Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 2/2 - 2/8

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 c of greens from the indoor garden. It's really growing strong now.
* Harvested green onions twice from the window garden (regrown from onions that sprouted in the pantry).

* Made vegetarian stir fry one night: half an eggplant, a rib of celery ($.69/package at Aldi), half an onion (leftover from another meal), a small head of garlic (from the garden), green beans ($.99/8 lbs on manager's special), sliced carrots ($.50/lb). I served over rice that was cooked in chicken stock from the freezer (one container had a little bit of shredded chicken in it). We also had egg drop soup made with homemade pork stock, an egg and green onions from the indoor garden.
* Roasted chicken for dinner one evening and had leftovers a couple night later. Served with sides of roasted veggies, steamed green beans and/or mashed potatoes. The rest of the meat was pulled off the bone and saved to use later. The bones will go into stock.
* Had venison tacos twice this week. First, I browned the venison, then served up with greens and green onions from the indoor garden, salsa, the last of a container of sour cream, and black olives. The next time, I had just a little salsa left in the jar so I poured it in the skillet, swished some water in the jar and poured that in too. I crumbled up two handfuls of dehydrated tomatoes and a small handful of dehydrated Hungarian Wax peppers and heated it up. The veggies rehydrated in the thinned salsa, so it was perfectly thickened. Then I added the leftover venison and some leftover rice from stir-fry night and cooked until it was all heated. I served it with greens and green onions from the garden, diced onion, the last of a container of a sour-cream based dip (since we were out of sour cream; it was purchased on manager's special for $.50).
* For breakfast, I had either clearance-priced yogurt, banana yogurt smoothies or toast and jam.

* Coffee date at our regular spot. We brought our travel mugs and saved $.60. This place has free wi-fi and free refills on black coffee, so it's pretty frugal to hang out for awhile.
* Went to an estate sale in a really wealthy area. Didn't buy much but had fun browsing the antiques.

* There were a couple of warmer days. I got outside for exercise and gardening a few times.

* We got our hair cut. I'm growing mine out (I get bored easily with my hair and go from waist-length to pixie and back again), so I only get it cut every few months. We had coupons for $6.99 haircuts, so we used those. We kept our receipts since there was a coupon for $2 off for next time.
* Trucker had given me a bracelet a few months ago that I loved. Unfortunately, it came apart while I was wearing it one day (two of the thin leather cords pulled out of the clasp), so it was relegated to the bottom drawer of my jewelry box. One day this week I got out a pair of tweezers and was able to get everything fixed. I get my pretty bracelet back!

Waste Reduction:
* Rinsed out food jars and used the "rinse water" in recipes.
* Used the last of a bottle of eye drops (these have a tendency to be pushed to the back of the medicine cabinet, and another purchased. Trying to use up the half-full bottles before buying new).
* I strained and saved the chicken fat from the roasted chicken. I will use this in cooking.

* Trucker brought home his box of day-old goodies. Delicious snacks/light work lunches.
* Trucker brought home a 5-gallon bucket of coffee ground from his job and we spread them on the garden beds. Reduces waste at his job and improves our soil. Win!

* We both did a lot of research on the fields of antiques we are each wanting to specialize in.
* Both worked on our writing. Trucker worked on our new website.

* I went for a couple short runs. I can't wait until it warm up enough that I can run barefoot again. I have fewer aches when I run barefoot compared to running in shoes.
* Continue to focus on drinking daily water kefir and lots of water.

* I went through my closet to clean and organize. I identified several items that didn't fit or I didn't wear anymore. I put them in a box. I'll take these with the next time I go to see my family so my mom and sisters can look through the box. Anything they don't want I will donate. I also found some greeting cards in a box that I am going to give to mom. She sends out a good thousand greeting cards every year (and this is being conservative), so any free cards will definitely save her money.

What did you do this week?

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