Saving money?

A few years ago, I started using coupons and following all of these blogs about how you can save so much money by using coupons.  I was able to get a lot of things for free or, at least, close to free.  But (and you knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you?) now I’m trying to clean out my kitchen, organize, simplify, and minimize.

I’ve slowly been cleaning out cabinets.  Going through my dishes hasn’t been all that difficult as I tend to do that every year.  Since I very rarely buy any new dishes (except  for travel mugs/glasses for work…that’s a whole different blog post), I’m finally at a place where I don’t have a lot to get rid of.

Now I’m tackling the pantry.  Since I haven’t been feeling well (gosh, for what?  Like the past three years?), I’m just doing a little bit each evening while doing the dishes.  I started on one shelf, took out boxes and cans, checking the expiration dates.  I’m ashamed to admit how many cans of veggies or soup I’ve tossed because they were well past the expiration date.  Anyhow, my method is to go through the items until I’ve found a minimum of five items to discard.  Some days that’s pretty quick work.

pantry...before

pantry…before

You know, I was so proud of myself for being able to save so much money when I was buying all of this stuff.  But, honestly, how much money did I really save when I’m now pitching probably half of what I bought?

I’ve learned a couple of lessons here.  One, don’t buy so much processed food.  Fresh is healthier and I tend to actually use it because I knowingly buy small quantities so it won’t go bad on me.  Two, I’m not really saving money if the things I buy end up in the trash.  Okay, make it three lessons.  One person doesn’t need a lot.  When you see all of those stockpiles people have created, it’s not meant for one person.

I’m going to continue cleaning out the pantry.  I don’t know exactly how long it’ll take to get it done, but I’ll eventually finish it.  I’ll do a post later about my pared down pantry (hmm…I’ll have to remember that for the title).

Do you buy more than you need and then toss a lot?  I know a lot of folks say they do that with fresh produce, is that where you have issues?  Or is it in other areas?

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Saving and losing

Ahh…looks like we may have a day without rain..hard to believe, I know, but that’s what they’re saying about tomorrow.  The clouds actually disappeared and the sun finally reappeared this afternoon.

I managed to get in quite a bit of exercise today…exercise bike and lower body strength training this morning, walking on the treadmill this afternoon, some silly dancing this evening…that silly dancing sure put a smile on my face.  How could I have forgotten how much I enjoy music and dancing? 

Prepared a pasta/veggie dish to take to work for the rest of the week..not the best thing I’ve ever made, but certainly not the worst either.  I had some fresh veggies I wanted to use before they went bad (broccoli and mushrooms), so I added them to veggie pasta with some sauce, onion, garlic and mozzarella cheese.  I probably would like it more if I hadn’t put the broccoli in it.  I don’t really know why I continue to buy broccoli when I don’t particularly like it…because it’s supposed to be so good for you?  Guess I need to find another veggie that is just as good for me but that I like a lot more…

I got some fun stuff in my mailbox the past couple of days

A sizeable sample of Tide stain release, a Salonpas pain patch, a coupon for a free package of Uncle Ben’s rice, and a Physician’s Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum.  Not a bad couple of days, huh?  I also got in on a giveaway on facebook today for a free Pilates dvd and found out I was the winner of a giveaway on The Prudent Patron.  I won the Charmies online giveaway…very cute jewelry charms…looking forward to doing some shopping at Charmies!!

I’m excited to report that I’m finally gaining some control over my eating.  I  thought about preparing pizza today, but quickly opted for the pasta dish instead.  I was able to eat just one serving of that whereas I might have eaten a couple of servings of the pizza.  I think that’s a certain amount of progress, to know that I would be tempted to eat more than I should and avoid the situation.

So…a nice day of sunshine, saving money, losing weight, and gaining fitness…a pretty good Tuesday!