The practice of simplicity

I’ve been on this kick for the last few months about living as simply as possible. It started with an attempt to same money and has grown from there. The truth is that I was living pretty damn moderately to begin with, in fact some would say there wasn’t much more I could do, but I am determined to spend as little as humanly possible these days. I’m not cheap about anything – trust me. Expensive, luxurious…these things come pretty natural to me. My idea of a vacation is five star, not hostel. Therefore I prefer to call my new path one of simplicity rather than the cheap word.

I’m not a back to nature, live off the grid, eat only organic type either. I’m not, as a friend likes to label, “granola”. I’m just an average person realizing that I can do more, save more and make less of an impact. I am also single, which probably helps out quite a bit in my quest. I can’t see a family of four living the same way, but maybe they could.

With that said, let me bring you up to speed: It all started with the goal of spending $20 a week at the grocery store. This is my goal though more times than not I walk out the doors having spent $25 – 30. Still, I think that’s pretty great. As anyone who has popped into the grocery store for one or two things will know, it’s nearly impossible to do for less than $20, the fact that I can get an entire week’s worth of food for that much astounds me. But I am always looking for areas of improvement.

Take, for example, granola bars. I eat two a day for lunch. They’re convenient, low-calorie(ish) and so darn easy. I see however, how much I spend on them every week and how few you get in a box and I wondered if I could make them cheaper and more healthy. To me (at least this month) having as few “extra” things in my food is important. Though the mystery bits may add a lot of flavor (which I doubt) I’m just not interested in consuming them. This past Monday was my first round of experimentation and though I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the results (they are big white tubes with chunks – let your mind drift)…I’m not completely disheartened and for $0.25 and 130 cal. each, a cost-efficient effort on my part. Once I’ve come up with something I’m proud of, I’ll share the recipe.

My point though isn’t just about food. I think that if you take some time and look at your life there are plenty of ways to simplify. The more I look, the more committed I become. I’m seeing the world with different eyes and that is an amazing thing.

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