Monday, May 23, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 5/16 - 5/22

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 planted a container of flowers for indoors.
* I fed the bunnies weeds and produce scraps to cut feed costs. I need to be better at weening them on to higher rations of greens versus pellets.

* We had tacos with leftover sausage and seconds produce. It was a quick heat and eat meal for a busy day. By the time we had the lettuce shredded, the meat was reheated and dinner was served.
* We went grocery shopping and scooped up a few manager's specials. We found spaghetti for $.50/box (Regularly $1.89, but the cheapest we can get it is $.79/box at the salvage grocer), hoagie rolls for $.69/6 pack, and a pack of 8 English muffins for $.89.
* I made breakfast sandwiches for us one morning. I fried up eggs and a few slices of bacon and served them on English muffins. While I assembled the sandwiches, I sauteed some kale in some of the bacon fat to serve on the side. Sauteed greens are pretty much a daily thing now, and I still can't keep up. Time to get to dehydrating.
* I made popcorn for our snacks.
* We get pretty much limitless greens from the farm. So we have been eating a lot of them. Steamed. Sauteed. With black beans. Pasta and greens. Eggs and greens. I may need to start making green smoothies just to use it up.
* I made stir fry and rice one evening. I used a variety of seconds I got from my farm: Swiss chard, radishes, beets, carrots, turnips, collard greens and turnip greens. I made sauce using a packet we got in a bulk lot from the salvage grocer. I had enough leftover to use for two work lunches.

* We went out for a working coffee date one morning to write. $3.18, with travel refill.
* We went out with one of our friends and a new friend of his. We got pizza and drinks a hole-in-the-wall place near us. We split the meal to keep costs low.
* I got to hang out with my BFF, Doodles. We went out for coffee, then I took her to see our antique booth. Afterwards, we ran a couple errands together. I love a friendship where you can have fun doing whatever, as long as you are together.

* We went on a fantastic hike at a metro park south of us. It was so beautiful. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife, but it was still lovely. We found a fantastic old barn. When I was reading about the farm, I found out that the farmer had paid $1.25 an acre!

* I used samples for my shampoo and conditioner again this week.
* Our doctor sent us a bill for Trucker's checkup appointment for a $40 copay. Since it was a preventative visit, we didn't owe it. I called and they said that the computer automatically sends a bill. A 3-minute phone call saved $40; that's $800/hr, tax free. :)
* Trucker continues to organize the house. He is much better at tending the house than me. I'm great with cooking, food preservation, gardening and special projects, but he is much better at organization. I've been helping as I have time. One of the great things has been getting a solid inventory on household items. Now all of our light bulbs are together, the laundry detergent has been consolidated into fewer bottles (there were 5 open ones....oops), etc. This will keep us from having to buy something because we don't know we have an open container and has made the second bathroom/laundry room/utility room much nicer looking. Soon I'll be able to go in a decorate.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.
* I aimed to use leftovers creatively to avoid waste.

* I packed a lunch each day I worked.
* Trucker ate for free on his long shift thanks to his boss's wife.
* I picked up my pay from the temping. She gave me much more than I expected. I am putting it into savings for a trip we are planning on taking.
* I took home seconds produce: kale, collards, mustard, beets, radishes, carrots, sunchokes, and turnips with greens.

* Trucker's boss said if he wanted to put up an auction, he could post it if Trucker did the writing and photos. His first auction went live this weekend. Hopefully it does well and this will be another great stream of income for us.

* The first incline on our hike was hard, but we insisted on continuing. I was so glad we did. We got a solid 5 miles in with moderate effort. We had gotten in the habit of going on 2 mile, easier hikes, so this was a good workout.
* We got back Trucker's lab results. All is well. His cholesterol is a tad high, but everything else is great.
* I went for a short run. While it wasn't a superb run, I did better than I expected. All of the sprints I've been doing at the farm have been keeping me in good shape. I've also noticed that as I've gotten stronger in the last couple of months, I seem to be running with better form. I've been strengthening my abs and I think that is helping.

* My boss asked me if I could cover greenhouse duty for her this past week so she could visit family. I covered the day for her. When she heard that Trucker had gotten us tickets for a concert later this summer, she insisted on switching days with me so we could spend the night and make a weekend of it. I love working with a good team that values each other.
* I gave Doodles a bag of seconds produce; she shared with her dad.
* Doodles gave me an incredible chickens coloring book! Too cool! I had so much fun coloring in it while we had coffee.
* I went to a community meeting for my side of the city. My organization teamed up with several other community organizations to talk about what we want to see happen in our neighborhoods. They provided a free meal. At each course, we discussed different questions and talked about changes we'd like to focus on. It was a wonderful night.

How was your week?


  1. What is that plant in your second picture from the bottom (the brown stuff)? I saw that in my yard yesterday and went out to investigate. Looks rather strange to me, do you know what it is?
    Red Robin

    1. I am not sure. I had never seen it before so I insisted Trucker take a photo so I could remember to look it up. I'll go poke around now. :)


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