Rhonda Jean of http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/ asked all her readers to write about our versions of living a simple life. Here is mine.
I guess I was always brought up in a frugal way, I remember always eating home baked biscuits and my Mum making all our clothes. My Mum only ever worked part time and my Dad was always able to fix things. I can remember many of our bikes being made from parts salvaged from the local tip. We used to joke that Dad would bring home more from the tip than he dropped off!
In my early 20's I fell for all the advertising and keeping up with the Jones'. We had a mortgage and the interest rates peaked at 17%. We had friends over for dinner parties and rarely went out for meals as we couldn't afford it! We commuted over an hour each day to work. We decided to cut our losses and eventually we bought the worst house in a really nice street.
From that point on I started to remember the old ways. We did most of the renovating ourselves and learned lots along that way!
I have always enjoyed cooking and always owned a slow cooker. When I became pregnant with my first child that I really started to look at ways to cut costs. I knew I didn't want to go back to work immediately. My children both had cloth nappies and home made clothes.
Years later following my divorce I spent six months back under my parents roof. They still live the same frugal, gentle life I remember from my childhood.
Being a single parent with 2 children and a mortgage I try to lead a frugal but happy life. We also discovered that my son reacts to a lot of food preservatives and additives (the numbers as he calls them).
I work about 30 hours a week so have learned to be very organised. I have a wonderful boyfriend who helps a lot with meal preparation and planning. My children also spend 50% of their time with their Dad, so I work longer hours the week they are with him and shorter hours when they are in my care. Here is a list of things that come to mind, the everyday of our simple, frugal lives:
I cook from scratch and bake at least once a week, our own biscuits and cakes.
I recycle, I have started growing our own herbs.
This year I started a compost heap.
We collect water when it rains in our old rainwater tank.
I dry my washing outside on the line and have only ever owned one dryer (it came with a house) I always think before I buy something new.
My daughter loves going op shopping with me.
I clean with bicarb and vinegar mostly, using old clothes/towels as cleaning cloths.
I menu plan and stockpile when I see good specials.
I use a cash budget for most items.
I preserve excess fruit to use throughout the year.
I freeze excess veggies as well.
I shop at local markets in order to buy in bulk and then share with family & friends.
I try to buy only Australian foods, but this is not always possible with my budget.
I catch public transport when I can.
My children ride or catch the bus to school most days.
I don't use plastic bags for my shopping - I have green bags and mesh bags for my fruit & veg.
I make my own laundry liquid.
I cook freezable meals in bulk (like bolognaise sauce).
I don't have a dishwasher in my kitchen.
My children attend the local public schools and I try to stay involved in their education.
My favourite thing right now is that I have managed to save enough to take my children overseas this year. I still have my mortgage to pay off, but I figure the memories are worth more than I can put a price on. In a few years my children will miss too much school, so it is now or never.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Thanks for stopping by.