Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What the Rest of Life Looks Like.....

So, I'm on day two of the rest of my life and you may, or may not, have wondered what changes I have made?

For starters, I switched from my long held once a month grocery shopping schedule to a once a week plan.  Once a month grocery shopping is supposed to save you money.  On paper it means less trips to the store, which is less gas money, less time, and less buying opportunity.  That all makes sense IF you can plan a months worth of meals at a time.  I can plan a months worth of meals at a time, but I never do.  Instead, I go to the store and buy a case of this and a case of that and figure I'm covered for a month. 

We never ran out of food, but since food costs keep rising I could see where my approach was no longer working and it was getting harder and harder to make my food budget last a whole month.  I tried to make myself plan a whole months worth of meals for the last two months and neither month worked.  Planning that far in advance was daunting and left me feeling like there was no culinary spontaneity in our life.  Once I admitted that was my problem it was easy to see that switching to once a week planning and shopping was far more manageable, and I hope frugal.  Last night was my first night for my new meal planning strategy, so we'll see how it goes, and most importantly - how much I can save.

While Columbus, Einstein and I were out hunting and gathering for food last night we stopped by Tractor Supply and picked up some more laundry line and hooks so that I can start hanging clothes to dry in the wood shed where we keep our wood stove.  I fell out of the habit of hanging clothes when winter came, and now even when we have nice enough days I still don't hang dry our clothes.  It's a mindset thing, and a self-discipline thing, and since we have a dryer it's easy to use it, but that wasn't the entire point of moving to the mountaintop - the point of moving up here was to become self-sufficient.  I'm not going to give up all of my modern day conveniences, but I want to rely on the grid and system as little as (comfortably) possible. 

We also picked up vitamins and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to juice.  Now, I'm not a juicer.  I've in fact never juiced before in my life, but My Man and a few of the kids have.  I wasn't interested in juicing because it sounded a little too healthy to me, like if I drank the juice my body might go into shock from all the fresh goodness.  It wasn't that I didn't want to be more healthy - it was that I didn't want to change my habits or drink some nasty concoction. 

I juiced for the first time ever today - I didn't go into shock, but it was kind of nasty tasting, just like I thought it would be.  Maybe I'll find a better juicing recipe (honestly, I didn't even make the juice today, Columbus did), so maybe I'll get him to find a better recipe (lol).  Still, I'm committed.  I want to feel better and I want to have more energy - who can ever have enough of that?

Next up - schedules.  We are officially off of holiday break and so we set the alarm and started our school schedule again.  I tightened down on the kitchen and there are three meal times and a designated afternoon snack time, but other than that the parade of people grazing their way through the day has come to an end.  Hopefully that means better nutrition for them and less mess for the kitchen cleaning crew.

There's more, but I want to take things slow and give new changes time to become habit.  I want to find just the right spot for all twelve of us to feel balanced - that's a tall order, but it's here on our mountaintop....I jut know it.