Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Update - Progress & Priorities

I have to admit, I'm not sure how this budget challenge will turn out. I've already spent a lot of my budget, I don't know how this amount of food will last, and the kid is complaining about not having "the good butter" - and it's only been a week. I started out to learn along with you. I wanted to find out how I would make a small budget work with a determination to eat nutritious food. I'm learning. It's difficult. One of the main things I'm learning, though, is how difficult it can be...but I'm also learning that I'm not sure if it HAS to be so difficult. I am blessed to have a huge garden space & my own chickens, and I know that isn't something everyone has access to. If I didn't have a big garden space, I would grow a small garden. If I didn't have any garden space, I would make raised bed gardens on at least part of my lawn. If I didn't have that option, then I would grow food in containers - even if it was just wheatgrass or fresh herbs in my kitchen. (I did both of those when I lived in an apartment with no garden or patio space for growing food.) I make choices that help us eat healthier even when we can't spend a fortune on food. One of those choices has to do with my priorities. I got a big tax refund this year. I know it's popular & even fun to spend a tax refund on something fun like a vacation or a new TV. I actually did need a TV to replace the one that fuzzed out along with the sound of a movie, making it so we could listen to the movie & not see it o see the movie with the sound turned all the way down. We haven't had TV channels since the whole digital TV thing happened, but we do enjoy a good movie every now and then. Technically, we could go the rest of our lives without watching another movie and suffer no health problems from it, so "needing" a new TV may not be quite accurate, but I was on the lookout. When I got my tax refund, I spent some of the money on a TV. I admit it. I spent money on something I know very well is a luxury. I went to a yard sale & got a working television for $10! Movies can now be watched AND heard in our house, which definitely scored me some points with the kid. :) After the TV, there were a few needed clothing items, so I bought a few things and then shopped for a sewing machine (which I got on a really good sale!) along with fabric to take care of the rest along with future clothing needs. Most of the rest of my tax refund got spent on good nutrition that I might not otherwise be able to afford throughout the year. I loaded up on the pricier items we really enjoy & feel good eating, like the 72 pounds of grassfed butter that is taking up every inch of available space in my freezer (!), several bottles of the fermented cod liver oil that I talked about the other day (you can get it cheaper if you buy 12 bottles at once - see www.greenpasture.org for details), and the raw olives and high-quality protein powders that are really nutritious (& tasty!) but don't always make it into our regular food budget. Would this work for you? I don't know. I don't know your situation. I don't know what will work for you. I'm blogging so I can share what I do, in hopes that it will help you. Even if you don't do everything the way I do, maybe you'll get an idea here & there. Maybe you'll find a way to eat something you haven't tried, or to make something you hadn't known how to make. Maybe you'll just laugh at something I do that you think is just plain weird, silly, or whatever. Entertainment has value, too, right? ;) Anyhow, I don't think this budget challenge accurate for my personal circumstances because it doesn't show all the things I do on a regular basis, but it is a place to start. We'll get to more of my real life after the challenge is done. Meanwhile, I have to figure out how to satisfy the kid who has such good taste in butter.

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