Irregardless is NOT a word


Ok folks, at the risk of sounding like a big PIA, preachy, obnoxious grammar snob, I have to tell you once and for all; irregardless is not a word.

Now, in all fairness, according to American dictionaries, it is a word, but just because the Americans say it’s a word, doesn’t make it so. If you look in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, you won’t find it at all, because, well, our English is better than theirs. There, I said it.

The Merriam-Webster’s Concise Dictionary of English Usage (which is American) explains that although it is commonly used in modern-day English, it is a double-negative and, therefore, not grammatically correct. AHA! Let me explain(I’ll be brief, I promise)

Ir” is negative; “re” is negative and, therefore, “Irre” is a double-negative, so it’s almost like saying “in regards to not regarding” which doesn’t even make sense. And is probably the opposite of what you’re trying to say. What you most likely mean is, regardless. Or, irrespective. These are two separate words that seem to have, over time, been blended together. They basically mean the same thing and are both correct, so please stop blending them. Every time you do, a puppy dies.

Save the puppies; stop saying irregardless. Please.





Taking out the garbage


If there’s one “small thing” that makes me see red more than any other, it’s the garbage overflowing under the sink. It seems like such a small thing and one that could easily be resolved – just empty it.

But it’s no longer just the garbage can under there – it’s a blue box for recycling and a green bin. When all three are overflowing, I can go from calm and carefree to a raging lunatic in under 5 seconds. Why has no one taken this out? Better yet, why is everyone still cramming stuff in when they’re overflowing?

So the job goes from emptying one garbage bin to emptying three, and cleaning up the mess under the sink. Coffee grounds, wrappers and boxes that have gotten jammed right at the back behind the pipes. It’s gross – and now that small thing has turned into a big, time-consuming mess.

I decided this required some retraining in my family.

I’m not going to make my 5-year-old tie up the food garbage when he’s got that whole gagging thing going on, which is very convenient by the way. And if I force my daughter to do it, it isn’t worth my ears bleeding listening to all the reasons why that is too gross for her to tackle. If I ask my husband, he’ll do it of course, but then I always feel like I’m nagging.

So, I started tying up the bags and leaving them by the front door and asked whoever was going outside next to please take them to the garage. Simple, right? Occasionally they get taken out, but more often they just get moved over. That’s right, MOVED OVER, away from the door and out of their path. So, they’re still sitting there, looking gross and stinking in the front hall.

Clearly this plan wasn’t working. Lucky for me, I’ve gotten very busy with work lately (and volunteering, and life in general which always happens all at once – but I’ll save that discussion for another post) so my husband suggested I delegate some of the household chores so they can all pitch in more.

I created a list of one new chore per person to do in the evenings, wrote them on an enormous Post-it note and stuck the note to the kitchen cupboard. Guess which chore I delegated first?

By the way honey, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to take out the garbage, recycling and green bin tonight! 🙂



The grocery budget is a sham


I have yet to solve the mystery of successful grocery budgeting.
When the New Year started, I decided to not only set a weekly grocery budget, but to actually try to stick to it. My strategy was to create a spreadsheet and track how much I spent each week, working toward a monthly total. I clipped coupons, watched flyers and planned meals.

During the first month, I had a brilliant idea to go to Costco and stock up on items I could cook to make large quantities of soups, pasta sauce and chicken dishes, then freeze various meals to enjoy throughout the month. I love to cook, so this made total sense to me.
The problem was that I spent so much on that “big shop” that I used up half my monthly budget. It left me with about $50 a week for groceries. Now that might sound doable if you have a freezer full of meals and all you need is milk, bread and fresh produce.
But I couldn’t do it.

For one thing, every time I went to the store, there were a bunch of sale items that I just had to buy. They weren’t on my shopping list, but they were on sale and if I didn’t stock up on those items right then and there, I might have to pay full price next time.
Never mind that I didn’t actually need them. I would probably need them eventually, so I’d better get them now while they’re on sale, in case they never, ever go on sale again.

Cheese is a good example. It might be $4.88 at Metro but everywhere else, it’s 10 bucks, and will stay 10 bucks for the next 3 months. So you know darn well that if you don’t buy at least 4 blocks of cheese NOW, you will probably run out before it’s on sale again, and then, God forbid, be forced to buy it at full price.

I’m starting to think that grocery stores do this on purpose. I dunno, it’s a stretch, but it is possible.
Until I find a way to go to the store with blinders on, I have accepted that I will probably never successfully stick to a grocery budget. And I’m not sure what happened to all my coupons – they have either expired or are crunched into an unidentifiable mess at the bottom of my purse.