One Less Thing: My 365 Experiment

I’m having trouble buying gifts for others lately.  I just think we all have too much stuff, myself included.  I’ve been working regularly for a few years to remove unnecessary things from our house and our lives on a regular basis.  I’ve found it’s easier to do a small amount of work regularly than it is to try to carve out time to make an overhaul.

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Do One Thing: Stop Buying New Stuff (My 365 Experiment)

This month I’m challenging you to do one thing every day. It doesn’t seem like much if you look at it on a daily basis, but a continued focus on doing one thing will lead to amazing results.

Surprise! You don’t need new stuff.  I don’t either. We’ve both got more than we could ever use in both of our lifetimes.  Try something new this year. Make it a point not to buy anything new, try creative ideas to thrift, borrow or repurpose items to eliminate new stuff from your life.

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Shop at thrift stores. I love shopping at thrift stores; I’ve done it for years.  But this year, I’ve made more of a focus to primarily shop at thrift stores.  If I can find a gently used item that I need, it saves me from buying the item new.  Sure there are lots of reasons to do this – the environment and my pocketbook – but my favorite is the search.  I love finding great deals and unique pieces.  And yes, much of my wardrobe is from a thrift store.  I love making it work.

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Your Smoothie Strategy – waste less & eat healthier

Our whole family love smoothies and I make them weekly in our house.  I love knowing exactly what my kids are eating and knowing that I can use up all of my old, mushy fruit so we waste less.  In fact, the more we eat smoothies, the better we feel (especially in the summer – it’s a great way to cool down).

You don’t have to buy new stuff to make great smoothies, but I totally get it why Will Smith was passionate about his blender in “Enemy of the State” (watch it: worth your time) – I’ve gotten two for gifts over the years and my excitement grows with each new blender.

Make Smoothie Space In Your Freezer

Get yourself set-up to be organized by creating a small space in your freezer for the smoothie supplies.  You’ll also need some way to store the old, mushy fruit in individual servings (we use reusable containers or sometimes ziploc-style bags) I always have smoothie ingredients ready to go in a small plastic bin in my freezer filled with smoothie ingredients.  It’s much faster to grab the items I want in the morning easily and whip up a unique blend for my smoothie.

Simple Smoothie Ingredients for the Perfect Smoothie

(notice – no added sugar, if I need a sweetener I use a little fruit juice or pineapple).  I use whatever I have on hand and mix ingredients until my blender is full:

  • Frozen fruit (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, blueberries) – leftover & mushy is fine! Just freeze it
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, raspberries)
  • 100% Fruit Juice (apple juice, orange juice) – a little goes a long way
  • Water (or ice) – use this to get the consistency you want
  • Optional: Spinach, Chia Seeds, Nut Butter

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Make better ice cubes for Smoothies.

Sure, an icy smoothie is my favorite, but sometimes the ice can make it taste watered down.  Now, I make ice cube in advance.  I use nearly expired yogurt, the juice from canned fruit, or extras from when I make too much smoothie to make flavorful ice cubes that add more nutrition to my smoothie.  Just pour the extras in a dollar-store ice cube tray and freeze.  You can bag them up and pick out what you want when you need it.

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Be smart with the extras.

We make our smoothies in mega batches.  Usually everyone in the house gets their own reusable, insulated cup.  And we’ve also started freezing our extras in Popsicle containers.  The kids are ecstatic when they get to eat Popsicle for breakfast – and it’s just fruit, ice/water and spinach! Yum!

Smoothies are a fun, easy, healthy addition to your diet.  Use these simple tips to make them a regular part of your meals.

Weirdo ideas that really make sense

You’ve got awesome stuff that can work harder for you.  You look at these things regularly, but have you really maximized the potential of your stuff? Here are a few things that I’ve found that really make sense, once you get beyond the “weirdo” component–then you begin to see the awesome, frugal potential of the many things around you.

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Live with Less: Eliminate “Just In Case”

We are abundantly blessed to have more than we could ever need.  And unfortunately, many of us bring our abundance with us wherever we go and it’s not helping; in fact it could be hurting us. Keeping just in case items close at all of the time is draining and requires more time, effort and money to make sure these items are available if they could ever possibly be needed.  Turns out these items are probably not needed at all.

I recently read an article that stuck with me, “Getting Rid of Just In Case,” and I think it helped re-drive home the point of the non-necessity of “just in case.” In it, the authors have purposefully live a minimalist lifestyle and have eliminated just in case items completely.  Their theory is that any “just in case” item, if really needed, can be purchased for less than $20 and within 20 minutes of their current location.  And they’ve found it worked for them 100% of the time. I’ve tried it and I agree, you don’t need “just in case” and the $20/20 solution is a good (and refreshing) back up to help you lessen your “just in case” load.

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