One of the things about eating vegan is that it is actually a lot cheaper than the standard American diet.  When your base is variations of rice and beans and there is no processed food, the grocery bill drops--even when shopping at Whole Foods.*

And so I've become curious if there are other places where my lifestyle could be simplified.  After all, if the standard American diet isn't the most healthy for us, what if there are other things in our lifestyle that are unhealthy, too?

I recently ran across Dave Bruno's blog, who wrote the The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul. Dave is taking on American consumerism--especially as it relates to what we believe it takes to have a suburban lifestyle.

I've always thought I was pretty frugal.  After all, I'm a TJMaxx girl instead of a Nordstrom's girl. I'm not into expensive handbags. We buy lower-end cars.  But the thing I do a lot, is pay money to buy time. This includes things like donating a rice cooker that still works and picking up a new one that takes less time to clean, buying supplies for an art project because it will take to long to dig through what I've got, buying an additional hair dryer so I don't have to wait for the one at work...and while on the surface that may seem practical, the biggest challenge is that I often make expedient purchases rather than thoughtful ones.  Not only that, but it feels great to have new stuff.  A blank canvas is way more fun to paint on than reusing one where you botched the project. A new sweater simply feels better than a patched one. And the list goes on...

I'm not sure how this new definition of being a 'frugalista' will impact me.  Still percolating on that...

* While this should have positively affected our budget, it hasn't.   Many nights I am way too tired to cook and we eat out--expensive for vegans. My rationale is... "with all the money we are saving on groceries..."


Shannah said...

I also struggle with energy at the end of the day, but have developed some workarounds. Have you contemplated taking a Saturday to do a lot of precooking (rice, legumes, etc). These items can be frozen in plastic bags (remove as much air as possible) in typical recipe portion quantities. In the morning, before you head off to work, pull out the basic "ingredient" bags that you'll need and let them thaw all day in the refrigerator.

Cathy_H said...

Shannah, precooking is a great idea!

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