Remember the Walmart Holiday commercial of a man, doing last-minute shopping, racing down the aisles swiping anything he could into the cart? It was the mad dash during the season of chaos, and it is an image our frugal house is aware of and do our best to avoid.
But when you have two young children, two self-employed parents attempting to grow businesses, a dying mother of one parent and a law suit, one quickly finds his or herself in a persistent mad dash on a daily basis. Rationalizing the unfrugal behavior is easy given what life is throwing at you. Plus most folks around you are not all that frugal themselves. Give yourself a break, it was a common refrain.
Life cycles -- the chaos has subsided, lawsuit and deceased mother of the parent are part of the past. And as Friday arrived on the calendar, this frugalista said no more to the frenzy. A new routine had emerged over the past few months. Friday at our house does not mean the end of a work week; one if not both of us has work over the weekend. Tired and desperate for a break, I had turned to "take-out" on Friday nights. I cringed at the prices, and muttered after the meal -- often not that satisfying for any of us. Tonight I said enough!
The day started with business development marketing, then came the client meetings, followed by the dash to the preschool to collect my children. Take-out was not an option. Instead I worked in a 20 minute walk to the grocery store next to my office building. Fresh pasta, sauce, and a container from the salad bar provided healthy and easy to prepare food for the evening meal. Cost -- a fraction of take-out.
Mission accomplished as the children played at home. Laundry of the weekend was started. When my other half arrived home he enjoyed a quick meal, and we all headed up to the library and neighboring ice cream store. With coupon in hand we enjoyed locally made ice cream (the kids and I) and cookies for my husband. Total cost of $6.22.
We're back into a calmer state, one that will nurture more frugal decisions. All good for the budget, our health and the planet.