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.
Sorry for the delays in writing. We had a couple things come up that required a lot of time away from the computer. As a result, this week's post will include items from the past week, and anything of note from the two weeks prior. I'll hopefully be writing more frequently in the coming weeks.
* A fair amount of the garlic has sprouted. I covered the garlic with a heavy mulch of leaves to help them overwinter well.
* I moved the rabbit hutches to the garden bed closest to the house for ease in taking care of the rabbits in winter. I actually am making a new bed directly under them. I laid down cardboard to smother the grass, then topped with leaves. As their waste falls to the ground, it will help to fertilize the area. In spring, I'll move the setup to a bed that needs refertilization. Twice a year, I'll move it around to different beds so eventually each bed will get this deep treatment.
* I shoveled the rabbit manure from the old site to the garden beds. It was enough to fertilize three beds. Fantastic! Also, the area where the beds were is ready to plant something nice in next year. Maybe some edible flowers.
* I bought materials for winterizing my rabbit hutches: foil backed bubble wrap insulation, new wing nuts and bolts for affixing the feeders that were hopelessly rusted (and a literal pain to remove so we could move the feeders to the front of the cages for enclosing the back), and wood to make nesting boxes. We found the bargain wood section and we compared the different offerings. Trucker found some boards that were half the price of the other discount boards that would do fine, so we saved $3.50 over buying the other option (I didn't check how much fresh, perfect boards would have cost). I spent $25. Total cost for the bunnies: $187.
* We made tacos with ground pork ($1.50/lb on manager's special), lettuce ($.50/head on manager's special), the last of the beefsteak tomatoes from the garden (ripened on the counter), sour cream (on sale), salsa (from salvage grocer), and cheddar cheese powder (purchased from an Amish grocer for $2 for a half pound. It's so much cheaper than buying fresh cheese considering how little goes a long way and it is shelf stable) sprinkled on top since we were out of cheese.
* We had popcorn as our snack. Trucker eats it traditionally, buttered and salted. I made taco popcorn with a sprinkling of taco seasoning powder and cheddar cheese powder.
* We went to the salvage grocery. We stocked up on granola bars (40 bars for $3.99), coffee (found some for $1/lb), pasta for $.59/lb, soap $.30/bar, toilet paper ($.99/4 pack 100% post consumer recycled material), some canned soups, laundry detergent ($6.50 bottle marked down to $2) and some salad dressing. I also got some nice socks for $.59 a pair!
* I made a big breakfast one morning before we headed out for a full day so we wouldn't be tempted to eat lunch out. I made fried eggs, sausage links (over half of the package was saved in the frig for another meal) and a batch of white chocolate chip yogurt pancakes (white chocolate chips needed used up; I had some manager's special yogurt that was getting a little on the old side, so we used this in place of milk or buttermilk as the calcium in our pancakes). I saved over half of the pancakes as a quick and easy breakfast during the week.
* We grilled out one evening. I grilled hot dogs, onions and peppers. We saved some of the leftover peppers and onions to add to a meal a few days later.
* One evening I made a favorite dish of mine: fried corn with jalapenos. So yummy.
* I made homemade poptarts using Nutella or orange curd.
* I made quiche one afternoon using leftover bacon, peppers, carmelized onions and the last of a container of mixed greens. It was really tasty. You'd never been able to guess it was a "clean out the frig now" kinda dish.
* Trucker had brought a Groupon deal awhile back for a local Thai restaurant, $10 for $20 gift certificate. We went out for a nice lunch today and only had to pay tip.
* We went out for Starbuck's BOGO holiday drinks. We hadn't been to a Starbuck's in 6 years. While it was fun to try something different, I doubt we'll be back.
* I've been spreading the mature milk weed seeds around the property like I do every year. Love it!
* We went for a couple miles walk at a local park. As we walked, we gathered pine cones for a display I'm making for the entrance way. It was a perfectly sunny day with a light breeze. I love walking and laughing with him.
* At a thrift store for their 70% off sale, I got some small travel and beauty soaps. They were regularly $.25, so they were $.06~ each. Not bad, especially for the fancy soaps I would never pay $2 for.
* We bought our set of towels almost 10 years ago when we got together. We'd bought extras for overnight guests, and as the years went by, we got rid of threadbare towels and moved on the the remaining nice ones. We were finally down to only a couple good towels and they were a color that clashed with the color I'd painted the bathroom. I started looking out for new towels. I finally found a very nice set of two brand new with tags towels at a thrift store. They were a great rich brown that perfectly compliments my walls and super soft. Best of all, they were only $5 each!
* I got gas for a discount at my job.
* We saved cardboard and shipping materials to use when we sold items online.
* I worked three extra days at my regular job. We worked over every day, for a total of around 3 hours.
* I packed a lunch every day I worked.
* Trucker got a new job. He starts this coming week.
* Trucker has been a writing fool lately. He's been cranking out articles like crazy and has submitted several this week.
* Trucker also got a lot of items priced and ready to take up to the booth. He's been fantastic.
* I've slacked in this department significantly since I've been working so much. This past week I've been more mindful of my eating, but still haven't gotten out for a run in a bit.