Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money TWO WEEKS 6/7 - 6/19

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 delay again. I lost my computer and by the time I got a new one, it was time to start working on the next week's post.
* I finally planted the garden (only a month late...). I am being as minimalist as possible. After 8 hours of farming, I don't want to go out and weed; I'd rather have time to cook some of the yummy veggies I grow or hang out with Trucker. I planted tomatoes (Mortgage Lifter, Matt's Wild Cherry, Hillbilly Potato Leaf, Black from Tula and a few others; basically planted all of the leftover seeds I had, then forgot which containers had what) and peppers (Jimmy Nardello's, Jalapeno, Sheepnose Pimento). I planted around 20 tomatoes and maybe a dozen or so peppers.
* I harvested a around 80 garlic scapes. Yay!
* I fed the bunnies scraps from the farm.

* I made Swedish meatballs for dinner one night. Truckers mum used to make them for him, and he hadn't had them in years. He said he really appreciated it and I loved making him happy.
* The next day I made the leftovers into a casserole. I mixed the pasta, gravy and meatballs (crumbled) together with leftover roasted veggies (radishes, fingerling potatoes, beets, carrots and garlic). I topped with crunched up Chez-its since I didn't have breadcrumbs (I got them for $.89/box on manager's special) and cheese. It was surprisingly good.
* We made spaghetti ($.59/lb from salvage grocer) and tomato sauce ($.89/jar on sale) with TVP ($3/lb, dry at health food store) and dehydrated tomatoes (free, save for the electricity of drying them) added. I served with garlic toast (bread on sale).
* I found Breyer's ice cream on manager's special for $2 (marked down from $5.70). We bought four.
* I made pork and beans in the slow cooker one day. I used a 2-lb bag of pinto beans, beef stock (it's what I had), carrots (farm seconds), turnips (farm seconds), garlic (from last year's garden), garlic scapes (this year's garden), and swiss chard stems (farm seconds). We ate them for a couple dinners and I used them for work lunches. I had extra to freeze.
* One evening we made dinner together. Trucker made the most amazing pork steak ever. I made candied carrots and sauteed kale with garlic scapes. We had half of the steak leftover.
* I made stir fry using leftover pork steak, swiss chard, kale, garlic, garlic scapes, carrots, radishes, beets and turnips. I served with rice cooked in beef stock.
* Trucker made sun tea for me one afternoon.

Food Preservation:
* I froze some strawberries from the farm (seconds)


* We went on a few free coffee dates. Since we already paid for the mugs, we are going as often as possible.
* Daisy and I had a rare day off together, so we decided to take a day trip. We went thrifting and antiquing out of town. We got lunch at a Mexican restaurant and got to have some good talks. We went to an adorable used book store with an even more adorable cat that took naps on the puzzle table when it wasn't trying to talk visitors into letting it outside.
* One of the nice theatres downtown has a summer movie series. They play classic movies on the big screen, complete with organ music! Tickets are $4 each or $25 for 10 tickets in advance. I bought a strip of 10 tickets for us to use for dates or to take out friends over the season. This week we went to see Mommy Dearest. We brought snacks from home (they have no problem with this).

* We went on a couple short hikes.

* Since I have been earning more money now that I'm working full time, my checking account balance has been building up. I used the surplus to completely pay off one of the credit cards. We now have one credit card and the car loans to pay off. So far this year, we have paid off 2 medical bills and 2 credit cards.
* We received another incorrect bill from the doctor. I made a phone call and got them to fix it. I saved $60 for 5 minutes work.

Waste Reduction:
* When I made spaghetti one day for lunch, I had added TVP and dehydrated tomatoes to stretch it. Not wanting it to be too thick, I wanted to add some more water. I rinsed out the sauce jar and dumped the rinse water into the pot. It got out every last bit of sauce and was more flavorful than plain water.
* I composted lots of weird things.

* I packed a lunch each day I worked. Trucker ate for free each day.
* Trucker picked up an extra day at work.
* I worked a little overtime.

* My computer crashed, so I was without access for a couple days. Trucker worked hard to get it working, but it ended up being futile. I bought another one at Best Buy. I compared a lot of brands and ended buying a decent open-box computer. It was regularly $380, but was marked down to $275 since it was an open box. It seems to work just fine.

How was your week?

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