Monday, August 24, 2009

Some Other Beginning's End

So this is it. Today was my last day of summer break. It very much feels like an end, but at the same time it is very much a beginning. As much as it flips my tummy to think of summer as "ending," I am feeling optimistic about the coming school year. My kiddos should be nice. I'm teaching stuff I've taught before. I will have some adjusting to do for the GT types, but adjusting is a vast improvement over inventing, which is what I did non-stop last year. I will also have to find time for my internship hours and hope that they don't overtake all planning time I'll need for those GT adjustments... and the grading. Nonetheless, I'm feeling optimistic that it will all work out.

I already mapped out how I want to arrange my desks, the design of my bulletin board, rearrangement of some posters, and a few new systems put in place. I'm hoping that I don't have a lot of furniture to move. Last summer our school was painted, so all furniture was piled into corners of the classrooms. This summer we housed summer school, so I'm hoping my classroom is still somewhat in the shape of a classroom. I don't mind moving desks and chairs, but file cabinets are a bit much for little ole me. This week I should be able to get a lot done in terms of lesson planning and copies made. Our administrators are really great about giving us a lot of work time during pre-service week. At my last school, we sat in meetings and trainings non-stop for the entire first week. We got maybe an hour at the end of each day at 1 or 2:00 to work in our rooms. So you know for teachers that meant we were there working until 6pm. Tomorrow I'm completely free from 11am through the rest of the day.

Also beginning this fall, we are making a few changes around the Beck household. Up to this point we haven't really operated on much of a planned budget and have just kind of bought things as needed and grocery shopped based on what we felt like that day. However, we've decided that it's time to start paying closer attention. We came to the realization that we should have more money than we do and we're gonna find it! Here are some mistakes I think we were making...
  • Ignoring sales
  • Not planning ahead
  • Letting good coupons expire
  • Getting lunch and dinner "out" since we hadn't planned well enough
We really aren't wasteful spenders in that we don't go out buying frivolous things just for the fun of it. Neither of us really spends much on things for fun. However, we have spent too much out of necessity that wasn't really necessity. So here are some of my proposed changes...
  • Re-organize coupons by expiration dates
  • Shop based on sales and make meals from that
  • Plan ahead to make sure we have things to pack for lunches, and know what we're making for dinner
Now I've heard of people who are practically professionals at thrift shopping for groceries. I am definitely interested in learning more. For example, I don't know if my idea of making meals based on sale items is sensible or not. Is it better to pick out dinner recipes at the beginning of the week and just shop for what they call for? Or am I doing ok by just buying what's on sale? Don't get me wrong, I'm not buying things just because they're on sale. I'm still only getting things I know we like and will use. I'll try new things, but I wouldn't get something goofy and obscure just because it was a bargain. I'm also willing to still buy my fresh fruits and veggies because we do use them often. I can't get by on Pop-Tarts, Easy Mac and rice just because they're cheap.

So I'm looking for any and all feedback and advice on the meal-planning / grocery shopping front. Do you have a system? Do tell!

If you'd like to know though, today I did my first grocery shopping trip. My goal was to get us breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week for very very close to $100. Overall through sales and 3 coupons (3, haha) I saved $42 and some change. My total came to $101! I was kind of proud. There were some good sales, so I felt like I got a lot for my money. We'll see if I can keep it up!

Since it's back to reality tomorrow, I can't make any promises as to when I'll be back. All I can say is that I hope I find this year much more relaxed than the last ;] This week itself shouldn't be too bad. Next week the little cherubs return and that always means more work for me. But I can honestly say I'm excited to meet them and get the year underway.

Before I go... three positive events!
  1. Amberly is having a GIRL! We are SOOO excited :]
  2. My friend Andy from way back in high school just got a new job and will be moving his family to Texas in the next month or so. I have to record this as a positive event or I will get all selfish and cry about it. I'll miss them something awful, but I know it's a great opportunity for them, and it will give me the excuse I've been looking for to visit Texas!!
  3. I have had an incredibly fun summer (fast as it was) ;]

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you!