Summer was busy! Did you have grand plans that were replaced by trips to the pool, cookouts with friends, and days packed with activity? We did. Summer was a wonderful time of closing out one chapter and preparing for the next.
In preparing and playing, I’ve gone back to the basics with simplicity. As my time was focused on planning our school year, I chose to take a break from the following:
- Clipping coupons
- Menu planning
- Shopping at Publix and Bi-Lo
With piles of newspapers calling to me, I walked by them for two months without guilt as that season required an investment of time into my family. With other ways to save money and feed my family without clipping coupons year round, I kept adding to the pile until I finally tackled it last week.
In keeping it real, Paul clipped the coupons which remain in the basket as I have not transferred them to my binders as of yet. However, the piles are not taking over my stairs anymore. This is progress, folks, which is good.
For July and August, I operated without a menu plan. Shocker, I know. Having used a menu planner for so long, I continued to think of dinner soon after breakfast. Knowing what I was planning to do took the pressure off at 4:30 p.m.
There were times when I was out of an ingredient and changed the meal, but overall, we adjusted just fine. When September began, I put the menu planner back up which I have missed on my refrigerator. It’s nice to be back in my routine.
Shopping at Publix and Bi-Lo
To stretch our dollars at the grocery store, I find the deepest discounts are found by pairing sales and coupons. Creating a list and matching coupons takes time. As my coupons are still in piles, I have chosen to limit shopping to Aldi for the lowest prices without sacrificing quality.
Another time-consuming activity that took a backseat this summer was caring for our garden. Without at least weekly care, the garden will not survive.
For the past couple of years, we have tried to grow our own vegetables. Though we had some success, I don’t have a green thumb. We had issues with worms and slugs, and then the rain last summer created a swamp for our plants and killed them.
Though missing our cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries, I do not miss the time investment of caring for the garden. Taking a break from the garden has been a wise choice for us this summer.
Becoming a spectator is not inline with my personality, but it was needed this summer. Freeing my schedule to focus on school has given me freedom to create and plan without a packed schedule and additional responsibilities. Without added obligations, I have found calm during this transition.
Knowing that this transition was coming, I was able to adjust and choose only the best things for this summer. Everything else was put to the side. As I discover and adjust our new routine, I can gradually add these other good things back into our lives.
Life is full of choices. Good things can drain you of your energy. Choosing only the best options gave me purpose this summer. In using time wisely, I only chose the essentials and saved the other opportunities for another season.
Going back to the basics with simplicity gave me smooth sailing this summer and started our school year with a plan to execute. During seasons of change, scaling back to the basic keeps you grounded. Happy prioritizing!