Sunday, March 27, 2011

Planning the Downsize

After finally deciding where we are going to move to the mental downsize has begun. Purchases are made with the thought: do I really want to pay to have all this stuff moved to another province? In most cases no.

Grocery stockpile is now limited to 90 day supply. I am trying to eat out of the freezer and successfully keeping on track with the March grocery budget of $450.00.

Our winter in Alberta is not departing. The Canadian geese that breed in our back yard ponds landed last Sunday, and promptly flew off. Apparently they never got the email of the never ending winter 2011 (photo below was taken today, no Spring in sight).

One of my personal goals of moving to a better climate is growing my own food. It is possible in Alberta but the growing season is limited by planting time (usually end of may or early June when the ground thaws) and short summer. I have successfully grown tomatoes but they are only just starting to get edible when they have to be picked and brought inside before the frosts of September. Currently the only part of my diet that is home grown is a rosemary plant I treat like a houseplant. Another goal is that what I don't grow myself I try to buy locally, sometimes difficult in Northern climates. Dreaming of strawberries and wild blackberries....(another shot from Vancouver Island below for inspiration).

We went to the wedding of one of my husband's best friends last weekend, and yes I found something to wear at goodwill. The flowered black and white blouse was $6.99 paired with shoes and a previous Goodwill found skirt. I also bought 3 other spring shirts and a piece of costume jewellery: Grand total for all 5 pieces $26.96.

I wanted to share a couple of inspirational frugal ideas from our friends wedding:
1. Email save the date card 6 months ago and 2 months ago formal email invitation (green option as well)

2. Evening candlelight wedding at 7pm in the ballroom of a hotel. They used a Justice of the Peace as neither are religious, had the ceremony, some short family messages and then a wonderful dance. Really, do you need to spend $40 a plate for dinner?

3. Decorations were minimal, glass bowls with water and polished rocks with floating candles all lit prior to the ceremony. Large rented flower stands were posted either side of the stage and the four in the wedding party had flowers.

4. A nominal cash bar ($2 per drink)

5. A friend of the family who is a recorded country artist sang two songs for the bride and groom and then a dj took over for the rest of the night

6. An 11pm buffet cold lunch just as the munchies were hitting everyone

7. Limited bridesmaids and groomsmen to one each

It was a wonderful night and a great time was had by all. They still had they night they could both afford and remember for the rest of their lives.

A bonus as a guest was that we still had most of our weekend free to run errands rather than a very long Saturday Wedding. What a smart couple! I loved it, one of my favorite all time weddings.

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