#1) Our February focus is saving money through DIY so yesterday, I gave Angie a haircut. This is nothing new for us though. I started cutting Angie’s hair a few years ago. For a while we got out of the habit of home haircuts. It’s so much simpler to go to Great Clips and let someone else deal with the mess and the cleanup, but monthly haircuts are expensive…even at Great Clips. With tip, it costs us $32 per month for two really easy cuts. I purchased this Conair Simple Cut kit from Amazon as an add-on item. It was less than $8. We’ve used it more than 20 times in the past two years and it’s still going strong. Of course, Angie cleans and oils it after every use. Today, I’m up for a haircut. Angie has less experience with my hair. We’ve only cut mine at home maybe 6 times (and my mom did one of those). Sure it’s scary at first to cut your own hair but what’s the worst that can happen? Hair grows back.
#2) Cutting costs on groceries remains a priority. We’re still using the mom-velope to keep spending on mom’s groceries separate from ours and that’s working well. However, we’ve spent $144 so far this month on groceries and household. That’s up a little bit but includes a bulk meat purchase, Super Bowl snacks (veggies and fixings for mini subs), and baby food for our unexpected little visitor. Our dining out budget (if we had one) would be blown this month too. We had a family dinner at Cracker Barrel last week and will be going to my nephew’s 13th birthday dinner at his favorite steakhouse tomorrow.
#3) We went to Farm Fest last Saturday at Hendersonville Produce. It was a chance to meet local farmers and producers and sample some of their products. The first time we went to HP last year, we weren’t impressed. But then again, nothing will ever compare to the Amish Market we’d grown accustomed to shopping in Florida. Meeting the local producers gave us a chance to sample products that we might have overlooked in the store and it really elevated HP as a place we might like to shop. We also met farmers from two CSAs. We’ve thought about buying a CSA farm share for a while now but I’m still on the fence. A half-share (a half bushel of produce weekly for 28 weeks) is $560. If you’re a CSA member, what do you think about the program you’re in?
#4) We’re taking our first mini vacation next week – unless it snows. Smoky Mountains here we come! I’m hoping to do some hiking, take lots of photos, and visit a wildlife refuge (though the bears may still be in hibernation).
#5) I am firmly convinced that we live in an ashtray. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the state of Tennessee should probably be called the Ashtray of the South. I just Googled “number of smokers in Tennessee” and found that we rank 5th in states with the highest number of adult smokers. The four states that rank higher are all close by too (KY, WV, MS, and AR). The last two states we lived in – Colorado and Florida – rank 34th and 38th respectively. I know smoking is a personal choice and I respect that…except when it interferes with my ability to live a happy, healthy life. When I have to walk to the mailbox along a pathway strewn with cigarette butts, I’m not very happy.