Going on a diet

I know I know, the first thing you think of is Garfield: “Diet is just die with a ‘t’ at the end”

But this isn’t that kind of diet.

I’ve been somewhat inspired by all my cleaning out of stuff, and also by seeing Crazy Aunt Purl’s decision to do the same thing. I’ve been thinking about something like this for awhile, especially since, really, most of it is just stuff. So I’m going on a “no spending” diet, and I’m going to see if I can’t pinch a bit more out of our budget to go into savings while I whittle away at the clutter and unnecessary things hanging around this apartment.

I’ve a few motivations for this:

  1. Stuff is *expensive* and driving to go get it is getting worse. I live in one of the most inexpensive areas of the country to get gas, and that’s not saying much. If we’re not buying stuff, we’re saving money on two ends.
  2. Electricity is even more expensive, and it’s getting to be Texas in the summer. The electric bill is likely to go up astronomically, even with the AC set at 78 or 80 degrees.
  3. I work as a substitute teacher, and I want to go back to school to get a Masters degree. This means possible education expenses on my end, and no income from my job until September.
  4. We’re kicking around the idea of buying our first house, and that means we need to trim down. The less stuff we have, the less we have to move, and I do not want to move clutter/junk.
  5. (crunchy granola moment) I feel like I live a bloated lifestyle. I know many people that grow their own vegetables and don’t run the air conditioner and make a lot of their own clothes, and – while some of that kind of thing isn’t possible for me right now – that kind of lifestyle appeals to me. Maybe I won’t go so far as to never shop at a grocery store again, but switching to inexpensive/homemade cleaners, cloth grocery bags, local produce, and air-drying what clothing I can (the apartment contract won’t let me have a clothes line) are things I know I can do to cut down on our “carbon footprint”.

What I haven’t decided is how the SCA stuff is going to fit into that particular paradigm. Any events that we want to attend require at least 1.5, and sometimes upwards of 5, hours of driving each way. Add to that a $20-$30 event fee, and the cost of food, and this starts to get to be a pricey day out. I know for sure I’m going to an event in June (since I’m teaching a class there), but that may be the only event we get to until later in the summer or the fall, especially with an already planned trip away for a weekend in July.

But I know that the no-stuff diet is going to force me to only sew, knit, and spin from my stash, so that’s at least one thing I know I’ll get to continue for the time being. And hey – medieval folks managed to make gowns out of a lot less than the fabric I have hanging around, so I’m sure I can figure something out.

Anyway – my crunchy granola-ness aside, this all just seems like a smart thing to do, especially since we’re young and still setting up our future. Hopefully making habits out of some of this will help in the long run.