Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 6/27- 7/3

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 put scallion bottoms into water to regrow them.
* I fed the bunnies farm seconds and carrot tops. While I know the carrot tops are technically edible, I don't enjoy the texture (I don't mind the bitter taste so much). The bunnies adore them though.
* We had extra seedlings at work so the greenhouse manager said we could take what we wanted. I took (and planted in my own garden): sage, rosemary, zinnias, okra, lunchbox peppers, purple bell peppers, jalapenos, marjoram, parsley, oregano, Greek oregano and basil.
* I planted my large containers  (yes, quite late) with okra and a variety of herba and a couple zinnias.
*i spread out the rabbit manure where i had had the hutches to make a full bed. I planted this area to peppers. I'm not sure if it is composted well enough to grow in, but I figured it didn't hurt to try. Of course, I planted peppers rather than lettuce or root crops since I didnt want anything I'll eat directly coming into contact with the manure.
* I made a blackberry crisp from some blackberries my parents had given me that had lived in the freezer too long. I used bread crumbs saved from heels of loaves, together with flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter to make the topping.
* We found a new salvage grocer that is, quite possibly, better than our other one. We got some great deals: $.10 seasoning packs, $.35 cans of beans, $.50 packs of tortillas, $.50 chocolate bars, 20 lbs of rice for $5, cat food $1/3 cans.

Food Preservation:
* I cut and froze a large bunch of scallions. I will transfer them to a baggie when frozen. Another day i froze another two bunches.
* I made a batch of pesto starter using 2 cups of basil (from the farm seconds), pine nuts (manager's special), garlic (from last year's harvest) and olive oil (salvage grocer). I poured it into an ice cube tray. When needed, I can thaw and add Parmesan, if desired.
* I steamed and froze three bags worth of beet greens and kale, with scallions and/or garlic scapes.

* My parents had offered to let us borrow their kayaks whenever we wanted. We finally took them up on the offer, and are we ever glad we did! We went out in the late morning one day and kayaked through the canals at the state park that used to be my family's land (great grandfather sold it to the state). We enjoyed the herons, geese, ducks, fish and water beetles along the way. A dragonfly landed on the front of my boat and rode with me for awhile. Fortunately there were no snake sightings. We went to a hidden beach that few people know about. We didn't swim much but lay half on the sand, half in the water and talked for a good half hour or so before paddling back. It was a lovely day, although we forgot to apply sunscreen to our now-lobster-red thighs. Oops. Afterwards, we went to a McDonald's that had $1 ice cream cones. We sat on the pier and ate our treat while watching the ducks (and ducklings!) swim about. It was a perfect, frugal date.
* We went out for more free coffee dates using our Panera travel mugs. We used the mugs 15 times in June. This saved us $3.18 each visit, or $7.70. We paid $20 total for the mugs, so we saved $27.70 and ended up with free travel mugs to use when our others break.
* our friend had a bbq on Sunday. We brought crackers and a garlic herb spread (crackers on sale, spread on manager's special) and bread and spinach dip (both on sale). Total cost : $5.25.

* While we kayaked, I was completely blissed out. Especially since we live in the city, there is something magical about being someplace where you can't hear cars, there's no pavement in sight and everything around you is vibrant and alive.
* Trucker hung up a couple more bird houses. The birds have already been checking them out.

* We got our tax refund. I put the entire balance to pay down the last credit card (over half the remaining balance). We do need to get some work done on the house as we are planning on putting it on the market within 2 years. I will use a portion of the refund for those repairs. However, I figured it made more sense to pay that money down on the credit card and then use the credit card for those purchases since the interest I'd pay on the credit card for a few weeks would be more than interest earned leaving it in a savings account. The repairs will only be about 1/4 of the refund amount.
* Trucker bought some car parts for his Civic at auction for around 80% off. These are parts he will likely need with 6-12 months.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.

* I got tons of seconds produce: turnips, carrots, beets, kale, lettuce, scallions, spring onions.
* I packed lunches for work most days. One day I forgot lunch, so I texted Trucker saying I was on my way home. By the time I got there, he had lunch and fresh coffee waiting for me. He is so perfect.
* Trucker ate for free at his job one day.
* Trucker picked up an extra day at his job to help his boss out.

* Trucker's boss took us out to lunch after his extra shift. It was filling enough that it was all either of us ate the entire day.
* I gave my sister some of the herb seedlings for her garden. She was excited as she hasn't grown herbs before.

How was your week?


  1. Hello, I allways like reading your blog. You make me want to do better with saving, in money and for the environment. Please keep up the good work. You inspire me. I like the way you both get joy out of "small" things.
    Thank you.

    Wendy (from the Netherlands)

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! That is so encouraging to hear. :)

      Have a great weekend!


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