Sunday, January 29, 2017

This Week...Beyond Money 1/23 - 1/29

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.
* Trucker made sausage and spaghetti one night.
* I made tacos for dinner one evening. We used ground pork ($1.50/lb) and saved over half for another meal. I added sour cream (sale) and some pickled veggies (seconds from the farm).
* I made another slow cooker lasagna/eggplant parmesan hybrid for work lunches this week.
* Trucker bought me a couple packs of seasoned peanuts from the dollar store. They are great snacks for the drive home when my appetite is ravenous.

* A few weeks ago, I ordered an Entertainment book, $20 with free shipping. We have already used a BOGO coupon when we went out with my sister and her boyfriend (Saved $7). This is a great way to save money throughout the year. We keep it in the car so we don't forget about it. We
* I got off work a little early on Friday. We had decided we wanted to make it a special weekend since it has been exhausting for the last few weeks. We talked about getting out of town for a couple days, but decided to take a day trip on Saturday instead (thus saving hotel cost). Friday night we went out for dinner at a local pizzaria using BOGO coupons to save $15 and had enough leftover for another dinnner. Early Saturday morning, we ate breakfast then headed out of town. We ended up two states over and ran around Pittsburgh for a bit. We brought coffee and snacks. We went to Randyland, a magical art garden. Afterwards, it was to Bicycle Heaven to see the biggest collection of bikes and bike accessories, scattered with some random weird stuff. We didn't have cash to donate (free admission; donations accepted), but purchased a couple of items. I had been wanting to get a walking stick and had been passively shopping for awhile. I found one for $15 that was simple and funky (it has two faces carved into the handle). Trucker was entranced by the fern fossils, and had never had one, so I bought him a small one for $5. After that, we went next door to Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff and Music Museum. Afterwards, we went to a local sub shop. We spent around $15 for two subs. We ate at around 3, so had one meal out instead of two. It was quite a cheap trip and was almost as good as a long weekend.
* We went out for ice cream with BOGO coupons.
* We went on a couple of coffee dates, using our travel mugs.

Waste Reduction:
* I put bones and veggie scraps into a container in the freezer to use for making stock later.
* I composted random things.

It's the Hoppy trike! I squealed when I saw it.
House and Home:
* Trucker's boss gave him a stool that he wasn't able to sell. It needs to be assembled but will be a nice addition to the kitchen for now and will eventually end up in a work space at the next house.

* I worked a bit of overtime this week, but not an excessive amount. One thing I really like about this job is that I get paid overtime when I hit 8 hours in a day, not when I hit 40 hours. So we went home early two days, and worked over the other three days, but I got a fair amount of overtime.
* My boss and coworkers are all really great people. I've loved the discussions I've been able to have. I see a lot of people sharing coupons with each other, and some people have given me recommendations for service companies as we work to fix up the house. One of my coworkers is a pretty awesome single dad to two boys (one adopted). He mentioned that he realized that his boys were getting older and he decided to take them out for a special outing twice a month. I brought him coupons from the Entertainment book to use to save some money (There are lots of kid-friendly coupons that we weren't going to use, so I brought those, plus a few others for places in his neighborhood. Once it gets to be about 2 months until expiration, I'll pull out any I think we might use, and I'll bring the rest of the book to the break room for everyone). I love being part of this community. In general, for the last few years especially, I have found that I go into my jobs and expect to find a good situation, and gosh darn it, I always do. Reminds me, again, of that silly joke of my dad's and, again, makes me hopeful for my future.

I absolutely love this piece from
Bicycle Heaven. I would love to
some similar projects for the house.
* I have maintained my practice of stretching frequently-on the drive to work, during morning meeting, whenever there is a few seconds in between tasks, on the way home. When the health aids came to check up on me this week, I was happy to report that I had no real issues. There is some light soreness at the end of the day, but nothing like I was afraid of experiencing.
* I am continually so proud of Trucker quitting smoking. We are coming up to a year since he quit and he hasn't had so much as a drag. Kicking tobacco is such an overwhelming feat, and I am so proud of how hard he has worked.

* There is a cafeteria in between my and my sister's work departments. She works two days a week, so we have lunch together those days. It is a nice thing to look forward to and I enjoy getting some sister time. My sister and I also met after work one day to get hot chocolate and talk for a couple hours.
* For Valentine's day last year, Trucker got me a box of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle kids' Valentines and on each, wrote something he loved about me. He hid them around the house for me to find. It was by far the sweetest gift I've ever received. Especially as someone who struggles with depression (and all the lovely feelings that entails), they were so encouraging when I was having a rough day. Since it meant so much to me, I decided to do the same for him. He had had a really rough couple of days, so while he was at a meeting, I hid a few dozen post-its around the house with things I appreciated about him. He is still finding them. This is seriously the best frugal Valentine's/Anniversary gift. Costs little more than time, and creates a cherished keepsake.
How was your week?

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