Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trimming the Fat

My husband and I were talking today about how we can start living more frugally, and as we both examined our "guilty" lists, it did not take me very long to figure out what was at the top of mine:
My morning Starbucks.

I am an addict. I will admit it.  I am an addict who is so not interested in a 12-step kick-the-Starbucks-habit program, but I will make an attempt nonetheless.  After all, I'm spending about $100 a month there.  Crazy.

What's odd is that I don't crave it at all on weekends or vacations.  The addiction is built into my weekday routine.  I suppose that's a good thing to recognize, since it means that all I need to do to change my wayward behavior is to change my routine.

I also know that my Starbucks preference is related to time.  Since I commute pretty far to work in the morning, Starbucks is just convenient.   However,  it's too costly -- both money-wise and health-wise.  Not long ago, our household declared a soda moratorium.  In just the course of a month, my husband lost weight, and noticeably so.  As for me, I pretty much maintained my weight, because even though I had cut out soda, I was still getting my daily Starbucks fix.

It's time for a change.  We'll see how it goes...I've tried this before, when I gave it up for Lent last year.  It worked pretty well, but when the school year started in August, I fell off the wagon.  Big time.

As for the second item on the chopping block, I'm bidding farewell to my Studio Calico subscription. I've been a subscriber since January 2008.  It was a difficult choice to make, but I know it's for the best.  I'm sure that I just made someone on the SC waiting list very happy.

Being frugal kind of sucks.  Will I ever be the kind of person to go into raptures when she saves $0.40 thanks to a coupon?

It's humbling, though, to identify the excess in our lives, and to recognize when it is justified and when it is not.  Hopefully by reducing some of the overspending, and embracing the philosophy of the ant rather than the grasshopper, we will become wiser in the process.

Anyway, enough about saving.  One place I can splurge without reservation is on my layouts.  Now that is one addiction I don't have to worry about kicking.

Here's a sneak peek at the October Jenni Bowlin antiquarian kit:
Last night, while going through some old photos, I discovered this photo of my grandparents and the grandkids, circa 1978.  I love that it's not perfectly posed, and that our personalities are shining through.  The antiquarian kit is full of items that relate to numbers and finance, so I centered the page around the idea of indebtedness.  My grandparents invested so much in their grandchildren. They devoted themselves to us tirelessly.  Just as the photo demonstrates, we must have exhausted them, but they kept on smiling, kept on loving us, no matter what.  Because of them, I learned to love without limits.

Tomorrow, my daughter will celebrate Grandparents' Day at school with her grandmother.  I wonder how she will reflect someday on the role of her grandparents in her life.  I wish we could all be closer, the way that I was with my own grandparents when I was a kid.  I had an extended family rather than a nuclear family.  It was a true blessing.  We can be frugal with our resources, but there can never be too much love.  In spending time with our families, we save them.


  1. Yep, you need to kick that starbucks habit! Good for you! Don't listen to me though, I'm addicted to plenty of junk myself :) I sit here thinking about ways I spend excessively but I think my brain is preventing me from identifying those areas as a means of self preservation, ha!
    I love you layout - the photo and the journaling, the design. We don't have a grandparents day at school here. I wonder if that's more a Hawaiian culture thing? It's a great idea, wish we did.

  2. Wow I'm in the same mindset right now.The Starbucks is totally routine thing for me too. It's the one thing in the morning that sometimes helps me get out of bed (almost...). I don't even go everyday but I know it's totally a habit. I feel lost without it which is so silly! I totally understand though and I have many things I need to trim as well!

  3. Your words are true for me too Jill. I know our family spends waaaay too much money eating out. I also know it is just a matter of convenience with all the busyness of sports, dance, girl scouts, choir, etc., etc. I am going to try to make more meals at home even if we are eating them at 8 or 8:30 pm some nights! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I love this post. I used to drink them really often, and although I now work right next to a bux, I rarely get one, simply because I stopped going. I now see it as a treat.

    I've also found that couponing has kinda changed my life. I bought one of those cheap accordian-style organizers a few years back and it saves us a TON of money, mostly in local restaurants, groceries, etc.

    You can do it, it's like anything else–you just have to make up your mind to do it :)