Taking the Scenic Route

Job Search, Food Snob

1st May 2008

Job Search, Food Snob

posted in Food, Money, Shopping |

Zach and Employment

In the past, when we called the temp agencies, we usually had to wait a week to call them back, and then maybe a week later they might call us to see if a particular job matched up.  Yesterday afternoon at 2:30ish Zach called one of the temp places he has worked with before and left a message, called up another one, left a message, and got in touch with of a third one.  By the time he got off the phone with the third one, he had emails from the first two, hadn’t even answered them, and he got a call back.  And then another one.  He ended up spending an hour talking to people and emailing things to people and had to wait to go out (he was planning on running to the store with Zora right after leaving messages) because it was almost time to go to Zane’s speech therapy.  That was a surprise. 

The two more solid leads sound like there is a job in Hutch, but the pay isn’t spectacular, although my folks would be beyond thrilled if we moved back there, so there is that benefit.  (it is about an hour from here, so we could commute for a bit, but gas prices might make that a little dicey if the pay isn’t enough).  There is another solid lead for a job downtown that sounds really promising.  A good company, pretty good pay (not jaw dropping, but better than teaching), and it sounds like it would be a good match.   (who would have guessed that C++, of all of his vast computer skills, would be the one that might get him a job)  The sadly ironic part is that one of the things they would really like, that Zach doesn’t have, is the ability to speak German.  German, of all things.  lol.  I am the only person in my family that doesn’t speak German, and I grew up in a community where the only language class available was German (no Spanish or anything else).  I think I took Home-Ec, a totally useless waste of time for me (my skills were so much higher than what they taught it was beyond laughable), instead of German and I have been kicking myself for years.  So, if we get that job, it will be motivation to finally learn German beyond food and hymns.  lol.

Late last night Zach took some benchmark tests in C and C++ and got the results back today.  He did very well.  He is very proficent in C++, and considered a “Master” in C.  He did better than 93% of the people that have ever taken the test and is considered to be somebody who can mentor others in C language.  Not a surprise, but it feels good.  The company downtown was quite pleased with the results and is fast tracking the application (according to the temp person), so it is looking hopeful.

So, even though the job we really want isn’t calling back, I am SO relieved to finally hear something back that sounds good.   Neither of us want to move.  We are rooted here and don’t want to go away from my folks because they are such good grandparents to our kids (and it is really nice to have family around…I would really miss that).  The only job that would be worth moving for is the federal one, but if we can find a place here that fulfills our needs, then even that wouldn’t be as attractive.


Me, in which I realize I am a food snob

In the last few weeks, the budget has gotten so tight we are having to go back to shopping at Aldi’s and only shopping sales for meat.  I hate having to go back to that.  It is petty, but when I was going to the store, it really made me feel good to be able to buy what I was hungry for when I wanted it.  It made me feel more normal, like we weren’t so dang poor any more.  Well, even though I wasn’t going out and just being crazy about it, it was still killing our budget, especially when gas prices went up so much.  So, I realized that I have to reign it back in and go back to my old skill set.  I didn’t realize how important it had become to me to have the freedom to eat whatever fresh veggies, ect, appealed to me.  I never wanted to step foot in Aldis again because it represents a time in my life when food was scarce and I lived in fear of not having enough (because sometimes there wasn’t enough). 

However, we did it.  As depressing as it is, it is really nice to be able to do it smoothly.  Being able to cook at a really frugal level is a skill that I guess I haven’t lost.  The nice thing is that we aren’t having to have meal after meal of beans and rice or white noodles or ramen noodles with no meat, not because we are vegetarian, but because we can’t afford it.  This time, I am able to get some meat, just maybe not exactly what (or as much) I want, but it I am still able to make really good meals because I know how to cook from absolute scratch.  (pretty much anything in a box or can is out for us anyway because I am allergic to onions).  We cut out almost all of the snack foods, except a few select things for the kids (some cereal and pretzels) and it looks like I was able to stretch the budget enough that I only spent $100 in the last two weeks to feed my family, including at least one meal with meat every day, and I still have a few leftovers in the fridge for when the next paycheck starts tomorrow.  I am proud of myself for sucking it up and pulling myself out of the shallow little pity party I was having for myself.  It was stupid.  Just because we have to be on a tight budget doesn’t mean we will suddenly have nothing.  I know that is silly, but I felt like if we started living like that again, we would shoot back into being super poor again becuase it brought up so many old feelings.  Not reasonable, but once I realized what was getting in the way, I was able to work through it and our lives are better for it. 


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 1st, 2008 at 5:00 PM and is filed under Food, Money, Shopping. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 8 responses to “Job Search, Food Snob”

  1. 1 On May 1st, 2008, Anonymous said:

    We don’t really have a specified food budget, but we often find ourselves sitting around a few more days or even weeks than expected waiting for a paycheck because my husband is a consultant. At those times I try to challenge myself by NOT going to the store and using the credit card and by using what I have on hand to make meals. I cook from scratch quite a bit, but usually that means going out and buying non-bulk and more expensive organic items for a specific recipe. But when I’m trying not to spend so much (or trying not to waste food we already have) I am proud of myself for making meals out of pasta, rice, veggies, beans, etc. that I have on hand! I’m not sure if I learned that in my 2-3 years of Home-Ec… although I did learn how to sew in those classes ;)

    Also, Costco (which is like Sam’s Club where you are, I think) is a lifesaver – they have so many organic meats and bulk products there and it is much much cheaper than picking something up on the way home every day! But you have to have a big chunk of change to make that initial trip to those bulk stores…

  2. 2 On May 1st, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Yeah, I associate certain places/having to do things with a bad spot in life, I try not to let it hang me up if it will get in the way of getting us through, but it isn’t the easiest thing to do every time.

  3. 3 On May 1st, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Oh my gosh….I could have written your “food” segment…We are in the same boat as you! I have had to really become creative in the food department lately.  UGH.

  4. 4 On May 2nd, 2008, Anonymous said:

    We shop Aldi’s and Sam’s Club for our food because it is super cheap and we have 10 people to feed.  We make ALL meals from scratch, and what we consume for meat is very limited . . . a lot of chicken because it can be had for pretty cheap.  We eat a lot of hamburgers and meals made with hamburger because it is fairly cheap.
    I grew up pretty poor, but my parents always did well when it came to food.
    I definately feel our ability to buy good quality meats and veggies has been effected by our living situation and that makes me sad.  I always wanted to provide the best foods . . . organic and fresh . . . for my boys.

  5. 5 On May 2nd, 2008, Anonymous said:

    There have been good reviews about this language learning site on my local homeschool e-list: http://www.livemocha.com/ And it’s free (at least it is now)! Good luck to Zach on the job hunt.

  6. 6 On May 2nd, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Glad things on the job front are looking up! I hear you on the food stuff. I have been trying to keep us on a pretty tight budget for the last few shopping trips, and it’s a mixed bag. I definitely find myself making more choices (i.e., this past trip I chose a block of good mozzerella, and put back a bag of pistacios–I figured both would put me over our budget, and I was right). Still, the biggest thing for me is KEEPING MY DH OUT OF THE SUPERMARKET! But, live and learn.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. 7 On May 2nd, 2008, Anonymous said:

    I would be really interested in seeing some of your meal plans, if you have the time. 

  8. 8 On May 2nd, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Popcorn (real popcorn, not the microwave stuff) is a great kid snack around here. Mine like it with Liquid Bragg, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, oregano, a teensy bit of paprika and some parmesan cheese…they call it popcorn pizza! We also have a popcorn song that we sing while the popcorn is popping, it’s quite the event around here!
    I hope the job of his dreams lands in Zach’s lap!

  • Zane's age

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