Thursday, April 24, 2008

Simplify to find freedom

(This is adapted from a comment I left on Money Saving Moms blog about simplifying.)

After reading ideas on blogs recently about CVS and coupons I have felt a rush of adrenaline - "oh fun! what a challenge! what a way to save money with grocery prices rising so quickly." But then I talked to my husband and realized that we not only try to keep things simple financially and clutterwise in our home, we also try to keep our lives simple in general. Bargain shopping for me I think would become something to just clutter up my time and mind.
The way that I have found useful to save money is in simplifying our home. Our monthly costs are low bc we live in an inexpensive apt, keep lights off during all but the gloomiest days, don't own a microwave (saves on electric), we dont have clocks (again saves on electric and changes perspective too!), we only have cell phones no land lines, we also dont have a tv which saves electricity, the intial cost of purchase, hours of mindless entertainment, and the extra costs of things like cable etc. When we do watch movies its on our Macbook (a splurge for Ben's grad school and work) that are borrowed from the library that we walk to down the street, and we are very careful to return them on time so the fines don't start adding up.
A way we have found to save money in the kitchen is by not buying meat, I am a vegetarian and my husband only eats meat served to him outside of the home. We don't replace meat with expensive fancy veg options, we just eats lots of vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
I hate the cheap chemically options of things so I have started making my own cleaning supplies, skin care prod and toothpaste out of simple things like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and lemon juice and I have to say my skin is actually glowing through this pennies and dimes treatment!
We only buy clothes from thrift stores (and i'm trying to only get them when we need them after a recent pep talk from my husband!). We try to mend broken things rather than replacing them, have one car that we try to use as little as possible and instead get exercise from walking and biking. This all has enabled us to live on my husband's start up salary while letting me stay at home with my son while we pay off school loans. I never feel deprived by any of these choices. Start paring down and you'll be surprised by how little you miss and how much you enjoy your new freedom. Plus its fun and empowering to learn to make things from scratch!


Xin Lei said...

i'd love to have your recipe for a homemade cleaning spray! said...

Liz...I love this post, it makes me really excited for when we may live together and do all this together. And i really want to learn how to make those things you just mentioned.
Just the other day when registering Luke and I were asking if we "want to be the type of people who have a microwave." And the clock idea-brilliant. When do we get to start our farm in Montana?