Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This Week...Beyond Money 10/13 - 10/19

For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.

* Only getting a few little things now: a few beans, an edible flower here and there.
* The indoor peppers are giving me a nice number of peppers each week. Very exciting.

Cooking and Groceries:
* Bought some manager's special meat. Pork chops for $1.65/lb. I bought a 1.10 lb ready-to-cook meatloaf for $2.70. Yes, it's a convenience food. Yes, I also paid $2.70/lb for some bread crumbs. However, I know that we have some busy/stressful days coming up. Having this meatloaf ready to throw in the oven just may be enough to keep us from yielding to ordering a pizza or stopping at a restaurant after a long day at work. Also, 1.1 lbs is enough for dinner one night and part of lunch the next day for us, so it is a relatively affordable convenience food. I don't have issues with convenience per se, only when it interferes with taste, health and finance.
* Bought a big loaf of everything bread at work that was $2.99. My discount brought it down to $2.70. There was a coupon available for a dollar off of a store-baked loaf, so the final cost was $1.70. This made it about the price of one of those weird fluffy pre-sliced factory loaves, but tastier and there was more.
* I spent $10 at the grocery: 4 packages of tortillas at $.50 each (marked down from $2.99/pack), 2 bags of tortilla chips for $1 each (planning ahead for making taco dip soon..), a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil for $4 (clearance rack), and two small cupcakes for $.50 each (marked down from $1.19) as a surprise dessert for Trucker after he'd had a long day at work. I got 10% off everything except the olive oil with my employee discount (that was the one item that wasn't store brand).

Food Preservation:
* Dehydrated more apples.

* Got coffee with my friend at Trucker's job. My coffee was free since I got regular coffee (per his boss) and Trucker bought her drink.
* Went to Trucker's job for a cup of (free) coffee and writing. Got me out of the house and I didn't have to turn on the heat for those hours while I was gone (as well as not needing to have lights on or my laptop sipping electricity).

* We walked to go out with our friends one night. It was only about a mile and a half round trip, but it the weather was lovely.
* I picked wildflowers to decorate the house. Ray cat loved smelling them. She's a big fan of flowers which makes me love her even more.

* Paid off one of my debts. This frees up $75 a month in the budget. I will put this money towards the debt snowball. The last year was rough on us, but some good job changes (more money!) and careful spending (lower expenses) are translating into some real progress for us.

Waste Reduction:
* Composted everything that could go in there.
* More apple-core sauce.

* I found out that my new job gives a $25 grocery gift certificate for Christmas. Not a huge thing, but with careful planning I'll get a lot of groceries with it.
* My boss gave me a birthday card with a coupon for a free half gallon of store-brand ice cream. Sweet!

* Put a few jars of dehydrated food into storage.

What did you do this week? Any new projects to brag on or tips to share?

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