Good morning, Dear Reader! I’m looking at my What The Forecast app, and it tells me that this weekend will be glorious. It shouldn’t get much hotter than 86. Can we all agree that 86 is “hot enough”? Especially since I’m hitting the road and sleeping in my car for the next five days. I will probably be a bit ‘out of pocket’ next week, but if fate gives me something important to discuss with you, I will find a quaint coffee bar and spill the beans. (Eh. Eh. See what I did there?)
Anywho, on the subject of travel: I didn’t use to travel much. I always thought I didn’t really have the time or the money. As I paired down my life and all of its commitments, I found I did have the time. The money part came with a few choices, which hurt a little bit in the beginning, but once I started to see how saving a bit can add up I got a little giddy. For example, in my ‘no spend challenge,’ I’ve already saved $286, and that’s just a little over a week. $27.40 a day adds up to $10,000 a year. Seems undoable? Okay, let’s cut the pain in half, shall we? If you spend $10 a day on lunch at the local cafe or McD’s, you are wasting about $300 a month ($900 in 3 months; $2,400 a year). You CAN afford to travel, but you don’t like making sandwiches.
So how am I saving this money, you ask? Minor changes; Nothing too monumental.
Grab a drink and settle in. I’ll tell you what I’ve accomplished in a week.
1) Shopping for clothing has stopped. Not forever, and I am ‘allowed’ to replace items. I just don’t need anything at the moment. I put the kibosh on the clothing subscription services, too. I found the quality of the clothes to be much less than what I was paying for them. If I need something, I’ll buy it locally. It just so happens that I don’t need anything right now.
2) I broke up with my Amazon subscriptions. Admittedly, this happened during the lockdown, but I had a lot of household things on auto-ship. However, in evaluating and taking inventory, I realized I already had a lot in stock. I’ll still have my cat food and coffee shipped, but I think I’ll start looking at other places to purchase it.
3) Cut down on animal protein. I’m a far cry from being a vegetarian, and to call myself one would insult people who work hard for that lifestyle. But, I have cut out about 80% of the meat I consumed. You could also try to purchase different cuts of meat. My friend, Jay, mentioned yesterday that Aldi sells lamb for much less than its beef, so he’s been buying that instead. I’ve never had lamb. (I wonder if I can get my resident grill master to make this for me? #SubtleHint) Also, don’t believe the Keto hype. Rice and beans are not bad for you, and they are inexpensive (I am not a fan of rice, but if it finds itself in a soup, I’m okay). If you’re patient, I recommend dry beans over canned, too, but who among us can say they even know how to prepare these? Probably only my friend and homesteader in Western Mass, right?
4) Switch out facial products. My esthetician friends might cringe at this, but unless you’ve got some super-specific issue with your skin, there are some inexpensive yet good products on the market. Don’t get me wrong, I love my high-end products, but I’ve realized there isn’t much difference between my Eminence and the products I recently purchased, except for about $40 a bottle. You can click here to visit FullScript and save on vitamins, supplements, and, you guessed it…facial products. I spent $56 on an entire regime yesterday (Toner, mask, moisturizer, and serum). To put that in perspective: one 4-ounce bottle of Eminence costs me about $40 and my last moisturizer set me back $90. I also make my facial cleanser (here’s the recipe) and haven’t had any issues. The initial investment of all the products to make this still cost me less than one bottle of my fancy spa-like cleansers and one batch lasts me about six months.
5) Switch to all-natural cleaning products. Some cleaning solutions can run you close to $3 a bottle, if not more, and are full of harsh chemicals. I have so many right now that I’m working through the bottles until they are gone. Then I’ll start making a citrus + vinegar solution for most countertop cleaning and mopping. My recipe for that is below. Vinegar is cheap and can be used in so many things. Don’t even get me started on baking soda. It’s a miracle.
I know there isn’t anything earthshattering in this post, but sometimes I like to get out of my head and share simple, easy-to-read material. I’m the Nicholas Sparks of bloggers today, I guess.
As always, here’s your song. Nothing to do with today’s post but one that has been in my head for a few days. I like songs that feel like they were written just for me, about me, you know? The Arcadian Wild is a Nashville-based acoustic quartet that blends traditional with contemporary to create its unique sound. I came across this group via Spotify. I’m a fan of The Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell, so Spotify, like a manipulative boyfriend, tossed me a little love and plugged this song into a playlist. Of course, I fed right into it and consumed two of their albums in one day trip. Anyway, I like it, and I hope you do, too. Enjoy!
PS…if you liked this post and want others to relish in all the great advice, then share on all the socials.
PSS…I’ll be driving a fair amount this week and sleeping in unchartered areas. I’d appreciate the good vibes for safety travels if you have any to spare.