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.
This week was crazy busy, so this won't be the most complete list of events. Frankly, I've worked 70+ hours at the various jobs this week, and it's been so long since I had a day off that I can't remember which things I did this week and which were last week. However, this is a short term situation that is going to get us where we want to be, so I'm sucking it up. Hopefully next week's post will be more detailed.
* I harvested sauce tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, snap beans, basil, and peppers.
* I fed the bunnies weeds and leafy twigs.
* I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast one morning. I froze half of the rolls to use another time. Less for us to snack on in the next couple of days, and saves money later.
* I made eggplant Parmesan with the eggplant I got for free from my job (it had a scar on it, so was unsaleable). This is one of my favorite meals.
* Trucker found a steak on manager's special. One day when I got home from work, he'd made dinner: steak, baked potatoes and roasted veggies. Delicious and so sweet of him to do for me after I'd had a rough day.
* I made stir fry with 1/4 of the steak leftover from Trucker's dinner. I also used 2 summer squash, 3 cherry bomb peppers, green beans from the garden, snow peas from the manager's special rack, two ribs of celery, and garlic. I served over rice with sweet chili sauce ($2.50 for a huge bottle at the ethnic grocery).
more tomatoes, all of the peppers from the flea market (Hungarian Wax and jalapeno), jalapenos from home, some poblano peppers from the manager's special cart and green beans from the garden. I didn't have enough of any particular thing to do an entire load, so I just mixed them all together. The tomatoes and beans might soak up a little bit of heat, but that won't be a problem.
* I froze more bananas from the manager's special cart.
* I dehydrated 20 pounds of tomatoes as pizza chips.
* I froze more tomato soup for later.
* We took a trip to our old city for my birthday and to see Trucker's family. Since it was on Sunday and Monday, I'll talk about the trip on next week's post.
* I redeemed $25 in rewards points on my credit card. I used that money to pay down debt.
* I received a shampoo and condition sample set. I was able to stretch it for a week's worth of hair washing.
* I composted lots of weird things.
* I made tomato soup with the scraps leftover from preserving tomatoes.
* I cooked with bacon fat.
* I worked at the farmers market three times. Someone gave me a free bag of kettle corn at one market and life was good.
* My farmer friend sold me canner tomatoes at just over half the going rate. I got 53 lbs of tomatoes (regularly $35) for $20. So for that 4.5 hours I worked, I came home with $35 worth of tomatoes, $30, and a cantaloupe that was a tad overripe (which is perfect for me. $67.50 total, for an hourly rate of $15 (and the produce was a bargain at that!)
* I worked over 45 minutes one day and a half hour the next.
* I packed a lunch each day I worked.
* Trucker brought home a huge box full of biscotti from his job. It is the end pieces that are too small to cut into salable pieces. Instead of throwing them away, the baker gives them to us. I cut them down and bake them the second time. They are incredible (almond and cinnamon? What could be better). This time there are so many that I will freeze some for later.
* Put up more food for winter.
* I went picking one day when I was way early for work at the farmers market. I was very picky, so I didn't spend much, but got good pieces.
* We still have a week until our next paycheck at the booth, but I saw a lot of holes when I stopped to restock and freshen up.
* I listed more items on my etsy store. After 6 months, I've figured out what sells for me and that's all I'm listing at present. Maybe I'll try more things later, but this is it for now. Etsy brings in some sales, but it isn't going to be a living wage, so it is lower priority than the booth.
* Trucker got some good items for our booth at an online auction.
* Trucker got a few articles accepted, two for a very popular website.
* I went running a couple of times, and once for a 1 hour 45 minute walk.
* Focused on drinking more water.
* I wore ear plugs at work each day.
* When I was running one day, a neighbor ran out of the house and stopped me. We chatted for a bit and she said that she wanted to start exercising with me. We went out for a power walk one morning for an hour and forty five minutes! It was great chatting and having a workout buddy. Hopefully this works out.
* I brought snacks to the farmers market to share with the girl I was working with.