Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Self/Family Improvement Goals

These are almost more for me than any of my readers, but I wanted to get down in writing my goals on the ways that I am working to improvements in our lives.

1. Consumerism: I'll admit it. I like to buy stuff. I have improved on this greatly since being home with Carter for the last two years, but like most people I still sometimes get the "I want" fever. Areas I'm doing well on: I don't buy very many clothes anymore. What I do buy now is stuff that I love how I look and feel in it now. (Not how I might look in it if I lost 10 pounds or if I was more toned.) Almost all toys (gifts from others excluded) are purchased used. I plan on doing a big toy purge right before birthdays and Christmas to get rid of anything that is not used. We don't have the space and we don't need that many toys around. Areas I can still improve on: Kids/baby clothing. I'll admit it, I love buying baby and kid clothing. They are just so cute. We definitely have more than is needed. On the positive side much of it is hand-me-downs and garage sale finds. As I've been washing baby clothing, I've been pulling out anything that I don't really like to give away.

2. Food: This is such a big area for us, so I'll break it down further.

a. Grocery shopping: I've cut our monthly bill down significantly by couponing, meal planning, and shopping from a list.

b. What we're buying: I am currently trying to research and learn more about the items we are buying and the companies that produce/grow/manufacture it. The more I learn, the more I feel I need to learn. Just a few of the issues I'm concerned with include" treatment of employees (Are they hiring illegals to lessen their production cost? Do they pay their employees livable wages and offer them benefits?), genetically modified crops (Is their any way to escape/avoid this? What are the long-term repercussions going to be?), localism (can I get more of the products we eat grown locally to save on pollution/cost of travel to get it here?), use of antibiotics, pesticides, etc (Organic vs. non? Or are there any other options?), treatment of animals (free-range? corn-fed vs. grass fed?) packaging (Should I be concerned about the BPA in plastic or metal can lining? ). These are just a few of the issues I could think of off the top of my head.

c. Cooking: I'm really working to expand my cooking horizons.

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