This week has brought some very important lessons about what it means to be a mother, wife, well, human. And it's only Wednesday.
Seriously, though, I feel like I'm on week 2 of 2018 and already I'm failing. Pretty big. This New Year, New You business is for the birds. Change is hard stuff. I mean, some of these changes are going against the natural law of things - and this is where catastrophe rears its ugly head.
For example, I've cooked more family dinners in 2018 than I have in 2016 & 2017 combined. No. For real. I am not meant to cook the dinner. Just like I'm not meant to clean toilets. I am just meant to show up and eat and say thank you. There are so many things I do on the regular to serve my family, cooking dinner is just not a part of my servant skill set . But here I am in 2018 with two main goals: save money, lose weight. So I have taken control (for this and other reasons) of our family meal planning. It is here where all the trouble, I mean lessons, begin to reveal themselves. And, I repeat, it's only Wednesday.
1. All of these save money APs do not play in the same sandbox. For real though. I've read and researched a TON on how to save $$ on groceries, how to get rebates, what is the best way to go about getting extra cash. Every article I read said if you shop online shop through Ebates. And also, download iBotta. First, you can't shop at Kroger through Ebates - which is a joke. Lord knows I love my neighborhood Kroger. And those fuel points. Second, with iBotta you only get $$ back if you are purchasing their "offers" at the stores listed. So. I synced up all the offers that I could substitute and went online, through Ebates, to purchase from WalMart - because Ebates dates WalMart - for some cash back on my online purchase. But here's the catch - WalMart's operating system for online groceries is incapable of printing physical receipts. Yes. I know. Which is required for the iBotta Ap. Literally, $17 back on an order from WalMart was missed out on iBotta because I didn't have a physical receipt. Yes. I emailed both corporates and told them that is "unfortunate". I might have used a different adjective.
Then, I woke up the next day. Gathered as much as I could from my WalMart purchase, and returned it. Yes. $90 worth of groceries I returned. Perhaps this was a little dramatic. But I was mad. So I went and repurchased everything from Kroger where I could get my printed receipt and my $17 back. Well, it wasn't quite $17 but I was able to redeem.
The good news? Ebates actually is pretty decent on all other online purchases. I know this because I may or may not did some retail therapy at the Gap online through Ebates. And you get $$ signing up. And for referrals. Same with iBotta. Other than this whole physical receipt thing from WalMart which I still say is WalMart's fault, I'm going to stick with this for a while and see what kinda of cash back I can get - I just have to be a little better about reading the fine print.
If you are interested in joining either of these programs, please join up with my referral code, cash in my pocket, cash in yours, you know. Here's the links to me: Ebates & iBotta ... I've also signed up for DOSH. It works the same way but you link a card to it (and get $$) then use the card at a participating store (and get $$ for using your card). Because it's not a website but an AP, I can't link it, but I will link my FaceBook and you can connect through there. Sounds easy enough, right? We'll see.
2. Hiding vegetables in their dinner isn't as easy as it looks. This is another unfortunate lesson I learned this week. Already. I put carrots and spinach in the homemade lasagna. It was terrible. And the noodles were Gluten Free, too. They were so horrified by the matchstick carrots that weren't totally cooked and the bed of spinach holding everything together that I think the noodles were lost on them. Needless to say, the kids ate frozen chicken nuggets for dinner. Those nuggets were on sale. With cash back from iBotta. So, perhaps there is a silver lining.
3. Adopting a puppy during the coldest winter in recent history is not a great idea. It's cold. Like super cold. Like really really cold to potty outside. And let's be honest, who is the one that wakes up at 5AM? Mom.
4. Laundry doesn't wash itself. Or put itself away. And though I've known this lesson for some time, I have been reminded frequently as the laundry pile grows. And I continue to ignore it.
5. You can't substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Canola Oil. I was under the impression that cooking oil is cooking oil. And that extra virgin crap was just more expensive, like a name brand or something. Wrong. They have two totally different tastes. And recipes call for one over the other for a reason. I pulled my Chex and GF Pretzels together to make a GF version of our favorite cracker mix only to realize that I was missing a key ingredient: Canola Oil. Not one to let a little thing like a missing ingredient impede on my snack credibility, I substituted with what was in the lazy Susan. And after a nibble. Or three. I threw the entire batch away because those types of substitutions cannot be made. It was, without a doubt, truly disgusting. And I will eat on gross kitchen concoctions for days just not to be wasteful. But this. This I couldn't do. One more example of why Lori should not be allowed in the kitchen. Except to eat.
So yeah. It's been a week. I've learned a lot. And it's only Wednesday.