I've been struggling with regular menu planning and as usual, Cate at Liberal Simplicity gave me an "ah ha!" moment. If you look at how she does her menu planning, she repeats meals in a week! HELLO! Duh. That means I only need to pick three or four meals to make, not 7, which makes it much more likely that I'll do it. (It doesn't affect my lunches - while I take lunch to work, I don't usually take leftovers but opt for SmartOnes frozen lunches during the winter [ugh I know] and interesting salads when it's warm). So I'm going to try that method this week and see where it gets me.
Speaking of meal planning, Wisebread's got my back with 25 tasty ways to get more of that classic pairing, beans and rice.
This post about whether it's better to earn more or be frugal brings out a really good point - frugality is about value, not just saving dollars out up front. I need to remind myself of that next time I spend thirty minutes trying to build a shopping list based only on coupons!
I loved, loved, loved this post at A Practical Wedding about combining finances after getting married. It's a good point that however independent you want to feel in your daily life, legally (depending on your state) you are considered a single financial unit for most purposes - so it doesn't make sense for one person to struggle and struggle without allowing their partner to help. This line in particular struck me: "Being married is scary. It's about creating great dependence and great emotional vulnerability." In my case, becoming "dependent" on another person in any form was something that I struggled to avoid. It wasn't until we lived apart for two months last year that I realized how much I truly do depend on him, simply to be in my life. Rather than being scary, it showed me how tight we really are.
I thought this post from Trent was so weird - people leave coupons on products in the store? That's so thoughtful (and bizarre)! And then, today at the grocery store, I totally saw coupons left on a bag of easter candy! I didn't buy it but I thought it was neat. I totally might clip all the coupons next time and leave them with the related products. (Or not - see the above link about recognizing the value of your time!)
In my ongoing quest to fan all of my suspicions of social media and privacy issues, this post at The Atlantic details what a user feels when Facebook suggests that she and her fiance are engaged - even though she never even listed him as being "in a relationship".
That comes on the heels of the article about how Target can predict pregnancy and how Barnes & Noble employees call the customer Julie, and it's all just sort of weirding me out about corporate marketing in general. I don't know really what the problem is - if Target figures out I'm pregnant and sends me coupons for things that I will need to buy for the baby (thus saving me money) is that really a problem? I like to save money! My personal information doesn't really impart anything about me and who I am in the transcendental way of thinking, and even if it did - well, I write a blog, I'm putting myself out there in some form anyway. Do I have a right to get mad if companies do something with the data they can collect in order to actually offer me products I want?
Lastly, check out the MoneyPros Index Fund challenge! I'm still doing really well, up over 15%. Too bad this isn't real money. :p