I began my quest for frugality when my husband had been laid off from his job and we were in a financial bind. It isn't something that you want to do, I don't think, in the beginning. But realizing the benefits from just changing a few things can really have an impact on your life.
I started out small, recycling clothing for other things. I began shopping at the thrift stores and revamping items there. I realized how many things most people waste and those wasted items can be my gain. I bought birthday gifts for my girls, furnishings, etc. at thrifty stores and saved an enormous amount of money.
Three years ago we moved into an old farm house. We quickly realized that we needed to be as frugal as we could with things such as foods, electricity, heating. Our home was equipped with a coal stove which helped immensely with the heating costs. We contacted our local electric company and found that you can have another meter installed. It is called "off peak". This is where the day cost for each Ohm is a bit more, but the night rate is cut in half. The times for use are 11:00 PM to 6:00 am. We had one installed and just by taking showers in the morning, running the dishwasher in the middle of the night and doing laundry in the night has saved us hundreds of dollars. I purchased timing plugs for each appliance and just pre-load the items and they start at the time set. We also have a timer on the hot water tank as that is one of the biggest users of electric. I am amazed at the reduction in our electric costs with very little sacrifice on our part.
We also have a small farm. We purchase one cow every 1 1/2 years and it's specific purpose is for meat. Last year we got over 500lbs of beef for approximately $400 in total cost for raising the cow. We also have chickens which are mainly used for egg production, and have raised pigs for meat.
I also have planted a garden and am making many items that can be made for less. I recently tried my hand at homemade laundry soap, which by the way, is amazing. I love it and for the cost it is well worth it. I make my own yogurt, can my own vegetables, meat and fruit. Many of the items I find in the woods near my home. We have several apple trees, berry bushes, etc. I just wait for the right time to pick and pick away. Most country people have no problem with allowing you to go on their land to hunt for berries, Just be sure you ask for permission and know what you are picking and eating, as some berries can make you sick. I have also found ways to make my own brown sugar, powdered sugar, etc.
The Internet is an amazing thing and there are so many sites out there specifically designed for frugality or homesteading. I like the outcome I receive with just a bit of effort on my part. I have even got my neighbor involved and we are going to be canning together this year. It is definitely a treat and a feeling of accomplishment to know that I can survive with the basics and not feel like I am surviving.
Melissa from Pine City, NY
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Meissa, I love the country life, and enjoyed hearing
about yours. Please tell us how you make your own laundry soap. I like trying new things to save money.
I also would like your recipe for laundry soap, and how you make your own yogurt.
I enjoyed your post,
I would love to have your recipe for laundry soap, and how to make brown sugar and powdered sugar. Please send me information on all those things you can do and help me please. Thank you ever so much.
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