This week I'd like to float the idea, that being a full time stay at home parent, means that you can do far more than just cook from scratch, wash the dog, and bake for school lunches.
Yes you can do all of that, for sure, but it's all about having the time and the energy, to source what your family needs, not just for today, but for future events, both anticipated and unforeseen.
I'll have more on that in a moment.
But first of all, look at this stunning dress.....
This was an impulse buy for my daughters Senior Formal next year. Yes. Next year.
Annabel over at The Bluebirds are Nesting recently called this the Pre-Emptive Strike, where you plan well ahead for events both within and beyond your control. I like that.
I like to think of it as "transferring tomorrows need into todays budget", so that you can do something about it in a timely fashion, when it best suits you. We do a lot of transferring tomorrows need into todays budget. Both financially and timewise, it saves a LOT of stress.
You see, when you're not rushed all the time with mini emergencies thrust upon you by needing to work full time, you can sit with the aforementioned daughter, looking at what she's pinned on Pinterest for this lavish occasion. You can also start searching waaaaaay ahead of time, for that perfect gown, not to mention the accessories to compliment it. This is not to be sneezed at, as Senior Formal is big business, with many families lashing out on expensive bouffant dresses, even more bouffant hair, and limousines to rival those transporting a celebrity.
I happened to be passing a Bridal wear store that was closing down a week or two ago. On impulse, and bearing in mind the lavish jewel encrusted gowns my lovely one was pinning, I stopped. You know. Just in case I could transfer tomorrows need into todays budget.
And there it was. The very style of dress she'd pinned over and over again. Slim, elegant, shimmering, and with the most fabulous jewel embellished neckline, bodice and back detail. It had the fishtail finish with a small train at the back too, was beautifully lined and finished, and in the most glorious colour to compliment her complexion.
With trepidation, I fumbled for the price tag. $699 was crossed out, and $299 scrawled in it's place. But wait...that too had a huge X, and next to it was written $99. Hang on though. It's on a rack that says $49. A quick check with the staff, and I was out of there, with dress of the daughters dreams in a bag, for just $49. We could not have purchased the fabric, zipper and jewelled trim for that!
Very happy daughter, very happy me. It's not an 'insourced' item as such as I did not make it with my own fair hands. However in terms of my value to the family on that one purchase, and by transferring tomorrows need into todays budget, I'm going to call it a completely justified savings value of $650.
Next on the insourcing list is afternoon tea for my gluten free teen. Teens get hungry. Especially really active teens who dance four days a week. Often she'll request hot chips, I guess for the carbs, and always looks longingly at the gravy, which of course is off limits, as gravy is usually made with wheat flour. It goes without saying too, that I cringe at spending $5 on chips at a takeaway, knowing full well they're deep fried, and not the healthiest thing. I've solved this by coming up with a strategy of always having fat 'healthy style' frozen chips on hand to cook in the oven, and making a quick gluten free gravy, seen above, drizzled temptingly over her chips. Here's the recipe in four sentences...
Quick Gluten Free Peppered Garlic Gravy
Add one stock cube, a pinch each of dried garlic and onion, and a grind of pepper to 100mls of boiling water in a microwave safe jug, stirring to dissolve the stock cube. In a separate jug or cup, combine 3 heaped teaspoons of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water, stirring to a paste. Add more boiling water to the stock cube mix to make it up to 250mls, then add the cornflour mix, combining well. Add a drizzle of milk and a dribble of soy sauce to add creaminess and colour, and microwave on HIGH for 60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds.
Easy, and creamy smooth and delicious over chips, chicken, meat or pastrygoods. Gluten free gravy mix is ridiculously expensive so I'll call that a savings value of $20 on gravy mix, and an equal value, easily, of $20 on a weeks worth of bought afternoon snacks.
Heart shaped baking is not limited to Valentines Day around here, and I made a lovely Bacon and Cheese crustless Quiche that fed us for lunch on Sunday and for my daughters school lunch for the rest of the week. We'll call that a value of $30 on a similar purchased quiche.
I finished two books I was reading (I always have two or three on the go), and thought about treating myself to some more from Booktopia, but decided to put my wants on a Mothers Day list instead, and resurrected some old favourites. That's a value of at least $50.
And I finished another cloud soft snuggle rug in softest pastel pink for my other granddaughter. I've made two now, and these will be Easter gifts, along with a softie bunny face, and a crocheted snood for my darlings. Snoods are quite the rage for the little ones this Winter here, as evidenced by their presence in the designer Department Stores. I'm making ones like this....
....too cute, huh?
I'm going to call those last two savings not just on Easter Egg gifts, but also on Winter woollies, and make it a $200 value.
That's a total value of $970, and I haven't counted all my usual tasks of cleaning, grooming and beautifying of self, daughter and dog, and garden and home maintenance.
That's a pretty dashed good week.
How was your week? Tell me all...