Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 3/21 - 3/27 Announcement!

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.


Gardening:
* I started some 2-year old okra seeds. I do not think they will germinate, but I had them, so I thought it didn't hurt to try. If they don't germinate, I'll start something else in those containers and won't grow okra this year. Since I'll be working at a farm this year, I won't need to grow as much as I'll have ready access to some good produce for free/cheap. I am planning on spending a little less time with the home garden and a little more time leisurely foraging.
* Some of my peppers and tomatoes have germinated. Still waiting on two sets.
* I planted more tomatoes.

Cooking/Groceries:
* I made Colcannon again.
* I baked some cookies from the freezer. I'd bought a pack of Christmas cookies after the holiday for $.35 for a 36 pack.
* Trucker bought me some manager's special mushrooms and greek yogurt. I have been using the yogurt for breakfast. I sauteed the mushrooms and ate some of them for breakfast one morning with a fried egg. The others will be saved for other meals.
* I made two stops for grocery shopping. At Aldi, I got celery ($.69), potatoes ($1.49/10 lb bag), baby carrots ($.49/lb), asparagus ($1.29/lb), butter ($2.50/lb; it is over $4 here usually and rarely goes on sale for less than $3. I bought 4 pounds), and 2 dozen eggs ($.99/dozen! Yay Easter!). At Kroger later in the week, I got a pound of Brussels sprouts with red pepper strips (Manager's special for $3), a pound of sugar snap peas (Manager's special, $.99/lb), free range eggs (Manager's special, $.99/dozen; I bought 3 dozen), and some manager's special meat. We also got some fried chicken from the deli. It had been marked down to $3 for 2 pounds of meat. While it was a little more than we usually spend on chicken, it was a fair price and convenient. We paired it with fried cabbage and steamed asparagus for dinner. Over half was saved for another meal.
* I baked a peach pie using a bag of frozen peaches from the freezer. I had saved some crumbs from the bottom of a bag of Honey Smacks cereal. I mixed that in with the crumble I made for the top (I almost always make 1 crust pies because I want to stretch the batch of pie dough to a second or third dish).
* I had enough pie dough left to make two pie crusts that I popped in the freezer.

Food Preservation:
* I froze more pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes from work.
* I noticed while freezing fruit that our meat stores were low. We've been avoiding spending much on groceries for awhile. We scoped out the manager's special rack and found some ground beef for $3/lb (the best I can usually get is $4/lb for beef and $3/lb for ground turkey which I hate) and some cheap steaks for $3/lb. I froze them for later.

Fun:
* Trucker took me out for a celebratory ice cream cone (see announcement below!).
* We went on a coffee date for $3.18.
* On Easter we went with one of my BFFs for a half off day at our favorite thrift store. I got a couple of summer shirts ($.99 each) and a work hat ($1.50). Trucker got several pairs of jeans and some plain t-shirts to wear to his new job. My friend found a couple of belts for $3 each. I also found a short glass that matches our set.

Nature:
* We went on a short hike at a local metropark.

Frugality:
* We used two produce baskets to store my shoes in the closet downstairs. We had bought the produce baskets to use at the antique mall booth, but they didn't really fit well. So it was basically free organizational systems. One holds my dressy shoes and the other my work/workout/chore shoes.
* Trucker won a pair of nice, new dress shoes for $5 at auction. He also won a huge cat tree for Ray. Regularly $400+; he spent $25. This thing is huge. Ray is going to love getting to watch the goings-on from way up by the ceiling. I think the best part of learning to pick/thrift is that we can have things we could never afford to buy at retail prices.
* In the middle of the night when I went to the bathroom, I accidentally knocked my sea shell soap dish off the counter and broke it. I decided to start looking out while we went picking. The very first time we went out, I found one at an estate sale that matches the bathroom better than the old one: $.50.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.
* I used plastic food containers to plant seedlings. When we went out for coffee, a couple of times I grabbed a small plastic cup of water. I brought those plastic cups home for planting seedlings.

Work:
* The pizza place Trucker was working at was working him later and later. He was getting home after midnight some nights, but no matter what, he wakes up by 4:30-5 every morning. The lack of sleep was starting to take a toll on him. He got a new job at an auction house. He works 2 days a week and makes what he used to make in 3 days. This auction house sells different things than we do, but he is learning a lot about auctions that may one day come in handy for us. Not only that, but he is getting a fantastic workout.
* I worked 1 full day at my regular job and half of a day where we were allowed to go home early with no penalty. Usually I would try to stay, but I wanted to go with Trucker to a doctor's appointment.
* I worked 2 days at my second part time job. One day I went home early because we had no business whatsoever. Some holidays are insane and others you just don't know what it will be. We had a lot of people on duty and finished our day's work in a couple hours, so they sent half of us home. Since it was Trucker's day off, I was happy to go home and hang out with him. The next day was crazy busy, so I worked over an hour and a half.
* I got some "garbage" to take home. I got a gallon container of fruit scraps (mainly melons and strawberries) and loads of packing materials since we got the truck in.

Future:
* We went picking several times.
* Trucker's new job is going to give him a fantastic education about what goes in to these types of local online auctions. We don't know exactly where the future will take us, but this is a great education.

Health:
* We went for a couple of walks.
* Trucker's new job gives him a fantastic workout, and he is already noticing a difference in his breathing. I'm sure that over time, getting his heart rate up while doing extremely heavy lifting and moving will help to improve his lung capacity.

Setbacks:
* Our internet was flakey for a couple of days. It was frustrating because I had the time and drive to do a lot of Etsy listings and was unable to. We (and by that I mean Trucker; I'm hopeless with technology) replaced a cord and it has worked fine since.

Community:
* The girls at work have been hoarding boxes and bubble wrap for me on my days off. I like to re-use materials for shipping online sales for cost savings and environmental reasons. They sent me home with something absurd like 50 boxes this week! I'm set for a bit. :) They are so sweet.


ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

A couple of months ago, I hinted that I'd found out about something exciting, but I didn't want to talk about details until I knew whether or not it would work out. At that time, my hours at my regular part time job had been cut in half, since they no longer needed me to pick up extra days beyond my two. I'd asked about switching to a 5-day-a-week position, but was told I would have to leave for 90 days and reapply. I wasn't sure what to do and we spent a lot of time talking about it and weighing options. Then...

Three years ago an organic farm started .4 miles from my house. It's weird that I didn't know about it, because it is on a main road. However, if I was going to be going south on that road, I drove down one street, and couldn't see the farm from that road. If I was going north on that road, I would take a different route and couldn't see the farm that way either. Last year I finally saw it towards the end of the season, but as I was working 80+ hours a week, I didn't have time to stop. This winter, Trucker and I were taking a walk around the neighborhood and we walked by it. I said that I was going to stop by this spring and see if they needed help.

That same day, I went to the library. There was someone canvassing about the farm. We got to talking and, let me tell you, it is amazing. It is a sustainable, organic farm run by the local food bank on 5 acres of abandoned property. They've been growing greens in grow tunnels and selling those and winter squash at the produce stand all winter. They sell at two farmers markets, to some restaurants (including a project of theirs that is a pay-what-you-can or volunteer-for-free-food system), at a couple of small groceries and they are working at selling at area convenience stores. They have a pay-what-you-want produce stand where they sell a lot of produce in my neighborhood (which is a food desert with a large portion of the population being of retirement age). They will be hiring a team of teenagers to work there and learn about food and farming. It is basically everything I believe in for the future of food. I told her I would love to volunteer there.

Well, one thing led to another and I will be working there full time this growing season as a Farm Assistant! While I am sad to leave my current two jobs (jobs that I enjoy with bosses and coworkers I like and a perfect schedule), I am so excited to be a part of this.  I will be working in the fields, delivering produce and selling at two farmers markets (that I sold at last year). I'll also get to help with the local produce stand and community building.

This worked out so nicely. We have decided to move forward on a couple of our long-term goals, and this job perfectly aligns with that plan. Even if there isn't a job for me there come winter (which is realistically most likely), I will have been gone the 90 days necessary to go back to my old job for full-time hours. Best of all, I get to put all of my passion and food knowledge into a most important endeavor. I try to do what I can to help those in my life have more food security or better nutrition. I look out for ways to supply people I know with better food at a lower price and love to teach people to garden, cook or grocery shop. Food security is the issue I care most about and try to work to help as I can. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to literally make it my full time job.

How was your week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This Week..Beyond Money 3/13 - 3/20

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.
Gardening:
* I've been harvesting small amounts of kale from the indoor garden. So far, it hasn't been enough for a salad, but I've been getting enough to go on our sandwiches. I've also been craving good bitter greens, so I've taken to nibbling on leaves randomly throughout the day.
* I started my pepper plants. I am using old seed, so I'm not sure how the germination rate will be. I plated heavy and after awhile, if I've had too poor of germination, I'll buy a single packet at the box store. I used salvaged plastic containers to start them. I had some salad green clam shells that were perfect. I closed the lid to hold the moisture in and will remove it after germination. I also planted two types of tomatoes. I'll plant more tomatoes later. I ran out of potting mix.
* My overwintered pepper plants are putting on a lot of fresh growth.
* If I can get decent enough germination, I hope to use almost entirely old seed to use it up and cut costs this year. I was planning on buying one pack of zucchini or summer squash seeds since I didn't have any. At a thrift store, I found a packet for $.29. I'm expecting a pretty busy summer, so I'm scaling back my plans. I am planning on growing mainly tomatoes, peppers, okra, beans and squash. I figured these things would be a good thing to plant and get a good yield without quite as much fuss as I usually have with carrots, lettuce, radishes, etc. I'm hoping to get them established, then mulch them well to reduce weeding. Usually, I interplant heavily, so I can't mulch the beds. Weeding becomes a nightmare. This year will be way too busy for intensive weeding. I definitely want to garden, but with different goals than previous years.
* The garlic is growing well. There were some that volunteered in last year's garlic bed. They were in clumps, so this week I divided the clumps and spaced them out. I have maybe 8-10 volunteers.

Cooking/Groceries:
* We had spaghetti with sausage one evening. We had some sausages leftover that I used for breakfast wraps later in the week.
* We had grilled cheese and soup a few times. It was a busy week, so quick and easy was just the reality of our cooking.
* I made a huge batch of Trash Chili. I added 10 jars of random leftovers/tomato sauce jar rinse water/fond from cooking meat, a jar of dehydrated peppers, 2 small jars of dehydrated tomatoes, 1/4 jar of dehydrated squash (because I had it and wanted to use it up), half an onion leftover from another meal, a huge jar of black turtle beans (had been in storage a long while; soaked overnight), a small jar of TVP granules, a sprinkling of veggie powder and a packet of chili seasoning (got in a HUGE bag from the salvage grocer for around $.02). It was tasty and provided several meals.
* I made chili dogs one evening using leftover chili and a bit of cheddar cheese.
* I made Colcannon twice with the bargain potatoes ($.20/lb) and cabbage ($.15/lb) I got for St. Patrick's Day sales.

Food Preservation:
* I froze a tray full of strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes and pineapple I got for free from my job. In summer, these will go into slushies, smoothies and margaritas. I can also use them for pies, quick breads and desserts.

Fun:
* We went out with our friends for our monthly pizza outings. We spent a little more than we intended, but it wasn't too bad. We split a pizza with one friend to cut costs a bit.
* We went to Rita's Italian Ice on Sunday. They had free small ices for the first day of spring. It was a perfect little date. We threw a dollar in the tip jar, so it was $.50 each. Not too bad.

Frugality:
* The bank I have my mortgage through changed their website. Now I can pay my mortgage on their website with my debit card from another bank without a fee (previously you could pay on their website by transferring from an account through them which I didn't have, on the phone with a $10 fee or by check in the mail). Not only is this more convenient, but it it will save me the cost of a stamp. Also, since it takes a few days for a check to get through the mail, then perhaps a day or two until it gets processed, but paying online, I can save a tiny amount of interest for those 5 days. While these are small savings, over a 30 year loan, it will add up.

Waste Reduction:
* Saved the bread crumbs from the bottom of the bag to air dry. Will use them for topping casseroles or for coating when pan frying meats or veggies.
* I composted lots of weird things.
*I reused plastic food containers to start seedlings.

Work:
* I worked two days at my regular job and two days at the supplemental job. I worked 1.5 hours overtime at the regular job.
* I packed a lunch each day I worked the regular job and ate free fruit on days I worked the second.
* I brought home a 1.5 quart container of fruit scraps.

Preparedness:
* I took a free class through the sheriff's department in my county. CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event) teaches you stats on active shooter events in the U.S., how to be prepared for such an event mentally and what to do when you are in an event. If your county sheriff's department offers a class, I would highly suggest signing up (and bring your family too). The things I learned are applicable in situations other than just an active shooter event.

Future:
* We got a printout of our sales for the pay period that just ended. We almost doubled sales! So exciting!

Setbacks:
* During a particularly bad storm, our house flooded a bit. Fortunately, Trucker found it before it got too bad and was able to move our belongings away from the flooded area and got the incoming water under control. We have a few minor repairs to make, but it could have been much worse.

Community:
* During the storm, I was reminded again how wonderful Trucker is. Whenever we have setbacks, he is quick to step up and take care of things. I was at work when the flooding started, but by the time I got home, he had everything under control and had already cleaned the first floor. No matter what happens, it isn't insurmountable with such a lovely partner.
 How was your week?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money TWO WEEKS 2/29 - 3/13

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. The last couple of weeks have been intense. There was a death in the family, so we drove out of state for the memorial. As soon as we got back, my mother was hospitalized. Needless to say, the last week has been a blur.
Gardening:
* Now that it is warmer, the bunnies aren't eating as much. Soon I'll be able to start feeding them yard wastes (tree trimmings, weeds, tall grass) and my feed costs will drop significantly.

Cooking/Groceries:
* I made a big batch of zucchini bread. I made two regular sized loaves, 6 muffins and a large round loaf. I didn't have enough shredded zucchini thawed (I always forget how much water drains off), so I shredded two apples from storage. To half of the batch, I added a cup of dried cranberries and a half cup of chocolate chips.
* We made tacos one evening with a manager's special steak ($3).
* I made jalapeno poppers a couple times. I'd gotten a huge bag of jalapeno's for $.50 on manager's special. I cut the peppers in half longways, and cut out the seeds and membrane. I mixed together a few pieces of crumbled bacon  (leftover from another meal) with some cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I stuffed that into the pepper halves, topped with seasoning salt and pepper and a light sprinkling of cheddar. Delicious! Health food this is not, but oh my. The second time I made them (well, I had to prevent those other peppers from going to waste, now didn't I?), I didn't have enough cream cheese to fill them all. I had some low-fat sour cream veggie dip that substituted just fine. In general, I try to always use up bits from the refrigerator. It reduces food waste, saves money over having to buy more ingredients, and saves a trip to the grocery store. Plus, sometimes it ends up tasting better than the original recipe, as it did this time.
* Trucker grilled out one evening. We grilled potatoes and a steak that he found on manager's special for $5 (usually $10). It was enough for both of us to eat some for dinner that night and we had some leftover. So, it was $1.25 per meal, still more than we usually spend, but not unreasonable, so far as splurges go.
* The next night, I sliced the leftover steak as thin as possible. I caramelized some onions (because those make everything better). I made a pizza crust (using my favorite recipe, Valentino's), used ranch dressing in place of sauce, and layered on steak, caramelized onions and canned roasted peppers (from the salvage grocery). I used cheddar cheese because it was what I had. Trucker loved it, so I will put this in our rotation.

Fun:
* Last week, my favorite singer/songwriter, David Ramirez, came into town. He was the musician we drove out of state to see last summer. We did pay for tickets this time, but the $13 each was much less than a 20 hour round trip drive. It was a fantastic show. We rarely pay for shows, but make exceptions for our faves sometimes. Years ago, Trucker was a concert promoter and ran a successful music review website. During that time, we went to shows 3-5 times a week, so after awhile, we got pretty burned out on frequent concerts. Now, we go less often, but enjoy them much more.
* We had a coffee date, $3.18. Another time, they gave us our coffee for free with our travel mugs.
* Our dear friends took us out for a wine tasting at a winery outside of the city as their Christmas gift for us. We had a wonderful time, as we always do with them. We had a tasting of 8 wines with a cheese plate. After the tasting, we went back to our place for dessert. I'd dipped a bunch of fruit in chocolate. I had some chocolate covered strawberries from my job, and also served pineapple, apples and clementines. I topped the apples with chopped peanuts and the pineapple with bourbon smoked sugar (I bought this on a trip a year or so ago. I spent $2 on a baggie of it, and since I use just a pinch at a time, it has lasted a long time).
* Trucker's birthday was this week. With everything that was going on, I hadn't gotten to make plans (our original plans fell through a few days before everything else went down). He said that what he really wanted was just a day to hang out with me and go picking out of town. So after I got out of work (the girls insisted I leave a little early so I could take him out), we drove an hour or so out. We did some good picking and had a lovely time together. We went out for Chinese buffet  (his pick). They had a pretty epic sushi bar, so I was thrilled. It was a simple day, but lovely. Also, one of the girls from work sent me home with a big basket of chocolate-covered strawberries ($45 retail) that were expiring that day and would otherwise have been thrown away. Nice little gift for him.
* We went out with our movie group to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. I loved it, but I always love alien movies.

Frugality:
* Paid extra on a couple of debts.
* I got gas at work to save $.10-.25/gallon.

Thrift shopping horror. I don't know if I enjoy
legitimate, good finds or terrible ones best.
Nature:
* We got out for a 2 mile walk at a nearby metropark.

Waste Reduction:
* I scraped out the fond from the skillet when making tacos into the Trash Chili container in the freezer. Since I often make my Trash Chili with TVP instead of ground beef, every bit of extra flavor is important.
* My new job is okay with me taking packing supplies that will otherwise get thrown away. We have all sorts of boxes, bubble wrap and padding that gets thrown away each day. Everyone saves it for me, so each day I bring home lots of material. We try to always use salvaged materials in shipping our online sales, both for financial and environmental reasons.
* I composted lots of random things.

Work:
* I called off one day from my regular part time job. We had gotten in late from Chicago and I knew I wouldn't be able to do a good job. It was my first time calling off, so I really hated it (although, I'd saved up 5 days in my bank). As it happens, my mom went to the hospital that morning, so it was good I was off to go with her.
* I worked a couple hours of overtime at the regular job. I also worked an extra 2 hours one week at the second job. One day the delivery driver called off, so I got a crash course on delivery. No one yelled at me and I got chased by no animals, so I suppose it went well.
* I packed a lunch each day I worked the regular job. The second job I work short enough shifts that I don't need to pack.
* The second job has a lovely perk: I get to take home fruit scraps. I took home a half gallon of pineapple and cantaloupe scraps. Score! I'm thinking of freezing or dehydrating some scraps in the future. I made a crisp one day from scraps, which turned out well. I like to give jars of dehydrated snacks to friends and family, so this might be a fun addition to the regular apple chips and bananas.

Future:
* We went picking often the last two weeks.
* Our sales have been really good. I can envision us branching out into other malls and doing this as a bigger part of our lives. We are learning so much and our sales improve as we do.
* I received the issue of The Dollar Stretcher that I am published in. It is my first print (and paid!) publication.www

Health:
* I haven't had a chance to check my blood pressure this week, but I can't imagine it is at a good level considering.

Setbacks:
* Trucker's uncle died this week, so we drove out to for the memorial service 6.5 hours away. Fortunately, we'd had money saved up to cover the costs. I used hotel.com to book the room and saved 30% (plus earned towards our free night; $80 after tax). We drove our Honda, so the gas costs were minimal (I believe it was around $50 total). We packed snacks and drinks from the salvage grocery (at $.05-.10 each, they were much cheaper than anything we could buy on the road). Our hotel had a pool, so we went swimming in the evening in lieu of other entertainment. It offered a decent free breakfast, so we didn't have to pay for breakfast or lunch. We got an early dinner on the way home at a truck stop I love (incredible fried chicken despite the horrible service). We split a 4-piece meal, so including tip, the meal for two was $12. It was the only time we went out to eat on the trip.
* My mom got sick this week and ended up in the hospital. She had to have surgery. Thankfully, she is recovering well. I took one day off work and the next day was a regular day off so I was able to be with her for two full days.

Community:
* I realized something when my dad and I were sitting with my mom in the recovery room. From the beginning in the ER til she was released, there was laughter. At every moment we were making jokes and telling stories to keep spirits up. This was the first time either of my parents has been seriously sick, but we all pulled together. My sister drove her to the hospital, then I helped my sister get back to take her fiance to see his dad in the hospital. My other sister took my uncle to his doctor's appointment (Mom usually drives him, but it was the day she had her surgery). I spent two days with her at the hospital. Dad spent the night with her and then drove to work at 5 AM each morning. One day her phone died and she didn't have a charger, so I stopped by on my way in to work at 4:30 to give her my charger so she didn't have to spend the whole day isolated (this was the only morning she was alone as we all had to be at work. I knew it would just kill her to not be able to talk with anyone all day, as she is a very sociable person and hates TV). My sister drove her home when she was released so she didn't have to wait til 4 when Dad got off work, then made her lie down and rest (my mom is not a lie down and rest kind of person...ever). My aunt brought dinner to the family the day mom was released (Because mom would honestly have fought to make dinner otherwise). It was really encouraging to see how we do under that kind of pressure.
* I gave my coworker at the kitchen job some of my apple chips and pizza tomato chips. She loved them.
How was your week?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 2/22 - 2/28

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.
 Gardening:

* 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.

Cooking/Groceries:
* 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.

Fun:
* 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.

Nature:
* We enjoyed a 3.8 mile walk around a local metro park. It was a crazy nice day, mid 60s and breezy. Perfect.

Frugality:
* 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.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted lots of weird things.

Future:
* 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.

Health:
* 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.

Community:
* 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.
How was your week?
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