Snack packs & disposable stuff I appreciate [day 27]

Honestly?  The challenge isn’t so bed.  Trying to blog it everyday?  That’s the difficult part. I think I need to do my challenges, take notes, then blog about the lifestyle changes.  OR, maybe I just don’t blog everyday.  OR, I micro blog with social media.

Today, I’ll add 3 photos.  It’s like a blog picture book.  I can do pictures.  😉

Here’s a disposable item I like.  Needles and syringes.  My recent trip to the doctors office made me think that there a few things that are good being disposable.

needles and syringes Continue reading

…and what should break next?

On the last day of my no retail shopping challenge, I started my day as I do everyday.  I turn on my espresso machine so it will heat up to make my latte.  I got one latte out of it before it started constantly running, trying desperately to fill itself up with water, but to no avail.  I’ve had this sweet little machine for over 6 years now.  It’s not one you replace, it’s one you take in to get repaired.  (You can read my cost analysis on this here)  Just guessing, this machine would cost more new than what my 15 year old car is worth.  I wouldn’t buy a new car unless I had to, so I’m not going to buy a new espresso machine either.

My little Pasquinni is safely seatbelted in the front seat of the car, ready for his trip to the repair shop.  Should I have put him in the backseat?  Hmmm, he’s pretty tough and could probably handle the air bag.  When I called the repair shop, the lady on the phone had to be the nicest person I’ve ever spoke with in a repair place.  After making my arrangements, she asked me, “Do you have a back up plan?”  I love her!!  She gets it!!  Yes, I’m a coffee addict and I have a back up plan.  Awesomeness.

I have no idea how much this is going to cost to fix, but it has to be cheaper than buying a new one.  6+ years with no problems and I use it everyday.  I call that good.  If I have to get it repaired every six years, I can live with that.  Honestly, if I was better about cleaning it, I might not be taking it in this week.

Ownership of pretty much anything requires maintenance and repairs at some point.  I just had the hot tub fixed, now the espresso machine.  I hope things don’t really come in threes.  If so, let me count the repairs to the pop-up camper we just got.  Off to make a latte… on my borrowed back up machine.

rethinking a good purchase [day 340]

Some would say I broke the challenge on a purchase this weekend, but if I did, it was in every effort to rethink good.  I was in Mexico, which is why I haven’t been blogging the last few days.  The internet was sporadic and I simply had something better to do… spend time with over 100 beautiful kids.  So what did I buy?   3 corn brooms and 2 padlocks.  I bought other stuff, but that fell into the approved categories of food and toiletries.

My Spanish is limited to about 25 words, so even had I wanted to explain the no shopping challenge, that would not have been possible.  These kids work so hard to keep the orphanage clean, I would have bought them a truckload of brooms if they wanted them.

The locks, although not spoken, had to be for the food pantry and cleaning supply room.  It’s just easier to maintain these when there are some controls in place.

These kids are completely amazing and they take care of each other like nothing I’ve ever seen.  I miss them terribly and I can’t wait to get back down there.  I’ll blog a little more on my shopping trip and other fun adventures down there shortly.  Shopping for necessities really doesn’t take that much thought.  We bought what they needed.  No more, no less.  So did I break my challenge rules?  Yes, no doubt, but it was the right thing to do and I feel great about it.

fast waste [day 315]

I love pretty much any condiment, mustard, ketchup, sour cream, grape jelly, salsa… you name it.  I’ve been referred to as the condiment queen.  This is a problem to me in the world of fast food.  There’s so much plastic and paper waste associated with it.  I looked up condiment packaging and found a few eco-friendly alternatives.  For me, this brings up a bigger question.  The word “ECO” is used a lot these days.  I’m glad people are coming up with eco-friendly options that are much better for the environment, but here’s my question.

Should we just be content with using products that are a little bit better for the environment or should we be trying to scale back our use of disposable products?

I’m trying to do both.  I’m not always successful as you can see in the photo, but those were given with my meal, not upon request, but just assumed I would eat them all.  I’ve cut way back on the fast food consumption over the past year.  Meals are supposed to be a time of fellowship and relaxation.  If my lifestyle needs fast food, I need to make some changes.

My ideas were validated a few days ago by the cost of fast food.  My 2 boys and I went to Sonic.  I’m usually all over the price shopping part of eating, but this day, I decided to let them order whatever they wanted.  They both ordered modestly, as did I.  Almost $18.00 spent and the kids were still hungry.  A few days later, we went to a sit-down restaurant.  This time it was me and the kids, but we brought a friend along as well.  Including ‘good’ food for all of us, one beer and one dessert, the total was around $35, including the tip.  There’s a price for all that packaging, not to mention the nutritional value of fast food.

Also, I’m not sure why, but the magic number of napkins seems to be 6.  Why do I need 6 napkins with a sandwich?  Do I look that messy?  If they give out 5 extra napkins per person, with an average customer count of 450 a day, that’s 2,250 napkins that go in a landfill.  And that’s just napkins.

I’m not saying I will never eat fast food again (although I’m leaning in that direction), but I will be doing it even less now.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat fast food either.  We should all be aware of the effects of it though.  There are times where the fast food meal is not a bad idea, but doing it regularly will cost you a lot of money, aid in destroying our earth and eventually will break your heart.