So now that we've got that out of the way...
I went to the grocery last night for the first time since I decided to start actively looking for and using coupons. I should back up and explain that Zack and I are NOT efficient grocery shoppers. At all. We both lived less than a mile from Kroger back in Lexington so we got into the habit of buying groceries only as we were going to use them. So basically, every single day. At some point every evening after work/school, one of us would go get whatever we needed to fix dinner that night. It was good in that by buying only what we planned to use right then we had very little waste and we ended up always getting the freshest of whatever it was we were buying. But like I said, going to the grocery seven or more times a week isn't especially efficient. Now that he's in school all day and I'm at work, combined with the fact that the grocery store isn't exactly in our backyard anymore, I'm trying to be more diligent about shopping ahead for things.
Which brings me back to last night.
I hadn't been in several days so I knew there were a bunch of the staples we'd need (bread, cereal, milk) in addition to whatever else I wanted to get for dinner last night (waiting until the last minute to buy dinner stuff--what can I say? Old habits die hard). I was all psyched to use my newly clipped coupons. The problem I quickly realized, is that we don't typically buy a lot of the things that you can use coupons for. We just don't eat a lot of prepackaged, processed foods and when I bake, I rarely use a boxed mix (unless its brownies and then you've gotta go with the mix). If we ate lots of Fruit Rollups, Lunchables, or Keebler cookies or bought many diapers we'd be in business. But as it is there aren't many coupons out there (or at least not many I've run across yet) for fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh meat, cheese, milk, etc. I feel like in some small way this is only contributing to the obesity problem in America, especially among those with lower incomes, but that's a topic for another day. I did get to use a coupon for some cereal though, so that was at least a small victory for me. *mini victory dance*
In other news, my birthday is now only...18 days away! You all know how I feel about birthdays in general so multiply that by like a hundred and that's how excited I get about my own birthday. The best part of this particular birthday is that my mom and dad are coming down to New Orleans for the weekend to celebrate with us! I'm can't wait. They were here for a couple days to help us move in back at the beginning of July but we literally spent two 18 hour days getting moved in and unpacked and then they left. They didn't get to see or do anything fun while they were here. We didn't even get to take them to eat at any of the really great New Orleans restaurants which is a tragedy in and of itself. I plan to fix that on this visit.
Work is still going really well. I like it a lot. I really, really like my boss(es) and everyone I've met/worked with so far has been great. For me the frustrating part about any new job is feeling like I'm not very good at it yet--or at least parts of it--just because of the learning curve. I wish when you started a new job like this you could just automatically insert into your brain all of the knowledge you would need to do the job right. That'd make the first few weeks/months go so much smoother I think. It's not that I don't like learning new things because I do and there's something to be said for that feeling of accomplishment you get when you finally catch onto something--the "Aha!" moment. But sometimes, I'd just like to already know this stuff too. Is that too much to ask?
Our little cottage down here is cute and charming but it still needs some work. Our landlords had it repainted right before we moved in so it was all nice and clean for us. Unfortunately, they color they chose is B-O-R-I-N-G. Every single wall in our house, from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom to the bathroom, is roughly the color of oatmeal. Or maybe hummus. We have some friends whose landlord painted their kitchen neon electric burn-your-retinas green so I guess we should be thankful we don't have that but still, we need some color in our lives. The good news is I've actually found some home decor stuff that both Zack and I really like. The bad news is that Zack and I have tastes that exceed our budget; everything we like comes from Pottery Barn and is way more expensive that it's probably worth or than we can afford. As perfect as I think they'd look in our living room, I can't really justify $51 per throw pillow.
So I guess we'll keep dreaming, start buying lottery tickets, and keep looking elsewhere for stuff to brighten up our living room.
Over my extended summer vacation (read: unemployment) I watched a lot of HGTV. In hindsight, I think this was a bad idea on my part. All it did was make me want to have a house of our own that I can play with and decorate and by furniture for. Do we need to buy a house right now? No. Could we even afford to if we wanted? No. If we needed to and could afford to, would I still be extremely hesitant to buy a house in this city because of how old and in general disrepair most real estate is? YES. Guess I'll add the house-buying to my growing list of things to dream about and shelf until a later date. One of these days though...you just wait.