Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Busy Season

I can't believe that it's November 8th ... ALREADY! Is it just me or has this whole year flown by in the blink of an eye? It seems that, since June, this year has picked up speed and cruised right past me. And on top of that, we've entered the absolutely busiest time of the year.

Did you know that it's a mere 47 days until Christmas? How did that happen?!

To try and catch up with everything that's going on, I had a full day yesterday of getting ready for holidays. Kevin was gone all day at an umpire camp. He had to leave by 7:00 a.m. so I had a good long time to work some holiday magic.

First stop: grocery shopping. I planned out our two week menu during the week, consulted the grocery circulars on Friday, gathered together all of my coupons (some really good ones this week!) and hit the grocery store early. I sort of enjoy the act of grocery shopping itself. I think part of it is hunting for the best bargains. However, as much as I enjoy the shopping aspect, I really do NOT enjoy the putting away aspect. But they're sort of a packaged deal I suppose. Anyway, I felt that I did particularly well with yesterday's take. Groceries have gotten so incredibly expensive - it's almost frightening to peek at that final tally. However, once I punched in my code for the loyalty card and handed the checker all of the coupons I'd brought, I ended up saving exactly 50% on groceries this week! Considering the fact that this was a big stock up week (lots of holiday baking supplies on sale!), saving half was a huge accomplishment! The one caveat is then having to tote all of those bags in the house and find places to stash all of the goodies.

Next, I headed to a few places around town to pick up several Christmas gifts. Let me say this: there are some GREAT deals out there!! I pretty much Christmas shop all year round - starting the day after Christmas. I find that this works best for our budget - and my sanity. However, if you're just now beginning to think about shopping for Christmas, you're definitely in luck. I found some amazing deals yesterday! Unfortunately, I really can't share them here because, well...they're a surprise! However, suffice it to say that there are some wonderful gift choices out there, and there are definitely bargains to be had.

When I got home from shopping, I decided to make cookie dough. Every year Deb and I do a Christmas cookie bake-off and it's nice to get a jump on making the dough. I made a double batch of my famous (well, at least in our small circle of family and friends) molasses crinkles. I got them all rolled out, put them on a baking sheet and froze them. This morning we'll be putting the dough balls in a freezer bag and stashing them until early December. I was going to make another batch, but by the time I finished with the first go 'round, I was tired. When Kevin got home, he was happy to find out that I hadn't made the chocolate chip cookie dough yet. He said he really wanted to help with that one -- of course, what he means is that he'd really like to help EAT that one, but that's beside the point, right? ;o)

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