Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paring Down

Today I was inspired to try a few new things to make use of what I have here already, pare down my budget, and drink straight from the bottle of bourbon in my liquor cabinet. (That's only because Rich was out of town while Abby cut a couple of molars, continued potty training and was super clingy amidst all of these grand changes in her life).
Other than wanting to abandon my young, lately I have wanted to put more effort into eating well, but economically. This is a relatively easy goal to set in the summer months when fresh fruits and veggies are shipped up the highway from BC at a significantly lower cost than in winter.
After living in this house for almost a year, I am learning that we can save a lot more money in the summer months, but we need to be vigilant about it now to seize the opportunity right. We don't have oil heating bills right now, groceries can be bought at cheaper costs, and activities outside are free and plentiful. Taking on a part-time job will help, although for the immediate future my earnings are being set aside for cross-country travel to two weddings.
I know that if we don't take advantage and save now, winter will be here again, then Christmas, and I'll be cursing past Sarah for not being an ant, as opposed to a grasshopper. (Remember that fable? I'm learning its lesson!)
To make sure we capitalize on summer's bounty while setting aside some savings, we have set a few guidelines. (Who am I kidding saying 'we'. It's me being a cheap scrooge and convincing Rich we will benefit down the road. He's usually on board unless it limits his coffee budget at work).
- Grow more herbs at home. I use them often in my cooking, and fresh herbs are always more fragrant and healthy. Organic fresh herbs at the grocery store can be expensive, but growing organic herbs at home leaves me an unlimited supply for the mere price of seeds and soil.
- Pack picnic lunches and eat them outdoors. Both activities are free, and encapsulate the essence of summer. Eating anything outdoors makes it taste better!
- Try to keep weekly grocery budget below $120, including supplies/toiletries. This is a toughie, but I'm determined. I meal plan, I make a shopping list, and if I can make something myself or get a no-name brand, I do it. Today I got our week's groceries for $85! (Although last week I bought club packs of meat, so this week I didn't need to buy any) I also look at the flyers for sales that week and either stock up on sale items or choose sale-price produce and meats for our meal plan.
- Car pool for long distances. We have a few out-of-town adventures planned, and if we are to go with another person or family we plan on combining our resources, or at the very least taking our car, which is better on gas than our truck.
-DIY: I am going to try making more things myself, when it's economical. Making my own granola bars is at the top of my list, and I'm currently making my own sun tea (that's when you steep ingredients like herbs or fruits in spring water in the hot sun for a day or two).
- And I'm still making my own bread, because when a loaf of whole grain at the store costs $5 or more, after being baked, shipped and sitting on a store shelf, it cannot compare to homemade, whole grain bread with no preservatives made for a cost of about 80 cents a loaf.
- We're also having a garage sale on the weekend to de-clutter,and hopefully make a bit of money to put towards patio furniture out on the back deck.I've been eyeing a few pieces and hopefully we can strike when they're on sale, or use the money towards our summer wedding travel (Abby and I are off to Regina in July, Rich is going to Quebec city for one in July, and Abby and I head to Ottawa for one at the beginning of September-ish!)
And now I am going to go do a yoga DVD (for free--much cheaper than a $10 drop-in fee!), and read my second-hand copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

1 comment:

  1. love this one Sarah! I'm looking at ways to save, so thank you for the inspiration! xox Jo

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