free(ish) doings

While we are reducing our stuff, we are also limit unnecessary use of resources.  The biggest resource we're keeping a cap on is our spending.  While we are not an extravagant family, we usually spend more money than we feel comfortable with.  Our food costs in particular seem fairly high (although talking with other families, spending fifty percent or more of the monthly income on groceries is not that unusual).  We've cut our own weekly bill down seventy five percent over the past month and a half.   

I can't talk about our new food budget yet, I still a little hesitant and am adjusting slowly.  Food for me, like so many others, is one of those things that stands for much more than caloric energy and health.  Food is also love, socialization, abundance, cheap therapy.  It's been oddly emotional for both The Man and I to work out how we feel about limiting our food budget.

However, spending less in other areas of our life is surprisingly easy.  We have essentially reaffirmed many of the things we already do and enjoy for low cost or free.  Bonus, the thing that we all despise is shopping.  It's nice when things work out sometimes.

Being outdoors is a lifestyle mainstay around here.  Our small city is positively riddled with walking and bike paths.  As soon as the pea gravel comes off of them, I will out with my roller skates.  (I have a derby friend who has already been out, skating along side snow banks and dodging the gravel laid during the winter.  I do not believe in gravel.  He can have the hardcore Canadian Roller Derby Player award for this one.)

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Walking is free(ish).  And with friends is even better.

Boy child is into dogs at the moment, so a trip over to the off leash area is extra special for him.

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I think this dog needs a bigger stick.

We also hit the library several times a week, another thing we have always done.  The change is that instead of buying coffee to drink at the library while we hunt for books, play board games, read or use the activities in the children's area, I have been cultivating an appreciation for fountain water.  Well, not really, but the water is free(ish).  Still, going home for coffee with fresh books is a treat.

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Reading at home.  How in the world can anyone feel poor with a few hundred (borrowed) books surrounding you?  One thing I do miss is reading in the coffee shop - a luxury not currently in our budget - and, unintentionally, our living room is starting to look more and more like a cozy coffee shop.  The children like to arrange the chairs as they see fit and they orientate them into a Starbucks-esque figuration, with a cup of something yummy to sip on a newby low table while they go through their books.

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(I just remembered I owe y'all my list of books I read in March.  I read some good ones!  Hopefully I can get them up here in the next few days.) 

I don't know how this fits into the budget but I did promise The Man fifty million dollars to take the kids out to the playground tonight while I cleaned up supper.

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I think, despite our new budget, some debt is necessary.

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