Every time a holiday rolls around, it seems to throw everyone off of their schedule, and it certainly did for us. However, the holiday is not totally to blame around here. It has been hectic around here this whole school year with me beginning tutoring again and being away from home due to that.
It seems like every time I try to add a new thing into the mix, all the other things that I had been juggling get dropped. This time has certainly been no exception, and toss in a steady barrage of illnesses that have been plaguing one or the other of us, and you can understand why things around here have not been running so smoothly.
I have learned from many failed attempts in the past that I cannot go in guns blazing one day and whip everything back into shape. So, this time I am taking a slightly different approach. Small baby steps.
First off, my coupons were out of control. I had coupon inserts dating back to September, and I may or may not have used any in that time! I have always had a tendency to try to get them all back in order in a matter of hours in a single night when they got out of control, and then my neck and shoulders would pay for it for quite some time, and I would be too burnt out to mess with them for a while.
I had every intention of doing that on New Years' Day. In fact, it was on my list! But when I pulled it out to begin working on it, I said "This is nuts!" and I quickly changed tactics. I decided I would spend 10 minutes a day and set a timer (I've actually been doing 15), and when it went off, I would finish up the insert I was working on and stop.
I have been doing this for a full week now, tossing the expired, clipping the unexpired, putting them in a pile to be filed. I still have a little ways to go, but I intend to keep up this habit even when I get to the bottom of my pile. It will help me stay on top of making my shopping lists and whatnot.
Which brings me to my other point. Shopping. Yes, I have been shopping. At Aldi. With no coupons. Yes, if I'm going to not be using coupons, then that is the best place for me to shop. But, there are many things that I can get cheaper than Aldi prices with coupons, and I know this. It's just one of those things that has gotten dropped.
Instead of jumping right back in and planning out a massive coupon shopping trip, I decided that I was going to take that slow, too. I challenged myself to build back up slowly. I said I was going to use 1 coupon this week, and then perhaps, 2, then 5, then up from there, until using my coupons was part of my habit again, because we are just wasting money on our newspaper subscription and on computer ink if I'm not using them!
So today I needed to go out shopping. I had my list of things I needed to get from Aldi. I was tried after being up watching my youngest who faceplanted out of her chair at the dinner table last night. It was raining, and I didn't really feel like going to the store, but alas! We were out of milk, among other things.
Another thing we were running dangerously low on was cereal. I had done a huge stock up a few months back (probably my last couponing effort to date), and we had been slowly but surely using that up. This morning I noticed we were down to 4 opened half boxes, some of which were probably stale and one expired. I remembered that Tom Thumb was having a big sale on General Mills Cereals $1.49 wyb 4. Since it's on the way to Aldi, and since today was the last day of the sale, I made myself get in here and find coupons and make one extra teeny tiny real quick stop.
And I actually used 2 coupons, they just happened to be identical. ;) $1.49 per box, and after 2 $1/2 coupons (one from 12/9 SS and one I printed this morning) I paid just $3.96 for all four boxes or $0.99/box.
Doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was a tiny first step back into couponing for me, and I won't have to pay full price for cereal next week (or even Aldi prices of $1.79)!
I've been taking small steps in several areas so far this year, and they have been paying off! I will be sharing more soon about other tasks that I am taking in small chunks as well as some things I'm using to help me keep up and stay motivated!
Are you breaking down any tasks into smaller more manageable pieces this year?