Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 5/2 - 5/8

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 didn't take any photos this week, so enjoy some of my favorite photos of Ray. My apologies to dog people.

* I bought a bag of potting soil at a going-out-of-business sale for 20% off.
* I fed the bunnies tree prunings.

* I have to admit, it was a terrible week for cooking. We ate out a couple times, forgot to eat more often, and the rest of the time made quick and easy meals like mac n cheese, lunch meat sandwiches or quick salads with canned soup. It was the most insanely busy week, and frankly, I didn't plan well enough. I'll try to do better in the coming week.
* We went shopping at the salvage grocery store. I got some great deals: organic mac n cheese ($.33/box; cheaper than Aldi), organic cereal ($.33/box), Jiff Cappuchino hazelnut spread ($.49; regularly $4.49), toilet paper ($.99/4-pack; 100% post consumer recycled material), coffee ($2.50/12 oz bags), and lots of individual snack packs of organic gummy candies, pretzels, biscotti, biscuits and other items for lunch and to bring to share with coworkers ($.33-.49). We filled the cart to overflowing for $55

* We went to opening night of Civil War. Trucker loves comic book movies. We don't usually go to full-price movies, but I figure occasionally it is okay.
* Our friends had a picnic in the park. We all brought food and had a good time talking together.
* We had to go out of town, so we made a bit of a day trip of it. We popped in to a locally owned coffee house, a thrift store and a winery. The winery was quite affordable for very good wine. It was $6 for a flight of 4. We will plan to take Daisy and her hubby sometime soon.
* We visited my family one evening. We brought my mom her Mother's Day gifts. We got her some trees at the Arbor Day fest last weekend. Trucker got her a nice 9-piece cast iron set. It usually cost over $200, but since he got it at auction, he paid $25. My family doesn't mind gifts being used. This set was returned because it was too heavy for the original purchaser to lift.

* While out picking, we found a $5 bag sale at a church rummage sale since it was the last day of the sale. After we had gotten things for our booth, I filled up the bag with a few items for me. I got 3 pairs of leather pumps, 4 pairs of earrings and a shirt. The rummage sale was in a very ritzy neighborhood, so the items I got were fantastic. They were a much finer quality than I would consider ever buying myself new, and honestly, would be outside of my preferred price range at a thrift store.
* My car was acting up, so I took it to my cousin to fix it. He was able to fix it in a few minutes, so he didn't charge me his usual rate (he usually charges an hour minimum). I brought him a 6-pack of his favorite beer.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.
* I rinsed out some salsa and hot sauce jars and dumped the rinse water into my Trash Chili container.

* I packed a lunch each day I worked. One day the company gave us a free lunch for an award we won.
* Trucker's boss fed him one day he worked. He brought donuts the other morning for everyone.
* I got to leave early on Friday because I worked overtime throughout the week. One day there was a call off on a day that was already going to be crazy busy, so I came in early to help out.
* I temped for 6 hours at my old job. They were crazy busy for Mother's Day, so it was good to be able to help them out some. Plus I got to talk with my friends. The boss got us all pizza to say thanks for working a busy shift, and I got to eat a couple of chocolate covered strawberries that were otherwise going to be thrown away.
* I took home seconds produce.

* Trucker wanted to get new head shots, but didn't want to spend a lot of money. He needed them for getting acting gigs and needed a more professional photo for his books. He found a photographer who was wanting to update his portfolio. He took the photos for free and sent us the photos online to print. He also took couples photos for us. I plan to print them and hang them up.
* We went picking together one day.
* Our antique mall had a party one evening. Last time there was a party, we did really well. This time, not so much. It is the start of the slow season, so I'm sure that played into it. Also, the weather was really crummy all week, but the night of the party was perfect, so people probably wanted to be outdoors rather than go antiquing. As it was, we made the best of it. We enjoyed the free cake and punch and did a lot of networking with other vendors. We met someone who repairs and resells radios. He gave us the details of what he needs and his maximum price so we can scoop up items for him. I also talked with someone about cake pans she wants. She said she will email me later this week. All in all, it was a good event, even if not in the way we were hoping.

* My resting heart rate has dropped to a healthier level.
* I have been running at work. When I realize I forgot a tool across the farm, I've taken to sprinting to the tool shed. When I am going to go weed at a different field, I run there. I'm sure it only saves me seconds, but considering that I work for a nonprofit doing work I really appreciate, I want to be as efficient as possible. Not only that, but it makes for a better workout. I do a lot of strength exercises (driving T-posts, lifting bags of compost, carting around wheelbarrows) and squats (basically harvest days are entirely squats). Going for short bursts of sprinting gets my heart rate up and switches things up a bit.
* When I temped at my old job this weekend, my old boss mentioned how fit and tan I looked.

*  My car started acting up, but fortunately, my cousin was able to fix it for me. He is such an incredible help to the whole family. Without him, we would all have a much harder time maintaining our used vehicles. It seems that setbacks have a way of reminding us how fortunate we are to have a solid community around us.

* I took my family and Daisy some seconds produce. It would otherwise have been composted, so I was glad it was eaten instead. I overheard one of my coworkers telling a volunteer that we aim to reduce waste on the farm and that I am really good at making sure none of our food goes to waste.

How was your week?


  1. Love this blog and always happy when there is a new post. This week I,

    - used corncobs to make corn broth when I made corn risotto. (found the recipe at Food52)

    - used my bread machine, on the jam setting, to make risotto last week (found the recipe and instructions on King Aurther Flour website) This keeps the oven off and keeps the kitchen cooler.

    - made artichoke heart dip in the bread machine on jam setting. Served it piping hot. Kept kitchen cooler. Less electricity. Plus, it's fun:)

    - reused wrapping paper from a bridal gift when the bride and groom left it here. I wrapped up a huge bag of potting soil for my mom for mother's day. It was super fancy, gold paper, so it was funny to wrap soil in it. Someone else bought and wrapped the present, so free paper.

    - Took home a ton of left overs from an engagement party. The hostess sent me home with a huge bag and it was from a super amazing restaurant. I have a college age son, so it was utilized.

    - used flowers from the garden to decorate the table for mother's day.

    - driving my college daughter's car while she's away at school instead of replacing my dead car right now

    1. Thanks for the tips on using the bread maker. I have one that I haven't used yet. I will have to try these tips.

      You had a great use-it-up week!

  2. PS My mom is in the hospital in another town and she said she wished she had a newspaper. I called the hospital gift shop and they were happy to sell me a magazine and take it up to her, but they didn't have newspapers. So, I called the volunteer shop and a sweet guy took my mom a magazine and newspaper right to her room. Free.

  3. Ray looks like a cat I once had. So sweet. Had a great week. Got a chicken coop made for me for Mother's Day so we can get some chickens. I also got a jewelry box from a yard sale from my small girl and a home made card. My hubby and I have been going to the "tip shop" which is a shop where they place things that went into the garbage but can be reused. I cannot believe how cheap we get everything ( in moderation, it is still stuff!) and it is fun scavenging a bit.
    Have a great week!

    1. Yay for chickens! I'd love to see pics once you get them!


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