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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Micro-Mini-Small Business? Don’t Take Initiative

Micro-Mini-Small Business? Don’t Take Initiative

Here you go. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/11-year-old-girl-banned-from-selling-cupcakes-by-control-freak-government-bureaucrats

Whatever you do, don’t take initiative. The Feds are waiting with red tape, creating laws to fine the profit out of our endeavors. How else are they supposed to pay off over $17 trillion national debt? http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Barter while we can?

Cheers…

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Seeking a Simpler Life

Seeking a Simpler Life

Oh, for the idyllic, family-centered life.

This is the last post I will be linking to facebook, because we are breaking up! (myself and facebook, that is) It’s time. I have heard myself talk about being too busy one too many times, and this is something I can eliminate without detracting from my family, or myself, in any way.  When you’re too busy, something has to go.

Some things to consider letting go:

  • TV and movies (at least not every day. Once a week would be perfect for me–if I had the time!)
  • Fitness? No! Getting out of shape will make you slower in all areas, be it physical, mental, emotional, etc. Personally, I am not able to get to the gym these days. Shovelling snow, dancing with the children, doing a few crunches and stretches… It all adds up.
  • Sleep? Even bigger NO. Losing sleep to get stuff done is counter-productive. If it does not make you sick, prolonged loss of sleep will detract from your overall health.
  • Simple meals-  One big pot of soup to warm up and eat all week long may be boring, but it is totally ok.
  • Showering every day… Sorry to be so rude. If you are not covered in motor oil, sheetrock dust, or the baby’s spit-up, there is no need to shower every day. I shower 2x/week. There, I said it. Unless I get all sweaty working out, 2 weekly showers are more enough. Any time I had to shower more than that, I was detoxing, which results in body odor. Pinpoint toxins in the body, remove those, and notice the difference in less body odor! Hair and skin produces less oil when it is washed less frequently. If my hair looks limp, I sometimes touch up with dry shampoosee my post on how to make dry shampoo https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/things-i-no-longer-buy/ .  But my main reason for fewer showers is water conservation.
  • Dirty dishes- Everyone uses their own cup all day. Soup and salad gets served in the same dish (Yes, children, deal with it.) Serving platters. What?
  • Laundry- If it looks clean and it smells clean, it is clean. Don’t automatically throw everything in the wash the first time. Who has time to be constantly doing laundry?
  • Limit Outings- Our outings are minimal–basically, shopping, picking up raw milk, library, visiting family, and church. These activities are bundled into 2 outings/week. Shopping happens once, monthly. I have highest respect for soccer moms, but it is not for me. My family and I do very well at home with our school projects, crafts, chickens, etc.
  • Schedule- Most importantly, a written schedule, with the little things to remember to fit into the day (call Great Aunt Helga-Marie, change the chickens’ bedding, etc.) is the way I keep my sanity! I write it down and pray over it. But… as we all know, The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps (Prov. 16:9)

I have given up things like doing my makeup, teaching Zumba, midweek activities, and other extras. It is hard to see what could possibly be trimmed even more! But, God always surprises me when I ask those questions. Remember to ask, “How can I get organized, be less busy, take care of myself, focus on family…?”

Stop, breathe, assess. Life was meant to be full, but not so busy.

Be blessed, be at peace.

Cheers!

Survival Summit

Survival Summit

Free Survival Summit live-streaming conference this week, each day’s session available just 24 hours.  http://thesurvivalsummit.com/day-1/

Today’s speakers are:

    • Training Your Mind To Think Clearly In Life Or Death Scenarios–Travis Haley
    • How To Grow All Your Own Food, Without Irrigation… Even If You Live In A Dry Climate–Paul Wheaton
    • Locating The Perfect Survival Retreat or Homestead–Marjory Wildcraft
    • Top 10 Off-The-Grid Cooking Solutions In A World Without Power (Indoors & Outdoors)–Tess Pennington
    • How To Survive A Nuclear Event & The Spreading Fallout–Dr. James Hubbard

Today’s resources available for free until 8:59 AM tomorrow. I’m not missing out.

Frugal Fails

Frugal Fails

 

 

 

 

Failures of frugality. Bursting my bubble.

  1. Trying to do everything yourself in order to save money, but got overwhelmed and forgot to pay a bill, bring that coupon, turn off the stove?
  2. Renting a movie, then finding that same one for free at the library, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube, or in your own private library.
  3. Nothing like having clothes fall apart in public! Clothes should be cheap, but not cheaply made. Key is natural fibers like wool, cotton and leather for long-lasting wear.
  4. Did you ever take a trip, intending to ‘muscle through,’ but you got so tired you lost your way, drove in circles for a few hours, and ended up staying at a random (and rather expensive) hotel? Been there.
  5. GPS is too expensive. So are smart phones. Again, with the getting lost. If I could take back all the hours and gallons of fuel from driving in circles, I could buy 3 smartphones, and a GPS for each vehicle.
  6. Skipping vitamins in the name of frugality = probably get sick more often = lost wages = doctor visits (I. If you can’t afford vitamins, drink cod liver oil. II. If you can’t afford cod liver oil, get  food in its most whole form possible to retain nutrients; III. Do both of options even if you do take good vitamins)
  7. Thrift stores are often over-priced; but it’s definitely better than buying full price!
  8. Thrift store finds are only frugal if you actually need the item…
  9. Chickens like free post-dated bread, but they won’t lay as many eggs! Give them some protein.
  10. Apparently, simmering cinnamon sticks and apple juice to improve the post-fish dinner aroma is not a frugal way to freshen up the house–if you can’t remember to turn off the stove.

Try again.

Cheers 😉

Services I No Longer Pay For

Services I No Longer Pay For

Dry cleaning and a few other chores one can do just as well at home; how is the quality? Sometimes, one can decide that good enough is good enough; some services one may opt to skip completely; and for the rest… save it for a professional.

  1. Hair care; I cut my family’s hair, including my own. I decided that I would be ok with the occasional “oops!” for the return of saved time and money. (I used to color my hair too, but no longer want the chemicals, nor do I have the time.) I actually get compliments on my hair a lot, which tells me that I must be doing something right. https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-your-own-hair/ https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cut-your-own-hair-short/
  2. Carwashes; we pay for it only in freezing weather (which is most of the time in Minnesota!) We wash our own cars as long as the hose works.
  3. Food Service; Yes, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, because I used to spend so much money on restaurants and coffee shops! Can someone explain to me why? I much prefer my own cooking, anyway. And on rushed days–I can make a mean PB&J sandwich, and a travel mug of rich, dark coffee that makes my Spanish roots proud.
  4. Cable TV; ok, we have never actually had TV. You can watch or read pretty much anything online! Just to say, we don’t subscribe for TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  5. Carpet cleaning; We have a carpet steamer. With kids, that is an investment! In my perfect world, we will no longer have carpets, just a few throw rugs and cozy furs.
  6. Home improvement; we have never actually hired out, but I just thought I’d mention that we are personally responsible for all our painting, flooring, insulation, etc. That is part of home-ownership. May as well jump in the deep end.
  7. Lawn-care; in progress… We are so pleased with our friend who does our lawn, but we are working on having a riding lawn mower ready for the spring, as we really need to be saving where we can. We also handle our own trees.
  8. Dry cleaning; Totally DIY! (Spot clean first; Put your items in a zippered pillowcase with a wet washcloth with about 12 drops of essential oils–I like cedarwood with a hint of lavender; Dryer on gentle cycle for 30 minutes; Check for any mending, use the steamer if needed, and it’s done; minus the toxic chemicals of conventional dry cleaning.) Are you in love?
  9. Plumbing; you can trouble-shoot a couple things, but save most of it for a professional! Do I need to draw pictures?
  10. Electrician work; that is the job of a professional! ZZzzzzzttttT!

The more we learn to handle ourselves, the more we are prepared for life in general. Sustainability? Yes, we have our stores of supplies, which we add to every month. But, even more importantly, we are learning to take care of ourselves, rather than be dependent on society. This saves money, and is a vital step in preparedness.

Happy self-servicing!

Things I No Longer Buy

The frugal side of me always wonders, “can I make that?” There are a lot of things I have learned to make myself, or simply do without. I try to learn just one product at a time. Also, I like to simplify recipes whenever possible. Remember, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.)
1.Toothpaste http://wellnessmama.com/5252/remineralizing-tooth-powder-recipe/
2.Lotion http://www.recipenet.org/health/recipes/beauty/perfect_ceam.htm
3.Chapstick http://wellnessmama.com/7055/homemade-lip-chap-recipe/
4.Eye Cream (straight shea butter, coconut or olive oil, whatever is on hand.)
5.Dry shampoo http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/homemade-dry-shampoo-dark-light-hair/ (I keep it very basic, just arrowroot or cornstarch, cocoa, and lavender.)
6.Hair Conditioner (vinegar water rinse.)
7.Shaving Cream (Lathered soap or a little oil)
8.Deoderant http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2013/01/homemade-all-natural-deodorant.html (I haven’t gotten there yet, but when I run out I will try this recipe.)
9.Skin cleansers, exfoliators, and lotions (A tub of sugar and olive oil, scrubbed gently from head to toe. A light rinse, and the body has been exfoliated and moisturized. A quick spraying down of the shower may be in order…)
10.Loose Face Powder (cornstarch or arrowroot powder, tinted with cocoa powder according to your skin tone.)
11.New Clothes (I no longer buy new. I really don’t need anything, but if I did, the thrift store is where I would go. Socks and underwear must be new, though–I draw the line there.)
12.Household Cleaners (vinegar water for most cleaning, or a mixture of vinegar water and LOC–Liquid Organic Cleaner from Amway. Other cleaners (straight baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide usually does the trick. I still buy Bioquest Laundry Detergent and Dish Drops, which are very good for our private septic.)
13.Coffee Shops (I no longer feel the need. I can out-barista any coffee shop out there. Total waste of my money–unless I am running on zero sleep, then “yes please.” The same goes for restaurants. I truly enjoy my own home and my own cooking.)
14.Gym (with my fitness license, I can’t justify paying for that anymore. Also, it is so fun to explore the many fitness DVDs, most of them available for free through Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, or the library!)
15.Tanning salon (I no longer…)
16.Eggs (Because I have my own chickens! Dreams do come true.)
17.Prepared Food (I prepare everything myself. It is not very hard, and so much nicer. Remember, one thing at a time.)
18.Vanilla (This is on my list to make! Vanilla beans and vodka. http://www.beanilla.com/blog/homemade-vanilla-extract?gclid=CMqO5f7H_7sCFY47Mgodo1EAJA)
19.Gift bags (reuse, recycle. If you don’t have a gift bag to reuse, it is a good joke to wrap something in newspaper. The thrift store is also a great for baskets to arrange gifts in.)
20.Cards (If I have something cutesy to say, I write it out myself. A nice card might be $3.99 or more. A photo also works well in lieu of a card, or one of the littles can always be employed to make a beautiful card for Auntie Ruthie someone)

Just a few of the things I have grown out of buying! What do you make? What have you given up?

How We Are Saving Even More in 2014

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The economy is going down. We may as well face it, pay off like crazy, save, and build stores of supplies for hard times. All this takes money, and most of us are not getting a raise this year. We have to cut our spending. Here is just one source, of many… http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/category/economic-crisis

I am not a financial expert, but I do know that a woman must be an expert manager of her home.
Here is what we are doing.

  1. Drive less; the more I grow in my calling of being a wife and mom, the more I enjoy being home. We only venture out a couple times a week.
  2. Shop once; this saves a lot of time and money. Our monthly Costco trip is fun, and a relief when it is over!
  3. Buy short-dated; this one is such a blessing! The Village in Brooklyn Park offers short-dated food at an amazing value. This is especially a blessing for us, because if we do not consume it in time, our animals are a lot less picky than we are. (What? soggy lettuce!? Give it here! To the cute furry one!)
  4. Do I have to say we don’t really go to restaurants? The rare exception is for Michael’s work, or if we are meeting friends (and they can’t come to our house.)
  5. If it isn’t underwear or socks, we probably don’t need it. Gone are the days of splurging on new jeans and shoes on a whim. Our old ones fit just fine. And for the kids? Spread the word–people love giving their hand-me-downs to the local cheapskates. Yes, I said it. We are officially cheapskates. Some of those babies still have the tags on them! Bags and bags of free clothes. Talk about a blessing!
  6. Be smart with energy; We have a large house, and will be expanding our options to include woodburning, solar, and possibly wind energy in the next two years. We will also make use of all the paper that used to be a nuisance by making fire logs. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009WE64YG/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1Y4RBJHD0SC34
  7. Be healthy: Enough said, right? Have energy, make the right choices, and don’t get worn down (like I keep having to remind myself!)  Here is how I start out my day: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/
  8. Give gifts that help others save money; Let’s be brutally honest. Does your friend want a figurine? Does your co-worker need a scarf? Will your spouse appreciate a gift card as a token of your undying love? Gifts can be meaningful, frugal, and useful! My sister Ruthie recently gave me a dress from the thrift store and some cash. Oh, yeah, baby. Most people would have bought a new dress as a gift, and skipped the cash. She’s got it. I like to give baskets of food (fruit, homemade wine, cheese, and coffee are perfect.) For a new baby? Diapers, of course.
  9. Activities should be free, or almost. Between camping, fishing, exercising at home, biking, attending events like Home Depot’s kids craft, and visiting with friends, family, and neighbors, we should have very few evenings where we are forced to watch a free movie on the internet.
  10. Raise your own; we have rabbits, layer hens, ducks, and hope to have a good garden in this year. Rabbits are well suited to many living situations, and have been known to do well even in apartments. They are a frugal source of meat, fur, and high quality manure for the garden. I also sprout seeds for salads all year.

 

Thanks to my sis Elisa for her constant supply of good ideas! If you have money-saving tips, I want to hear them. Thank you! God bless you and your financial goals.