Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 8/10 - 8/16

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 weeded and thinned the garden and fed it all to the bunnies. They loved the micro carrots.
* Harvested 6 cups of green beans, 3 cups of greens, a dozen or so cherry tomatoes, basil microgreens and a few edible flowers to toss into salads.
* I picked parsley throughout the week to use in cooking.
* I harvested a lot of yard-long beans. They are so fun! And delicious. I grew them for the first time last year and expanded the number this year. They are great!

* Made BLTs one afternoon. I saved 1/3 of the bacon for future meals. All of the lettuce came from the garden, the tomatoes were from the World's Longest Yard Sale ($2 for 1.5 lbs), the bread was $.50 on clearance, and the bacon was on sale for $3/lb.
* I bought a pack of mushrooms (6 oz) for $.79 at an Asian grocer. I also found some great bargains on dehydrated mushrooms and random pickles, but didn't buy any this time since I'm working at eating more from the pantry, but I now know where to go for some fun, exotic pickles on the cheap.
* At the local Whole-Foods knock off, I got: 2 avocados for $.50 each, 2 lbs of bacon ends for $8, 3 lbs of TVP for $10, and a pound of radishes for $1.
* For company, I made enchiladas using 1/2 lb of ground pork, a can of refried beans, the last of a jar of salsa, a tomato and some peppers from the garden, topped with a can of green enchilada sauce ($.49 from the salvage grocer). I used the avocados to make guacamole that I served with some on-sale tortilla chips. For dessert, I served a plum upside down cake I made with some of the $.19 plums I got at Aldi last week.
* I used the other half of the ground pork for tacos the next night.
* We had baked potatoes for dinner one evening and topped them with random items from the frig.
* I made bacon gravy and biscuits for dinner one evening.
* I made TVP loaf for dinner one night. I lost my good recipe, and the recipe I got from the internet wasn't very good. It crumbled and didn't taste as good as my old recipe. I'll keep looking for the old one. TVP loaf is really tasty (if you have the right recipe) and is very filling.

Food Preservation:
* I dehydrated tomatoes, peppers and green beans. There wasn't enough of anything for a load by itself, so I just tossed it all in one load.
* I froze 5 peaches, 3 nectarines and 6 bananas. I sliced them, then froze them on cookie sheets before packaging in freezer bags.

* My friend and I went out for coffee together. I used my travel mug to get a discount. We drew, colored (in my fancy Anatomy Coloring book) and talked for a few hours. Then we went walking to some Asian grocers in the area.
* My sister came over for dinner one evening.
* We went kayaking with my family one day. My parents, all my sisters, and my sister's fiance met us at the lake. Dad had BOGO coupons (He pays $20/yr for a coupon book for their county and they use that for all eating out and a lot of entertainment over the year) for subs at a local shop, so lunch for the two of us was $5. They brought soda, water and chips from home and we ate at the state park. While two of my sisters and one sister's fiance went fishing, my parents, other sister, Trucker and I went kayaking around the lake for a bit to a small beach. We went swimming for a little while. While we were standing in the water and talking, a water moccasin swam up right in the middle of us! EEK! Then we got back in the kayaks and went through some canals back to where we'd parked. By this time it was dusk. As we went back, the cranes were coming in to roost. We got pretty close to a couple. It was beautiful! When we were leaving, my dad gave us a coupon from his book for BOGO at the local ice cream shop, so that cost $2.50 to get each of us a (huge) ice cream cone.

* I got to enjoy the flowers and wildlife at a state park.

* I combined several errands one afternoon to reduce gas use throughout the week.
* I cut Trucker's hair for him. This is my second time doing it and I'm getting better and quicker. It took me 15 minutes and saved $13, so that's $52 bucks an hour, tax free!

Waste Reduction:
* I composted lots of weird things.
* I fed some corn silk I'd dried to the bunnies. They seemed to like it.
* Fed the bunnies weeds and garden thinnings. This saves a lot in food and reduces waste.

* I worked over 1 hour one day and a half hour another
* I packed my breakfast and lunch each day I worked.
* Trucker brought home goodies from his job that would otherwise have been thrown away.

* I put up food for later.

* We continue to put more and more items into our booth. We are noticing some gaps when we go to restock, so we are making some sales. We'll get an itemized list and our first paycheck next week.

* I went running a lot.
* I've been more conscious about the calories I'm drinking. When I want to get a caloric drink, I drink a tall glass of water before I pour that drink. Then I'm not as thirsty, so I pour a lot less.
* I actually remembered to put sunscreen on before we went to the lake. I usually forget and get burned. I'm working at being better at this, especially since I'm fair skinned and my grandpa had skin cancer.

* A few of my coworkers gave me leads for getting some new inventory.
* We gave my parents most of the week's goodies from Trucker's job. That would cover a couple morning's breakfasts for them and my sisters.

How was your week?

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