Life without Netflix and our December Challenge

No Netflix November: November’s challenge was to survive without Netflix. As challenges tend to be, this was eye-opening. My screen time didn’t decrease, but I largely switched to Youtube, and that was great! It turns out I like to learn new recipes, and we had all kinds of delicious food, including stuffed “goose,” which I made completely from scratch for Thanksgiving. All the geese in the neighborhood (we live by a lake) heard about my amazing hunting ability and now fly away every time they see me (This is a joke. The “goose” was fake. We are still mostly vegan and definitely vegetarian.) I declared No Netflix November a success and canceled our subscription. We still have access to movies on Amazon Prime and through the library.

Modified SNAP December: For December, I decided to try something hard. I started by thinking of doing the SNAP challenge – living on $4 per person per day for food in December. This is $360 for the month for our family of 3. I tried to do the math, and it was impossible to continue eating organic, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and still get a reasonable number of calories for $360. Either the organic food or the vegetables would have to go, and for an entire month, I am not willing to compromise on either. So we have decided on an easier challenge – $240 for the month, but most vegetables don’t count! We will still count vegetables that provide a significant number of calories, such as potatoes, corn, and avocados (I am drawing the line at 50 calories per 100 grams). Vegetables that don’t count will also not count if they are frozen or canned, but processed foods (such as pasta sauce) will still count even if they are made mostly out of “free” vegetables.

This challenge will involve some tracking. Foods we buy will get counted when they come into the house if we expect them to be eaten during the month. However, if I am using bulk foods that will last more than a month or are foods we already have, I will do my best to estimate the amount we eat and the cost. So “shopping” the pantry is allowed as long as we track the cost. Buying bulk will help with keeping the cost down. For complete record, I will also keep track of the cost of veggies we eat and report it at the end of the month.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping: Youtube influenced me exactly like it influences the average consumer — I decided I must have some of the toys people on Youtube were showing. That, combined with Black Friday/Cyber Monday, led to the purchasing of two kitchen toys – an Airfryer (on sale to $59 from $119) and a blender/food processor (on sale for $96 from $150). We have had them for just a couple of days, but the Airfryer makes the most amazing fries, and the blender makes the most amazing banana icecream, so I am quite happy with both. This weekend’s project is to figure out where to store them:0(