Last February I managed these gray days by declaring Frugal February and I'm doing it again this year. It seems like a good month to use up the stores I have on hand, to boycott shopping, to reset my spending patterns -- kind of like the way Ayurveda has you go on a fast to reset your taste buds to purer foods and rest the digestive system. Only I can promise, I shall not be going on a fast. Here are the contours of Frugal February: no shopping at all for the entire month. That's it.
OK, that's not quite it. An exception has been made, and I won't say who in my household has made this exception, except to say it wasn't me. Bananas will continue to be purchased during Frugal February.
But other than that exception, no shopping. Believe me, this will not be onerous. I keep such a huge store of emergency foods here that I suspect we could go six months without buying groceries. And as for non-food shopping like clothes, we could go far longer yet. What I hope to accomplish is to just rest my system, enjoy the freedom of bowing out of the spend/consume cycles for a while, and take stock of what we have. I hope to discover how well we're planned out little home oeconomia here. We'll see how well the winter greens and herbs from the garden hold out, and use up the last of my canned, frozen, and dehydrated garden foods from last summer. We'll see if monotony sets in. As I recall from last year, I came away feeling very refreshed and ready for the fine, fine spring ahead.