Friday, December 12, 2008

List Love

This post is just for my friend Heather at Wanting What You Have. She informed her web readers that she has a thing for lists. Not only lists she makes for herself...but reading OTHER peoples list. And if you go read her post, you will see that she googled lists and found a place where people even upload their lists to share. Some of it is very funny.

At the end of Heathers post she asks us to post one of our lists for her to read. I decided I did not want to share and moved on. But I kept thinking about it. What's the big deal? Why does it make me feel naked to share last weeks list? And couldn't it be helpful? After all, I was just talking to another great friend on Monday and she was getting ready to go shopping...with a list...which she normally didn't do. This was helping her get her dinners planned and make life a little easier.

I think the problem is that I still don't like to admit I'm a conformed NON-list maker. When I got married I NEVER made a list for anything. And it never occurred to me that I should. DH was a HUGE list maker. He had little scraps of paper falling out of every pocket imaginable and so forth. He LIVED by his lists. He would run around frantically looking for lost lists. I thought he was brain damaged.

My husband tried to convert me into a list maker. I resisted. And I used to get so mad at him when the weekend would roll around and I'd say lets go do xyz. He would then tell me no, because he had too much on his list.

I HATED THAT LIST. It spoiled all my fun. And yet, I was totally thrilled with the fact that I was married to a guy that got so much done! I just never connected the dots.

The big change came the day I was once again told we couldn't do something because his list was so long (and our son had come along at that point and it was a family thing I wanted to do).

I asked to see his list.

He fished it out of his pocket and handed it over.

And I proceeded to rip it in half and hand him back the smaller portion.

I then informed him that he didn't have half as many things to do as he thought he did.

While I stood there glaring at him, waiting for the roar that could be heard on the other side of the world followed by his head popping off, he blinked. Yep, I said blinked. Like something clicked...but not in a postal kind of way. And he said okay, and off we went on our little family outing. (Of course I kept one eye on him all day wondering if I was in for a sneak attack.)

That was the day my husband rearranged priorities. His list was no longer his god. It was still very important...but not the end all be all it had been.

This is also when I decided that maybe a list was not the devil. And slowly I began to make small lists. Yes, I took all kinds of heckling for it from DH, but it was in good fun. And sometimes I revert to not using lists....but now that we live out of town and it costs $4 in gas to drive in - well, I pretty much make lists all the time. I need to get everything I can done in one trip or I end up driving in every day -- which I don't like to do.

So Heather, here is my contribution to List Love. My Shopping/Menu list is a two sided form I made up(after reading all about your Home Management Notebook I might add) . It hangs up on the fridge with the current weeks menu showing. Another hangs below it with the shopping list side up for people to write in things they find we need for my next shopping trip.

The shopping side is in landscape form as I carry a little clipboard in my purse that this goes on (with my other lists and coupons) so I can write. I currently do not have a calculator so I have to add everything up by hand as we operate on a cash basis for groceries and I only carry a specific amount and must stay within it. I hate math so I hate doing this part but have been unable to part with the money to buy a small calculator with all the bills we have been paying off.

My current hanging menu list is not complete. With DH gone most of the week I know I'm not going to stick to it well and we have plenty of things in the house that I can make for the kids and I as we determine what we feel like that day (and eating out is cash basis also and empty so its not like we will just go out). We normally eat at the church on Wednesdays because its $9 ($3 each) for DH, Songbird and I (they put out free peanut butter sandwiches which Mighty Mouse eats). We feel like we've been "out to eat" and it makes a crazy day easier. Songbird has to be at the church by 5:30 for Motion/Vocal practice and then youth is 6:30. Mighty Mouse has AWANA at 6:30 and DH and I have small group at 6:45. We just meet DH in the parking lot at 5:00 and eat right there. It rocks.

This week it read:
Chiquita Bites? ( I had a coupon for a free bag)
2 tomatoes
ginger root
green onions
4 baking potatoes
blue syrup (flavor not important but it MUST be blue per MM)
Franks Hot Sauce
1 cup pecan halves (or other nut? almonds? cashews?) (determine by price)
vienna sausages (one of the only meats MM will eat -- how gross is that?)
2 large cans tomatoes
8oz pineapple chunks
pretzel sticks
square cheese crackers
corn chex
bugles -- my turn to bring a treat to MOPS - making snack mix
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
hot dogs
both eggs (I have to have natural due to wheat problems but DH doesn't)

So there it is. Not very exciting, but sure does work.

And I have to ask...SO WHAT if you have name brands on your list????? Don't we all have certain things we really love? Being frugal doesn't mean you have to eat crap tasting stuff!!!


  1. Autumn, I love you (in a purely platonic way of course).

    I agree. As long as people are responsible with their money and meet their financial obligations, they should be able to eat whatever the heck they want without comment from others. I mean really, who cares? Except that commenter obviously did.

    I love your lists. I especially love that you posted your ACTUAL lists, with your handwritten notes and everything! The little notes are what make lists so interesting. Once, my husband left a note on my grocery list, that said, "Me no want for Richard Petty cereal anymore. Me tired of it."

    I have no idea why he wrote that, except that obviously he was sick of that particular cereal. Maybe he wasn't awake yet. For whatever reason, it was really funny!

  2. I loved reading your post! I am the list maker in our family. My husband will write some things down, but he doesn't do it like I do.

    I love that you're frugal too. We are not currently paying with cash but we used to and that's truly the best way that we ever stayed in budget. I just use my debit card. To easy to go over at Winco though.

  3. What a well-written post! I am a recovering list maker. I still do it in my head, but they are pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to stick to now that I have children! I just got too frustrated, so I gave up. It's nice to be a little more balanced now.