Wednesday, October 24, 2012


A.'s last day of work was just over a week ago. He's gone hunting twice, and we have some elk in the freezer. He is so much more relaxed and I don't feel like crying every Sunday evening, knowing he is about to start another miserable week at a job he loathes.

Things are good.

A. has set up a schedule for himself, similar to what is recommended for freelancers who work from home. Instead of work, though, he is job hunting, tweaking resumes, and writing cover letters. I am glad that he is only dedicating a few hours a day to this, because otherwise I think he'll get depressed and frustrated. I think having a schedule and treating it like a job will help him focus and keep things in perspective. I hope.

A. has been spending his afternoons working on household projects, decluttering, (WAHOO!!), chopping firewood and cooking me dinner. 

He has dinner ready for me when I get home from work. To a clean house. I could totally get used to this lifestyle. (He is so sweet - he tries to make dinners that won't cost me a gazillion Points. He is so awesome, you guys.)

So far the budget seems to be working out. I discontinued my (rather generous, if I do say) monthly donation to our local NPR station and gave up my locker rental at the gym. I am still making a donation to our state-wide food bank. That will be the last of any charity gifts to go. I've considered giving up my work parking pass, but finding parking nearby anytime after 7:15 a.m. is nearly impossible. Eh. We will eat out much less, maybe once or twice a month as a treat. That is ok. Why not have things in life that feel like treats, rather than entitlements?

If I find enough workout DVDs that I like, I may cancel my gym membership as well. It isn't very expensive, but it would be a few more dollars in the budget cushion.

Do you have any fitness DVDs that you like? I am waiting for a copy of "The Bar Method" to arrive. It is based on the foundations of ballet, and supposedly can tone you up like a mofo. But slender-like and not Hulk-like. I also have the "30 Day Shred" and it kicks my ass. I am nowhere near in shape enough to even attempt something like "Insanity." One of my sisters has already burned her way through that program. She is looking for something else to do - that is harder. She is my hero.

I have a few yoga DVDs that I like quite a bit, and feel covered on that front. Once/if we get some snowpack I hope to do plenty of cross country skiing, too. We can get to free trails withing a 15-minute drive from our house, so it is a pretty inexpensive and awesome workout in the winter.

Do you have any workout or money-saving tips? We do a lot of things already. We don't have a fancypants coffee daily, we cook at home, etc. I've been unplugging everything at night. EVERYTHING. It is awesome - you'd be amazed at the background noise everything makes with plugged in.

I kind of like this - it feels like a competition to see how inexpensively we can live and still be happy. Tips, please!


  1. What do you do when INSANTIY is too easy? I ask you.

    So glad A is happier...enjoy this time!

  2. My sister-in-law likes Ellen Barrett workouts. I asked for a couple from the Crunch series for my birthday and I liked them too: she's kind, and she activates my Authority Pleasing brain centers (unlike Jillian Michaels, who activates the Slapping brain center).

    I think all my money-saving tips are ones you'd already know (library, coffee maker, sales, etc.).

  3. @Tess - I know! My sister is amazing. And she also happens to be the funniest, wittiest person I know.

    @Swistle - I have to do the 30DS on mute because I want to tear Jillian's face off. SHUT UP.

  4. I got one of the Billy Blanks workout DVDs when it was super cheap - this one, i think - and while it is a bit cheesy (what workout vid isn't?) i did find myself sweating like a mofo during the routine. it would definitely help not to have downstairs neighbors for his DVDs though. I'm very self-conscious of all my stomping.

  5. Yay for A and home-cooked dinners waiting for you when you get home!

    I need to go through my workout DVDs and send them to you. Although I have a suspicion that most of them are actually VCR tapes, not DVDs, which shows how long it has been since I cared to get in shape. :) I'll check, though.

    If you or A. are willing to put up with weekly emails, you can get some nice savings from We usually save about $10-$20 a month (if I remember to print out the coupons, that is). I'm sure we could save more, but it's such a time-suck for me.

  6. Now I'm going to have to try unplugging everything just to see what you're talking about w/ this ambient noise.

    I'm going to have to keep checking back for comments too, because I'm nothing if not a miser. The only thing I can think of that you didn't already mention is the temp in your house. We're wicked w/ the termostate around here. During the winter, we keep it as low as 60 or 62 at night and while we're at work. When we're home, it only goes up to 68. Sweats and slippers were invented for a reason. Summer is the opposite - chillin' in the 80's up in here. Our energy bill is consistenly lower than our friends and neighbors.

    Oh and beans! Cheapest and yummiest protein source EVER! This only works if you love them as much as I do. :-)

  7. I think I have Hip Hop Abs if you want them. (Damn you infomercials!)

    We don't have cable or satellite, and have hulu plus and netflix which is sufficient for our tv watching mostly (except for high profile football). We don't do it for savings really, we do it because I never had it premarriage, and told T when he moved in if he wants it it's up to him to get it. So we don't have it.

    I'd also recommend looking around at all your bills. Insurance is a good way to potentially save if you haven't shopped in a while. We also switched to no home phone, internet only service, which saved a little bit.

  8. Sorry for any confusion. I do not actually have Hip Hop Abs. I do have the Hip Hop Abs DVDs if you want them. Truth in advertising!

  9. Sounds like you have a good thing going with A. at home!

    Many years ago, I used The Firm workouts. They were like the 30 day shred (weights & cardio combined - no dancing or complicated moves). They were on VHS, so I don't know if the new workouts are the same.

  10. I recently read this great quote, attributed to Mahatma Ghandi: "As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it. If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty, you would continue to want it back, and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you. Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you, or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired."

    From Richard B. Gregg, "The Value of Voluntary Simplicity" (Pendle Hill, 1936).

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