Monday, February 1, 2021

The 10 Things Saving My Life Right Now

These lists are apparently a thing?  I first saw one from The Lazy Genius (mine doesn't contain Oreos like hers does but there is definitely food involved!) and now Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy has a yearly one?  Yes, please!  Tell me what is getting you through this winter/plague/world right now?

1. Libby app
This is a library app (FREE) that you can connect to your local library and use to check out digital books and magazines.  I've long been in the "physical books only" camp but then Covid19 came around and mucked everything up.  Unable to get to a library in person and without a zillion dollar book budget, what's a girl to do?
Enter: Libby.
libby app

I can place books on hold, read magazines, listen to audio books, or read a book.  Over the months of library shut down, I've gotten pretty fond of reading on my phone. A major advantage is that I always have a book available to read.  When I had a sick kiddo and needed to sleep next to them, I was able to read on my phone while still keeping the room quiet and dark so they could doze.

2. Schwan's Frozen Pizza
You know the Schwan's truck? You order frozen food and they deliver it to your door?  Now they have lots of delicious things and some can be pricey but let me fill you in on the budget saver. Frozen pizza.  Schwan's frozen pizzas are 5 bucks--less than the cost of a frozen pizza from the grocery store and WAY better.  Pro tip: Got teenagers? Get 2 pizzas. 

3. Paper plates
Look. I love the earth and as a global people we're doing a crap job taking care of it.  I also use paper plates most days.  Pretty sure that the billionaires taking trips around the world on private jets all the time are far more damaging to the environment than my family using a paper plate.  Now, if you're hardcore earthy or budget-y and don't want to buy consumable dishes?  Rock on!  Me?  I'm exhausted from teaching / momming / wife-ing in a pandemic so I'm going to serve our frozen pizza (see above) on paper plates without feeling bad.

4. 6 Outfits
Working in a school with confirmed Covid-19 cases, I need to wash my clothes on hot water and dry on high heat.  Not wanting to ruin all of my dress clothes, I have 6 outfits that I wear right now.  No jewelry (too hard to sanitize from school to home). This isn't a forever thing, it's a "just right now" deal.  But you know? Having minimal clothing options really makes laundry and preparing for the week super easy.

UPDATE: I wrote this earlier in the school year and have since transitioned into more dress clothes and accessories but darn if it isn't more stressful.  I'm going to pick out my 10 favorite outfits and just rewear those.

5. Life In Pieces reruns
Super funny show with short episodes that are the perfect escape from the we live in.

6. Budgeting for each month and each paycheck
It's kind of a hassle to break down the budget for each paycheck but it really does help to make sure that each monthly category/bill gets the amount it needs.  It helps us track and have more to put towards our mortgage-pay-off goal.

We aren't shopping in person for things right now so instead of cash envelopes (we only have one for drive thrus and one for chore money) we use a google sheet with color coded boxes for each category.  The nice thing about this is that my husband and I can each update it.  If he wants to spend $20 ordering something we need for the house, he just adds it to the Google Sheet tracker and then I know that I can't order $30 worth of widgets because our house budget only has $5 left.

7. Book of the Month
Subscription boxes are available for everything these days. Makeup, kids crafts, clothes, food, and on.  But did you know...there are BOOK subscription boxes? There are multiple companies to choose from.  I chose Book of the Month because each month you get a choice of books. Other companies just send you a pre-selected book. I'm not a horribly picky reader but definitely stay away from some genres (fantasy) or styles (I cannot handle a wordy "classic" right now. Thankyouverymuch.).  With BOTM they have 5 options and I log in on my phone or computer and can read the description and a sample of each. 
book of the month club
(from BookOfTheMonth)

You can do a 12-month subscription (I got it as a gift for Mother's Day!) or a 3-month or 6-month subscription.
Yes, it is more expensive than getting the book through the library but there isn't a waiting list (one of my "to read" books on the Libby app had a 26 week waiting list when I added my own name) and it gives me something in the mail to look FORWARD to.  

If you'd like to try Book of the Month, my referral link might give you a discount. I'm not super sure because I've never done it before. However, I do know it doesn't cost you any extra and it does give me a bonus book pick so, you know, that's cool.

8. Online Grocery / Pick Up
Around late last fall, I discovered that my local grocery stores had online ordering. You order, show up, and they bring it out to your car and load it for you.  We started doing that.  Then Covid hit and we've never stopped!  

Occasionally I miss roaming the grocery aisles myself but it's not often.  Being able to have it loaded in my car is not only a time saver, but it's helping me and the community stay safer too because I'm not roaming around the store potentially exposing others.
Not sure who this guy is but I love him.

Pro tip: I always do the grocery survey that is emailed to me afterwards. I give the employees all 5 stars...I think it helps them get points or rewards or something.  Can anyone confirm?

9. Sojourner's Daily Emails
This ministry sends a daily email with a verse of the day/quote of the day/thought of the day.  The email is short and uplifting.  If you're finding yourself discouraged with the world, with the lack of justice, this will help feed your soul. There's a Sojourners magazine that you can subscribe to, but the emails are free.

10. Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese & Town House Pita Sea Salt Crackers
I bought the cream cheese for a Halloween recipe my son wanted to make.  It was amazing!  Why did I wait so long to eat garden vegetable cream cheese!  You could dip veggies in it but I prefer Maximum Carb Consumption.  I've been eating it with the TownHouse brand pita crackers (sea salt variety).  It's so good I have my own stash at work.  

Pro tip: The Philadelphia brand cream cheese is better than the Walmart brand texture wise but the flavor is comparable.  I've started buying the Walmart brand to save a buck.

Try some flavored cream cheese on your next grocery pick up order (Remember #8?)...and hide it from your family so they don't eat it all.
There are my top ten things saving my life right now....books, food, and tv. That's healthy, right? Let me know if you have a similar list!

10 things saving my life right now 10 things saving my life right now


  1. Amen to the grocery pick up! I have 5 kids, but even if I didn't, I think I'd prefer it over going in and spending at least an hour in the grocery store. Love the rest of your list as well! Six outfits seems like a good number...time to go purge the closet! =)

  2. hahaha - I love the how to hide food meme. that's hilarious! I've always wanted to give a capsule/minimal wardrobe a try and the idea of spending less time deciding what to wear sounds fantastic (not that I spend so much time right now anyways) - bummer that it had to be because of COVID :-/

    My list includes slippers, going to bed early, workout plans, hand warming mugs, and leaving up the holiday lights. Here is it if you’d like to check it out – this was such a fun process to really sit down and think about the list and see what everyone else has come up with that linked to Modern Mrs Darcy!

    1. Haha--I have not actually tried a tampon box yet but for a long time I had my frozen Snickers bars hidden in an empty box of frozen veggies. You have to get creative around here!

      I loved your list. The handwarming mugs sound like something I would enjoy!

  3. We eat off a lot of paper plates around here too! I figure they’re biodegradable and it saves water from washing anyway. Sometimes peace at home is worth it!

    1. I like how you think Mindy! Let's be BFFs. Peace at home is definitely worth and and hot dang I hate dishes! :)

  4. I use Libby almost every day. I use it mostly for audiobooks but get eBooks sometimes too. Before I ever buy a book, I see if Libby has it first. It's saved me SO MUCH money!

    1. You know, Libby IS a big budget help! I hadn't even thought of that aspect of it! I mostly do the ebooks, my mind tends to wander during audiobooks but I did listen to "UnF*ck Your Habitat" as an audio version and really enjoyed it. (*Language warning. If you avoid curse words then definitely avoid a book with a curse in the title.).:)
      Thanks for coming by!


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