Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cents and Sensibility preview: laying the groundwork.

Early yesterday morning, after the sun came up and before the wind blew in from the north, I did a bit of work in the backyard.

I eventually found my way to the desolate moonscape that we refer to as the Garden Area.

My family has big plans for growth this summer, in the garden area as well as in the curly world of our furtile interior landscapes.

Starting with the planting of our garden in early May, we'll lay the groundwork for an idea that's been germinating in my noggin, which I'm affectionately calling Cents and Sensibility.

Essentially, we're going to see how long we can go without spending any money (with the exception of requisite bills, of course).

I have a familial buy-in for this project, which is nothing less than essential.

So our Cents and Sensibility will go something like this:

We'll do a bit of planning.

We'll do a bit of shopping, and we'll take an inventory of what we have. We won't go all Mormon Food Storage Post Nuclear Survivalist-ish. We'll just get things we know we'll need.

We'll fill the car(s) up with gas.

We'll put some cash in pocket. Not too much. Maybe 20 bucks a piece.

And then we'll see where we land. We'll see how long we can go, just with what we have.

When will we succumb to the need to twirl outside our comfort zone?

What will we feel we really need?

How long can we go before we start to really feel we have to have that thing we really feel we really need?

And why are we waiting until May/June to start this experiment?

Because the weather will be nice.

School will be out for the summer.

Gas prices are expected to skyrocket.

Gas prices affect food prices. So the price of food will go up, too.

The garden will lose its current look of dry and dusty desolation, and we'll be munching on our own fresh stuff this summer.

I'll lay a bit of the groundwork for this project between now and when we start, but my hypothesis is simple.

I want our Cents and Sensibility project to be spent paying attention to when, what and especially why we buy what we buy.

I want to see this experiment as an exercise in living well, abundantly and creatively, just with what we have.

I'll be writing about what we discover, every day starting June 1. Between now and then, I'll visit this topic on occasion, just to grease the skids with a smattering of detail before we hit the ground running.

Not unlike the Free Time experiment I tackled in January, I'm confident that the Cents and Sensibility project will be eye-opening.

And like my fallow garden, the next few months are ripe with great expectations.


  1. Quite contrary.

  2. Just how far can I push this frugal thang...

    Love it!

    Hey, I ended up with a whole lotta canned black eyed peas and potatoes. Want them?

  3. Does this mean I'll have to go to the bins ALONE??!!

  4. Oh no, Christine. I can go! I'll just watch you find all the treasures!!