week two

I am delighted, and entirely amazed, to be able to report that I lost another pound this week. That puts me down 2.5 for the month so far. WOOT! The amazed part comes from the brutal attack I made on some leftover Christmas cookies last night, but I digress. Life is all about balance.

I’m still trying to work on my eating habits. I haven’t yet started on the extra activity component, which is funny because as I’m writing this my mom is on the treadmill on the other side of the room. I don’t lack in opportunity, I lack in motivation. It happens.

Finances were also one of the things I identified as a goal and I’m pushing that hard. I’ll be calling Netflix this morning and cancelling because after a long hard look at our entertainment habits we realized that we almost never use it. Yes, only $15/month but still. I’ve been taking a long, hard look at everything and deciding if I really need it or not.

So I’m keeping all of my receipts, writing unusual things down in my planner, and making myself stop and think twice about each and every purchase. Yesterday when we ran errands it was a game to see if I could get out of each store for $10 or less. The only time I tipped the scale was Target and that was because my total was $11.57.

I feel like I’m off to a good start, and that feels really GOOD.

living large on a government salary

I’m a state university employee which means I’m not making the same kind of cheddar that my peers in the corporate world are. It’s a conscious decision that I made 16 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I have amazing benefits, I get to be a part of educating the future, and my colleagues at work are like family. Plus that whole week off between Christmas and New Year’s off work every year, seriously can’t beat it.

But there are some “life hacks” that I use to help stretch my monthly pay. For one thing, I satisfy my daily coffee cravings by making my own fancy stuff at home. I also have a tendency to take my own breakfast and lunch to work so I don’t have to eat out. It’s a hell of a lot healthier, too.

When it comes to buying food we shop the sales. And since I like to make my own smoothies, no kale or spinach please, I stock up on fruit when it’s on sale and in season and then freeze it myself. I’ve also started buying the really ugly bananas that are super cheap and running then through my tiny little blender and then freezing the puree in 1/2C containers. It’s great to throw in with my smoothies. It works great with peaches or strawberries that get a little too squishy. No sense tossing perfectly good food.

I have a tendency to make my “convenience” foods a lot. You like that whole yogurt / granola parfait thing? Make your own. I take a 2C container, dump in a container of yogurt, add in 1/3C of dried fruit, and then take a separate little 1/2C container of granola. (I almost always eat breakfast at work, don’t ask why.) It’s cheap and it’s super yummy and I can customize the daylights out of it.

What kinds of “hacks” do y’all use to save some green?