Good News!

With two October ticks left on the calendar I’m going to take a terrible chance. So far the month of October has been a budgetary success. It marks the first full month of fiscal restraint and we’ve done better than I expected. By all estimates we’re going to come in under budget, with a couple of key fixed expense categories under historical averages. The big one is groceries; our single biggest budget outlay. Using a combined approach: watching the extras, planning meals, eliminating prepared/frozen meals, and seeking less expensive alternatives (to name brands); it looks like we’re going to cut our grocery expenses for the month by a whopping thirty percent. I don’t mind singing my own praises… thirty percent is a pretty big number, in this context.

Most importantly, we were able to save money without a single night where my wife and I refused to speak to each other. We came pretty close – like when I popped her for dropping a twenty on Busch Gardens’ food three weeks ago. Although in my defense Busch Gardens’ food is pretty lousy, especially when you consider the Golden Arches across the street at a quarter the price. Anytime Mickey D compares favorably to anyone’s food, you know there’s a good point just waiting to be made.

In leisure news, this weekend past went pretty well… sports news not withstanding. With all of this cool weather I had the opportunity to vary my sitting around; alternating rooms and the outdoors. Adam was the biggest beneficiary, taking the opportunity to master his slide-climbing technique, brush up on his sidewalk chalking, and take up a new activity: citrus slinging. The limes on our tree out back were ripe for the picking and I had the kids out back for the semi-annual lime-aid event. Beth and I picked the prime candidates for a refreshing drink, while Adam claimed the low-hanging fruit purely for sport.

The little guy had a ball (pun intended), and the rest of us learned that limes have surprising resiliency.

My biggest mistake of the weekend was demonstrating the use of a big stick (recently liberated from a sizable tree limb) in the place of a three iron. Somebody had a lot of fun though.

Give the gift of words.