Monday, October 19, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 10/12 - 10/18

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.
* Still not having good luck with the bunnies. One of them clawed me when I tried to return her to her cage and I dropped her (1 foot) and she ran and hid in the poop pile...from which I had to dig her out. So much fun.
* I fed the bunnies more tree trimmings. This really helps me keep the invasive shrubs from overtaking the yard and cuts down on feed costs. The bunnies love them. After they eat the leaves, they knaw on the branches.
* I potted up 4 pepper plants to overwinter: 2 Jimmy Nardello's (1 1-yr, 1 2-yr), a serrano pepper (2 yr) and a jalapeno (1 yr).
* Because a frost was coming, I harvested all of the tomatoes, peppers, beans and basil from the garden. There was a ton of basil.
* I harvested some carrots I'd missed last week. They were also very small. Oh well.

* Trucker made a sausage and spaghetti dinner for me one day when I got home from work. Delicious!
* I made stir fry one evening. I used half of a portion of frozen chicken (usually we'd use this much for one meal) and lots of random veggies from the garden and frig: jalapenos, carrots (the entire year's meager supply), turnip greens (I chopped the stalks and cooked those with the hardier veggies and added the torn leaves towards the waste!), green beans (the last from the garden), a small onion, half a head of garlic, and a Hungarian Wax Pepper. I served it over rice and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds both for added protein and to use them up.
* We are generally working at eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible. This is cutting our expenses and helping us clean out the pantry. Once we clean it out, we'll go back to refilling it. By using it up, we make sure nothing gets left in there until it gets too old to use and we significantly lower our costs in the short term. It also forces us to be more creative in our meal planning and get out of our ruts because we need to use items that we don't use as much.
* I had two portions of peach crisp in the freezer. I pulled them out, microwaved until warm, put a scoop of ice cream over each and dusted with cinnamon. We don't always have ice cream at home, but when we do, I try to stretch it out as much as possible. Plus, peaches are fruit. It's health food.
* We drank more hot tea and less coffee this week. We like coffee, but it costs more than tea. Also, I have been sleeping better since I started drinking tea at night instead of coffee.
* We grilled out one evening. I grilled hot dogs, potatoes, a zucchini, and a poblano pepper. I also threw the cast iron skillet on the grill and cooked up a mess of fried corn (with onions and poblano peppers, fried in bacon fat because of course it was).
* We've been having popcorn for our snack..

* When we went picking for the business, I stumbled across a bin full of earrings....for $.05-.10 a pair! You can bet I bought a ton. 13 pairs of earrings, and 4 bracelets for $1.40. Can't be beat!
* When we went on our picking trip, we stopped for coffee at a local shop to relax and talk for a bit. I packed a lunch for us to eat on the way: salad, protein bars and apples. We didn't buy any food except our Americanos.
* We went out for dinner with our friends one evening for our once-a-month pizza lover's outing. We got the happy hour special for a pitcher and a large pizza for $20. Not too bad a price for dinner. We took home half the pizza to use for lunch the next day.
* My parents came over one evening and took us out for ice cream. It was a chilly night, but the ice cream was good, as was the company.
* We went out for a cheap coffee date using our travel mugs for a $3.18 date. I earned on my rewards card a free coffee and a free meal that is big enough to serve as a light lunch for the two of us. We will use the free coffee one day for a half-off date and the free meal another day when we want to work for a longer period of time at the coffee house.
* We had another coffee date and used the free coffee so our date only cost $1.59.

* We went for a mile walk around a local park. We didn't hike a trail, but walked around the outskirts of the park. It was really nice. The temperature and humidity was perfect, the sky clear, the air crisp, the leaves crunchy under our feet and again, the company was good.
* Another day we went to a local metropark and walked about 1.5 miles along the river. It is near the Audobon Society so there were lots of birds around. Beautiful!

* I took surveys on swagbucks to earn more points to redeem for Amazon gift cards.
* My job restricts what hygiene items I can use due to chemical interactions. Unfortunately, the brands that are okay to use are more expensive than the other brands. On days that I work at that job, I use the expensive brands. Days I don't work there, I use the cheaper brands. I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference, but every little bit adds up.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.
* I used up the last little bit of a sample-sized tube of toothpaste.

* I worked over an hour one day I worked.
* I picked up an extra shift at the regular job.
* I packed lunch each day I worked.
* I have been rotating my older and newer steel toed shoes so that I can prolong the life of the new pair and prevent achy feet.
* I worked 1 day at the farmers market. I was able to take home some tomatoes that had bad spots.

* We went picking on our day off together.
* We spent one whole afternoon that I was off work pricing items for the booth and updating our files. It is a strange sort of fun to add sales data to our lists and run the numbers on profit margins and days-to-sale.

* We went on walks together most days.
* I have been scaling back on the meat portions in our meals and increasing the vegetable portions.

How was your week?

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