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.
* Harvested 1/2 c of greens from the indoor garden.
* I forgot to water the indoor garden for three days. Three of the planters bounced back okay, but I lost the mustard greens. Oops. I did get a few harvests of microgreens from the container, so it wasn't a total loss, although I'm disappointed. However, since the indoor garden just uses up seeds leftover from that season, it didn't cost me anything.
* I used my holiday gift card ($25) to buy groceries this week. It didn't quite cover everything, but was a big help. Breakfast sausage was on manager's special for $1 (marked down from $4.59) so I bought 16 (15 went into the freezer). Toilet paper was on sale for $.50 and my discount brought it down to $.45 (I bought 10, for the stockpile). Got breakfast cereal on sale for $2/box and had a coupon for $1 off (5 boxes for $9). We don't eat breakfast cereal a lot, but Trucker does like it as an occasional breakfast or snack so I like to keep it on hand.
* Grilled out one afternoon since it was warm. We grilled hot dogs (on sale $.69/package), eggplant (manager's special, $.50) and the last two potatoes in the bag.I also grilled a banana and made grilled banana splits with a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of goat's milk caramel sauce and a dusting of cinnamon. My favorite dessert ever.
* We took a day trip to a nearby town. We hit some thrift stores. We also went to a National Park and explored a bit. It was a little too cold to walk for long, but we watched a half hour documentary and explored the on-site museum. It was a blast.
* Had a couple of cheap coffee dates. As always, we used our travel mugs to get a discount and enjoyed free wi-fi and refills. Super cheap date and we love it.
* One day we worked opposite shifts and only had a short time between when I got off and when Trucker had to start work. We met at a coffee shop really close to his job (his job is halfway between my job and home) and got to talk for 45 minutes. If I had driven home, he would have had to leave earlier and we would only have gotten 15-20 minutes together. Our job schedules have been pretty brutal lately, but instead of focusing on the stress of the situation, we're working on enjoying whatever time we get. We make the most use of the time apart and all those hours of missing each other makes it great when we get a whole day together.
* For our Valentine's Day, we made it simple. We only had two hours between when Trucker got home and when he had to go to sleep to open the next day. He brought home a pizza after work. I had the wine and candles waiting. He had bought me a set of four upcycled vases he'd bought from a local crafter (I'll update this post later with a photo). I'd bought him a bottle of nice beer ($4), a small package of chocolate-covered chocolate chip cookies ($1.80 after my employee discount) and a bouquet of flowers ($4.50 after my discount). I've always been a bit cynical about Valentine's Day, but I don't know if it's my age, the fact that I'm getting close to a decade of marriage or if I was just feeling sappy this year, but I really wanted it to be romantic and great and it was.
* Walked around Hopewell National Park. It was fascinating and beautiful, although very cold.
* Went for a walk on a warmer day to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight.
* It was warm enough to turn off the furnace for two days.
* Our furnace had started acting up and would not kick off unless we manually turned it off. Trucker did some research and thought it was just the thermostat. He ordered the part online and replaced it one afternoon. No more issues and we didn't have to call in a handy man. So thankful for an incredible guy who is willing to learn new things to take care of us.
* I bought a scarf at a thrift store. It was $1 regularly, but was a 75% off tag, so it was $.25.
* Ate leftovers throughout the week.
* Made stock out of leftover chicken bones.
* Composted lots of "stuff".
* I picked up an extra shift to get some overtime. We're short staffed and the holiday is this weekend, so I figured I would...just this once.
* There were random samples in the break room that covered my (super light) lunch on three days.
* Trucker's boss accidentally broke open a package of $23/lb coffee and couldn't sell it. Trucker got to bring it home so we got about a pound (We wouldn't have paid $23/lb, but it did save us $5-6).
* Trucker closed one night and brought home a box of goodies: 2 scones and a muffin.
* Added 10 packs of toilet paper to the stockpile.
* Added some over-the-counter medications to the stockpile. We don't use a lot of medication, but I thought it was important to have a few medications on hand just in case: anti-diarrhea meds, allergy medication, Primotene tablets (Trucker has asthma, and while these don't work well, I think it's important to have them in case his inhaler ran out and we couldn't get more), ibuprofen. I got store brand of everything except the Primotene and got my employee discount, lowering the price a further 10%.
* Our antique store was approved on an existing website, so we'll start listing and see what happens. Very exciting. We also purchased some more inventory and did a whole lot of research. When we go to antique stores, we aren't buying much, but we are checking out marks, styles and prices. Even if this doesn't become a full-time job, we're having a blast!
* Went for a couple walks on nicer days. Once we went for a walk through the neighborhood and once at a National park.
* Drank lots of water.
* Steve got food poisoning (not from food I made, FYI). He slept for most of the day and drank lots of water and gatorade. He was feeling better (although not 100%) the next day. I also gave him a small glass of water kefir. I didn't want to give him too much and cause problems (he hadn't had any for a week), but thought the probiotics might help.
* We bought a couple of thrift-shopped gag gifts for a couple of our friends. This couple has similar sense of humor and so we all delight in finding weird stuff for each other.
Feel free to leave a comment about your week!