It seems November is the month I feel the biggest urge to go minimal. It is probably because of the pending period of gluttony starting on the third Thursday of this month. This year though it wasn't even my doing. A friend of mine suggested a group November minimalist game. You remember the one I did last year. 1st day you get rid of one thing, second day two, until the last day when you are getting rid of thirty things. I told her I would play but I wasn't sure I could get though a whole month.
I am already scanning the house looking for things to give up. It is exciting.
The other aspect to minimalist November is my diet, or more directly, how much I spend on food. My wife and I spend a lot of money on food. When I say a lot, I mean we probably spend what a family of four spends.
The problem isn't quantity. We don't eat a lot of food, but we work very hard to eat good food. When friends ask if we miss living in New York - we both lived in Manhattan - we say the only thing we miss is the food. Living in a small city in North Carolina means the food options are somewhat limited, and we don't get the cutting edge cuisine that we had access to in New York.
I am reminded of this daily when I see my friends Instagram feed. He is a big deal in the food photography world, and he gets to eat at some of the best restaurants in the world. The things we miss are really pretty simple. Real New York Pizza, a good bagel. I barely eat meat, but would kill for Kat'z corned beef. It is having the ability to decide at 2 in the morning that you want any kind of food delivered, and it is possible. Anything.
This isn't to say there isn't good food in North Carolina. There is. But let's be honest. All the food the south is famous for is bad for you. Donuts. Fried Chicken. Barbecue. Sweet tea.
So we work really hard to eat well, and healthy, and it is a challenge. Ill give you an example. We don't eat a lot of meat, but we do eat fish. But I refuse to buy farmed fish. It is bad for you, the fish and the environment. But wild caught Salmon can cost as much as $20 a pound. that is on the high end, but I haven't been able to buy fish for under $10 a pound in years. I am okay with that. I want to support real fisherman, and I will make that sacrifice. But at the end of the month it adds up.
Every week we get a box delivered to our house. It has locally sourced produce. It costs us 30 dollars a month (give or take). It is great produce. but it is expensive.
I also don't eat fast food. Slow food is expensive. My supermarket has a club that saves you money, you give them your phone number when you checkout and when they give you the receipt they tell you how much you saved that day. I never save more than a dollar or two - when some save $10 or $20 dollars - because I am not buying junk food. I am buying produce. Junk food is cheap to make, higher profit margin, so they can offer a great discount. Produce? Not so much.
So my goal for the month is to purge a lot of items, and spend as little as possible on food. No eating out. Make meals go further. Let's see how it goes....
The lingering question is, does coffee and/or alcohol count as "eating out"?