“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”
– Charles Dickens
So, in a previous life (aka, life before Daniel), I was very much the later of the quote above. Always in the RED. Always living beyond my means. Always in a hole. I had no concept of fiscal responsibility. I blame my birth father, he’s exactly the same and passed on all his bad money genes to me, the bastard. No, really, it’s true. My adoptive parents are the most amazing people with money. They owe nothing, they own everything outright and always have my entire life. So where on earth did MY sense, or rather lack thereof, come from??? Nature won over nurture here, folks. Yes, you can inherit fiscal irresponsibility. I’m telling you, it’s true. Anyways, enough of the reason WHY I’m like this. I just am. I’m come to terms with it. Unfortunately, my previous two husbands were the exact same as me when it came to money, so you can imagine the state I’ve been in financially most of my adult life. Yeah. But now, life has changed for me. For the better. I met Daniel. I fell in mad crazy love with Daniel. I moved in with Daniel. I let Daniel take over the money. And now, I find that, even though I am making less than I was when I worked for Starbucks (Although not much less, mind you), I have more. I am almost completely out of debt. I come home from work, hold out my tips to him, and say “here you go, sweetie!” Never thought I would see the day I would do that. But I have come to except the ever so apparant fact that he is good with money. I am NOT. Although I do hear things like, “okay, we have to tighten the belt now for a little while.” That’s his favorite saying. And even though I grumble and moan a bit, (sometimes a girl has to put up a bit of a fuss, you know) I know he knows best. And so I cinch that belt to it’s last loop. And now I would like to share some of my “belt cinching” tricks of the trade. For your enjoyment and utter amusement, of course.
#1: How to eat healthy and deliciously for cheap.
Before Daniel, I might have gone out to breakfast at a local restaurant. (Eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns are my favorite.) Or I would have had a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. Not any more. This is what I find myself craving every morning now.
A good ol’ bowl of oatmeal, complete with raisins and cinnamon. Saving money AND improving my cholesterol. What more could you want?? You can purchase a pound of this delicious and healthy stuff in bulk for $1.29, for the organic. Non organic is even cheaper. That’s a stagering amount of money I am now saving in just my breakfast alone.
Breakfast at a restaurant or Starbucks: $6-$12
Breakfast at Cafe’ Faithypooh: 50 cents, roughly
Well done, me.
For lunch or a snack? Again, I used to frequent the occasional drive-thru. Or go out to eat. Again, spendy and NOT good for you. And now?
Good ol’ rice and beans. I have been watching Miss Rose Golly eat this for years. And only recently have I discovered why. Its cheap and its delicious. You have to cook the black beans with garlic, onion, cumin, and oregano to make them oober yummy. I add garlic and spices to my brown rice as well. The price of beans in bulk? $1.25 a pound. Rice? $1.30 a pound. Estimated price of one serving? Mere pennies. Tasty AND good for you!
In addition to shopping in bulk at Fred Meyers, I love to shop here.
True, it’s in Gig Harbor, which is a 20 minute drive from my house. But I have calculated what I save in the price and quality of produce and it’s a better deal in my mind. Not to mention they offer a vast array of local produce, which I am all about! Now previously, I found myself with a bit of a dilemma. I would buy groceries and produce for the week, but I would find that we could not eat it quickly enough and some of it would spoil and would have to be tossed out. Breaks my heart every time. Not to mention it’s such a waste of money! Never fear! I have found a solution. One that I would recommend to any and all. What would that be, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.
My new favorite discovery in the world of frugality and minimum waste! These green bags will save you spoiled produce and money. They really do work! I find that I can prolong my produce from lasting only 5 days or so to several weeks. Rarely do I have to throw things away. I cannot even begin to calculate how much money these little baggies have saved me. Curious about how they work? Check it out HERE. However, do not purchase them on-line They have them at Wal Mart for $9.95. You save the $6.95 shipping and handling. A box goes a long way. They are reusable. Go out tomorrow and purchase some. You’ll thank me later. 😉
#2: How to get good exercise on a budget…..
Can’t afford the $19.95 a month for the gym membership? Or perhaps you have a gym phobia like me? (I have panic attacks. Don’t ask. I couldn’t tell you.) Take that $19.95 and invest in one of these!
Thanks to the lovely and delightful Victorea, I was introduced to this means of exercise. The health benefits are staggering really. The rebounding motion stimulates all internal organs, moves the cerebral-spinal fluid, aqueous fluid within the eyes (many people claim improved eyesight), and does wonders for the intestines. Many immune cells such as T-lymphocytes and macrophages are self-propelled by amebic action. These cells contain molecules identical to those in muscle tissue. All cells in the body become stronger in response to the increased G force during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in the self-propelled immune cells being up to 5 times more active. The job description of these cells includes eating viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells, so it is good that they be active. This exercise directly strengthens the immune system. Make sure you drink lots of water when doing this kind of exercise. I like to pair jumping on my re-bounder while watching this show, on loan from Miss Cindy.
Its a hilarious British show about a couple who quit their jobs and try to live off their own self sufficiency in urban London. I figure jumping on the trampoline and laughing my ass off at the same time has to be good for my “core”.
Have you perhaps seen this in your local grocery store?
It’s all the craze now. All these health-food-organic nuts purchase it. Being quite the health-food-organic-on-a-budget nut that I am, I bypass the commercialism and make my own! It’s more delicious, in my opinion. The process?
Take a pot and fill it with 4 quarts water. Boil.
Remove from heat after a nice rolling boil has been achieved and add 8 bags of tea.
I like to use green tea, as well as some ginger for yummyness and good-for-you properties. Make sure it’s organic!
Add 1 cup sugar.
Let this tea concoction sit until it cools to room temperature. Once cool, take your Kombucha “mushroom” (which really isn’t a mushroom at all, its a lichen) and pour the tea mixture into the jar with the mushroom. Cover the top with a coffee filter, date, and place in a warm area for 7-10 days.
Once the tea has fermented to your liking (I would recommend tasting it after 7 days and going from there), bottle it in bottles with attached corks preferably. I like to use old Grolsch bottles. They work the best. The health benefits? Detoxification, boosting metabolism, assisting digestion and even curing cancer. Advocates believe that Kombucha works by assisting the liver’s ability to detoxify the body. Curious? Interested in learning more? Click HERE for more information. As a word of caution, however, if you are a person that is of a “toxic” nature, you can only drink 1/2 cup a day to start out. Otherwise it can detoxify you too quickly and make you sick. I will tell you though, since I have started drinking this, I have not gotten sick at all. Even when everyone around me is getting all the cold and flu bugs, my immune system is resilient. I’m telling you, it’s because of this beverage. I swear by it.
So as you can see, I am a changed woman. With a new outlook on life. Am I happy? Am I healthy? Well, you be the judge.
“A picture speaks a thousand words.”