October 2018 – Bottles And Accountability
Happy November once again! I don’t know where you’re from, but around here a lot of people have some beef with the month of November. It’s neither cozy autumn, nor solstice-December. But I object! November is more than rain, wind and increasingly below-freezing temperatures! It’s also a time for tea, blankets, candles, staying inside, all things cozy and… accountability for all the things we spent on in October.
Will they come and demand I give my frugal card back soon? Because I keep spending money on stuff that is not technically essential, and yet I don’t even have the audacity to regret it.
As very recent homeowners (not yet moved in), we will see a large change in our fixed expenses very soon. But as of right now, they are still 9500 NOK ($1150) in rent, about 600 NOK ($72) in electricity, 200 NOK ($24) per person for phone service, and around 200 NOK ($24) for bus tickets. On top of that, we spend about 4000 NOK ($480) on food and household items per month, which is a very roomy budget for two people, and definitely one we could cut down on if we needed to. But after years as students, we are both enjoying the thrill of being allowed to loosen our belts a little bit on the tightwad grocery budget we’re used to.
Half a lamb
As some of you already know, we bought half a lamb earlier last month in an effort to be more conscious about meat consumption. With the invaluable help of my best friend M, we have been butchering, salting, curing, boiling and freezing more meat than I have ever seen in one setting before. Just thinking about it makes me tired, because it was hard work and we were both exhausted. The only thing not yet done is some salted meat stored in the larder for curing – just to see if we can get it right without freezing.
Because we had another friend who wanted in as well, we bought two lambs and have been giving some to friends who are on some hard times. It cost about $400 originally, but M covered almost half and other friend paid his quarter, so we’re only out about $130 for the experience.
The most extravagant item this month though? Two Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. I have been wanting something nicer and more spill-safe than glass bottles for dragging around on trips and out and about, and Klean Kanteens just… look nice. Plus, they’re all stainless steel and one exchangeable silicone ring for sealing power. I got a regular one for myself and an insulated one for Mr. Frugasaurus and we both love them. Bonus; we got two that were big enough so it’s easy to keep tabs on our water levels throughout the day. I used to love glass for my reusable water bottle needs – but they are a bit on the heavy side, and it all adds up. Cost: $100.
Since we got married this summer, immediate family (parents, grandparents and – in Mr. Frugasaurus’ case, a great-grandmother) will be expecting framed photos for the holiday season. The good thing being, of course, that we don’t have to wonder about what to get them.
So far, we’ve paid $30 to get nice, quality prints about A4 sized of the most “wedding picture”esque picture in our loot pile (pictures courtesy of our awesome hobby photographer friend). We haven’t found nice frames we like yet, but this is one instance where I’ll be willing to buy new to get something timeless we’re both proud to give away. Families tend to be very sentimental/traditional about weddings, after all.
Other than that I bought lunch (gasp) twice (!!) at work this month. Once when Mr. Frugasaurus came for a visit and another time when I was feeling sapped of energy and wanted something more vegetable-filled than my oat porridge with raisins. It did wonders for my mood and ability to finish my work day, but I know – I know! Frugal cone of shame for me.
After I moved my blog from wordpress to independent hosting, you might have noticed that there were no longer any ads running rampant. That’s because I haven’t wanted to put them up again or figure out how to put them up. On WordPress it was just this handy dandy yes/no button, but when you’re on your own it takes a bit more figuring out. I haven’t wanted to figure it out, so currently my only sidehustle income has been my little shop FrugasaurusVault on Etsy, which has been sadly neglected lately.
But you know what? Even though this is the third month in a row I admit to neglecting to upload new items in my shop, I still made 140 NOK or $17 after fees were deducted in October. I know that is not much, but as a relatively passive income stream when I haven’t touched it at all? It still brightens my day whenever an etsy sell notification pops up on my phone.
Want to open your own Etsy shop? Use this link, and we both get 40 free listings!
I also have another project I have been both excited and questioning as to whether or not I want to share with you guys. It’s a new blog, but sadly, most of you will not be able to read it without the aid of google translate or another, similar tool.
It’s a new blog! (why am I doing this to myself?)
But this is not just any kind of blog, it is a zero-waste, sustainability, eco-conscious, back-to-basics, eat locally, grow-your-own-food hippie blog! In Norwegian. I know I would probably reach more people if I wrote in English, and maybe grow a following a lot faster too. But I thought about this long and hard, and there are already quite a few excellent native English writers in the zero waste eco blogosphere. Zero-Waste Chef is my current favourite. In Norway? There are a few, but no big ones and there’s definitely room for one more.
So I thought to myself – maybe I could make a bigger, albeit smaller in number, impact if I present this excellent information and my passion for the environment in my own native tongue to my own, local kinsmen? I found a name, bought at the same time as I moved this blog off WordPress hosting, and it just felt right. I am not good with business plans and the like, but I hope that if I work on this project it could turn into a revenue stream in the very long run. I am thinking running courses in sustainable living, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, maybe even permaculture when I get my own licence, all on the farm by the sea/in the forest we aim to purchase within the next ten years. You know – the works!
And it all starts by writing consistently and providing good value content others can find use in, tailored to Norwegians and our Norwegian climate.
I have to tell you, I feel so excited about this, even though I am sad not more of my blogger friends will have easy access to it. But while financial independence is the instrument to creating the type of life that we want to lead – I think this new eco blog and what might come out of it is in line with my purpose of why I want to be financially independent, and what I’m going to spend my time doing once I get there.
If you are curious, despite the language barrier, it’s called “I Pakt Med Naturen” (In line with nature), and it is still very much in its infancy with only a few posts out at the moment.
But guys, seriously – I just think I found my passion project.