Ok. This is when some feel I get a little extreme. Please know that I shop. Who doesn't? But come January and February I try to challenge myself to NOT shop. Maybe it's winter boredom. Perhaps I like to see how far I can make things stretch. Who knows? What matters is I find this entertaining and always a money saving adventure. So what is it that I do, you ask? I spend as little money as possible. Let me count the ways for you.
1. I send e-cards to relatives and friends for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
2. I mass cook. I do grocery shop. In massive amounts. And then I cook up a storm. Soups, stews, roasts, meatloaf, casseroles. I freeze it all and can eat for a month at a time. No more after work wondering about what to fix. Always plenty of food for the family. Even when we have unexpected company. And the leftovers are great for lunch. Veggies are always aplenty at my house for snacks.
3. I decorate my house with the most natural and colorful things. What could make you smile more than a bowl full of lemons or apples. And these things are edible. For Valentine's day I might find a twig after a nature walk. I place the twig in a vase/mason jar and fill it up with stones. I'll hang small red hearts with love notes on them for my family. Make clovers and eggs to decorate for St. Patrick's Day or Easter.
4. Go to the library and read, read, read. Check out movies. Free fun for the family.
5. Dust off the games on the shelf. PLAY them. With your friends and family.
6. Get together with friends and family. Don't stress about food. Everybody bring something. Enjoy the time together.
So at the end of one month, maybe two, check your bank account. I'll bet there is more money in those accounts than the year before. And did you have any less fun? Were you kinder to the environment? Were you kinder to your waistline? I'm guessing at least a few of your answers will be yes. Let me know if you're up to the challenge. I'm ready. To have a healthier body and secondly a healthier bank account. And you know it's not all about the money. It's about spending time doing healthy things with people you love. The financial gain is simply a bonus.