Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cheap vs Frugal

I guess to some people cheap and frugal are the same thing, but at least to me there is a big difference. Cheap means always searching out the lowest price, over all else. Frugal means learning to shop wisely, so you know what things cost and what is of good quality. Spending money on a cheap piece of clothing just to have it fall apart in your washer on the first or second wash to me is pointless, and aggravating when you then have to find its replacement.
When I go shopping, I do look at the price, but I try to weigh that against the time spent to earn that money, whether I believe the item will help our lives in some way, and whether it will last if appropriately cared for. I also try not to buy something the first time I think I need it to avoid impulse buying, I try to wait a week to make sure it is something I really want to spend money on. There are plenty of guides for the best time of year to buy big ticket items, here is a listing on an article with MSN
In general though it comes down to appropriate planning and taking care of what you already have. My husband is a godsend because he really understands electronics, plumbing, cars, and can do our home repairs, but if no one in your family can, there are FREE clinics offered regularly through Lowe's and Home Depot to help with home repairs. If you do need to hire some one to work on your home or car, please get a personal recommendation, or at least call the Better Business Bureau before giving your money to a repair company you know nothing about.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Living Simply

Happiness to me comes from my kid running through the yard excited about the dandelions, or my husband appreciating the meal I just put on the table. It has never come from the things I can buy at the store. Don't get me wrong a good deal is a good thing and it does bring some temporary joy, but consumerism has never been where the heart is for me.
I have been making a conscious effort in the last few years with the hard financial times we have had to make home a soft place to land, instead of just a place we live. I think that the decluttering of our home has lead to a greater peace for our family. Creating family rhythms and rituals have slowed down the pace of our lives, and given us a chance to really enjoy each other's company. This has been more important to me than anything that I could ever purchase.
I have been rather ruthless when getting rid of stuff in our home. If I cannot find an immediate use or repurpose for it, then whatever it is leaves to donation or the trash. If I decide we need a new item for the home, I try to research it and wait a week before buying it. Often at the end of that week I have determined we really don't need it. As the items leave our home to bless Goodwill I do not miss them. For me letting go of all these things is freeing, and calming and helps me create the environment that I am happy to bring my child up in.
Does simple living help find peace in your home?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vegetable Garden Experiment

Today I finally got the container garden in the ground, well in the pots. I have green peppers, carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, watermelon, onion, lettuce, yellow bush beans, regular green beans, strawberries and two kinds of tomatoes. I am new to gardening, but hopefully I followed the packet instructions well enough to get some crop out of it. I paid a total of $2.00 in seeds, and $10 for organic potting mix. The pots I am using were free from a friend who was moving and no longer needed them. I figure since I am experimenting this year with container gardening as long as I can get that $12 back in produce then I have done alright, although of course the dream is lots to freeze and can for the winter.
I will post pictures when I get something other than dirt in a pot to show you.