that since I buy almost all generic and very few brand items, that coupons don’t really save me all that much. Am I wrong in this assumption? I haven’t really done the math on it so I may be. Coupon mom’s site is too confusing for me and I don’t like signing up for mailing lists which seems to be what really drives her site. I’ll have to look at the flylady site again.

I need to create a book of meals I cook regularly and a list of ingredents to go with it. I think I only have about 8 things in my regular rotation so this wouldn’t be that hard.

FCM

August 10th, 2009
10:47 am

MJG I second Stan. I usually love to read your stuff. Ok sometimes I skim it but then I can be accused of skimming anything including the notes home from the school.

JJ

August 10th, 2009
11:08 am

Publix had a great buy one, get one free on 12 pack Nabisco snacks. I had a coupon for 75 cents off two……I ended up with a freebie, and and extra 75 cents in my wallet…..I never use the “get XX off when you buy two” unless they are on sale or BOGO……

nurse&mother

August 10th, 2009
11:13 am

Stan, I also buy a lot of generics and often times the coupons don’t help me too much either. I do shop for good deals and stock up when Kroger has big sales.

cofthenight

August 10th, 2009
11:25 am

I, too, have always thought of the new school year as the REAL start of the new year. Even before I had kids and even now, though they’re not in school yet. It’s been years since I was in school myself, but there is always an excitement in the air… fall clothes in the stores, fresh boxes of crayons, hearing the school buses in the mornings, hearing the drums of the marching band in the afternoons… And it all makes me want to get organized and clean up my act, too! I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels like this, haha!

Stan

August 10th, 2009
11:32 am

haha, I just had a thought. The new school year can be compared to business’ “new fiscal year”. It really kinda works too. In the summer you tend to burn through the rest of your yearly budget with vacation and back to school supplies just like managers burn through the rest of their budget to justify getting the same or more budget for next year.

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
11:42 am

Thanks FCM and Stan for your comments.

Things were rough last week and those who popped in to be ultra critical ( towards me) were blog names I did not recognize. It seems a shame, when you know something is absolutely true, not to share it and help others BUT some folks do not want to hear it and I just have to learn to let it go.

This is hard for me to do, as I meet tons of people who tell me things that are insightful and I want to pass along. Last week, I mentioned that Montana is the only state I have not been in and was told ( by a teacher) that lots of people who are hiding from the government live there…really? Am I the only one who did not know this?

I have been telling my son to be sure to wear his seatbelt ( for years). He got a seatbelt ticket a few weeks ago as he said, ” I just hopped in the car for a minute and did not want to mess up my dry cleaned shirt…” Live and learn.

JJ I did go to Publix this last week and shopped the buy one get ones. AWESOME.

I do not have a set budget each week for groceries, as I usually do one or two BIG shops per month and buy whatever we need that is a good buy…then spread it out….a monthly expense. One or two trips @ 90-120 minutes ( drive out to drive in) is more efficient for me. Does anyone else HATE to put the groceries away?

We also have 2 side by sides and that allows me a LOT of flexibility of buying in bulk. I noticed milk has REALLY come down but I do not freeze milk…some do. I typically buy most of my meat at Costco but Publix has many deals that I could not pass up. In the summer, I love to go to the produce stands and get fresh produce. Last week, at BIG LOTS they had Pepperidge Farm breads BOGO…so guess what we have?

With my son home, I am rethinking the food quantity again….do not know how long that will last. We also watch our neighbor’s son and he eats dinner with us at least once per week. Just easier for his mom not to have to deal with it when she walks in the door at 6:00. She knows he has had dinner with us and she can just kick back a minute. We love to have him as he is cute and interesting, adding variety to our dinner together.

Stan

August 10th, 2009
12:33 pm

MJG,
You remind of my wife in some ways. She is a very giving person and is not happy unless she is making someone else happy. I’ve always fought this in her as I don’t think it healthy. I’ve told her that she is not responsible for my happiness, I am. She also tends to give way more information to me in a discussion than I really need which is frustrating at times, but I still love her.

At the end of the day if you want to share ssomething with the group and some shumck gives you crap about it, just let it go. They are trolls and you responding to them is like feeding them. They get attention so they keep going after you. Don’t let them bother you. If it’s a name you normally see they are absolutly trolls. And if it is a name you do normally see and they are being esp mean to you, they are trolls that took a regulars name on here. Don’t repond to them either.

I read enough here to know that JJ is a nice person and would not say anything intentionally mean. Same is true of you, FCM, Nurse&Mother, Lakerat and all the regulars.

Just look in the mirror and say, “I’m smart enough. I’m good enough. and gosh darn it, people like me!”

catlady

August 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

The two year old watches TV?!

lakerat

August 10th, 2009
1:13 pm

Whoa, Stan – those two words, “nice person”, and my name have never been mentioned together – you must have me confused with someone else. Even MJGoose might agree with me on this one!

But, thanks for the thought!

JJ

August 10th, 2009
1:21 pm

I wouldn’t let a two year old dictate what you watch on tv. You are the adult, it’s your tv, she’s two!!!!

HB

August 10th, 2009
1:45 pm

I’m confused about the $25/month for a DVR (I guess it’s a HD converter +DVR?). If HD isn’t an issue for you, can’t you buy a DVR for between $200 and $300 (would pay for itself in savings in 8-12 months)? I don’t have one myself, so is there something I’m missing here?

JJ

August 10th, 2009
2:01 pm

Me too, seeing how I only pay $5.00/month for my DVR….

Katherine

August 10th, 2009
2:15 pm

Stan – Just had to comment on what you said to MJG (”Just look in the mirror and say, “I’m smart enough. I’m good enough. and gosh darn it, people like me!”). Growing up, my dad would always tell me that I was good enough, smart enough and he and my mom would always love me – very similar to what you said – I hadn’t thought about it in awhile and it brought a smile to my face. :)

Becky

August 10th, 2009
2:53 pm

Theresa, good luck with following any(or all) of these resolutions..

1..I clean house (some) every day..I just need to get rid of a lot of junk..
2..I’m not sure if it’s in my genes to be organized..Wish it was..
3..I use coupons all of the time..
4..Working on this, hard to do..
5..I use mine a good bit already..
6..Not a big problem with me..
7..
8..I read all of the time..I keep one book in the car, one book at my desk and one book by the bed..Drives my husband crazy for me to read and watch TV at the same time..
9..No big issue..I’m usually in bed by 10ish..I do watch TV in bed though..We don’t have a DVR and don’t use our DVD player that much..
10..We are working on this..Have been riding our bikes a lot..My husband more so than me because his work schedule is more flexible..Also, he will ride alone where I won’t..

JJ, I like to try something different or new each week from the grocery store..For this reason, I clip a coupon for things that I wouldn’t normally buy, then if it’s on sale, I’ll try it..

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
3:00 pm

Stan…THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR VOTE OF CONFIDENCE it means a lot to me. It is a good thing folks some like me or I would be unemployed, since they all hire me for what I know. Keeping my fingers crossed here!

lakerat, YES YOU ARE MOST LIKELY A NICE PERSON….I am over the insect critique, since my son is heading to ________. Want to have lunch? Theresa knows where to find me.

catlady…my son did watch Sesame Street in the early 90’s and I usually watched it with him….I was too busy/tired after teaching Kinder to squeeze in any shows of my own and even now rarely watch TV. I watched Barney with my daughter. Want to join lakerat and myself…haha?

@Katherine….growing up, my dad always said, EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER.
Thus, I try to share the lessons I have learned through my experiences. Some simply would rather have their own.

Currently, I am trying to remind my son that keeping a FEW bucks in his wallet is good. He asked me if I put a $10 bill in there today. He thinks that if he has a debit and credit card…cash is obscure….perhaps it is. Maybe I am way too old fashioned. Hugging him goodbye today ( he is at his new job) was interesting…I will miss him when he moves on but at least he won’t be across the country…..just ITP….oh no!

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
3:05 pm

Becky…I enjoy reading your posts BUT if everyone here followed suit ( sp?) on the numbers thing that you used in your post today, IT WOULD DRIVE ME CRAZY. Hugs to you and maybe I AM nuts or quickly heading in that direction.

JJ

August 10th, 2009
3:34 pm

MotherJane – tell your son to carry cash at all times. I NEVER spend my change, and throw it into a jar at home, every night. Once a year, right before Christmas, I dump my change at Coinstar. Last year, I cashed out $275.00!!! Just by saving my change every day.

I prefer cash over a debit card. I get to actually SEE my money.

Also, have him sign up for “Keep the change” at Bank of America. They round up every purchase to the next dollar, and put the change in a savings account. They will match like 10% the first year. Wachovia offers something like that too, but they will take a dollar out of your checking account and put it in your savings account every time you use the debit card (on line bill pay, etc).

But I still like plain old cash!!!! I hit the back every Sunday after the grocery store, and get enough cash for lunches and gas in the car for a week.

JJ

August 10th, 2009
3:35 pm

Oops, I hit the Bank, not back……sorry, got going too fast.

new mom

August 10th, 2009
4:01 pm

Hi MJG, does that book place actually give you money for used books, or just credit to buy more? We have stacks of books we’d love to sell and get some ‘cash-money’ for, but I’m trying to not bring home anymore to live here permanently (we use the library lots…and well, that doesn’t include books for our daughter(s), which I don’t mind a big library!) I’m not opposed to donating them too, for a tax-deduction, but whenever we sell anything (via garage sale, etc.) we will deposit that money in our daughter’s college account. Just an easy way to sock some extra money there for her and it’s a good motivator to keep things cleaned out.

One other thought–you might want to try to redeem all that book credit, these days you never know who will go out of business and there goes any credit you have there. Sad but true!

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
4:08 pm

Thanks JJ…we too have a change bucket and cash it in several times per year….usually $60 or so.
I do not own a debit card…cash or credit for me.

My son is a pretty good saver. He has saved good bit of money and also profit sharing. My daughter has almost $3000 and she is only 17.

I am over Bank of America and about to give them the boot. I have banked with them for 20 years…started when they were Bank South here. I have 2 accounts with them. I use several branches and the service is mediocre at best. I wanted to make a deposit at the one on Old Peachtree last week ( as I was heading to the airport and had the endorsed checks from Wyomingin my purse). There were 2 tellers…one regular and one merchant. I observed over a dozen people in the merchant line and thought this was odd. I asked several ( at the back of the line) if they were merchants…they gave me strange looks and said NO. Finally, the teller overheard me and said, “Oh we are not honoring this as a merchant teller line right now…even though the sign says so…” REALLY? I have an account with you and want to PUT MONEY IN the back so others can take it out…do you want it or not? THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME TO HAVE THIS HAPPEN.

DB…just a question, as you must know WAY more about finances than me….
Do merchants typically have more money in the bank than regular customers or is that my false assumption?

On the flip side… I LOVE PEOPLES BANK in Gwinnett County. Wish they were national.

Becky

August 10th, 2009
4:09 pm

motherjanegoose, sorry about driving you crazy, that wasn’t my intention..I too enjoy most of what everyone on here has to say and I learn a lot..

I also think that lakerat is probably a very nice guy..So if y’all do meet up for lunch, I’m sure that it would be a fun time for both..

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

@newmom…only credit and I would rather have that than the books lying around here…as I mentioned, we did a major clean out here. They just moved ( last fall) into the new location at the MOG and they are bustling. Nice folks too!

I could actually have my own store here if I wanted to! It usually ends up costing me less than $5 for a current paperback and less than $10 for the hardback plus I trade them back in and that will give me 50% credit…$2.50 for pb and $5 for hb….worth it to me!

thanks for your input.

JATL

August 10th, 2009
4:32 pm

As far as coupons and saving money, I’m in agreement with a number of folks here. I use coupons all the time and find that Kroger’s Plus card sends me so many great coupons, it really helps me save money. However I also buy MANY generic/store-brand items. I started experimenting a few years ago with these, and I love how much money I’m saving! It does pain me to think of how much money I wasted for years! Just an FYI some may find helpful as far as what I’ve found regarding store brands vs. name brands:

Baby formula -soy or milk-based -it is EXACTLY the same. My 2nd has used Kroger Comforts brand (a GREAT store brand for baby products) and is doing wonderfully at 10 months. The FDA makes all formulas comply with certain mandates ingredient-wise, so compare the labels out there -it’s literally 1/2 the price of Similac and Enfamil!

Baby diapers -again the Comforts brand and Target’s Up and Up brand work wonderfully and are also very cute! They fit and don’t leak.

Tampons and pads -I know it’s personal, but I can’t tell any difference in Kroger or Target brand and Tampax, and I was a loyal Tampax user for over 20 years. Same with pads from Target.

OTC meds -ibuprofen, acetominophen, and aspirin. The one difference I have found is in children’s Tylenol or Motrin -you can get the name brands dye free, but Kroger’s brand has red dye in it.

Most stores also have a policy where they will take back any store brand you’re not satisfied with and refund your money or give you the name brand equivalent. Costco is good about this too and I love Kirkland garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper and laundry detergent. They unfortunately don’t sell soy baby formula!

JJ is also right about keeping track of change. I keep an old wipes dispenser on the dryer and empty all loose change from my husband’s pockets and any I find around the house or in my bags into it. When it gets full and we’re headed to a music festival or the holidays are near I usually get a few hundred bucks out of it! It’s basically a piggy bank for mom!

Theresa -call your cable company and find out why the DVR is $25 a month?!?! Ours is free! I find having no tv in the bedroom brings much tranquility and solace to that area as well. You get back to actually REALLY relaxing -reading, sleeping and other things intended for bedrooms…;-)

new mom

August 10th, 2009
4:45 pm

Thanks MJG! I think I’ll go the goodwill route and get the tax deduction. :)

Theresa, I’m with you on the crockpot. I love using it, but know I should use it more! Part of the problem is, I keep it put away in a cabinet as I HATE having stuff out on the countertops, so it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’. I also really like the liners, but the are kinda pricy for a box of 4 (don’t remember how much each box is) but they are great for keeping bad messes off the bowl…I usually use a liner, then put the stoneware bowl in the dishwasher at night, usually there is very little to scrub.

Becky

August 10th, 2009
5:01 pm

newmom, if there isn’t an actual Goodwill near you, I think most any thrift store will give you a tax deduction slip to use at the end of the year..I know Value Village thrift stores will..

fk

August 10th, 2009
6:09 pm

After my son left for college last week, I decided I had enough of diverting my gaze as I passed his room, no more closed bedroom door. First thing, I “stripped” his bed. I pulled back the comforter, underneath just mattress. WTH? I found the pad, fitted and top sheet all rolled up at the corner, still partially tucked in. He had been sleeping on the comforter. Yuk. Took care of business there, did laundry into the next day, and then hit his closet, floor only. I pulled out backpacks that had to have dated back to middle school. He was good about keeping up with his clothes, but I found shoes on the floor in his closet that he had outgrown years ago. I did this Monday and Tuesday of last week. Still feeling inspired…will hit the gameroom next with the two big closets.

I realized today that I did not appreciate my summer commute with the lighter traffic. Took me almost 1/2 hour to get to work today…6 miles away.

hayley

August 10th, 2009
7:56 pm

Enter your comments here

catlady

August 10th, 2009
7:58 pm

MJG, I allowed my children to watch Electric Company (the best show! But for adults as well as kids)–you are right–when we could get it. No cable here till my children were out of college. Of course, during the school year we rarely saw it, and in the summer it took up an hour a day. There were too many other things for them to do! NEVER at night, and on the weekends they got 1/2 hour each (they could combine their time or not). For part of my time in grad school–I think 3 years of it–no tv at all. Turned it to face the wall.

Some of my children’s parents park the baby in front of the TV in the bouncie seat!

motherjanegoose

August 10th, 2009
8:31 pm

I DO remember Electric Company and also almost forgot that we did not always have cable.

I think my son was in 3rd or 4th grade and whining that everyone else had cable and he had no idea what was on the shows they watched. SO…we caved.

We were so loyal to the Lilburn library that about 4 years ago, I was at Brownlee’s Furniture in Lawrenceville and about to buy a couch when I spotted 2 ladies who were gazing at me. I excuse myself from the salesperson and walked over to introduce myself. The ladies said, ” Aren’t you ___________’s Mom? We were librarians at the library and remember him reading entire books at FOUR.” Yes, and I told them that he had was heading to college….fond memories!

I am with you on your last line…my sister actually had a 5 day a week NO TV for her boys once, when they were in HS. I thought that was a BIT extreme but admire her stance.

DB

August 11th, 2009
12:10 am

Oh, goodness — everyone seems to have the back-to-school clean-up fever! Let me put in another vote for flylady.net! It can be a rather intimidating website, at first, but if you just take it step by step, it does give you a marvelous structure that you can adapt as needed to your own situation. Marla Cilley (”Flylady”) and I hung out on a home organization website at the same time about 10 years ago — she was always generous with her ideas and enthusiasm, and after answering a lot of the same questions over and over again from newbies, she started her own website, which really took off and has become a booming business! (”Flylady” is because she is an avid fly fisherman. She lives near Asheville, and is a real pistol!) Her favorite mantra is “it didn’t become this way in a day, and it won’t be fixed in a day”, along with some rather astringent observations on how perfectionism throttles many people’s efforts. My problem is sheer laziness — I’m a quick reader, I’ll read four or five books a week (never mind TV, blech, except for NCIS and House!) and happily ignore the bathroom . . .

I’ll think about fall cleaning when I get everyone back to school. Dropped my daughter off today — she is so excited! Once my son goes back next week, then I’ll have a lot of time to do some major excavating. fk, you’re a braver woman than I — the idea of cleaning out my son’s bedroom is overwhelming! Unfortunately, he inherited my pack-rat tendencies. My daughter is much less sentimental about things — she tosses with abandon, so her room is relatively clear. It might be nice to see the floor of my bedroom, again, some day. We’re not even going to discuss the basement until my husband gets rid of about 35 bankers boxes of case files . . . !

MJG, I think it would depend on the merchant, as to who kept bigger balances in the bank. Certainly, most merchants visit the bank far more often than I do — I remember, working part-time at a little store, the owners seemed to be forever going to the bank! (And if you’re handing out invitations to lunch . . . AHEM!!)

motherjanegoose

August 11th, 2009
8:20 am

Thanks DB…Yes, I would love to do lunch. Glad you might be interested. After last week, I thought I may have to switch to another blog. Theresa, if DB contacts you please give HER my e-mail!
I am home for the next 3 weeks except for one day of work and one day of a very important ceremony with my son…then I am on the road. I am afraid that we may have to invite my husband as he LOVES NCIS and HOUSE. NAAAAA…..

catlady…FYI my husband corrected me in that we got cable when my son was in MIDDLE school.

JJ

August 11th, 2009
9:37 am

I also send emails to various manufacturers regarding their product. I get a lot of FREE coupons.

Lately, I have been firing off letters to McDonalds, Chick FilA, etc about service at several locations. You get coupons too when you complain or write KUDOS……especially if corporate finds out, then the actual manager will contact you. I got two free McDonalds Value Meal coupons, and two for Chick Fil A…..We eat for free about once or twice a month!!!

DB

August 11th, 2009
10:22 am

JJ, I once fired off a complaint letter to Wendy’s corporate office about spectacularly abysmal service at a location in North Carolina (when I tried to talk to the manager at the store at the time, I was told that “there are no managers here today.”) . I was shocked when the manager of the store called me, because the letter had been forwarded to the district office, and the district manager had called the store manager in for a conference about it! She was extremely apologetic, and we received several coupons for that particular store (which we never used, but only because we lost them long before we were ever in the area again!)

MJG, Theresa has my email and is welcome to forward it to you!

Theresa: How is your brother doing?

motherjanegoose

August 11th, 2009
1:13 pm

DB…here is a funny story about complaints…

I was at a Holiday Inn Select and was upgraded to a suite. I stayed two nights. The first night, I was so tired, that I went right to bed. The second night, I opened a armoire drawer to find a phone book and observed a pile of dirty clothes. I walked over to the phone near the window and just past the sofa to find a pair of men’s DIRTY boxers on the floor next on the side of the sofa….eeew. They had been there a while.

Yes, I complained and was offered FREE breakfast , FREE points ( which I took) and a FREE night
which I did not take. NOW I check everything in the room when I arrive…lots of things lurk under beds! Even fancy hotels have housekeepers that do not do a good job.

I hope to hear from Theresa…she has not answered my recent e-mail…too busy probably.

JJ you can keep the Mc Donald’s coupons….I ate there WAY too much in college. I do love Chik Fil A…they have the best sweet tea. Good suggestion…I try to praise those who deserve it and complain when they need it too.