Monday, November 3, 2014

This Week...Beyond Money 10/27 - 11/2

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.

* I was able to harvest some lettuce seed from the front garden containers. I'm beyond thrilled. This lettuce was in a black container in direct sun. I planted it in spring and it didn't bolt until early autumn. That's definitely something I want in a lettuce, so I definitely wanted to save seed. I've never saved any seed before this.
* Lots of little tiny greens have germinated, but none have their true leaves yet. The first of the Ruby Red swiss chard has germinated too so there's a bit of color. I just threw in random seeds I had leftover from this growing season. I love the idea of having some mixed salads all winter long and it doesn't cost me anything since I've already bought the seed (and between Trucker and I, we always buy more seeds than we can possibly grow on our 1/5 an acre...I think he gets more excited about it than I do!)
*Speaking of, the first of our seeds for next year arrived. Trucker ordered them from individuals in this state and one state over. So far...basil, parsley, gingeng, venus fly trap and bat flowers.
* I was able to harvest a few more green tomatoes (to harvest on the shelf) and peppers from the garden. Not much, but something.

* I had some crab apples leftover from making crab apple candy, so I mixed them with some Rome and Fuji apples for a grilled apple crisp.
* I made BBQ Chicken pizza on the grill. I par baked the crusts in the oven, then slid them onto the grill, topped with BBQ sauce, chicken, pickled jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Delicious!
* After 7 PM at the grocery store I work at, all breads made in the in-store bakery are half off. I bought two loaves of bread: a cinnamon swirl bread that was usually $4, marked down to $2 and an everything bread that was usually $2.50, marked down to $1.25. My employee discount took off $.20 from the cinnamon bread (now $1.80) and $.13 off the everything bread (now $1.12). I had two coupons for $1 off a loaf of bread, bringing the final cost to $.80 for the cinnamon swirl bread and $.12 for the everything bread. I bought 5 bags of organic carrots for $1/lb bag.

Food Preservation:
* Dehydrated 3 loads of apples.

* My favorite novel as a teen was The Giver. Trucker took me to the cheap theatre for a $2 showing of the movie. I cried the whole time. I love that story. $4 and it made me so happy!
* Strolled around Half Price Books while waiting for our movie to start. I found a few Ray Bradbury (my favorite author) books I didn't have. They were half off the cover price of $.75. So excited! I got The Illustrated Man, Golden Apples of the Sun, S is for Space and The Martian Chronicles.
* We hosted a beer tasting at our house. Every time we bought beer, we saved one beer until we had a nice assortment. We had a few friends over and split each bottle among everyone. I bought chips on clearance and served with salsa. I also made a pear crisp and an apple sauce. It was cheaper than going out for drinks with friends and we had a blast.

* We went for a long walk at a metro park near us. It was meadowland and forest. I particularly loved the diversity of the edge areas and enjoyed looking at different seed pods and dried grasses.
* I took a 6.5 mile walk through the city and parks.

* One day I was off and Trucker had to work. After doing some stuff around the house I walked to his job-6.5 miles away-for free coffee, free wifi and getting out of the house. Sure, I could have driven somewhere, but this just got me some exercise, saved me gas, I got free coffee, and didn't have to have the furnace/lights on at home.

Waste Reduction:
* I had some apple cores leftover from making apple crisp, so I decided to try my hand at making vinegar. I put them in a sugar water mix in a gallon jar, covered with a cloth and am going to let it ferment. After several days I tasted it. It tastes like a mild hard cider right now. It's kinda lovely. I may try making hard cider with the next batch of cores, but I'm really excited about having a gallon of apple cider vinegar.

* Put up a few jars of dehydrated apples.

* I started National Novel Writing Month to write a frugal living/personal finance book. I am a little behind on my word count, but I have not had a day off yet. I'm off a couple days next week that Trucker will be working and plan to write at a coffee house the entire time he's gone. I'm very excited and enjoying the challenge.

What did you do this week?

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