Living Simply and Frugally at Home

apples As I mentioned yesterday, we're working really hard to shift our income sources to activities and work that align with our values. Rather than depend on one employer to supply an entire income, we're creating multiple income source while also reducing our lifestyle expenses.

As I dive deeper into the realm of frugal and simple living, I'm realizing how much the small choices we make at home and out and about impact our bottom line. To put it in very basic terms, are the purchases we make worth the per hour working cost? If my husband has to work 2 days' worth of hours to pay for something is it worth it? Freedom comes at a cost and often it's in the check-out line.

So here's a few ways that I'm reducing our expenses while also creating a lifestyle and home that supports our plans for the near future:

Reducing Household Waste: This might seem like an odd initial step, but stay with me. When we throw away old or uneaten food, we're throwing away the money and energy it took to purchase it in the first place. When we throw away a bunch of packaged food wrappers, it also means I spent a pretty penny on convenience to feed my family. On the flip side, when I make my own sourdough bread (which is pretty damn good) or make a crock-pot full of yogurt from a gallon of local milk, not only is the quality better, but the cost much cheaper. Less trash in the landfill, more money in our pockets.

Do Without: Rather than run out and buy something when I discover a possible "need," I'm waiting. It takes some major self-control for me to not hop on Amazon and ship the best option in two days. So I disconnected my payment form on Amazon and other places where I shop online too often. I'm making lists before I head to a store and passing up impulse purchases. I'm not perfect at it, but when I visualize the end goal of saving money, it makes it that much easier.

Recycle and Reuse What We Already Own: Another step I've taken toward reducing our household costs is to dig around at our house or to ask others if they're giving away an extra {fill-in-the-blank.} We're about to switch the girls back into bunk-beds (which we already own, with mattresses, thank goodness) to make space in their room for a crib. And as much as I would LOVE to crack out on redesigning their room with new bedding and all that jazz, I'm forcing myself to source bedding from our house that can be re-purposed. Could an oversized comforter be split in two to make individual blankets for their beds? Could I sew something out of leftover fabric? Instead of buying pretty jars to hold our bulk items I'm recycling empty bottles and jars from our home. My gal, Melissa Risenhoover, taught me that Bonne Maman jam jars are perfect drinking glasses, so I began to buy that brand to slowly build up our drinking glass collection. The more uses I can get out of a single item, the less it costs in the end.

Make Like My Grandma: Finally, the last step I'm taking is to cook as many meals as possible at home and to prep snacks to prevent eating out. My grandma had a whole pantry stocked with canned and preserved foods that she had grown or made herself. I'm purchasing supplies in bulk from the local bulk store and keeping often-used items always in stock. I have a rotating menu of meals I regularly and quickly cook, and I keep it simple. As much as I am an absolute foodie, I stick to what works, is healthy, and also cost-effective for my family. Those "special unicorn" meals are always in rotation.

We also plan to plant a garden next spring and grow as many vegetables as possible as well as revive some of our old habits like making sauerkraut and kombucha on a regular basis. It takes time to add these habits into our lives, but the end result will be a healthier family and (I hope) a bigger savings account.

I would LOVE to hear how you live simply and frugally while also adding value to your life. Share in the comments or message me on Instagram!