Theme Week: The Debt Diet

coins-912716_640If December is all about excess and over-indulging, January is its introverted cousin.  Multi-course dinners, swanky parties and glittery packages are replaced by quiet nights and a return to the humdrum routine of winter.  For many, our waistlines take as much of a hit as our wallets over the holiday season and January offers a time to re-set expectations and trim the fat: literally and financially.

Years ago I discovered Happy Simple Living, where blogger Eliza writes about all things family with an emphasis on simpler living, sustainability and the green movement.  Every January she runs a series called January Money Diet where she assigns homework with a goal: save money and reduce spending while consciously considering the impact of your choices on your family and the environment.  For example, the homework for day 6 is to sell something that is no longer of use to your family and put that money towards paying off your debt (or deposit into a savings account).  Day 4 is a culinary challenge that encourages followers to cook double the amount and freeze half for a future meal.

This week 4Mothers will explore the idea of a debt diet.  Is tightening the purse strings even necessary if you’re conscientious all year?  How do you save money?  Where do you pinch your pennies?  What are your favourite money-saving tips?

Our friend and guest blogger Kelly Quinn, the mother of two daughters living in Ottawa, will join the conversation.  See one of her previous posts for us on her electricity bill.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment and let the 4Mothers community know what you think!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

While I am certainly not in the exemplary green league of Green Style Mom, Mindful Momma or Happy Simple Living, I am aspiring to be more of an environmentalist.  I may not always make the best choices but since becoming a mother, I am more mindful of the impact my choices will have on the earth.

I was a child when the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle movement took hold.  My teachers would hold up items from the trash and the class would call out in chorus “garbage” or “recycle”.  We then took those ingrained lessons home with us, bundle together with “Never say yes to a cigarette!” and “Just say no to drugs!”, we taught our parents the three Rs with the verve of a religious zealot.

Twenty-five years later, I obsessively dissect packages.  The plastic cover deposited into the “gray bin” and the cardboard backing into the “blue bin”.  All food materials, and compostables make their way into the “green” bin.

Yesterday Nathalie made reference to Mrs. Draper and how her ignorance depicted the general attitudes of a generation.  If ever there were a T.V. mom who embodies the principles of RRR it would be Mrs. Walsh.

Just like the 902010 matriarch, I pick through the washroom garbage before collection day to ensure toilet paper rolls find their way to reincarnation via the blue bin.  I just hope that my garbage sorting, doesn’t uncover any sordid details not meant for my eyes.

As Earth Day approaches, I have made my own green resolutions: to walk more, to line drying the linens and to replace all of the plastic food storage containers with glass.

What commitment can you make to honour the Earth?

Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42HO2yqSAzQ

Photo credit:  www. ewswa.org