Welcome to 2012! I keep thinking that I am living in the future. Of course the future is now the present and it quickly goes meta from there and that’s not why you are here now, is it?
With a new year comes new possibilities, a desire to change and make things better in your life. The key to making these changes stick, at least for me, are twofold:
1. I have to want the changes
2. I can’t think about them only in December and January
Makes sense doesn’t it? If the only time you think about such changes in a relatively small window in the year and spend the rest of the year continuing your status quo, what’s the whole point?
I’ve been able to make a lot of changes in my life over the years. Even before finding traditional foods, I cut a lot of modern industrialized foods out of my diet, in 2010 I quit caffeine (but I do occasionally drink coffee and caffeinated tea, still doesn’t affect me much in terms of “pepping me up”), and over the course of three years I managed to reverse my spotty academic record and get a master’s degree with a VERY high GPA. Over the years I have learned a lot of skills to help me change habits and thoughts for the better. But changing those habits is not the point of this post. I can offer advice if you would like such though, ask me in comments.
What I am here to talk about is what I have planned for this coming year. There is a lot I want to accomplish this year, some of it in my hands, some of it… well not so much. It’s just a matter of me doing my best in everything as well as not beating myself up when I don’t manage to do everything.
So what kind of resolutions DO I have in mind for the coming year related to traditional food?
1. GET FRUGAL!
I’m sure a lot of you say this every year. I admit, I have not for a while because with everything else in my life, it wasn’t as much of an option. Now that I have the time again I can think about these things. My reasons for re-embracing frugality are probably ones which will not surprise you.
Money doesn’t spend as it did a while ago. Real food costs a bit more and takes planning, so I want my money to get the best food possible. I also want my money to do as much as possible, which will take more physical effort on my part.
I do have some debt now, which includes paying back my mother. She helped me some with my tuition over the last few years with the clause that I pay her back. That’s less money I have to work with.
I really want to move. Normally I don’t talk about my living set-up much, but here goes. I do live with my mother. I also pay to live here, do a good portion of work around the house, and pay for a lot of food. For many years I did this because I simply could not afford to support myself in this area without incurring a significant portion of debt. At the point when I would have been able to have a no-frills life on my salary, I started school, and opted for a steady home life during that time. Now that I have the degree, my eye is more firmly cast upon my big desire: moving to California. Saving money will help a lot and continue to prepare me for that shift in life.
Now that you all know WHY I want to be frugal, here is how I intend to accomplish it this year.
a. There will be less going out to eat this year and ordering takeaway. Since I am not trying to do 20 things each night, cooking is going to be a lot easier to fit in. I also need to work on cooking and planning more meals for myself. That has been why I call out.
b. Use more of what I have on hand to eat. This means having more to cook around (especially vegetables!) and quick protein sources.
c. Meal Plan. By planning out what to eat once a week, it will be easier to figure out what to buy and how much to keep around. Something my mom and I both want to do is also cut down on the meals which are just cut of meat and vegetable side. (She does a low carb diet so stretchers like grains, rice, and legumes are out for her) Besides, that gets boring! The plan also includes making at least one meal a week which is either egg or cheese based. Hopefully Emily at Holistic Kid will be a help on this front.
c1. Cook different things! This evening I made some New Year’s collards. The recipe I used was one from the Joy of Cooking, using bacon and bacon grease. It was amazing! Here is your motivation to comb through my collection of cookbooks!
c2. When putting away leftovers in the fridge, label them. Otherwise it’s too easy to forget what’s on hand.
d. Make more lacto-fermented and cultured foods. This was one of the first changed I made when starting traditional foods. It helped to find the brand Real Pickles at the health food shop because I was nervous about trying to make then myself. But they cost between 7 and 9 dollars per PINT jar. I can make twice that amount for about half the cost. Plus I do my best to eat them with every meal, so not making them myself racks up quite a bill quickly.
e. Build up my skills for self-sufficiency. True, what I have mentioned here already covers this topic, along with other skills I have accumulated over the years. As I get older, it seems more pressing though. While I am not a doomsday sort of person, I don’t believe our current food system is very sustainable and it behooves us to learn more of how to do a lot of food preparation for ourselves.
If you are looking to get more frugal with your life, check out the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge at Frugally Sustainable. It starts this Friday, so you still have time to sign up!
If you are trying to convert your kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen, you must check out the beginner videos from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
2. Clean out my stuff!
It’s the moving plan. I don’t want to have to move things I no longer need or use. There is clothing which no longer fits me, media I no longer need, and tchotckes taking up space. Some of those items can be unloaded for money as well, which will help with the debt.
Wardeh from GNOWFLGLINS mentioned Home Storage Solutions 101 as a potential source for getting organized in the coming year. They also deliver tips on how to get rid of things you no longer need.
3. Get moving again!
I have my regular walk to work getting to and from the bus, and I have a morning yoga practice, but aside from that, I’ve been very lax in getting any other exercise in. The first step on this journey has already been taken: I am back to bouncing on a rebounder and practicing belly dance. One of my Yule gifts was a gift certificate to my trainer’s new gym, which is in walking distance of my house. I would LOVE to add some regular strength training again. Perhaps I can get get back to using my Wii for its original purpose of Wii Fit and Wii Active, and not as a Netflix delivery system.
I also have goals specifically related to the blog.
1. Get I Believe in Butter on its own server. One of my closest friends does blog design (among a host of other things) so I am planning to hire her. (Er, and if she reads this she now knows my potential plan.)
2. Monetize! I want to make at least enough to cover the cost of design and hosting. I even have an idea for an ebook but that’s going to take a while.
3. Post at least twice a week, every week.
4. Figure out how to make Feedburner work properly.
5. Continue to do and educate myself so I have more to post.
6. I have no sense of scale so I have no idea what numbers to set for myself for fans, subscribers, etc. I can admit it! So maybe the last one is to figure out the marketing angle.
Actually, scratch that. I do have two figured I would like to reach. First I want to double my Facebook fan number by my birthday at the end of July. Currently the number stands at 773. When I turn 38 I want 1,500 fans. Second, I want to regularly have my daily hits number in the 100s. This is going to take a lot of work and some good posting, but I do believe strongly that I can do this.
7. Remember not to let this take over my life since I am still working full time and want to have a social life again. 🙂
What are you all resolving to do this year?
I’m sharing this post at Monday Mania, the Nourishing New Year’s Resolution Carnival, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Sunday School.
Note: I do not receive any commission from any link posted in this post. They are all of my own desire to share.