Thursday, January 29, 2015

14, 15, & 16: Reading, Still Reading, and Cat Toys

"One small cat changes coming home to an empty house 
to coming home."
~ Pam Brown

Since starting my serious, heavy duty declutter rampage (round gazillion) I am continuously confronted with the knowledge that I own an incredible mound of books that I have never read. 

If I had to start a fire to survive, I think my books could provide at least a full 48 hours of warmth. 

All of the ones I have kept are ones I want to read and so I have started making sure to read one throughout the day - especially before going to bed instead of putzing around uselessly on the internet. 

And I can stare in a vegetative state at a computer screen with the best of 'em, just so you know. 

My eventual goal is to read these books and donate them. It's almost as daunting a job as my current resolution, but I can do it! I swear!

I want only to keep the ones I know I'll need to reference again or that bring me explicit joy by merely their presence like my copy of The Blue Sword. That book has been read so many times since middle school that it is held together with a rubber band. 

I've also decided not to continue posting my grocery purchases. Much like my mortgage, my insurance, my utility bills for electricity and water, one's grocery bill is a bit of a necessity. And listing the entire thing right down to the specific bit of chow I got seems a waste of time considering I'm doing this to control spending in the shops for unnecessary items. 

And, seriously, once you start cleaning out your entire house with the mind to simplify, you realize how much you really own and how few things truly are necessary. Good grief. 

Oh, well. I'll thank myself for this when I move next year at least. Packing will be a helluva lot easier, that's for sure.

I'm still going to be posting my "holy shit, you guys, look how much I saved this month compared to before on these items" posts, however. So I am paying attention to what is coming into the house grocery-wise, I'm just not going to list it item by item for the world's perusal. 

Speaking of noms . . . Today I purchased something in the store that was not edible. 

Well, I suppose I could eat it, but I'm sure it wouldn't go down easily. Yikes. 

I went to the pet store and replaced my cat's jangle toy. It's the only kind she'll play with and being nearly blind, bell toys are the ones that she responds to best. And because she goes into a whirling frenzy after her toys, I prefer them to have strings attached for the sake of retaining all of my digits. 

So, regarding her vision, let me just turn a long story short: 

At the tender age of Not Quite Four, she developed idiopathic uveitis and glaucoma that wasn't responding to medication. As a result she went entirely blind in one eye and subsequently had it removed and expensive laser surgery on the remaining eye to extend her ability to see out of it for at least another year. She recovered, can see, but mostly it's just vague shapes and changes in lighting thus if she is going to play, she needs toys that jangle and make noise. 

And, yes, for my cat it is worth breaking my No Buy Budget regarding her having the one toy she loves. 

Thus, today I bought something for the first time that wasn't a bill or grocery item in sixteen days. And it felt weird. Despite enjoying a quick meander through the pet store (KITTIES FOR ADOPTION! ZOMG! *petpetpet*), I felt no desire to purchase anything other than that which I had came for. 

That right there, ladies and gents, is a darn good success! Woot!

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on days 14, 15, & 16 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • One jangle jingly bell cat toy on a string
This comes to a whopping total of: 3.29 USD!

Jingle bells, cats with sharp nails, I still have my fingers after playing! La, la, la!

Monday, January 26, 2015

13: A Romp with the Ol' Calculator and Some Eye Opening Numbers

"Just the facts, ma'am.'" 
~Sgt. Joe Friday (Dragnet)

Do you want to take a little peek at something with me? 

No! Not like that. Put that curtain back down, you naughty thing! 

Though in truth, showing the amounts I'm spending on bills and especially what I'm about to show you regarding what I have spent in the past does feel a little like being eyeballed by peeping toms. It's a smidge uncomfortable, but incredibly eye opening. 

When I ran these numbers this morning, it blew my mind and I knew I had to share it with you (Wait, someone is reading these blog posts other than me, right? H-Hello? Is that an echo I hear?)

Okay, empty stadium or no, here goes!

So far I have been on my No Buy resolution for 365 days. In addition to that I have begun being more conscious on the amount of money being spent on groceries. I know I have room for improvement, but already it's impressive. Let me show you why: 

For the 13 days that I have been limiting my consumption and expenditures I have spent 213.98 USD on groceries. 

Wait, wait! 

Before you pelt me with a bunch of rotten veg, let me explain. I know that is still a high number. Yes, I purchase organic and ethical food products when I have the option. I know that boosts my grocery number, but those matters are important to me. Even still, I'm sure I can lower the value in time. But for now, it's still a damn sight better and I'll show you why. So just follow with me here and lower that tomato!

For the 13 days immediately prior to this resolution I spent 201.40 USD on groceries. 

Wait, I'm higher now? What kind of cockamamy is this . . .

BUT let us dig a little deeper. 

Within those 13 days immediately prior to this deal my husband and I also ate out for a total of 163.48 USD! 

This equates to a total of 346.97 USD in food expenditures prior to this 365 No Buy budget. 

That makes for an overall difference of 150.99 USD that I have not spent by eating out this month. Now consider that grocery bill of 213.98 USD and that's one helluva change! In fact, just from the numbers alone this is a 41.3% decrease in food expense! Yes!

Now, let's be a little more hardcore, hmm? 

Obviously the 13 days previous to my resolution enacting we were both still spending at the stores. Steam sales for video games, Etsy purchases, clothes, what-have-you frivolously here and there. Nickel and dimes that seriously added up. 

Phew. Give me a moment to prepare myself to admit this. 

Okay, here goes. 

As I rather crudely titled it when I was doing the math here is my "Random Shit Bought Before Resolution" at a staggering total of 189.08 USD. This is nearly 200 dollars spent on random stuff between two people in JUST THIRTEEN DAYS. 

Let us add that number to the grocery and restaurant totals (prepare to wince. I know I am): 536.05 USD. 

That's right. A little over half of a thousand dollars in groceries, restaurant bills, and random crap that we don't even need. How freaking embarrassing. How fiscally irresponsible! No wonder my savings account was only inching up higher a little at a time! 

So let's take a look at this in context, yes? 

Within the immediate 13 days prior to the resolution my household spent a total of 536.05 USD.

Within the 13 days of the resolution my household spent a total of 213.98 USD. 

A difference of 322.07 USD! 

In other words, we have experienced a 60.1% decrease in overall expenses. Yes! Hot damn!

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 13 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • 1 box of non-gmo flour
  • 1 large glass container of organic lemon juice 
  • 5 organic apples
  • 2 organic pears
  • 1 large bottle of Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
  • 1 stick of deodorant (You don't want to smell me without deodorant! Good god, it's inhumane)
  • 2 bunches of organic bananas
  • 1 container of organic mushrooms
  • 1 bag of organic grapes
This comes to a whopping total of: 44.57 USD!

And yes this amount was totaled into the math listed earlier! Squee!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

10, 11, & 12: Reading, Reading Some More, and Decluttering Continues

"He that loves reading
has everything within his reach." 
~ William Godwin

Don't worry. I haven't fallen off the ol' blog wagon wheel yet and I am still on track for not buying things from the shops! It's just been a busy weekend thus far. 

Friday I spent nearly all of my free time pulling out tons of miscellaneous items from closets and cabinets. I sorted, I organized and I bagged so much more for trash and donation than I thought possible. 

I've been paring down and cleaning up for a few years now. I've read nearly all the books and blogs on the topic because they give me motivation in addition to new ways of looking at not only my successes, but my failures. 

KonMari Method is the first that has taught me to ruthlessly throw away that which is not bringing pleasure, that is not useful and that I don't need regardless of when I purchased it. 

"But, but, I just bought that this year?" I wailed when I came across a metal shelving unit I had thought I needed to house my copious bathroom supplies. The problem with that shelf was that it made the bathroom dark, cluttered and a bit more cramped when it was already a matchbox sized room. The shelf was pretty, I admit that, but it did not bring me pleasure. Onto the donate pile it went!

That pile is in my downstairs closet. And it keeps growing. 

And growing

And growing.

I love it. 

When I pulled every bathroom related object into the hallway floor and sorted through it, I found that most of the items there were expired or very near to expiring! Suddenly, I had no need of that shelf. 

Though I do have enough bar soaps and lotion to last through the rest of this year, I suspect. 

Of all the things to stockpile in this world, I chose bathroom supplies. Not food. Oh, no. Come the apocalypse I need to be squeaky clean as opposed to well fed, apparently. 

Ah, but also this weekend has been a huge readathon fest for me. Saturday was a national readathon day and I finished two books then started a third. 

And those books are going onto the donate pile as well. 

Don't be sad, books! It's not a burn pile, I swear! 

I'm keeping only those books that bring me joy to look at and that I know I'll read or reference again in the future. Already it's a big book shaped weight off me and watching that stack of "all read!" grow is motivating me to read more. I own way too many unread books.

However yesterday was, by far, my favorite day this weekend. My father and I went to a pub for a few drinks, lots of random chitchat and a tasty, tasty mussel appetizer. His treat! I love spending time with him. Our talks are worth more than anything material on this whole planet. 

Speaking of material things: 

Today I plan to finish that third book I started. I'm on a space and universe science kick at the moment. So fascinating! 

I also plan to rip out everything from my inside kitchen shelves and cabinets, pile the whole lot up on the floor and sort some more! I know I have several recipe books and bits of dishes that I don't want and if I can streamline my shelving, that'll be grand. 

I know, I know. I'm living it up. Who needs parties and vacations when there is a kitchen to clean? 


But in truth, this is powerfully helpful to my resolution to not purchase. I am constantly being reminded of all the things I already have available to me to occupy my time - books, movies, the out of doors, family and friends. In addition to how much I have already spent my money on and that I'm now booting out of the house as excess clutter. 


Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 10, 11, & 12 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:
  • Broccoli 
  • Mushrooms
  • Ginger Root
  • Mango Slices
  • Papaya Spears
  • Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Happy Chicky Pasture Raised Eggs
This comes to a whopping total of: 29.03 USD

I also returned some unopened Citadel paints to the store purchased earlier in the month (prior to my resolution enacting). I'll stick with my current Testor paints for my minis. Cringe and wail if you must, people of the interwebs, but I'm not a professional painter and Citadel paints are hella expensive! So I got 21.00 USD back into the checking account. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

9: Walking, Walking, and a Little More Walking

"Walking is the best possible exercise. 
Habituate yourself to walk very far." 
~ Thomas Jefferson

After hauling five miles on just my tootsies to pick up a few groceries for tonight's dinner, I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Jefferson. My feet, on the other hand, want to file a complaint for ill treatment. 

There is a great feeling of success and appreciation when you walk to your destinations. At least that is the case for me. Not to mention the joy of the journey. 

And all the trash along the way. 

Seriously people - stop throwing things out of your car window or tossing it to the side while waiting on the bus. If you don't have a trash can nearby, tuck that stuff into a bag or a pocket or just simply hold onto it until you reach a waste or recycle bin. 


You animals. 

Luckily the beauty outweighs the trash (most of the time). 

As I walked I saw the trees up close and personal that line the sidewalk. I smelled the grass that was freshly cut and the field that lays dormant until Christmas time when the tree salesmen plop tons of dead-but-not-yet-aware-of-it Douglas Firs out for sale. I saw cracks in the sidewalk that spidered across the concrete in whimsical, chaotic shapes. 

Best of all I felt my muscles shifting and pulling, contracting and stretching. And I am very lucky, I thought to myself, that I am physically able and capable of walking on my own two feet for five miles to grab some grub. 

Unfortunately I forgot my reusable water bottle and was thirsty upon arriving at the store. In addition to my few bits of veg, I needed to pick up a plastic bottle of water so I didn't keel over from dehydration. 

Okay, that's an exaggeration. But I was sweating a bit from the sun and the exercise. If I didn't drink anything experience told me I would end up with a whopper of a headache by the time I returned home. 

So, alas, plastic bottle of water it was. 

But (and this is for all you litter bugs out there) I carried that empty sucker home with me and put it in the recycling bin! 

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 9 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • Green Peppers (2x)
  • Organic Tomatoes (3x)
  • Mango (my snack on the walk back home)
  • Plastic Bottle of Water (recycle that, people!)
  • Cheese (this cheese was not so tasty. Not to self: don't buy that cheese again. Bleah)
This comes to a whopping total of: 21.25 USD!

Acquired using my lovely, tired feet! No car required. Wahoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

8: The KonMari Method, Apple Pie and Spinach Calzones

"Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so 
deeply in a closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence? 
If things had feelings, they would certainly not be happy." 
~ Marie Kondo

It's day eight and I've fallen head over heels for the KonMari Method. The book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo is wonderful, engaging and utterly endearing. 

Ahem, ahem.

No! I did NOT purchase a book! I utilized the library! 


Back to our previously scheduled program: 

I have just finished sorting through every stitch and scrap of clothing I own in the entire house. 

There was a lot. 

I pulled them out from crevices, closets, bags, boxes, and even a piece here or there that was probably stuck out in Narnia somehow. I unearthed things I never even knew I had. 

Oh, my. Like the shirt with so many stripes that just looking at it may have given me permanent psychological damage. I encountered the unimaginable when I beheld it. But let us not blog about that. Even the sheer forbidden knowledge of its existence results in nightmares and a subsequent sanity loss. 


Anyway, questionable fashion choices aside, I then dumped the whole lot onto my bed and sorted carefully with the constant question of, "Does this spark joy?" 

I even asked my socks. My undies. My pajama pants. Nothing was able to slip by the Joy Test. 

Three donation bags later (two in large paper sacks, the other in a tall trash bag) and I'm considerably less in the clothing department. So much so, in fact, that all of my clothes fit into two large dresser drawers with a handful of dress clothes folded and stored away elsewhere. 

It took me more time to cautiously fold each and every item per the KonMari Method. And guess what? I totally loved it. It was relaxing and refreshing to be taking mindful care of the items I had chosen to keep. 

That's the point - the focus is on the keeping as opposed to tossing. Asking yourself what you want to keep as opposed to what you're willing to get rid of is much easier. 

Additionally, it's really hard to find myself yearning to go to the store to buy more, more, more when I already have so much that I'm able to discard three bags full! 

I am delirious (partially from madness, the rest from tidy glee). 

Even my closets are delirious. 

No, really. Let me explain.  

Only one apparently anthropomorphic closet is housing clothes. That means I have another entirely empty closet. Compared that to the crammed full mess that was in there before. I can darn near guarantee that these closets have keeled over and gone to closet heaven (after four years in purgatory) 

I even got my husband to do likewise with his. Believe it or not, we are now so organized with our clothes that we (for those in the audience that may be sensitive, please cover your eyes) share a single closet now. 

Holy -bleep-

Now it's time for a spinach calzone dinner followed by apple pie. From scratch. Made by the same husband that just spent an hour sorting his socks. 

Am I lucky or what? 

Pay Up Time!
What did I buy on day 8 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • Nothing! 
This comes to a whopping total of: 0.00 USD!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

7: Bodyweight Training, the Subsequent Jelly Arms from Pushups, and Doggie Guilt Trips

"Pets are humanizing. 
They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility
to preserve and nurture and care for all life." 
~ James Cromwell

It's amazing the amount of exercises that are available utilizing only one's own body. 

For example, the rather unfortunately named Burpee exercise. 

Take any man or woman and have them bend down in a squat, leap back to plank, do a push up, hop back to a squat, then leap into the air for several reps and they'll be transformed - at first into limp noodles resembling human beings. Eventually, or so the theory goes, into toned bodies with the endurance of a god(dess). 

I hope I manage to make it past the linguini phase. 

Bodyweight exercises utilize your own body as opposed to instruments at a gym. The beauty of this is that it helps save monthly dues and equipment costs. The downside is that you can't exactly use the "Oh darn, the weather is too poor to drive to the gym tonight. I guess I'll skip a day" excuse. 

After pummeling my noodly appendages into submission I nearly ended today as the second in a row whereupon I did not venture into any store and purchase a single thing. 

Until I realized the cats were out of litter. 

And then my dog insisted that if he didn't have a bone Right That Minute then he would surely keel over and suffer a most painful, guilt inducing demise. 

You think I jest, but when an old sly German Shepherd has had ten years to learn the tricks of manipulating your heart you too will cave in to his demands. 

If you don't then maybe it's just because I'm easily manipulated. 


I'll forewarn you on the bill upcoming that I purchase cat litter in bulk. It's just simply easier in the long run with two cats in the house. Cats are full of it (and not just ego, if you catch my drift)

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 7 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 20lbs of cat litter (x4 boxes = 80lbs total)
  • 1 bag of chips (it was barbecue, non-gmo, really tasty Kettle Chips. Don't judge me! munch, crunch)
  • 1 bag of dog bones (5 medium-sized bones in the bag)
This comes to a whopping total of: 41.30 USD (erk! Cough, cough)

Monday, January 19, 2015

6: Glorious Nature, Mutant Ducks, and the Sad Fate of a Lunch Unattended

"In all things of nature 
there is something of the marvelous." 

Normally Mondays are to be dreaded. Or so Garfield tells us. 

He probably would have said the same thing especially since the majority of my afternoon was spent traipsing about out of doors enjoying some rare (though in truth not quite rare this year) winter sunshine.

There is nothing quite so satisfying as walking for miles. 

Unless it's raining, your car has broken down, the only person you recognize in the city has just driven past your frantically waving arms without noticing you and you're forced to traipse several miles home in dress shoes and clothes. Without an umbrella. 

Not that I'm speaking from experience. 

. . . which I am. 

Luckily, today was a planned venture into nature sans rain and with proper footwear. And it was glorious. 

Oh, yes, come here. Let me whisper a secret. 

It was also FREE. 

There's just something about walking around lakes and beneath large trees (even if in this particular case it was atop a paved pathway) that makes me think big, giant, expansive, existential thoughts.  

 Today though I most tried to figure out why exactly I tended to have a bad hair day every time I was supposed to meet up with a friend that seems to always experience glorious days of luscious thick locks, perfectly styled even in gale force winds. 

I also thought about the fact that I accidentally left my lunch on the counter and that by the time I returned home it would be unsuitable for eating. It was a really nice lunch too. Alas.

And, well, okay, yes, I also thought that there were some mighty strange looking ducks on this lake. Had some mad scientist snuck down to the shore at night and performed illicit duck/blobfish hybridizations? 

4 and three quarter miles later, I traipsed back to my car none the wiser spiritually, but calorically drained and with the sneaking suspicion that the duck-blobs had heard my ill thoughts and were, at that very moment (and probably at this very moment, also) planning revenge. 

Excuse me, I have to go make sure the doors and windows are locked. 

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 6 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • A big fat box of NOTHING!
This comes to a whopping total of: 0.00 USD!


Uh . . . I mean . . . Woohoo! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

5: Budgets, Groceries, Peanut Butter Cookies & a Fantastic Bean Soup

"A budget tells us what we can't afford,
but it doesn't keep us from buying it." 
~ William Feather

Day 5 is Sunday and my normal grocery shopping day. As you may notice I've been picking up a few things here and there throughout the week. This is because I Have A Plan. 

No, really, I do. 

Don't you believe me? 


Anyway, our grocery budget is way over inflated. In fact, the term 'budget' is a joke when it comes to our grocery bill expenditures. 

I'll start out with a list of planned meals for the week along with the ingredients required in order to make them. Then I arrive at the store with a self-satisfied and ever so smug glow about me. It's nearly palpable. It radiates off of me in waves. 

"Look at this list! Look at it! Glorious list. I am a budgeting queen. I have got this shit together," it says. 

That glow lies. 

It lies more than an Ikea instruction manual that swears those shelves are going to be easily assembled with all parts fitting snugly together just so without swearing, soul selling, teeth gnashing effort. 

I have paved not a gold brick walkway, but a multinational highway with my good intentions for meal planning. Then it's time to hot trot to the store throughout the week for nickel and diming excursions even after a jaw dropping initial $200.00 haul not once, but generally twice in a month. 

Oh. My. God. 


This has got to stop. 

So I started something new at the same time as this blog. I've only been hightailing it to the store for items as I need them. I'm forcing myself to stick with that list (Butter only, dammit, woman! Grab it and run for your wallet's life!)

Luckily I'm surrounded on all sides by grocery stores. They're easy to walk, bike and drive to reach. Preferably the first two so as to avoid using gasoline!

Thus far, I've already noticed not only a savings in dollars, but an entirely different way of acting with the food already in the house - I'm using it all. Carefully. Cautiously. 

Too much rice was cooked? Pop it into a bag and freeze it for use later on in the week. 

Leftover mouthfuls of salad? Stick that sucker onto some bread with a slice of tomato and call it a sandwich. 

I already started to make my own chicken, vegetable, and bone broths from leftover scraps in December. Let me tell you that is some of the most tasty, easiest ways of using up every bit of food in the house in addition to saving a pretty darn penny along the way!

A month from now I'll be comparing the amount spent on my new system versus that of my previous system. Thirty days to thirty days of side-by-side totals. Keep those fingers crossed that this will be a glorious, tasty, wallet fattening success!

Speaking of tastes, here's what's on the table for tonight's dinner: 

Black bean soup with leftover rice, homemade chicken broth, onion, tomato, garlic and a ton of spices to punch it up! A side salad with greens, chickpeas, homemade candied walnuts with maple syrup, green apple slices and topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

Dessert? Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Mmmhmmm, yes!

Uh, can you tell yet that I really like to cook (horrid presentations aside)? 

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 5 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 3lbs of Organic Gala Apples
  • 3lbs of Organic Potatoes
  • 2 containers of Organic Peanut Butter
  • 4 Organic Tomatoes
  • 1 Loaf of Bread
  • 1lb of Organic Spring Salad Mix
  • 16oz of Organic Butter (sorry, but my god, do I like butter)
This comes to a whopping total of: 38.23 USD

And let me just say that this was my big shopping trip for the week! Already absurdly less spent on this sucker than I could have imagined and with healthy food out the whazzoo! 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

4: Needs, D&D, and Coffee Cake

"If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need."
~ Cicero

Day 4 was packed with activities and none of them involved spending a dime. 

Not even a nickel. 

Not. A. Single. Cent. 

Hot diggity. 

Ah, Cicero. There's a man with a handle on some things. Especially regarding libraries. Kindle, anyone? Three shelves of physical books? Yup, I'm set. Not to mention I have the glorious public library right down the street for a quick car commute, reasonable cycle distance, and a bit longer (huff, puff, are we friggin' there yet?) walking distance.

Since I don't own any land I don't exactly have a garden outdoors. I do, however, have plenty of container plants. Some might say too many. 

Those people are crazy. Don't listen to them. 

But there are two other things I definitely need for happiness. My imagination and my friends. Both of which combine gloriously when we all come together for a fabulous tabletop game of Dungeons and Dragons. Or Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars, Shadowrun . . . take your pick, really.

Hours of fun, camaraderie and utter silliness. Yes, please. All of it free. 


Well, alright, yes. Perhaps it is free now that I have purchased all the (cough, expensive, cough, god I've spent so much on these) books over the many previous years. Sunk costs, dang it and worth it. 

Let us add to such a Saturday a delicious, glorious, ever so tasty coffee cake from scratch that not only was fabulous upon the tastebuds, but also tantalizing to the eye! 

Clearly this was not something that I baked. Alas. 

Day 4 concluded with a trip to the pet store with a friend who has just adopted his very first dog. He was in dire need for supplies before his four legged gal's arrival tomorrow afternoon. 

Now I'm back home, the sun has set and it's time to just crawl into my jammies and boot up the computer. This girl is settling down for a night of Skyrim in comfy pants. What more to life is there than that?

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 4 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • That's right. 
  • Nothing.
  • Zero.
  • Zilch.
  • Nada.
  • Aha!
  • Neenar neenar!
For the sake of full disclosure, I report that on the night of day 3 I zipped out late to the store for: 

  • Red Mill Flour
  • Pasture Free Happy Chicky Eggs
This comes to a whopping total of: 12.22 USD!

If you had tasted that glorious blackberry coffee cake my husband baked, you too would have justified the second trip to the market!

Friday, January 16, 2015

3: Complexity and Biscuits

"Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, 
and the labors of life reduce themselves." 
~ Edwin Way Teale

Ah, yes. Day 3 has rolled around. It's also a Friday and the weekend looms with all of it's money spending possibilities.

Movies? Dinner? Drinks with friends? Yarg!

Actually, this can all be done in the house so it need not be cut out from my social circle. Phew. Instead it'll just involve my cooking (you poor sods).

Speaking of which: I craved biscuits last night and utilized my handy dandy "I can do it!" attitude to glop something somewhat biscuit shaped and made-from-scratch-thank-you-very-much onto a pan.

Just so you know, I can do it so long as presentation is not an issue - more often than not the results of my baking look like the ravages of war. Luckily, however, appearances are not generally indicative of taste in this case.

Biscuits are a want! Making them from scratch is complex! (Some of you may be saying . . . are you? Or am I hearing voices? Hello? Anybody?)

Anyway, yes, it was a few more extra steps to make the biscuits and I did so crave them (with jam and oh-so-much butter. I do love butter), but it's a sight better than buying the iPad I've been yearning for. One click shopping, why do you taunt me so?

Biscuits it was. They're far more inexpensive and within my allowed purchasing diet. If this keeps up then maybe in 362 days I'll find my cooking greatly improved!

. . . or I'll have gone mad and you'll find me in a corner, eating raw potatoes and drooling over a sale catalog.

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 3 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 8 oz Kerrygold Irish Butter (3x) 
  • 100% Organic Grass-fed Whole Milk

This comes to a whopping total of: 17.30 USD!

Just so you know, I'm listing the things I purchase in the shops only and totaling them up. I shall not be adding the mortgage, HOA (horrid things), or utilities yet as my current focus for this blog is stopping my shop spending first!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1 & 2: Simplify, Simplify

"Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify." ~ Henry David Thoreau

I have so much in my home. Books, blankets, clothing galore. I am blessed, but I always want more, more, more.

How about not?

So here I am on day two of my purchasing No More Galore challenge for the next 365 days. It's time to kickstart myself onto a new sustainable (for the planet and for my wallet) way of living. Only necessities are allowed on this monetary diet. Mortgage? Of course! Electric bill? Yes, please. Groceries? Most definitely.

DVDs? Video games? Shoes? Clothes? That most divine set of decorative mirrors? No, no, no, no, and definitely not.

What in the world is wrong with you, woman? (Or so I imagine some of you may be asking)

I'm glad you asked. Let me tell you!

Since I can't be happy purchasing things for more than a few days before that newness vibe rubs off and I'm champing at the bit to do it all over again, I'm treating this like an addiction. Cold turkey, baby.

I tried this before last year. To say I failed miserably is a tad bit harsh, but probably true. I started off well enough. Soon, however, I found myself not only falling off the wagon, but leaping headfirst to the road screaming like a newly paid banshee at a 50% off extravaganza.

In other words . . . I bought a bunch of crud that I utterly did not need and it felt great. For about five minutes. Then it felt like yucky, crummy, crusty failure. Think old milk. Not tasty at all.

So let's try this again, shall we?

This time I've booted up a blog to charter my path and hopefully keep me straight and honest while I kick this consumer habit to the curb, once and for all.

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on days 1 & 2 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 2 packages of organic chicken, 
  • 1 giant (non-organic, sniffle) avocado, 
  • 1 container of organic spring salad mix. 

This comes to a whopping total of 23.98 USD.