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 attempted to breed Nurse Ratched and Frank and had some problems due to their inexperience. After two days of trying, I gave up on her and bred Hazel-ra. We'll see if she got bred in a month.
* Only piddly harvests of a few cherry tomatoes, some basil and a couple green beans.
* I fed the bunnies tree trimmings.
* We had baked potatoes for dinner one evening. I made twice as many as we needed to use for planned leftovers.
* I made taco twice baked potatoes the next night. I scooped out the middles (I kept those!). I mixed together a cup of ground beef from the freezer (leftover from grilling out), a poblano pepper, the last of the caramelized onions (leftover from grilling out), salsa, taco seasoning and the last of the leftover taco dip from a few days earlier. I stuffed the potato shells with the mixture, drizzled with taco sauce and sprinkled with cheese. I baked at 400 degrees until it was heated through and the cheese golden.
* I made shepherd's pie for dinner one evening with leftover mashed potatoes, 2 carrots, some green beans from the garden, a Hungarian Hot Wax pepper, 4 oz of shredded chicken (from the freezer; half the container saved for another meal), a can of turkey gravy ($.10 on after Thanksgiving sale; I would never buy canned gravy...except this was cheaper than the butter I would have used to make my own gravy...and is for convenience on busy/tired days), some mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs saved from the heels of a loaf of bread.
* We had BLTs one day for lunch. I saved a bit of the bacon for another meal.
* I made a batch of 4 meal-sized salads on Sunday for the week's lunches. I cut up an entire head of manager's special lettuce, a couple carrots, a container of grape tomatoes, a cucumber, some pickles, the last of a can of olives, and an apple. For two salads, I tore up the last two slices of lunch-meat turkey and in the other two I crumbled two slices of bacon into each. I added a bit of cheese and some pumpkin seeds for more protein. I portioned out small containers of dressing so we can grab and go.
* I did not go grocery shopping this week and planned the week's meals out of items we had on hand.
* I had purchased a container of manager's special coffee creamer. I rarely do this, only occasionally for a change. The large container was cheaper than the small containers are, but it was still too much for me to go through. I froze half of the container in ice cube trays. These will be perfect for iced coffee/tea later.
* We went on a cheap coffee date at our regular spot. $3 with our travel mugs. I am three visits away from getting a free meal (and I only have to buy a coffee to count as a visit).
* We went to a free concert at a local coffee house. $5 date.
* We went for a 2.5 mile hike at a park near us. While it was a short one, it had some serious inclines so we still got a decent workout. It was so beautiful, especially with the leaves changing. We also went to the pond to watch the ducks and fish.
* I got gas at my job since it was a bit cheaper.
* I composted lots of weird things.
* I used newspaper to pack boxes of items I sold on Etsy. No point in paying for shipping materials when I have a limitless supply of materials that are free and would otherwise be thrown away (we get them from Trucker's job where they don't recycle the newspapers at the end of the night).
* I got out of work a couple minutes early each day I worked the regular job.
* I packed my lunch each day I worked.
* Trucker brought home a bag of goodies on the two evenings he closed. These items are great for breakfasts or snacks. Leftovers get cubed or crumbled to use as ingredients. Sweet items are used as an ice cream topping, milkshake mix in or apple crisp topping. Savory items become stuffing or bread crumbs in hamburgers, meat loaf, casserole, mac n cheese, etc.
* We got another paycheck from the booth. It was $2 more than the last one. Each paycheck has been larger than the previous.
* We are learning a lot about selling vintage items as we go along. We're learning what items sell like mad and which items we sit on. We have been building out client list and are scouting items for several individuals.
* I went running twice this week, but went farther than I usually do each day.
* Trucker and I went on a nice hike together.