The key to getting a grip on mindless consumption is a good old fashioned PLAN. We can make a significant impact on our wallets, our earth and our peace of mind if we eliminated the things we buy because we didn’t plan better. From grabbing food that is unhealthy and unsustainable to running around at the last minute to find something we suddenly need because we forgot to get it when we were at the store earlier, we spend more time driving around and spending money that we want to.
A plan starts with a calendar. Some people are going to like an electronic version and some will like paper, but finding a calendar that works for you is key. On Sundays I sit down with my pencil and calendar and then spend my morning planning the next 7 days.
Work and social obligations- I sometimes travel for work and my hours change all the time. I put write down my estimated hours to ensure I pack food for any meals I will not be at home for. We are homebodies but the rare times we have other plans outside of work that gets added to the calendar also.
Meals- I plan out our meals ensuring all the vegetables will be used up before they go bad and left overs don’t end up in the garbage. I make sure I have the ingredients I need on hand for the few breakfasts and lunches I depend on when I don’t have leftovers. On Sundays I pack breakfasts and lunches for work.
Shopping Lists- I swear by the shopping list. I cannot imagine the time wasted if one does not sit down and plan out what you need for the near future. I also dislike shopping so a well planned shopping list allows me to be in and out of a store in no time.
Projects (Honey-Do List)- As we live on an off the grid homestead the projects we need to do are never ending. I talk to Mr. Crow about the upcoming week and prioritize what needs to get done and what materials are needed.
Work outfits-I get my work clothes picked out on Sundays because I get dressed in the dark and it allows me to wake up and be out of the house in no time flat!
Transportation-I live in a rural area but have found ways to carpool to work frequently. Minimizing the trips we make to town or finding ways to share transportation takes some planning, but can be very impactful.
Whatever your vision of a more simple and minimal life looks like, it is important not to get too fixated about an idealized vision. Just start wherever you are and find easy ways to start down the path to a more simple life.