Tuesday, March 31, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 3/23 - 3/29

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.

Gardening:
* Tomatoes and peppers have germinated! Sweet!
* I repotted a bunch of aloe plants. A coworker from an old job gave me three aloe plants and they each had babies. :)
* Parsley is growing well; I have harvested a few times this week.
* Daily harvests of green onions. This is great!
* Harvested a few tablespoons of greens from that big planter. It didn't do much of anything all winter, but now it's starting to grow a bit. It is almost time to move the container outside.

Cooking/Groceries:
* Made a cranberry apple crisp from apples in the frig (picked at a you-pick orchard in autumn) and some frozen cranberries from an after-holiday sale. I used leftover baked goods from Trucker's job as the crumb topping. Since the muffins and scones had sugar added, I didn't add any to the crisp mix so that we could use it as a breakfast item instead of a dessert item.
* The chips leftover from the restaurant last week weren't that great the next day, so I used them to make a simple side dish. I tossed them into a baking dish, poured over a can of turkey gravy ($.10 on an after holiday sale) and grated some cheddar on top. It was good enough, not something I'd plan to do, but I'd do it again to use up something.
* I made Trash Chili. I had several jars of "tomato sauce jar rinse water" in the freezer that I thawed out. I dumped it into the large slow cooker and added: dehydrated tomatoes (from the garden), dehydrated peppers (both hot and sweet, from the garden), garlic powder (free from an old job of Truckers, this is getting old and needs to be used up), fresh garlic from the garden, some bits of leftover meat and veg from the frig, okra (dehydrated from the garden, just because I want to use it up before gardening season), TVP ($2/lb, used about 1/3 lb), the last of a jar of salsa, the leftover enchilada sauce that was at the bottom of the pan of stuffed peppers from last week, a packet of chili seasoning (It was in a bag of seasoning packs we got from the salvage grocery). It was fantastic. We served it a second day as Cincinnati-style chili over spaghetti. Another day we had chili cheese dogs. I also used it for two work lunches.

Fun:
* One evening we sat at home and listened to the Victrola. Fabulous!
* Coffee dates using our travel mugs for a discount (and environmental responsibility).

Nature:
* We went for a walk around the neighborhood on a nice day. Perfect.

Frugality:
* Combined coupons and sales to buy hygiene items. I needed new deodorant that was okay for work and got it for $1/stick instead of $3. I bought 4 so that I could use the coupons and wouldn't have to buy any for awhile. I also bought 2 bottles of shampoo at $.75/bottle (down from $2).

Waste Reduction:
* Made Trash Chili to use up leftovers and the water from rinsing jars of tomato sauce.

Work:
* I packed lunch instead of buying a slice of pizza like I did last week. The pizza was okay, but I could have made an entire pizza for the two of us for the same cost. I've been bringing things such as: salad (lots of veggies with a little meat/cheese, with a small container of dressing on the side), clementines, granola/protein bars ($.10 from the salvage grocery), apple chips (dehydrated in autumn, from a you-pick orchard), scones or muffins from Trucker's job, trail mix samples I got in the mail, apple crisp and apples. I try to always make sure I get one high-protein item to get me through the day.
* Trucker brought home day-old goodies from his job: bagels, scones, muffins, cookies (the cookies were pretty hard so we pulverized them to use as sweet crumble for crisps, baked goods and milkshake mix-ins.
* I volunteered to come in on Saturday. It is making for another long week, but I'm really enjoying the job, so it's not too bad. I also get paid time and a half on Saturdays. I also worked over one day. Next week I'll work 2 extra days, then cut back to 2-3 days.

Health:
* Worked out for 1.5 hour 5 days with a trainer. We did yoga/stretching, core exercises, resistance training, hand work and cardio.
* Went for a walk around the neighborhood.
* Concentrated on eating more vegetables and drinking more water this week. I carry a water bottle with me at work and try to drink two full bottles during the work day. I've also been drinking water kefir.
* I've started wearing ear plugs at work. It's ridiculously loud, but this helps. I don't want to lose my hearing! I've also noticed a nice side effect of the ear plugs: I am less anxious. Since most of the noise pollution is at least dimmed, I'm less on edge.

Setbacks:
* Our washing machine has started making a weird noise. I'm planning on opening it up this weekend to see if it is a simple fix or not. I've started shopping around online just in case we have to buy a new one. The frustrating part is that they lost the order for my uniform at work, so after waiting a week and a half with only one outfit, I now have to wait another week and a half until they come in. I've had to clean them nightly. I've been trying to find other whites/lights to wash with it, but the loads are still pretty small. I would go with every other day washings or hand wash, but the job leaves the uniform pretty dirty.

Community:
* I posted a sign on the community board at work asking for bartering opportunities. I offered water kefir grains, garden transplants, seeds, homemade apple chips and garden veg in season. Hopefully I'll get a few bites!



How was your week?

2 comments:

  1. I love these posts each week. I keep my own similar tally in a big journal to show myself all the neat ways I am being mindful and frugal. One of my biggest successes this week was by accident. I went to a school fare to support a local school taking only a few dollars. I bought one ticket for $2 in the raffle and won. The prize was a gift certificate to a local cafe where my hubby and I dined this week for free, a facial which I would never buy for myself but will use it. a women's wallet I put up on Ebay, some gift certificates for juice, a pair of earrings and a cook book both I will gift in the next month as birthday presents, soy candles which I love but only buy on sale and a mug which says "love" which I kept for fun. It was so gratifying supporting the school and winning the prize :) I have a long list of other frugal accomplishments this week but will leave it at this one!

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    Replies
    1. Wow! That's incredible! Great score!

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