Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 2/23 - 3/1

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'd used another onion that had sprouted in the pantry. There were two sprouts and they went into the windowsill garden. I'm harvesting green onions daily and enjoying using them a lot. I may start planting them in soil in the hopes that they last longer. This year my dad and I decided to buy green onion seeds for a variety that is perennial in our zone. This will be my first perennial vegetable.
* One pepper plant is looking pretty good. The others are likely dead. It's okay though, because I have this serrano pepper plant that kicked butt last year. I can't wait to see how it does this year!

* Made stir fry with the leftover pork from last week. I added: carrots, kale (I diced the ribs and added with the sturdier veggies then added the shredded leaves towards the end), an onion, 2 ribs celery, the last quarter of a cucumber (sounds weird...is delicious) and the leftover broccoli and green beans from last week. I served over rice cooked in chicken stock. I have lots of rice leftover to use this week.
* One day we ran out of milk and Trucker wanted to have cereal for breakfast the next morning. Instead of running out to grab some, I mixed up some nonfat powdered milk from the pantry (Was free from my mom's friend who gets it from her weight loss program, but doesn't like it). I chilled it overnight and he said that it was just fine. I'll definitely use this in the future to prolong the time between grocery trips.
* I went grocery shopping with my mum. We found the produce clearance cart to end all. I got: 3 packages of key limes for $.25 (usually $1.80), 3 lbs of thai eggplant ($.99 total), 5 lb mini purple eggplants ($.99 total), 2.5 lbs mixed hot peppers ($.99 total), 6 orange bell peppers ($.99 total, usually $1.25 each), 6 yellow bell peppers ($.99 total, usually $1.25 each), 2 lbs banana peppers ($.99 total), 6 lbs summer squash ($.99, so 16.5 cents a pound!), pint of kumquats (splurge item, I suppose, but I'd never had them before. Wow! $.99). I also got a quart container of greek yogurt for $.39 (usually $3.59), and a half gallon of milk for $1.20 (milk is usually $3.29/gallon here). The store was having a sale 10 for $10 and get the 11th item for free. My mom was wanting to buy sandwich baggies which were on the sale, so I bought 2 packages for her and got 9 packages of tortillas ($.91 each, usually $1.50).
* Trucker made french toast one morning. Perfect way to start the day.

* Coffee date=$3.18. I got a reward for a free bagel. We'll use that on a day we want to stay and work for a long time.
* After work one day, my mom and I met in the middle between our houses. We got lunch together. We ordered a sandwich that we had them cut in half and substituted two salads for the fries and coleslaw. It was a filling, delicious meal, lower in calories than each getting our own meal, and cost us $4 each. It was a sweltering day...darn near 30 degrees...so we took a walk around the downtown of the small town we were in. It was a fun day.
* Two of our good friends took us out for dinner one night! They bought a groupon for dinner for 4 at a Japanese steakhouse. It was fantastic. They are incredible people that we love hanging out with and the food was delicious.

* Got outside for a short walk with Mom. It was nice to be outdoors, even just for a little bit.

* Did not go shopping for "pleasure".
* Avoided grocery shopping at my job after work for "just one or two things" because that inevitably leads to buying more than that, and the prices are significantly higher than elsewhere.
* Cold week. Kept the thermostat set low, bundled up and cuddled under blankets.

Waste Reduction:
* Saving veggie scraps in the freezer until I have enough to make some broth. I don't anticipate having enough bones to make stock, but I will make some vegetable broth to use until we eat more meat.
* Composted lots of random things.

* I'm working third shift this week. Getting closer to that raise. Also get a little extra on my paycheck for shift differential.
* I packed my lunch, although I have trouble eating on overnight shifts. I've been eating half a power bar as my lunch.
* Trucker brought home a goodie bag of day-old baked goods.

* Took steps for a new path. Will announce soon, depending on whether it works out or not.
* Got some items listed for online sale.

* I'd slipped away from drinking water regularly throughout the day, so I was more mindful of that this week. I've started keeping a reusable water bottle in my locker at work so I can run out and down some frequently.
* I've been better about avoiding nibbling during the work day. It's a tough temptation when you work in a bakery, but I keep reminding myself that I want to stay healthy. Also, I remind myself that it doesn't really taste that great (I don't like super-sweet things), and if I wait I can enjoy something better later (and that something better is usually much healthier).
* We've been more mindful of eating more vegetables and less meat. As our finances have improved over the years, we'd drifted into eating more meat. While I don't think meat is wrong or unhealthy necessarily, I do think moderation is important.

* My mom and I both bought some bags of produce from the clearance rack at the grocery store when we shopped together. When we got back to the car, we opened our bags and swapped some produce so we each got a larger variety of produce and didn't have too much of one particular item. I traded her one yellow and one orange bell pepper, a few squash and a few eggplants for a few green bell peppers.

* Third shift work...I can't understand how people do this forever.

How was your week?

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