So part of this project is to winnow unnecessary spending. Again, this isn't a new effort, but its definitely being approached with renewed motivation and creativity.
I've always tried to be thrifty, mostly out of necessity. Ma Luffin' Mayun and I entered connubial bliss in 1997, hopelessly in love and pretty nearly as hopelessly moneyless. Until the kids came we both worked full-time. But it wasn't until 2004 that there was a well-paying salaried, benefits-included career.
There's been debt, and the paying off thereof. There's been savings, and the depletion thereof. But the beauty of our story is that even from the beginning we have always had everything we need. ALWAYS. And lots of our wants have been supplied for, too. Now our finances are a bit more settled and certainly more predictable. But the residual frugality is something I see as being part of who I am. It comes pretty first-nature in a lot of ways, but there's surely room for improvement (and don't call me "Shirley").
I like to come up with thrifty ideas to implement around Quaint Cottage (read: small house). Here are a few tricks and tries from this week . . .
- I didn't let myself make any impulse purchases, not so much as a piece of gum. (And believe me, this was some kind of fun . . . ho hum)
- I stuck to the budgeted amount of money for groceries that will cover two weeks, feeding our family, and feeding us well, on fresh fruits, fresh-frozen vegetables, whole grains, fresh meats, and enjoying one meal out. The total monies spent for our family of five (including purchasing formula and diapers) was right at $170.00. Not bad, not bad at all. (I'll take another post to explain my grocery shopping approach)
- I used my reusable canvas bags to package up the groceries which eliminates the irritating mountain of plastic sacks that are inevitable at checkout because they only put three items in each bag.
- This is a bit of a cheat because it didn't all happen within this week, but...I built a 3x3 fenced area for compost in the backyard just before Christmas. Our city doesn't have recycling (rednecks), but I hate the thought and sight of all of our trash constantly stacking up. So my starting point is to take all kitchen waste (which, even with good eaters, is a lot) to the compost bin. Yummy things like rinds, bread crusts, coffee grounds with their filter, grits, shredded-non-slick paper, lots of layers of fabulous leaves from our woods and tons of earthworms Brilliant Beauty and I harvested from all over our yard are going into the compost daily. This fine brew will help me as I work toward my goal of square-foot gardens this year. (I'll have to spend some time with Big Mama and glean from her wisdom and knowledge).
- We all wake up every day dry as dehydrated fruit, so to add back some moisture into the air I've been slow-boiling water in the kettle on the stovetop throughout the day. To enhance the experience a bit more I added to the water some orange peel and apple core leftover from breakfast, along with clove and cinnamon. As it all boiled and brewed the house smelled divine. This will become a fixture at our house. Later in the week I tried a new mixture of some herbs and flowers I had dried. I ended up adding some essential oil because, frankly, it smelled like green beans rather than a nice, herby-flowery aroma. Frankly, blech.
Just some little efforts at "streamlineation" (I think I just made up a word) and thrift and frugality.
We'll see what else we can get into (or rid of) next week.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry