My supplies of Earl Grey Tea and Vanilla Tea were getting so, so low. I was already trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h what I had by drinking a different tea in my stash, even if I was craving one of the above — but things got real this week, and I only had enough tea for one pot of each left in my cupboard.
Earl Grey has become my absolute favorite tea during the workday. I prefer a good Earl with no milk or sugar which makes it very low fuss for the office. Nice leaves are also re-steepable (I usually re-steep my Earl twice) and I also find that if I get busy and my tea gets cold, it’s still delicious. Sometimes I even make a cold steep with used leaves on purpose! When it’s rainy, I say to myself, “Ooooh! a good Earl Grey day!” When it’s hot, I say to myself, “Ooooh, a good Earl Grey day!” When I know I have many challenges ahead of me on a particular day, I say, “Oooh, a good Earl Grey day!” You get the picture.
Here is the Earl I purchased:
I received this Earl for a holiday present this year and loved it so much I sought it out to purchase. It is very balanced, so pretty (those blue cornflowers get me every time), and organic. The price is not too bad either — a little under $12 USD for 3.5 ounces. Because I re-steep my teas, each pot costs me a little more than 10 cents!
I usually purchase Harney and Sons Vanilla Black tea, but purchasing one tin from their site would incur a steep shipping charge, and I don’t have enough tea coupons to make a sizable enough order for free shipping. So, after reading lots of reviews, I bought a box of Mighty Leaf Vanilla Bean black tea:
Vanilla tea is comfort in a cup for me. I usually only drink it on the weekends, at home, curled up in a chair with a book. I’m hoping these 15 bags will see me through the rest of this year’s challenge (and egads, I hope I like them! I am so partial to the Harney I may be a little sad, but if I don’t have the coupons, I don’t have the coupons!). Next year, I am allowing myself an amount of tea coupons more in alignment with the actual rations of 2 oz/week, as I’ll be through most of my tea stash by then.
So, the numbers:
The tin of Earl Grey = 3.5 oz and the sachets of Vanilla = 1.32 oz. Let’s call this 5 oz of tea, which will equal 2.5 coupons. The tally —
Clothing: 52 out of 66
Soap: 30 out of 36
Tea: 3.5 out of 10
Cutting it close there with the tea coupons!
… and now, the Me part of the post. This little philosophical and ethical experiment is about to get very, very practical: my husband’s position at work was eliminated and he has been laid off. To cope, what can I cut? I already am a homebody, make so much from scratch, cut my own hair, etc. I’ve been racking my brain over the past few days and I think cutting some of the food budget in terms of meat and cheese may help lower that bill, just like in WWII rations. I believe I will gain strength and many good ideas in reviewing the economies people made during wartime.
The hardest decision I had to make was taking a Leave of Absence from school this coming semester. I would have had to pay for the semester in late July. Then there are books, extra transportation fees, plus the time I need to do my work (which should be spent making ends meet right now). As you can see — it’s the most profound way I can cut expenses and it needed to be done.
I’m trying to throw myself into my projects and not over-think what is essentially an unknown that just needs to be lived through as best I can one day at a time, but alas, the little tell-tale left eye twitch that I only get under extreme stress has emerged. I’m going to give myself a little WWII propaganda talking to and repeat, repeat, repeat:
If you have any advice on how to pinch pennies in situations like these, I would love to hear them!