Thursday, April 29, 2010

On being thrifty... tips & tricks to try

I am so into the idea of pinching pennies right now. In part because it is necessary for us during the slow season (winter) of our business to stretch our dollars until spring starts to improve cash flow. Also in part because it is a good feeling to know I've been eliminating waste and being wise with our money. Wasted food, wasted clothing that was perfectly good or household products that could have been stretched out. These are the things I've been paying closer attention to. I thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I've come up with or found from various sources.

1. I take my children's clothing to the consignment store when they outgrow it. They will sell the items that are still sellable and donate the rest. Then I get some store credit to spend on used but new looking items. I have found the most darling clothes (especially for Carolyn) for $1 to $7 a piece depending on the item. If it cost $7 it was really special!

2. I have all sorts of interests that I've been able to delve into simply by logging into my online library account and requesting books be sent to my local library. I have searched for books on gardening, home decor, potagers (french kitchen gardens), chickens, financial planning, and much more. There is so much information and inspirational books ready at my fingertips for free!

3. I love to bake muffins and breads, cookies and cakes from scratch. These can be a cheap afternoon snack or breakfast food or part of a school lunch. Much better than prepackaged already prepared food with preservatives. We also enjoy homemade pizza, a lot of soups and other dishes that have simple ingrediants but utilize a variety of what we have on hand. I have also been substituting less sugar than the recipe calls for to see if things still taste good and use less of what we have.

4. Trying to cut back on paper towel use with washclothes and substitute saran wrap for ziploc bags. There are lots of areas we can cut back on in this area. Like paying attention to how much water we use etc. On that note I usually make at least 2 children use the bath water and often 3. (not usually 4 there is something about that number that seems too much! the last child will take one the next time) In this case, I start with the cleanest child and work down. This is never the boys!

5. My last tip for today but I will probably post more another time...Yard sales and flea markets and thrift stores! I am hooked. I cannot wait until yard sale season is really in full swing. This is how I decorate my home! It's often how I clothe my children and stock my cupboards with useful kitchen tools, china and such! I've even got the children into it! Scott amazingly was on board from the beginning, apparently he had already realized long ago that you can find some pretty great deals on manly stuff like motors, tools, athletic equipment etc.

Finally I must say that I do not choose to be thrifty because we are broke. I choose it because it means we can spend money on other things. It means I can change my style on the drop of a dime because I dont have tons of money invested into anything. We can eat out more because we've saved money elsewhere which is something our family really enjoys especially when it's raining and we can't be outside. (also because we have a catering business and sometimes it's nice to have someone else preparing the food). It means we can have a big family and not spend a fortune on just getting clothing, food and shelter. And best of all, being thrifty is fun. It's the thrill of the hunt and the great deals that get me! I guess you could say it's kind of a hobby!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My favorite kind of day...

This was one of those days I'll always remember. These photos of Aiden and Casey are actually from a few years ago. It was a day where we had no plans and could go slow. We took a drive to Grammy's to do some exploring on her farmland. The boys searched for frogs in the planters, in the birdbath and down by the pond. They found one, actually they found many!
It was the kind of day that was full of simple joys, like being outside, like not rushing but enjoying the moment, like being with family and relaxing. These are the days I live for.

And who wouldn't? Just look at those darling boys, mud and all!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Casey with the Chickens

Here is Casey my youngest little boy. He is a charmer first and foremost! This little one who I refer to as my beach boy has a surfer easy going style. He is sunny and has a warm smile most of the time. Here he is with our newest adventure, Rhode Island Red Hens! Every day he runs out to check for eggs with much enthusiasm, which we get between 3 and 5 a day out of these ladies! I cannot believe how rewarding having chickens has been! So far we have 5 who were already started layers, but my good friend is raising some chicks for me to add into the bunch. I will probably be adding in an Americauna, an Orpington, and a Brahma but I'm not sure yet! It will be so fun to get multi-colored eggs in addition to the brown ones!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A little introduction...

Meet sweet Carolyn, the baby of our family of six! I am blessed to live in the country in a small town with my husband and 4 beautiful children in an old farmhouse with a couple of acres. Although it is really more of a cottage with 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms and just under 1800 square feet of finished space for us, it is quite "cozy"!

Our baby, Carolyn, just turned one and she has 2 older brothers and an oldest sister who I will introduce in upcoming posts! We are a typical family trying to live life to the fullest and enjoy simple pleasures! I have been so inspired to live more purposely and achieve more beauty in small ways each day by browsing through other women's blog's. I decided it would be fun to share in the experience! I look forward to connecting with others who share in my passion for family, friendships, faith, community and country!



About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love