For all of you NOT living in NH, let me tell you that this has been an INSANE week for weather. Memorial Day saw snow in many areas around us. Wednesday (when I promised to plant my potatoes) was very cold and rainy, and therefore I did not go out and make my potato tower. And today? ya, it’s over 90 degrees out! Only in NH, I tell you.
The weather this past weekend allowed me to feel quite vindicated in the fact that I had not yet planted my garden. See? You can get a frost in (almost) June!
This week I have had many things rolling around in my brain, and of course I feel the need to share them with you all! So, welcome to my randomness:
On Homesteading and pretty nails:
I have always enjoyed being “prettied up” – getting my hair done, getting my nails done, etc. Last year when money got tight, we had to have a hard conversation with ourselves and decide what was truly important. Many things went, but I held out on my nails. I tried giving it up, but that seemed to be the thing that made me feel like everything else was ok. But, for Shelac nails it cost $35 every 2 weeks to have them done in the salon. So, I poked around and found that you could purchase everything needed to do them at home for about $70! We bought the supplies and I have been doing them at home myself:
And they come out JUST like they did for $35 at the salon
Geesh, maybe I should be a hand model?!?! Have I missed my calling? lol… These supplies have lasted me since September. 10 months, twice a month, $35 a pop (plus tip), that’s $700 saved! For a $70 investment and a few bad manicures while I figured it out.
Another place we looked at to save money was my husbands haircuts – he has a high and tight type of haircut, and in the Sales industry he like to keep it cut close and neat at all times. He was going to the Barber shop every other weekend, spending $20 a cut. We tried going longer between cuts to save money, but he felt sloppy and unkempt, so again, we looked at doing it at home. We splurged, and bought a pricey set of clippers and then all of the things you need (cape, comb, clippers, guards, those little paper thingys that go around the neck, etc). All together we probably spend just shy of $150. Doing the math, that’s 10 months, and around $450 saved! (and only 2 or 3 sub-par haircuts to get it right)
I guess what I am getting at here is that you can be working towards living a more self-sufficient lifestyle, but in doing so you don’t have to give up the things that make you feel good. You just need to evaluate, re-evaluate and get creative.
On couponing and splurging:
Many of my friends think I may be a bit compulsive with my couponing, some may think I am a hoarder. I admit, I have 30 cases of soda, and I just bought over 20 deodorants, and I have enough cereal to last us the next 7 months. We are all set for pasta and sauce til after Christmas. The list goes on. But I think this is what they are missing – I buy these things while on the cheap (sometimes FREE) not so I can have a full shelf, but so I can save money and NOT have to buy them when they are full price. When I save money (BIG money) on my everyday staples, that gives me more flexible spending money for things like:
A $4.99 jar of Nathan’s pickles and German Mustard! When you save all the time, you have money to buy that mustard that was an impulse. And can I tell you how goooooood this mustard is? Had it for lunch yesterday and again today – ham and cheese with mayo and this stuff! To die for! With a pickle on the side.
In the end, it’s all good. Life balances out. I don’t think you can live super extreme to one side or the other. The trick for us is finding a balance we can live with by doing what we feel is right (by becoming more self-sufficient) while not giving up things we absolutely love. Everyone has their own list of things that are must-haves or must-dos. When those are kept in tact, I find the other peripheral things can go. Balance.
On Potato Towers:
Fear not, I will be making the tower this weekend. Meantime, I have cut my seed potatoes and they are drying on my counter so they won’t mold when I plant them. Maddy assures me this is the grossest thing she has had to endure on the counter. I take that as a challenge!
Happy Homesteading all! Talk to you soon!