The emphasis in that title is “Living”. We can pinch a penny so hard here on The Pasture, that Lincoln will squeal for his mama. But if you take frugal to penurious ( big word that means “given to or marked by extreme stinting frugality”) you will probably become uncomfortable and unsuccessful in your quest for simple frugality.
Our monetary situation requires that we live carefully so that we might enjoy a few special, expensive treats. Like travel. So a penny saved means that Mrs. Pickles (that’s me) will some day introduce her arthritic, bunion adorned toes to a hot, white sand beach and turquoise waters. We try to purchase well-made clothing that will last. Usually that is more expensive than the regular stuff. We also need to fund some of our homesteading adventures.
Here is a list of a few of the things that we make ourselves and things that we eliminated that save us money as well as contribute to a simpler life.
- Cleaning products
- Maple syrup
- We raise our own chickens for eggs and meat
- We raise rabbits for meat
- We garden
- We attend the local livestock auction which includes local produce. It is possible to buy tomatoes for $2.50/peck, in season!
- Skin lotion and potions for beauty
- Tinctures and Health Boosters
- Beer-I know that was at the top of the list-but Sgt. Piper thinks it should go on the list twice-it is that important, you see?
- We gave up the Keurig. Goodness gracious, but we loved that machine! But it was very expensive and not very mindful of a smaller footprint on Mother Earth. The Piper still drinks coffee, but we purchased a four cup coffee maker that he now makes his high test in.
- We gave up cable TV. That wasn’t really a hardship, as we put up a simple antenna and got a Roku. We still get local stations and a lot of good TV where we want it, when we want it. But that saved $90/month!
- We gave up the expensive calling plans for the cell phone. We have a monthly plan that costs less than $50. We would like to give the cell phone up completely, but find that we can’t-yet.
- We gave up mall shopping.
- We gave up flashy grocery stores. Instead we go to Aldi’s twice a month. We support the local butcher and bakery. We buy in bulk and all natural whenever possible. We also maintain a very well stocked pantry that could support us for several months if the need should arise.
You will notice that the things that we gave up barely made a dent in our happiness, but definitely make a difference in our bottom line. I sometimes wonder that if I had started the simplifying process earlier-could we have retired much earlier? That is water under the bridge for us, but maybe you are in a place to think about.