No Substitution

Ok. Getting back on track, there is no such thing as presto-chango. There is habit breaking, weaning, paring, elimination and hopeful non-replacement. Budget, body, mind; substitutions are as plentiful as the problems we leave behind.

I have completely convinced my minimalism-desiring self I do not need anything. Except for new tires, or a rim, or not; still working on that. Four different businesses; four different diagnosis. As soon as I find one untried business that comes up with a plausible reason that corresponds to any one of the others, I may be able to do something about the perpetual low-air tire light.

In the meantime, as empowering as it is to say “no” to instant material gratification, I have moved directly into substitution. The new move isn’t a positive one, either. In fact, it may be more detrimental. I have deeper, longer arguments with myself over my replacement gratifier: deals.  The struggle is more constant than ever. Most email and post advertisements are easily disqualified, deleted. The ones that tempt are the “deals” sponsored through sites offering deep discounts. Advance commitment is the new barbed selling lure.

For example, there’s a new frozen yogurt spot that popped up near my regular market, that hasn’t actually been my regular market for very long. The new grocer won out over my previous market mostly by convenience. Closure of the store nearest me, numerous construction projects on the way to the other two sort-of-close-by, much better produce offerings and a cash-for-schools incentive that donates 10% of my purchase total to a program that will assist a friend’s child in taking a school-sponsored marching band trip abroad this coming winter, also played into the decision.

Ok, Getting back on track, I’ve been successfully avoiding that yogurt establishment, so far, using the carrot method. I drive by to pick up fruit and yogurt and mile and promise myself when I hit my next goal, 4.6 pounds away, I will indulge. I’m pretty sure I won’t succumb even then, because that would be monstrously counterproductive.

Then along comes an offer: $6.00 will get me $10.00 in frozen yogurt. I don’t need $10.00 in frozen yogurt. I also don’t really need $6.00 in frozen yogurt. However, if my finally-made-it-to-my-next-goal treat is going to cost approximately $4.00 anyway, it makes economical sense to go for the coupon commitment. The coupon will likely require an accomplice; preferably one who advance commit and will split the difference.

It’s ok to snicker at that idea. I know it’s ridiculous. The chances of me waiting to reach my next goal, which could be a month or more, are pretty slim. Which is what I am still trying to be: slim. So, I throw up my hands, close  my browser and decide I’ll decide tomorrow.

Hopefully, the almost irresistible offer will have expired. I’ll be disappointed, but fiscally and healthily responsible.

There’s no substitution for that.

Quote for the Week:

substitutions are as plentiful as problems

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carriekerpen/2014/05/13/seven-ways-to-retrain-your-brain-for-a-happier-existence/

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8647/5-ways-to-retrain-your-brain-into-a-positive-powerhouse.html

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/04/ep.brain.crave.cohen/

 

 

Bulk Down

Bulking – it’s a new term I’m hawking; coining, if you will.
I figured I’d better claim in in the poor man’s patent kind of way; in writing. I could go the whole mail-it-to-myself route, but seriously, I don’t think it’s going to earn me. Expirable; might as well add that one to the list, as well.

I also have a back-up vice. Sometimes, even I can find it amusing. Sometimes, even I cannot. I’ve got membership to one of the big ones. The most appealing part is cheaper gas. It’s usually only pennies, perhaps a nickel or a dime per gallon savings. I fill-up twice a month; on occasion thrice. During the holidays, I might even hit weekly. It’s not exactly around the corner, but then again, not much is. A trip over, almost always turns into a trip in.

I’ve got a budget and an analytical nature. Self-posing questions abound. Here’s an interesting one:

Does someone like me need to purchase bulk?

Financially, it makes sense for the hard goods: toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, moisturizer, Q-tips; purchase cost savings may not add up, but the advantage of non-repeat market stops helps me live within my means. Less shopping means less temptation, excluding, of course, anything that escaped my list, but aims for my cart, anyway.

Soft goods are good only if there is commitment to their longevity. Experience has revealed there is no way I could consume a bulk amount of straight-up fruit in one week. However, sliced and tray-frozen, vacuum-sealed and clearly labeled, I have an extended supply for alternative use. Adding to oatmeal or yogurt, using as slow-melting flavored “ice” for my water, or as a thickener for fruit smoothies – are logical uses. I have used some in illogical ways. Like, hmm, defrosted strawberry mush stirred into hummus. Think of hummus as chickpea butter, and defrosted strawberries as alternative jelly. Not exactly Paleo, but not white bread PBJ, either.

Extended-life goods, pouches of quinoa, cans of tuna, chicken, boxes of black bean burgers, control portioned cheese, hummus; the freezer is our friend. Good buys aren’t always great ideas, though. Checking dates on yogurt is a solid determinant. If there’s no chance I will eat 24 single cups of plain yogurt by an expiration date, there’s no chance I’ll buy it. Bulk can bring you down, too. I’ve back-fired away from Greek for a while.

Milk, produce, and whatever yogurt happens to be 10/$10.00 (or less) wins; items best left to unfortunate fall-back “Hello, Darkness, my old friend” I-can-only get-there-on Saturdays or Sundays. Of course, if the choices were toenail clippings or an over-abundance of Greek yogurt, I’d go with the Greek. I think. I don’t know. Multiple senses rebel just considering taste and texture; characteristically thick, bitter curdle. A non-gourmet fact is some people do chew their nails. That makes me think there must be something to it. It also makes a magnificent argument for bulking down.

Quote for the Week:

Expirables demand a commitment jakorte 10 21 2014

 

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Smithsonian on Expiration Dates: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sell-and-best-dates-food-are-basically-made-hard-get-rid-180950304/?no-ist

Conditioned Taste Aversion: http://psychology.about.com/od/classicalconditioning/f/taste-aversion.htm

Items Worth Buying Bulk: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/03/18/15-items-always-worth-buying-in-bulk