Monday, February 16, 2009

Money Monday: February 16

I took a rather large hit this week, but it’s one of those instances where a larger up-front payment gives you a really good return on the investment: I rejoined our CSA, Fresh Edibles, for the coming season.

I’m paying $250 for twelve weekly deliveries of fresh, organic-method produce – the average cost per delivery is $20.83. Having enjoyed their produce very much last season, I know I’m in for generously-portioned boxes of really good produce.

I’ll admit I pondered it for a bit before I hit the ‘buy’ button. With things being as tight as they are, nothing is automatically sacred…and the more emotionally attached I am to them, the harder I inspect them.

But ultimately, I felt it was worth doing. I’m not willing to cut fresh produce out of our diet, so I’m going to be buying it one way or another…and I know the value received will be extremely good on this CSA deal.

These sorts of deals can be awesome, but they do require a pretty significant cash outlay at the outset. It’s a lot like breaking into the bulk-buying racket; sure, you pay a lot less per pound of flour when you buy fifty pounds at a time instead of the five pound bags at the supermarket, but at the same time…it’s $13 bucks for the fifty pounds, instead of $3 for the five.

It can be hard to build up the capital to break into this kind of buying, but the rewards can be tremendous. When I’m doing it right, I can bring our weekly grocery bill down under a hundred bucks, with one huge outlay each quarter followed by tiny nibbles of under $40 a week at the supermarket.

When it comes to building up that capital…well, there are lots of ways. The fastest is to indulge in a spending fast – don’t buy anything for a while. Make do with what you have. Make it a game! Pretend that the social order has completely broken down, and you can’t buy anything! Just you and your wits, against a savage new reality in which there are no supermarkets, no malls, no…how will you survive?!

This can make for really interesting conversations around the office, especially if you start stalking “prey” in the break room. Hours of entertainment!

Ahem. Anyway. A spending fast is always an interesting exercise for me. Every time I start thinking that I run a pretty tight ship, thank you, well, a spending fast will clear my head right on up.

I have countless luxuries, especially if I’m counting the home-made ones. I may not buy very many coffees from Starbucks, but I make an awful lot of them here at home. Running out of coffee in the middle of a spending fast brings me to my knees lickity split. Likewise diet Pepsi. I can become…rather irate…when I go to grab a stupid diet soda and there are no more sodas in there WHATEVER SHALL I DO?! {swoon!}

I find it to be not only a great cash-saving device, but a marvelous way of keeping perspective on things. What a blessing it is, to be able to run to the store for a pound or ten of coffee! What luxury it is, having enough to eat, warm things to wear on stormy days, enough yarn to keep me amused when the working day is done!

It really helps me love what I already have, when I have to say ‘no’ to all the new things clamoring for my attention.

I’ll have to do my menu later…it’s getting late, Denizens are demanding hugs and cuddles before bed. They’ve been home all day thanks to the holiday, and friends…well. Working with all four of those kids home?


The last email I sent out today was interrupted no fewer than six times…and it was only a two sentence email! By the time I hit send, Captain Adventure had skidded into my bedroom and:

1. Pulled the drive-belt off my spinning wheel and then announced, “Uh-oh, is broken, mommy!”

2. Stuck a stuffed snake into my harp, wedging its head between the soundboard and the support arches…and then started walking away still holding the tail of the snake, and thus dragging my harp behind him like a puppy on a leash. Ack! (Also, he is one strong little buggar!)

3. Given me heart failure by announcing, with great feeling, “I need-it wash my haaaaaaands…OUCH, THAT HOT!!!”

4. Hit me several times in the back of the head with a fly swatter.

5. Gotten an office chair from the student center, and ridden it like a race horse around and around and around my office, shrieking wildly and smacking everything within reach with the damned fly swatter.

6. Pulled an random half-dozen books off the shelf in a fit of pique because I was not playing.with.him.

Sometimes, I really wish he’d move on from this ‘mommy is my goddess and the center of my life’ phase. What about daddy, huh? Why can’t daddy be the Favored One for a while?

1 comment:

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

Eh. Every time it's all about Daddy around here I start feeling left-out and unappreciated.

I guess that's what makes us women?