Wahoo! One month of saving our pennies done and dusted. One month of no unnecessary spending. No takeaways. No cafes. No buying pretty things. Nil. Zip. Nada.
I am loving the ride so far. I haven’t felt this creative in a long, long time and boy does it feel goooood. It gets me wondering how much our pursuit of ‘stuff’ holds us back from the really important things in life:
- Spending more time at home = puttting down roots. More time at home is more time to spend on my own hobbies, to rest, to play with my kids in the backyard, to chat to my neighbours, to take care of the gift that is our home.
- Hosting or going to friends’ houses instead of a cafe = deeper connections due to more sharing of life in all its messy glory (you should see the state of my garden…). Life doesn’t look so perfect when your guests see your laundry basket piled sky high and globs of weetbix drying on the kitchen floor. And that’s a good thing. People are desperate for real connection.
- Staying out of the shops = being a mindful consumer. Do I really need this? Can I borrow it from someone (deeper connections)? Am I trying to fill some sort of void in my life? Suppress an unbearable feeling?
- Not buying more than I need = being a better steward of my resources. I can already feel the scarcity fear which marketers very skillfully bombard us with fading away. There is enough. I have enough. I certainly have enough ‘stuff’ to create a workaround for almost any situation that might crop up. Birthdays, parties, soirees with the Queen…
- Rejecting paid entertainment = making my own fun. Admittedly I have always been pretty good at this one (I seem to accumulate info on free or cheap things to do where ever I am), but I too fall prey to thinking that expensive stuff is somehow better than what I can create or re-create at home. Sorry Sting and Paul Simon – I won’t be buying a ticket to your undoubtedly cool concert this year. I may however learn to play some of your songs on my ukelele so we can sing along atrociously to them at my next family gathering. My daughter may hate me for not taking her to Chipmunks playground one day, but right now she loves all the free parks and beaches we go to.
Anyhow, back to some Dollar Diet details. I was fastidious about using up all our fruit and veg. It really was down the wire come Monday grocery shopping. We spent a fantastic afternoon with friends at Whanganui’s best playground (review to come). We made use of the free BBQ’s and I used the last of our veges to make a quiche for a vegetarian friend. Instead of buying processed cr@p, I made a healthy fudge out of avocados, dates, cocoa and a banana. We gave away three GINORMOUS bags of plums (deeper connections) to neighbours and our friends at church. I’ve done lots of baking and hosted a church morning tea, the leftovers of which will be used to feed the hungry hoards at a meeting tomorrow night. Last year D (or technically, my tots) gave me a voucher for a cruise on Whanganui’s paddle steamer, the Waimarie (prounounced Why-mah-ree-ay).
Knowing the fabulous weather we’ve been having was going to continue I arranged babysitters, and D and I enjoyed an incredibly relaxing date on the Waimarie. We had two tot-free hours to sit and look at gorgeous scenery and soak up some history. The cruise was over the lunch break so instead of spending money on board I packed us a picnic.
Next week I have a dentist appointment as I have a sore tooth and I’m pretty sure that’s going to hurt me right in the wallet.
I haven’t calculated our savings for the month yet. Flights to Australia will negate any savings but we’ve had a blimmin’ good first month.