How Do You Like Them Apples?

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Written By Colin Graves

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I had an unusually early start to the day today, up at 4:15 AM to drive my brother in law to the airport. He travels to visit his mother a couple of times a year, and I enjoy the opportunity for the two of us to chat. Two hours later, I’ve been there and back and it’s still early. The kids will be asleep for a while longer, the house is quiet, so what better time to write a quick blog post!

The picture above is one I took of the apple tree in our back yard the other day. Now, you may be thinking, how is he going to connect an apple tree to a post about money, or consumerism, or something of that nature. Clearly I didn’t get enough sleep last night, right? : )

We’ve lived in our current home for 10 years. During that time, we’ve always had this tree in our yard, and most years it has produced lots of fruit. I find that I never pay that much attention to the tree through the summer, and then at some point late in the season, I look up and suddenly notice just how full it is with apples. At that point, my mind usually wanders to the abundance of apple crisp or apple pie I’ll be enjoying in the near future.

This year, I had that same moment, looking up at the tree and thinking, “wow, where did all those apples come from!”. But the immediate thought that followed was a new one for me, that is “wow, we are going to save SO much money!”

I’ve never lived on a farm, in fact I hate to admit that we’ve only made a half hearted attempt at growing a vegetable garden a couple of times. As such, I’ve never viewed food growing in my backyard from an economic standpoint.

What changed? Well, in addition to my newfound role as a financial freedom fighter, a few months ago Mrs. Mystery Money started juicing on a regular basis.  In fact, I’ve jumped on board and usually start my day with some crazy concoction of liquid spinach, carrots, cucumber, apples, lemon and ginger etc. It’s an acquired taste, trust me : )

When she began juicing, I thought it was a good idea from a nutrition standpoint, but I assumed it would mean a significant increase in our grocery bill. The difference hasn’t been noticeable however, as we seem to be eating less meat, which is also expensive. I have yet to do a detailed cost analysis, but our reduced meat intake has definitely offset the cost.

That being said, I LOVE to save money! So, my only thought when I looked up at all of those apples was how much $$$ we would be saving on fuelling our juicer over the coming months!

It also made me realize that in a very small way, this must be similar to what a farmer thinks when he or she stands on the edge of a field, surveying their crops. Money in the bank!!

We had another, cool juicing-related experience. One of the keys to being a great financial freedom fighter is to always try to buy used rather than new.

The juicer my wife was using was one we’d had for many years. This time around, it lasted for about a month before the motor died. The easy route would have been to run out to the store and pick up a new one, which can cost upwards of $200-$300, easy.

Instead, my wife made a quick inquiry on Facebook, asking if anyone had a juicer they would be willing to sell.

Within minutes, one of our friends mentioned that they had a couple that they didn’t use, and she could take her pick. We offered to pay, but the only thing they would accept in return was a cup of coffee. What a great feeling! Due to a friends generosity and being willing to look for something lightly used, we saved a couple hundred bucks and got ourselves a very high quality juicer.

Now, how do you like them apples? : )

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