Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

STUFF again

I hate feeling like I live in a garage.  Time after time I rid my house of STUFF and time after time it came right back.  I believe this time will be the last time.  By golly, I think I get it now! My thinking process has totally changed.  Well, at least I believe it has.

I’m clearing out STUFF and giving my theory a test.  Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong.  Only time will tell.  All I can do is try.  I started here.

Organizing 2014 159

This is actually an extra bedroom that I’ve been using for a food pantry and storage room.  When the doctor prescribed daily insulin shots a couple of weeks ago it gave me a shock.  I thought not me!  But yes, it was me.  I started doing research into diets and causes of diabetes.  I do believe in learning as much as I can about an illness or condition instead of simply trusting the doctor.  What I’ve read in books or online and documentary videos I’ve watched gave me a new attitude toward life.  I believe the most influential of these were these four videos.   TED talk by a guy named Ron Finley who talks about food deserts; a documentary about hidden sugars in the foods we eat everyday;  a video called Food Matters which is about how foods have changed over the years; and a video by Katie Couric about America’s sugar addiction (click the “play the trailer” button) which talks about how we are all addicted to sugar and diets don’t work.  These four things are what opened my eyes and why I wanted to start changing my eating habits.

Organizing 2014 158

It was the process of clearing out all the sugar laden food in my pantry that started me looking at other parts of my home.  I knew I needed to get rid of lots of STUFF in other places too.  For example, there is a love seat couch under all that STUFF.  Ladybug asked me “Na Na how can we set to cuddle on the couch if you have your stuff on it?”  Smart for a six year old. I looked around me, and once again, my house is filled with STUFF.  I’m now officially a permanent empty nester.  Which means no more people moving in or moving out.  Absolutely no reason to have all this STUFF.  Yeah, yeah, I’ve said it before and gotten side tracked.  I’m not sure I can explain it.  Pictures and actions work better. This time, it’s different.

Organizing 2014 161

This time I’m not swamped with quilting commitments that interfere with doing a really good house clean out.  I stopped quilting for others completely in order to concentrate on my health issues.  No more claiming I’m semi-retired while actually working full time.  The added benefit is there is lots of free time to do whatever I want to do.

I started by cleaning out every food containing hidden sugar that I had in the pantry.  What’s left is only foods I’ve canned (bottled) myself and cans of fruit and some containers of baking items.  Oh yes, and lots of packages of beans which will eventually be canned too.  I still have some industrial canned foods in this photo but those are going to the local food pantry Saturday. I’ll be replacing those with my own canning as soon as I’m able to purchase the food at the farmer’s market or grow it myself.

Food and kitchen 2014 182

Cleaning the pantry of tempting foods has energized me to clean out other STUFF too.  Next to clean out was the freezer.  I was so enthused to get stuff out of the house I forgot to take a before photo.  The after makes me just feel good.  Before the clean out the freezer was so full I couldn’t put even an envelope into it.  Food wasn’t being eaten because I couldn’t get to it to cook it.  I gave away expensive roasts and hams and bunches of frozen vegetables.  I kept asking myself, if it’s not being eaten why am I keeping it?  For my next life or my next family?

Food and kitchen 2014 181

There is only about a fraction remaining of the food I had managed to stuff in there.  I couldn’t possibly eat it all by myself and the neighbors are more than happy to help me eat it.  My daughter took quite a bit and some went to the food pantry.  Now that I’m in a cleaning mode I’m going to continue getting STUFF out of my life.  One item at a time, one day at a time.

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