Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
~ Benjamin Franklin
I’ve been a strict vegetarian for well over 20 years now and it would be more accurate to say that I am an ethical vegan.
You could also call me a frugal vegetarian which is what we’ll talk about today. This blog is about living lightly and yet abundantly at the same time. I truly believe that is possible.
Most of us want to feel rich more than actually be rich. At least that is my thesis. And we can feel rich on very little money. Let me give you an example.
Think back to one of your happiest times where you really felt fantastic. Can you come up with such a time in recent memory? I bet you can. Now, let me do a magic trick and tell you exactly what was so magical about that time you remember.
Ready? You were with friends experiencing happiness, joy and fun.
I bet that not one of you was remembering the time you drove your porsche 100 miles an hour down the freeway by yourself. No sirree. You might have been driving your porsche but it was likely somewhere fun and interesting with your best friend or life’s partner.
I’ve heard it mentioned that the peak earnings required to feel the greatest amount of happiness is around $60k a year.
As a frugal vegan, I think we can do way better than that. I reckon that if you are smart and shrewd you can feel like a million bucks on half of that amount. But you have to know the key.
And what is the key? The key is not so much how much you make but how much free time you have.
For me, being a frugal vegetarian is about being frugal with my time and not only with my dietary choices. Being vegan and vegetarian is cheaper than eating a meat centred diet but that is just one of the benefits.
Being a frugal ethical vegan is also about retaining a curiosity about the world and how to live a more authentic life which is what this blog is about.
It is about taking off the distorted glasses that society makes us wear everyday and seeing things with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives.
When are living a frugal life you are looking to live the life of a billionaire but at pennies to the dollar. What does the billionaire have that makes her life so much better than ours? Nothing. That’s the thing. They have the same 24 hours a day we do.
And if you start thinking about how to live an authentic frugal life you can fill your life with so much awe and fun and joy that even the world’s richest billionaire would be envious.
A good night’s sleep can be had on a $1k mattress. A ride in the country can be as enjoyable, even more enjoyable in a $20k convertible over a $100k Bentley. It is perspective friends and remembering that living on less can be filled with as much fun as living on billions.
The most joy and fun we ever have is when we are amongst loved ones. It’s all about creating memories and those can be had on the cheap.
As an example, here are a couple of easy frugal vegetarian recipes that can be more fun and create better and longer lasting memories than a 3 star Michelin meal costing hundreds of bucks.
Cook some pasta of your choice. Add it to the pot when the water reaches boiling. Time it for 11 minutes as the pasta will be done in that time. Before you do that though, cut a loaf of French bread down the middle and smear margarine and pressed garlic over both sides. Put it back together and wrap it in tinfoil and throw it in an oven at 350. The oven doesn’t even have to be preheated.
Now you can start preparing the water to boil for the pasta. In a smaller pot over medium heat fry up some onion in a good splash of olive oil. Add in several chopped Roma tomatoes and a big handful of basil and let simmer until the pasta is ready. Take out the French garlic bread and you have a great meal.
Increase the enjoyment factor a hundred fold by soliciting your son, daughter, sister, bother, spouse or mother to help and have fun together while drinking some red wine.
For a date that can be had for less than $10, grab a fresh French baguette, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a couple of beers or a bottle of wine and head out to your favourite quiet spot and watch the sun set together. This is great for folks who have been married 50 years or even as a first date.
Tell me you don’t feel like a billion bucks? Am I right? Life can be lived with class and an abundance of effervescent joy for pennies on what most folks think costs dollars.