For several years now I have been increasingly concerned with the economy and fuel and food prices. I heard this summer that over the last four years Americans have lost 40% of their wealth, due to increased taxes, the devaluing of the dollar and the loss of property values. 40 percent! Good thing we had been taking steps toward a more simple life.
For most of my married life, I have cooked from scratch. When I was in missions training I learned how to make white sauce as a basis for cream soups, how to can, how to live simply. I loved it, thought it was not always convenient.
A few years ago I told Tim I wanted to have a vegetable garden and grow more than tomatoes. I wanted the girls to be comfortable gardening too, and I wanted them to know those skills that my great grandma was very comfortable with!
So we began with some raised beds. We also got some chickens. We have learned a lot.
But today, I wanted to share with you about some of the things we do to save money and to live a more frugal lifestyle.
1. We cook mostly from scratch. You will find very few convenience food items in my freezer or pantry. Convenience foods are often full of unhealthy things as well, and I like knowing that my creamy soup is only milk, butter, flour and organic soup base. I use "Better Than Bouillon," for flavoring beef or chicken based soups.
2. We make our own laundry detergent, hand soap and toothpaste! It's so easy, I am amazed that it took me so long to realize you can make your own!
3. We wear aprons! I am a messy cook and gardener and it helps me save my clothes from ruin! Besides I like having the pockets to hold my phone or clippers.
4. We sew, though not as often as we did before we bought the shoppe. Simple skirts, dresses, tote bags - this is a great way to save.
5. We shop consignment stores and thrift shops. This is a huge way to save money on clothing. Also on occasion we find something great on sale. Today I popped into an Orvis store at our local Outlet Mall. I was not familiar with this store at all but I like it a lot. While there are some items that are way over priced, many clothing items were reasonable for the quality and I found a beautiful wool skirt for the Lindsay and Emily for $9.00!!!! It is fully lined! I could not buy the fabric for $9.00 to make the skirt myself!
This is getting pretty long, so I'll stop here for now. I hope this will encourage you to see the things that we are doing to stretch our dollars. I bet you are doing some of the same things too!
Have any different tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!