Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to the Simple Life



Even a magazine is devoted to "living simple." I'm trying. As gas prices continue to rise here, I see two reactions - one is I don't care, here's my boat/RV-fill 'er up - the other is to create action plans and implement them. A person can only work so many jobs to make ends meet before collapsing. Before I went to Wyoming I was working full time, had a part time job (web design), and going to school as well. And the economy was better then than it is now.

Our local newspaper has featured a special place on the web to help with cutting living costs. Some of the ideas featured are grocery price comparisons at stores (no, Walmart is NOT the cheapest), where is the least expensive gas at the moment, free entertainment, grocery shopping tips, etc. Check it out!

How am I cutting back? Using white vinegar for carpet cleaning. Consolidating trips - placing most of my errands into one day to save gasoline. Attempting to get my family to turn off the lights and TV when not watching it. Careful grocery shopping. Minimize eating out - its better for us to eat home cooked and cheaper. I've started cooking more "from scratch." I've put in a small garden. Toothpaste, soaps, etc....I'm buying bulk. Clothes - bare minimum - of course I am not working, that helps my wardrobe needs. Shopping at Target for the boy's clothes. Using the library. We have a well for yard watering. Streeeeeetch out haircut timing. Also, I'm only taking half of my maintenance meds. Wouldn't advise that unless one knew what they were doing. Afternoon movies instead of evening. Exercise equipment at home instead of gym membership. I know there's more - we'll find it.

I'm used to doing without "frou frou" stuff, well sort of, I sure do like pedicures - my daughter gives me her old perfume (which is still good) - I inherited other daughter's underpants since my old ones got bigger, (its ok - hers are cute, I admit I can't tolerate the thongs though - I don't understand the purpose of them either), and we're carefully reviewing our house payment thinking about refinancing if its feasible and will save money.

Dang powers that be in their greed will find out what we're made of won't they?

Anyone have any others ideas that I haven't thought of?

I think as I keep weeding stuff out here, my mind will feel more peaceful too. This evening I'm organizing greeting cards into categories.....and vowing to go to that box before I go to the store for a card.

11 comments:

punxxi said...

buy cards, gift wrap,ribbon and gift bags etc at the Dollar Tree( if hey have them where you live)

punxxi said...

if THEY durrrr

Gardenia said...

Great idea punxxi - we have lots of dollar stores here and sometimes I forget them!

Red said...

Better still... make your own cards! You are artistically inclined, so it shouldn't be too much of an effort for you. People will be so touched that you took the time and effort to make something from scratch that they will overlook the fact that your card is printed on normal paper rather than fancy cardboard. Asterisk has been making me cards for birthdays and other occasions for years, and I look forward to his little funny poems and his creativity at work in a way that I wouldn't if he just signed a card from a store.

We're all tightening our belts... here in the UK the situation is no different. We have also cut down massively on eating out and takeaways. We still buy good- quality produce since eating is, effectively, our only "vice". (Well, mine, anyway. Asterisk has his tattoos!) I was wondering just the other day if I should start drinking tap water, but you know? Water is the only thing I drink, so my bottled water is my treat, the way a six-pack of beer is for Asterisk, or a bottle of wine. (I have pretty much given up alcohol as "empty calories" in my bid to lose weight.)

Oh, by the way, that film I mentioned on my latest post is not La Vie en Rose (the Edith Piaf bio), but Ma Vie en Rose (the difference a little letter can do, eh?). It is a film from 1996, so you should be able to find it in videostores. I think you would really like its tender quirkiness, actually. I won't say what it's about because it would spoil the beginning (and there is a BIG surprise at the beginning that everybody should experience with open, unknowing hearts), but it has stayed with me a lot since we watched it. Lovely, lovely, lovely...

tshsmom said...

We've been living simply(cheaply), for so many years that it's now 2nd nature.
I've considered sharing my methods in a weekly post. We blogfriends need to pull together to survive these difficult times! Thanks for sharing!

Gardenia said...

Thanks everyone! Red, good idea with the cards - I'm going to an art party tonight, I think I will take some blank cards and work on those since its hard to transport oils. No, we shouldn't stop eating good food - empty calories are cheaper - but in the long run we'd get sick and have lots of doctor bills to pay.

And water - I won't drink tap water either. I'm thinking of looking into a distiller for my faucet - I've been reading a book by Paul Bragg on "The Miracle of Fasting" and I'm convinced now about distilled water. Though if I had my druthers, I have to admit a weakness for expensive "sparkling" water - I don't like the flavored ones!

Thanks for clarifying about the movie....

Tshsm - do it! I would love it. (The living simply blog....) pleeeease.

Gardenia said...

Thanks everyone! Red, good idea with the cards - I'm going to an art party tonight, I think I will take some blank cards and work on those since its hard to transport oils. No, we shouldn't stop eating good food - empty calories are cheaper - but in the long run we'd get sick and have lots of doctor bills to pay.

And water - I won't drink tap water either. I'm thinking of looking into a distiller for my faucet - I've been reading a book by Paul Bragg on "The Miracle of Fasting" and I'm convinced now about distilled water. Though if I had my druthers, I have to admit a weakness for expensive "sparkling" water - I don't like the flavored ones!

Thanks for clarifying about the movie....

Tshsm - do it! I would love it. (The living simply blog....) pleeeease.

Candy Minx said...

I drink tap water...always been scared of the off gases in bottled water...I know...I am weird...the tap water in Toronto and Chicago is some of the finest water in the world...so I gsess that makes a difference.

I think we are going to hear of more and more people finding ways to save on money and energy. I think a lot of people are going to go into a little shock...so the sooner one starts the easier and better.

Ya Think? said...

Well there is http://www.angelfoodministries.org This is not an indogent program, but rather a way of collective (cooperative) buying. Go check out their menu. And to save more money take turns picking it up.

Also with Farmers Markets. Several go in and get a bushel (or whatever) as it is cheaper. Then all sit down and divide it up so you have a variety of veggies.

I am putting in chicken coops now and getting ready to have topsoil put in so I can grow my own things as I live in a very rural area.

Ya Think? said...

There is one thing I forgot... Freecycle.org http://freecycle.org is the greatest thing. It is a Going Green program designed to keep the 'good stuff' out of the landfills. It is primarily run off of Yahoo groups. What it does is allows you to offer items you no longer need or want. Then someone else asks you for the item.. The only hitch is it has to be absolutely free and they will give you the boot if they realize you are misusing the program. It is not a program of goodwill other than to keep the good stuff out of the lanfills.

My fridge came from there.. My washer and dryer came from there... I have given many things away on there that I did not want as well. People from all walks of life use this program.. rich to poor.. educated to uneducated.

When I finish my house my unused portions of paint and building supplies will go on there as well. They have groups all over the United States, Canada, and are now in other countries.

Pretty kewl thing ..

Milla said...

Hmmmm have you thought about changing your lightbulbs to energy saving ones?