Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stuff Mart Project

I can't believe it's the end of June already! I didn't think summer would ever get here and now the first month has passed too quickly with all the activities. The end of June is also the half way point of my Stuff Mart Project! I'm not seeing the results I thought I would but I am learning somethings from this project.

Some of the lessons I've learned are common sense or should be. Starting with the shopping lists, they do help when I'm shopping. They keep me focused and out of the clearance isle! The list also keeps me from making so many "oh, I forgot trips back to the store". The less time I spend in the Stuff Mart the less I wonder around "just looking". That just looking always costs extra! (Duh!) The time I spend in the Stuff mart is proportionate to the patients I have for being there, less time = less patients.

Location, location, location also applies to the Stuff Mart. When I go to a different Stuff Mart, I find things to look at, "oh, that's not at my store!". Item are not located in the same place in different stores (again, Duh!). It saves me time and frustration to just shop where I know where the stuff is located.

The most important lesson, DO NOT take all of my family to the Stuff Mart AT THE SAME TIME! 'Nuff said.

No drum roll here, my totals weren't as dramatic as I had hoped. The trips I made to Stuff Mart for the first six months are 27, total trips (sometimes Honey goes without me) 42. That's about half the amount we made in the same period last year. The cash out flow was the disappointing part, we are only down $200 from last years average. We are going less but spending more.

On to the next six months. I see some mindless shopping still going on, that's what I want to work on. I can already see that it will be a challenge with back to school and Christmas, but I'm ready for it!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Summer is here and it's time for Spring Reading Thing '11 wrap-up! I posted an update about the books I added to my list, but when I went back to review it, it was gone! It's still missing in the blogosphere somewhere.
The one book I didn't finish (or really start) was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak . I started it and decided it's going to take more concentration that I'll have with the kids home for the summer.

I only read two non-fiction books.
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield was short, simple, to the point, and didn't apply to my life at all. Good thing it was free.
One Simple Act by Debbie Macomber was okay. I don't believe I was in the right frame of mind to receive the book the way it was intended.

Now for fiction!
Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf was a good book and a new author for me
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Lady in Waiting by Susan Messiner loved it!
One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz
Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen wasn't as intense as I thought it would be after reading Water for Elephants, but it was still a good story and I really enjoyed it.

These fiction books were added because they were free for a limited time on the kindle.
The Heart of Memory: A Novel by Alison Strobel and
Getting Away is Deadly by Sara Rosett were good stories, a little on the light side but still fun to read.
Thicker Than Blood by CJ Darlington I really liked the characters in this book and I wanted to get to know them better but I felt like a lot of details were left out. The story seemed a little flat and ended without really tying up the loose ends.

My original SRT list was three books. After two rounds of additions I read a total of 11 books for the challenge! Two non-fiction, 9 fiction and 6 were new authors.

Thank you Katrina at Callapidder Days for hosting the reading challenge!