Progress at this point is mostly mental. I am plotting and planning for the year, thinking about actions I can take and goals I’d like to hit.
- I have already decided to get strict with my spending. No unnecessary purchases. Making notes about how long a tank of gas lasts and how many meals my grocery shopping can make. I want to be practical and purposeful with my spending while still enjoying life – I don’t want my focus to be money. But I don’t want to throw it away.
- Grocery spending will also influence my meal planning, which I’m excited about. I love cooking (sometimes) and trying my own recipes, but I also plan to try some paleo recipes I’ve found to make changes with my health, along with the rest of my life.
- I have been selling things online to try and generate some money while getting rid of things. I only sell things that will be worth it – how much I get in return for my time photographing and listing the item. I’ve donated a lot of things I could have sold, just because I wanted to get rid of the items NOW. I don’t regret that at all – I was happier to have the items gone than I would have been to have $10 or $20 bucks for it a week later. But I have stockpiled some things that are worth selling, and I have been working on that.
- Laundry. I used to do laundry on Saturdays and Sundays for the whole family – 2 loads of clothes, a load of towels, and a load of sheets (alternating the queen bed sheets and the bunk bed sheets). Now I have maybe 2 loads a week – clothes and towels. But I need to think about when I do laundry. If it’s a nice day and there is laundry to be done, I should wash it and hang it out. Too often I forget about laundry until the last minute and have to do it in the dryer due to rain or it being late at night.
- Utility bills are the worst part of trying to be frugal. I am all about kicking the thermostat up or down a notch or two to save money, and we adapt to it. With ceiling fans in every room now, I feel like we will be able to last much longer before turning on the A/C. At least one window in every room will open for fresh air, and the fans will keep us cool. The goal is to last until June 1st without A/C.
- Watering the garden. Talk about utility bills… But my son bathes every other night… Can I save his bathwater? I’m trying to figure out a way besides scooping it up in buckets. I need to research this. Does anyone have a good way? I definitely want to use this water for the garden instead of letting it go to waste.
I know this year will take a lot of action, but I feel like it is based in thought. Thoughtfulness with spending, with chores, with cooking, with leftovers, with using all you have to the best of your abilities. Thinking about things before doing them makes me feel more certain about what I do, and it simplifies my life by eliminating a lot of stress and worry, so I feel like I’m on the right track.