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 fed the bunnies lots of weeds. I've noticed a bit of a problem. Now that I've been better about mowing as often as my neighbors would want (haha), the weeds don't get as big, so it takes me a lot longer to harvest what the bunnies need. I may need a wild area that I seed to dandelions and plantains and leave to grow lush. Or start poaching from some of the abandoned properties I run by.
* Harvested 3 cups of green beans.
* Harvested 3 baby radishes.
* While I was at a thrift store, I found a rabbit water bottle for $2. I have three for my breeding trio, but need a few more for when the babies go into the tractor. These usually sell for $5-7. My total cost for the bunnies is now $127.
* Harvested 8 cups of greens-6 types of lettuce, radish microgreens, kale and mustard.
* For lunch one day, we had quesadillas and a can of tomato soup from the pantry (salvage grocer, $.49)
* We bought 2 heirloom tomatoes from a local farmer for $2. They were fantastic.
* We had BLTs one evening with bacon from the freezer ($1.49/lb on sale), tomato (from the farm stand), lettuce from the garden and some clearance-priced bread ($.49/loaf). Delicious.
* I went to the grocery store. I spent $8 on groceries. I will make this last the whole week. I bought: 3 heads of broccoli (Clearance, $1.49), 2 heads of cauliflower, one purple (Clearance, $1.49), 3 dozen ears of corn ($1/12 ears, loss leader sale), 2 2-litres of soda (We don't drink much soda, so this will last a long time; mainly got it for use as a mixer for parties; coupon+loss-leader sale, $.45/each), 10 oz package of cherry tomatoes (mine aren't close to being ready because of the weird weather; $1 loss-leader sale).
* I parboiled 2 dozen ears of corn and cut the corn off the cob. I packed them into 11 freezer bags. I have two dozen more ears to preserve.
* I am drying the corn silk to use as a diuretic tea. I may also try experimenting with giving the bunnies a small amount in winter. I've found mixed reviews of such use online, but I don't think it would be a bad thing to give them a little bit with lots of other things. As always, I'll start out with a very tiny amount and see how it goes.
* I cleaned out the frig of lots of random items: leftover chorizo, leftover rice, the last of a jar of salsa, half a can of pork and beans, the last of a tub of sour cream. I mixed it together with a packet of mac n cheese seasoning (My friend went to a dairy-free diet, and gave me the packets from her boxed mac n cheese) since I usually make my mac n cheese from scratch. I stuffed this into banana and small sweet peppers. I froze all of these. Now we'll be able to pull a several small peppers out for dinner, or a couple to use as a side dish on taco night.
* We met up with a big group (~25) of our friends for pizza one evening. We split a one-topping pizza that cost just over what one entree would have cost and got a small pitcher of beer to split. Since we're only going out with friends once a month, it was a reasonable amount.
* We met up with some of my coworkers for drinks one evening. We each only had one drink, for $13 with tip.
* My friend had a bonfire one evening and grilled our ribs. It was a great evening. I brought a couple of beers from home and a dozen ears of corn ($1/dozen) to grill.
* We had a reward for $1 off a drink at our regular coffee date spot. We used that in combination with our travel mugs for a total of $2.18 for our date. Free refills.
* We went hiking at a new-to-us park. It was absolutely beautiful! Partially wooded with rock walls jutting up from the earth, a river, meadows. It was less than 50 miles from our home, but there were a lot of plants and insects that don't grow further north where we live.
* I line dried 2 large loads of laundry.
* I ran/walked to the library to return two items that were due. I got my miles in, returned them without a fee and didn't use any gas.
* I am drying the corn husks before I put them in the compost so they'll act more like a brown than a green (I'm assuming that since corn is a grass, it would behave the same as lawn-grass in the compost?).
* I worked 10 minutes overtime one day and 30 minutes another.
* Trucker brought home a huge bag full of goodies.
* I packed a lunch every day using leftovers.
* One day, Trucker got called in to work 4 hours early. Since he rushed out the door, he forgot to grab the lunch I'd had ready for him. Since it was going to be a long day, I knew he'd be hungry. I was grocery shopping on the way home. The store had 7 oz containers of popcorn chicken on their 11 for $10 sale ($.91, which brings the price to just over $2/lb) so I bought him one and got a bunch of discount bananas and gave him one. I also keep shelf stable foods in the car for work days (since I work a manual job, some days I'm famished when I get off work), so I also gave him a protein bar and a package of fancy mango-coconut crackers ($.36/box of 10 packages). I drove by his job on the way home anyway so it didn't take extra gas.
* I picked up a gig helping out my farmer friend. Not only did I get paid a fair amount for the work I did, but I got some good experience setting up a farmer's market booth (the girl I worked with had lots of experience and knowledge on the best ways to set things up). For breakfast, we ate an ear of sweet corn, raw (had to be able to tell the customers how it was).
* Froze a lot of food for winter.
* We got a phone call from the antique mall. They bumped us up on the waiting list. We have signed a lease for a booth. It is a good booth with one extended wall (more space for hanging things!) off the main stretch right off the entrance. We are really excited. We bought our tags and are going to start getting our items priced.
* After our lease signing, I went to a thrift store to pick up items for staging. I got two lace tablecloths for $3 total. We'll toss these over a couple less-pretty tables to fancy them up for display.
* Continue to take long walks and run frequently.
* Trucker and I went on a 3.5 mile hike together.
* I gave a bag of salad greens to the neighbor who gave me plants earlier this year.
* I stopped by another neighbor's house to give her some lettuce. We talked a couple weeks ago and she mentioned that she'd had to give up gardening. She said she doesn't eat much lettuce, but invited me in for coffee. I ended up sitting and talking with her for an hour and a half.
* When I was at the farmer's market, I worked with a childhood friend I haven't seen in 6-7 years. It was wonderful catching up, and we exchanged numbers with promises to do a bit of adventuring together-hiking, biking or running. She also brought some oyster mushrooms she grew to give me! So sweet!
* One of the farmers at another booth brought over cookies for us because he said we looked hungry.