Sunday, April 24, 2011

Suburban Crunch

Welcome to my new weekly feature that I know is a little off topic than my usual fare about my writing and books, but I thought my new life experiments would be fun to share with you. Look for Suburban Crunch every Sunday right here on the Bad Girl Writer's Block.

In 2008, my life partner lost his job. Like many who worked in a field related to the bloated housing market, he found himself jobless at a time that joblessness was rampant. Despite the panic we felt in those days, I can look back at what happened to us then and say: it was a blessing. Easy to do now that we've landed on our feet on the other side of what seemed to be an endless yawning chasm of change. But really that's all it was--change. Well, change and a giant learning curve that took a little time to catch up with. We learned that a family of four can survive--nay, thrive in a two bedroom condo. We learned that one car is inconvenient, but with some creative scheduling everything we needed to do could be accomplished. I learned how to cut hair, darn socks, reduce, reuse, and recycle just about everything AND I learned how to make some damn fine homemade bread.

Now that we have more disposable income than we're used to, I noticed our bottom line fattening up again--simply because it could. We'd done without for so long, we went a little nuts as the steady paychecks rolled in again for the first time in two and a half years. Noticing the trend, we had a chat and decided to keep our simpler lifestyle. Heck, maybe we could even improve upon it. We decided to go what I call Suburban Crunch. Since we live in a condo complex in a town near DC, we can't go totally hippie commune because things like growing our own produce aren't really practical (though I do grow my own herbs in a window box). We can however learn natural and less costly ways to cut the fat in areas ranging from fuel consumption to cosmetics.

So come along with me as I evolve from Suburban housewife and author into granola crunching hippie chick! My first experiment: going shampoo and conditioner free. Say what?! Yep, it's true. Stay tuned.

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