Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Making do, or doing without

"No one will deny the importance of urging rich and poor alike, in the present state of things to try and economise the fuel and food which they may have at their disposal. The sooner we make up our minds that what we regretfully speak of as the "good old times" with their good old prices will never come again, the sooner we shall cease to look fondly back on a cheaper past, and brace ourselves helpfully and bravely to face the increased cost of the necessities of life."
Lady Barker, First Lessons in the Principles of Cooking, 1886

Written in 1886???

This could be written in today's newspaper!
(tho I don't subscribe to the daily paper....trying to economise, ya know!)

There are several things we have done to tighten our proverbial belts around here.
The obvious ones, of course, are quite simple.

No eating out.

No movie theatres.
(that is NOT a hard one....is there anything worth watching??)

Driving far less than ever.
(gas prices here hovering around the $3 mark)
And when we DO have to run errands, killing as many birds with one stone as possible.
Farmboy can stop at the grocers on his way home from bidding a job just as easily as I can.

Planting our Victory Garden.

Raising our hens for eggs.

Neutering our pets ourselves....
Just kidding!

Line drying instead of the electric dryer.

Cooking from scratch.
THIS is an easy one for me, as it is something I have pretty much done for years anyway.

Goodwill shopping for anything we might have need of, clothing wise.
(Even our 17 year old daughter loves to shop at Goodwill!)

Bartering with friends and neighbors, rather than putting out cold, hard cash.

What are YOU folks doing to tighten your belts?
Talk to me!


Pin It!


Accidental Huswife said...

I love that quotation! Love old cookbooks too. :) Isn't it funny how timeless frugality is!

The Vintage Housewife... said...

how inspirin' honey...oooh a victory garden and the beauty of veggies! just checking in to make sure the box arrived! blessings cat

Faith said...

Funny. Yup inflation has been happening since Nimrod built the first city.

I can neuter your farm animals for you. LOL

We are running around so much that it's hard to never eat out, but when we do, we try to snack for under 5 dollars. That happens once or twice a week.

Redbox can rent you movies for 1 dollar, or you can watch almost all the new releases free on surfthechannel.com.

We do not use heat or cooling unless absolutely necessary. This winter we kept it at 62, so far we've only turned on the cooler once, when it was really muggy and the books on the shelves were curling. It's been 80 in the house lately.

We take very shallow baths and cut way back on hot water usage.

We've cut out more than 65% of our activities in the last year.

Yup, raising our own food.


Kelle said...

This is one area that is toughest for our family. We've been doing all of your suggestions for decades, it's a way of life for us. Our problem is finding something else to cut back on, use and reuse or do without.

We do borrow/ exchange movies with neighbors and friends when applicable. We don't eat out, unless a visiting family member insists on taking us out and that is after we try to convince them to eat here(eating out and thinking about it makes me ill, really!).

Our only extra is internet and we only pay $15 a month for it. I guess since my Dh has a cell( through work) we could cut out our land line, but then we'd not need the internet either, it's a quandry. This is why we feel so blessed, because we already know how to to be frugal, it's not a shock.

About the only things that effect us( budget wise) are the ever increasing feed costs for our animals. One way we've helped with this is to buy in bulk, direct from the farmers when possible. Last year we bought enough feed for a year and in that year we figured we saved close to $500 in the increased cost of feed during that time frame. It was alot of money to put out up front but in the long run it was well worth it.

Calm Energy said...

HI Cyn...
Here's my quick list:
*No movies (you're right... nothing good to see, don't want to support them either)... Last one we saw was "Fireproof" DEF. RECOMMEND IT. Our church had a movie night with it...

*Garden (hope it grows :)
*Keep older cars alive (mine's a '98 and Chris has an '02)
*Don't go many places ... when we do, no trip into town is wasted on one errand.
*Shop on eBay ... and hardly shop at malls ...

Good Job Cyn... I think bartering is going to make a resurgence! My grandmother used to "pay" her doctor by making him one of her 'famous' lasagnas! Unfortunately--these days, a lasagna doesn't cover an MRI or CAT scan! God Bless You!

Farmchick said...

Well, I cook from scratch and always plant a big garden....how's that? :)

Hope you are doing well!

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Cyn!
So enjoyed this post, doing most of what you are doing, though tonight I still went on that "date night" with my dh, even though I felt guilty for it. Old habits die hard, maybe once in a while is okay. lol Thanks for sharing I have been gone and am trying to catch up. I also enjoyed your post on getting your veggies through the co-op.Am looking forward to those recipes.

Margo in Maine said...

Really enjoyed reading your blog...will be back again...married to a small time farmer...so could relate...also am a quilter...

Aunt Jenny said...

We definately don't go out to eat...with 6 of us (and 4 of them hungry teen/pre-teens) it costs a fortune. I dont' see how folks do it! I have been making meals from scratch to freeze for summer nights when I don't feel like cooking, but want something nice for supper...I love doing that.
We buy local meat and grow our garden..and have hens for eggs and Mona for milk.
I certainly do drive alot less. Our gas is only $2.43 right now (only!?) but still. I buy clothes at thrift shops and make and remake things all I can. We do our own work around the place.
I have hung clothes out on the line for decades and LOVE that. I would do it even if times weren't tight. I don't see why more people don't.
I barter milk/cream for grain and hay for Mona and one gal brings over baked goods and produce that we don't grow to exchange. Awesome!
We had planned to get a new car this year..to replace my 11 year old one with 150,000 miles on it. It has been paid off for 7 years and when it came right down to it I decided that there is no reason we should replace it just because it is old. It runs well and looks pretty good still. I have certainly driven worse cars. Do we really need a car payment right now? NO. I will drive it at least another year..maybe more. I would miss it anyhow. I get attached to my vehicles.
It is fun to be as frugal as possible. I love to read your blog..you make frugality beautiful!

Victoria said...

Hey, Kelle, I feel your pain! As a girl grown in a frugal household most money-saving tips are a part of the routine; no manicures or yearly vacations to cut out of the budget.

The garden is the best thing, I think, and I've had great success planting from seed. I've done pretty well with the tomatoes.. maybe I can sell them to neighbors? I have too many. Anyway, this was a cute post, Cyn! I laughed at "neutering our pets." No amt of $ saved is worth that!!

Kelle said...

Okay I re-read my post and I'd like to add( because it wasn't my intention to sound whiny) that because of the way we've lived( frugal/ simple)our ONLY debt is our morgage and...... we hope to have it paid off this year or next! YEAH!!!!! Once that is "Paid In Full" then we'll home free*wink* After the morgage is paid,one thing that will look nice will be our savings, for property taxes/ homeowners insurance and the rainy day fund!

My En-gedi place said...

Well, you already know what we're doing for the most part, but to name a few- making my own household cleaners has been a big money saver over time, even cooking my own dog food has actually been a tiny bit cheaper, cutting the cable (what a time thief anyway!) and basically learning how to have fun at home instead of going out. Sometimes if the kids get really bored and restless they reach this insanity point- and actually play and hang out together! Not only that, but they're way more entertaining than the TV!