Here are a few things that I am trying out and think are great ways to save and support your community at the same time. I wholeheartedly believe in the ASYMCA and the programs that they provide. I like the community outings, like to a farm or the park because there are always so many more sets of eyes than I have. It's 10 times harder with another 2 year old than just one. I have to choose carefully the places that we spend our time so that we can be safe and still have fun. I will never forget Ava chasing the chickens around at Hunt Club Farm and yelling, "Come'ere Chicken, I want to hug you!". The twins also learned that day that spiders are not to be touched unless a parent was there. I knew that they had the concept down when they saw Charlotte's Web a couple months later and both of them were yelling, "DON'T TOUCH, NAUGHTY!". We have done crafts and trips but the constant source of fun for all of us is Mommy Moment. A few times a week, the kids go and play and learn in a structured group, led by caring and educated facilitators while the Mom's can sit in another room and work on whatever they need to. Some women work on school, or balance the checkbook, read or like me, sort coupons. This interaction with other children has yielded huge benefits for the twins. They can now transition from one activity to another, with warning, without a tantrum. Well, when Lightening McQueen is involved, it might get a few tears out but that is the way it is sometimes.
Couponing has led to significant savings for our family. I saved 50% of my purchases at CVS and earned $13 in coupons to spend on my next visit. That's currently about 5 gallons of milk. I also couponed and shopped the sales at Kroger and saved around $68 on our monthly groceries that I stock up on. I also used the Bread Program on the ASYMCA link above to get free bread. Any military family can get it, and it's great quality, just like what I buy at the Commissary or Farm Fresh. Trying to save on food is sometimes hard because the prices are pretty much fixed, but alot can be saved if you are smart about what you buy and when. I am also trying this SHARE program. I have been looking for ways to show the kids how to volunteer to help yourself and others. When you volunteer, it gives you pride in yourself and is kindness in action. I am buying one of the boxes this month to see what is in it, before I recommend that my friends order it as well. The August deadline for ordering is just passed anyway, but even if you don't live here, one is probably active where you live. VIRGINIA SHARE PROGRAM
I am so looking forward to meeting Conner this weekend. He is already so big and I just can't wait to love on him. I am going to take some family photos, so keep an eye out for pics of my new nephew!