Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Day the Hair Dryer Quit


The 25th came and went a few days ago and I've been trying to process how the whole deal went. If you didn't read it the first time around, scroll down a bit and check it out. 

I did give up on the coffee thing. I think that was a challenge on it's own. We are out of the house most mornings driving to and from family time with a lot of downtime in between and the coffee shops seem like a good buffer for the time being. $10 a day for being a foster parent isn't really all that much but it can help me justify spending a little bit more on one thing that is just for me.  

The other thing I failed a bit on was books for the kids. We started up our school year a bit early and needed a couple of things (that could've waiting to be honest) but I didn't really want to wait. So I didn't. I kind of wish I had. 

My sweet friend brought over her hair dryer after reading my first post. It was very sweet and I was super grateful for it! I'm going to have to go buy the exact same one because I think I've fallen in love with it. 

I did realize how little we need to make things work around here! As long as we had eggs and some milk, we were set. We had a handful of crazy creative meals- some that may be new favorites. We had pork tacos with arugula and irish cheese one night. A lot of beef with vegetable meals and more cauliflower and chicken dishes than I would like to admit! 

The worst lunch was an almond butter chocolate cup, banana bread and pork lunch that we ate before we cut the whole thing short a few days and went to Costco.  I just didn't buy enough the first time around. 

We also started a need list for non consumable items and their estimated cost. This would include certain types of clothes for the kids, bottles for the baby or hobby related items for the adults. They get prioritized and we figure out how much we can spend and cross of the list every month. 

Some things we'll keep. Others we won't. Costco is still a once a month deal but I will end up going back to get a few things that I totally spaced on. I really have no reason to go to the regular grocery store any more as long as I plan the right way- and that saves me a ton of money in stuff we don't need. Especially treats and convenience foods. 

I wish I had achieved a little bit more this month but I'm super proud of our family and how little they complained about the whole thing! I have a better understanding of my habits (healthy and not healthy) and a respect for our food and where it comes from and what it really looks like to eat seasonally. 

It's been an interesting couple of months. Last month we decided to take our family eating on a 180 degree turn. Kids included. Which is impressive since they don't really eat anything anyway. Especially fruit or vegetables or things that grow. It was a good month and I think we established routines and systems that will continue to push us towards a Paleo Friendly long term lifestyle. 

So naturally, now that I have that down, I figured I should conquer yet another feat.  Who needs a break from self improvement?? Apparently I'm a tad bit addicted. This month I decided I should really get a hold of our food/miscellaneous spending budget.  Which is a huge feat since we don't eat bread or beans or rice and there are five of us to feed. 

I set a few ground rules last week and started the clock (even though it wasn't a calendar month I just picked a date four weeks out to end). The list included:

-Visiting coffee shops on Friday (I have an almost everyday habit)
-Purchase only items that would be consumable in the time period. That would include clothes, household items, kids stuff, thrift stores, yard sales. 
-Shop only at our farm stand with an exception for our once a month Costco trip and subscription items (NatureBox, Exo Bars, Nespresso and specialty items from Amazon)

I sent the list over to my husband who I'm sure rolled his eyes dramatically. I was ready for this. This seemed doable. I even promised myself a new vegetable spiralizer if I made it. 

My hair dryer exploded the next day. 

I laughed a little at first. Seemed pretty standard for the start of my "only consumables month." I figured I could just wash my hair at night and straighten it during the day and it not be that big of a deal. 

The course of the next week involved a large number of glass items breaking unexpectedly.  My food processor decided that it only would work if you push down the lid and hold it and say a nice little prayer.  I also lost the silly seal to my blender so it's totally useless- which I figured out while trying to make almond milk- which is also useless because it tastes horrible.  

I found that I didn't allow enough time to cut back on my coffee habit. Who wants to say no to their husband offering to get you coffee on a Tuesday from their favorite coffee shop??? Nespresso messed up my order and delayed shipping so after being pissed off at them I went to Starbucks for some unknown reason. I really don't even like Starbucks. At that point my "coffee trips on Friday" became a "let's see if I can make it till 2:30 today challenge."  Please note that I failed at that already today. 

I've got 21 days left.  

I really don't want to wait that long for my new headlamp and night running gear for Ragnar. I'm also finding that I really do miss my hair dryer and the list of items that need to be replaced seems to be getting longer. I'm starting to feel frustrated and irritable and like this whole thing was a ridiculous idea to begin with. 

You know how when you start something new and it's horrible at first but than you find a rhythm and it becomes normal? The gym was like that for me. I can't imagine not running or biking four days a week. It wasn't always that way. Being brave enough to go gluten free was another example. Not being sick every day of my life has been way worth it and I have no desire to go back. So I feel like if I can make it through those things I should be able to make it through this.  Maybe my perspective of what is a "need" and what is a "convenience" or a "want" will finally change.  That's really the end goal. 

Being content with the crazy blessings I already have. 
And maybe having some extra money for a house with a dishwasher. 

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