Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I detest shopping so much that I couldn't even bear the thought of looking for online coupons, so I asked Sabrina to do it for me. I chose Rack Room due to their BOGO, and she found and printed out a 20% off entire purchase coupon, plus this store is not in the mall. I hate malls more than anything, feeling claustrophobic and itchy within such a sealed off environment. Stifling canned air and the chemicals wafting off everything suffocates me.
I was mind-boggled over all the shoe choices, yet within 20-30 minutes, all 14 kids wisely had tried on and selected their shoes, piled high on the counter, approved by me, and we were checking out with zero raised voices, no bar fights, nor much stress on me at all. Amazing.
I was a little taken aback by Tabby's glitter Skeetcher shoes, "Dang girl, you're gonna blind your teacher," I cracked, pitying any educator who'd end up with a classroom full of sparkly second graders with light up shoes, the boys chose name brand Nikes and stuff, my two pretty teenagers pictured here, Sabrina and Mayra, went for Rainbow sandals, as their Nikes from last year were still in great shape.
$361 for 14 pairs of shoes. We could've done even better had I nagged more, but I have to give the kids this opportunity to choose.
Wal-Mart was a bit more stressful, still not in a mall, but literally everyone needed new underwear and socks, school supplies, and personal care items. My zen exterior began to crack under the stress of such commercialism, but I held it together decently, and we still came out under budget, as we also did when the electric bill arrived in the mail. Bingo. I win.
Tabby got her ears pierced, and I'd allowed Sabrina to get that upper ear cartilage piercing, even though I think it's dumb.
Chuy's contacts? Check. A six month supply in the bag.
On a roll, I went back to where I'd gone three times so far, dithering over Jack's flooring, reluctant to spend so much, but needing to get it done, as a plywood subfloor will never suffice.
Score! They had a 99 cent per square foot closeout, and for the exact same price I'd budgeted for Jack's floor, I can also get JoJo's bedroom done.
The catch is, the boys and I need to clear out the room, rip out the carpet, remove the tacks and other detritus underneath, and have it ready for the rock bottom priced installers I'd negotiated for, sitting there staring them down until they finally reached my own predetermined price.
"Wow," Chuy'd whistled in admiration, when all was said and done. "You're kinda immovable."
Nope, I knew how much money I had available. Period. I wasn't going over budget. I don't do that. Not budging over budget, hah, get it?
Sitting down to my Excel spreadsheet nerd budget last night, entering figures in Quicken, recalculating the rest of the month, in which I'll likely only buy groceries and the rest of the school supplies, we got 'er done, and I'm pleased, but broke on the second day of the month.
Whatever. The garden is spewing out produce, and I can thinly stretch the money all month easily. This is again a fun challenge for me.
Watching the totals detonate explosively at the cash register, my kids were shocked into silence, and a surprising amount of gratitude was expressed. "Wow, Mom, you didn't buy yourself anything, did you?"
Yeah I did. I invested in my children with the hopes of a prideful payoff at some point in time later, such as a high school graduation, or even successful joint completion of all the grades this year.
I do need some new clothes and shoes, but I can easily make do for the moment. Daniel'd cracked about my bathing suit on Sunday, an animal print, "Looks like some hooker donated to Goodwill?" he'd snarked at me. Nope, I'd gotten it dirt cheap the other year at Myrtle Beach, but he's so used to me paying 50 cents or less for my clothes, or some other ridiculously excellent price.
"Honey, I'm nearly 60 years old." I love rounding it up like that. "Just be glad I can even fit in a bathing suit." Words I'd barely gotten out of my mouth before Marcela dunked me underwater.
Be glad I can swim too.