Living Well, Cheaply

It’s become a game: Figuring out how cheaply we can live well. Not long after we moved out here into the country, I realized that our monthly expenses are less than half of what they were in the big city. And I discovered that life here runs at a much slower more laid back pace.

A long time ago, a friend in the city was complaining that he needed some work done on this mountain cabin. He could find people who had the skills he needed, but none of them had the ‘hustle’ needed to take on the job. I understand now.  It’s called ‘working to live’, not ‘living to work’.

I’m going to apply for my Social Security benefits a few months early.  That will cover a big portion of my monthly expenses.  As a result, the amount of income I will have to generate each month will be 20%-25% of what it was a year ago. When the car and my little bit of credit card debt are paid off we can live off almost nothing, and live well.

Tonight I’m making Grilled Salmon Paella for dinner. Once a month a buy a whole side of salmon at Costco and so one night a week we have salmon.  The rest of the ingredients (rice, sausage, spices) cost next to nothing. I buy pork shoulder 15 pounds at a time and grind my own sausage. Homemade sausage ravioli becomes very inexpensive. I found a farmer up here who sells me fresh eggs for $2/dozen (less than half the cost in the supermarket).

So the question keeps popping into my mind: What else can I do differently that saves me money but still allow me to live well? I’ve found a blog, Mr. Money Mustache who has lived this quest his whole life and so I’m spending some time reading it.

I’m already thinking about putting in a pellet stove before next winter because there are a lot more BTUs per dollar from wood pellets than from electricity.



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