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.
* The lettuce succumbed to the aphids. This was my first time having issues with bugs in the winter lettuce garden. I think the big issue was that I had a container that had been outside, but hadn't germinated well, I just mixed in a little new potting soil since I didn't want to "waste" it. So the aphids probably got in that way. Next year I'll just use all fresh potting soil in the indoor garden and dump any from outdoor containers onto the garden beds.
* Speaking of aphids, the overwintered peppers this year had no issues. Last year, I lost 4 pepper plants to aphids when the infestation got bad enough that the stems were pretty well coated in eggs. Yuck. The problem was that last year I wasn't vigilant about thoroughly hosing down the containers and plants (including underside of leaves) immediately before bringing them in. This year, I hosed them down (excessively?) and brought them immediately inside. I didn't see a single aphid on the pepper plants all year.
* The kale has just been chilling all winter, but now that there's more sunlight, it's growing well. I'll have my first harvest within the week. This experiment in growing greens over winter indoors has been perfect for me. Even though it's a small harvest late in the season, it will be nice to get a harvest before I've even planted anything in the main garden. Also, I like having things growing in the house over winter to try to purify the air a little.
* I made stir fry with chicken using carrots, squash, and onions from storage, the last of the asparagus from the loss leader sale, and garlic from the garden (stored and hung to dry). Served over rice. I also tossed some dehydrated green beans in with the rice as it cooked. There was enough leftover for a work lunch.
* We had spaghetti and tomato sauce one evening.
* I bought a loaf of discount three-cheese bread at the grocery store for $1.29.
* I stopped at the salvage grocery store after work one day. I stocked up on organic cereal for $.49/box, juice boxes for $.07/each, jerky for $.49/package, salad dressing $.20/bottle, coffee $2.49/12 oz, herbal shampoo $.49/bottle, and toilet paper at $.99/4 pack.
* I hard boiled some eggs that were getting a little on the old side. Eggs are usually good for a bit after the "sell-by" date.
* We went out for a coffee date. We used our travel mugs, and I had earned a reward for $1/coffee. Our date cost $2.18. Another time we went, Trucker had a reward for a free coffee, so the date cost $1.59.
* My friend and I went out for coffee. While we were out, another friend showed up and joined us. Nice evening. Afterwards, we went grocery shopping together. It truly takes an awesome friend to have fun running errands together.
* We enjoyed a 3.8 mile walk around a local metro park. It was a crazy nice day, mid 60s and breezy. Perfect.
* We took our main car to my uncle for a tune. He did all routine maintenance and replaced a couple transmission lines for $200.
* We planned errands to reduce driving time.
* I composted lots of weird things.
* We continue to do well at the booth. It is a lot of fun. I've especially loved talking with our customers when I go in to straighten up the booth.
* I went out on a few good walks, including a 4.5 mile walk to the grocery store (half of it weighed down with groceries). Trucker and I also went out for a 3.8 mile walk at a local park.
* My coworker accidentally bought pole beans instead of the bush beans he meant to buy. He doesn't grow poles, and when he found out that I did, he gave me a large pack of them.
* I helped my friend write her resume.