Thursday, May 15, 2008

Simplifying and Economizing

I've decided that we need to become more economical. I feel that we already do a fairly good job at pinching pennies, but I feel that we still waste way too much. Not only do we seem to have a lot of waste, but there certain things we can do to be more resourceful than what we are already doing.

I feel one of the biggest areas we are wasteful in is time. We waste a LOT of time watching TV. And recently, I've spent too much time on Blogger and other sites, which I've tried to remedy by limiting myself to an hour each day. I'd like spend my time on more wholesome and quality activities. Not that TV can't be that, but when it's on 5-6 hours a day, that's probably too much. At least it will be summer soon, with nothing on that's worthwhile during Prime time. Unfortunately, the summers are much too hot to spend much time outside, so I will have to find other constructive activities inside to keep me and the kids busy.

I think another area we can cut back on is spending money on fast food. Our budget actually tends to balance out in the grocery category. We don't spend too much on groceries, so what little extra there we might have, we go hit the dollar menu a few times a week. But that is even too much, and I think we will be healthier too if we refrain from all the fast food. I'd like to make it a special treat, like it was for me and my brothers when we were kids. I can probably count on one hand the times we had fast food during my first 15 years. Maybe a little more than that, but you get my drift? Even though it was cheaper then, and even when we did get fast food, my parents never splurged on it. We would all get the cheapest thing on the menu, say, the 2 for a $1 burgers, and then my dad would buy a whole bunch and maybe a couple orders of fries and we would take it home, add a tossed salad and some milk, and voila!, a somewhat healthy fast food meal! No Happy Meals or Kids' Meals with the ridiculous toys that break within a week anyway. I just need to plan my meals better to avoid the fast food. I'm pretty good at planning dinners, I just need to focus on lunch and even breakfast more.

Another area that we need to be more resourceful is in learning how to grow our own food. Yep, I'm 30 years old and I really have no idea how to grow food. I mean, I have the basic concept down--you put a seed in dirt and keep it watered and in the sunshine and eventually you should get some results, but I've never done it. Nope, not once. I helped weed our garden when I was a little kid, I may have grown a bean or two in science in school, but I've never actually planted something I could eat, grown it, and then eaten it. Pretty pathetic, eh? So that's another thing I need to learn to do.

And another place I want to be resourceful and waste less money on is basic home repairs. Our tenants told us that they have a leaky faucet again. This greatly stresses me out because neither me nor my husband have a clue how to fix it, not to mention, own any sort of plumbing tools whatsoever. So it becomes this grandiose thing, when it's probably really quite simple. We need to become more handy around the house.

So these are my goals:

1. Watch less TV and spend less time in front of the computer.
2. Eat less fast food.
3. Learn to grow food.
4. Learn basic household repairs.

Good luck!

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