DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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28 June 2011

Homemaking in tough times

For a while it looked like our economy was improving and that soon prices would level out and start falling again, but when I researched online for information about electricity yesterday, there was doom and gloom all over the place regarding food, utility and fuel prices. Australia did a bit better than most countries during the recent economic crisis, but now, due to the floods and storms, food prices are higher than they've ever been and fuel prices are going up due to the high Australian dollar and trouble in the Middle East. What's happening here is being mirrored in countries all over the world. Many people are struggling, no one is safe in these troubled times.



If you've ever doubted your role as homemaker/housewife be assured that now is the time you will help your family more than ever before. Take the lead and make sure that every penny coming into your home now is used to its true value. Develop a plan to take your family through this crisis. When food and fuel prices rise and utilities bills increase faster than they should, it's your job as a home maker to be frugal and smart. Look around, research online and ask your friends about good wholesome recipes for main meals and snacks. Whatever your grocery budget was before, see if you can reduce it a bit. Stop buying convenience foods and start cooking everything from scratch - it will save you more than you know. Buy fruit and vegetables in season and if you can't afford fresh vegetables, check out the prices of frozen. They're often a bargain when the fresh prices go up. Buy as much as you can in bulk, not only is it usually cheaper, it cuts out a lot of packaging.



This is a good time to start networking with your friends and neighbours. Despite what you may think, everyone is dealing with high prices and even if there has been no talk of cutting back, when you start that conversation, I'm sure most of your friends will tell you they're struggling too. Can you start buying a bulk meat order together? If you can find a good local butcher and buy a side of beef together, you'll pay (in Australia) about $7 a kilo instead of anything up to $20 a kilo at supermarket prices. The butcher will ask you how you want the meat divided up and you can still get topside mince (ground beef), T-bone, rump, round, chuck, roasts, silverside (corned beef) and sausages all included in that price. Don't forget to take the bones too, for stocks and soups.


If you have a family and haven't started a stockpile yet, now is a good time to start. Look around for things that will store well for a while in a cupboard and when they're on special, grab a few of them. It will take you a few months to build your stockpile but it will see you through these bad times well and it will save you money and time. Old posts on stockpiling here.


If you're new to frugality, it's an exciting time. Don't see it as a burden to be endured; it's an opportunity to develop character and to protect your family. My hope for you is that you'll see this as a permanent change and even when prices fall and times get better, you'll remain a tightwad and continue to live a simple life. If I were coming to this for the first time, I'd stop ALL unnecessary spending and spend only on:
  • Food, groceries 
  • Utilities - electricity, water, rates
  • Fuel and transport
  • Debt repayment - mortgage, credit cards, car payments etc
  • House, car and clothing maintenance
  • Insurance 
  • Medical and dental checkups
Phone, internet, cable TV - all these could be stopped if you needed extra money for any of the above.
Work out how much you're currently spending on all the above and try to work out ways to cut your costs in every category. If you can do that, put the money you saved aside as an emergency fund or to pay off debt. Once a month, as a reward, give yourself money for a treat. Not too much - a movie, DVD or a magazine. The rest of the time, entertainment will be inviting friends around for a BBQ, recording a free movie to watch, and getting acquainted with your library. They're a treasure trove of books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, games and free activities.


If you can make your home a safe and comfortable haven for your family they'll enjoy being at home more. If they're going out to work or school everyday, make your home a joy to come back to - a place where they'll rest, recover and regain strength. Don't be frugal with the love either, that needs to be given out freely and on show all the time. Nothing makes a family more united and strong than knowing they're loved and cared for. That is your job. In addition to putting food on the table, love in their hearts and paying the bills on time, these tough times are a unique opportunity for you to step up and guide your family. It's not an easy job but it's a part of our job description: homemaker. And when you're older, you'll look back on these years and know they make you and your family stronger. Sure, everyone enjoys the good years, but it's the difficult ones that we learn from and that make us tougher, more united and resilient. Let's get our aprons on and start work.

ADDITIONAL READING
Australia - food and food price increase.
Australia - tough times ahead.
UK - rise in the cost of living
UK - inflation
USA - Gasoline price rise
USA - cost of living reaches record high

50 comments:

  1. Morning Rhonda!
    Thanks for your post I totally agree we have stopped buying fresh food from the big chains and have proudly patronised the west end markets each saturday. Not only does it feel good supporting local farmers but it is thoroughly enjoyable making the trip there (we only live 15min drive away). And having brekkie there, with lots of other like minded people, basking in the sun on the oval.
    Have a good day!
    Jamie

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  2. We live on Social Security Disability in the U.S. since my husband cannot hold down a full time job.

    Inflation has really made a huge difference. Not only have the prices raised a lot but the product sizes we do buy have changed (for instance, gotten smaller).

    I just had an e-mail this morning from a farm friend who had attended a conference in the Eastern U.S. She said the peanut crops have been devastated due to drought so to stock up on peanut butter now if I use it.

    I know we have been told to expect shortages and higher prices in wheat and other crops due to floods and drought.

    I live in a state which is one of the main corn growers and flooding here caused crops to be very late in planting and more rain is causing concerns about growth.

    Corn shortages cause higher prices in many other foods.

    I don't comment often but I still love your blog. Congratulations on new grandchildren... they are wonderful. :)

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  3. Hi Rhonda,
    I think you're right, I feel we're still in for some tough times to come. I'd just like to add that some people might get freaked out by the phrase 'stop all spending', but it is possible.
    When I stopped working to be a SAHM I looked at our budget and honestly thought there was no possible way that we could reduce our spending. I laugh now at that thought back then, we've cut so much out of our budget and it doesn't feel like we're worse off now, it feel like we wasted so much then, when we had two incomes.
    It is possible: with kids, when working, when living in a tiny house with no backyard and nowhere to grow food. It is possible. And not a hardship.

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  4. Rhonda, I don't know how you are so good at sending messages to your readers just when we need them the most! :) I'm working hard on scaling back on grocery spending, saving on electricity use, reaping the bounty from our small garden, using up what's in the freezer...I could just go on and on. Your words continue to be such an inspiration to those of us who sometimes feel pretty lonely whenever we try to start a discussion with friends who still don't understand how big an impact the small changes can make on a family's well being, both financially and emotionally.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll always turn to you for support.

    Diane in North Caroina

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  5. This post should be mandatory reading for EVERYone! It is so encouraging and helpful. Keep up the specific advice & suggestions.

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  6. thank you rhona these are just the words i needed to hear to get us back on track with frugality. I have a question about stock piling- we are in the uk and buy the cheapest supermarket own brand foods (tescos basics for those in the uk). These are never on sale, but the price usually beats that of sale items. Is it still worth stock piling these items?

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  7. I hope you will continue to write about frugality as I think we all can benefit from it and can benefit from sharing with each other how we are coping.

    I love this article; it's inspiring because even though one can know it's important being a home manager we can forget just how valuable that position is.

    Even though I am home due to health, being able to have time to focus on frugality has made a real difference to us while living on one income. Staying out of debt while living on a smaller income has really helped us to manage the ups and downs.

    In this economy one cannot take anything for granted. We all should be living as if the bottom could fall out tomorrow. I'm a big believer in planning ahead, even if we are able to do so just a little at a time. Any planning ahead is better than none.

    Lyn

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  8. Thank you Rhonda for staying positive in amongst all the doom and gloom. Thank you for empowering us and encouraging us to be pro-active and creative in our management of household funds. It's been a breath of fresh air!

    Lilian

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  9. Hello Jamie and ladies!

    Anon in the UK, it's definitely worth doing. We buy most of our food and groceries at Aldi - another chain that rarely has specials, relying on consistent low prices. One of the benefits of stockpiling is convenience - you build a little store at home that you can "shop" from, but it also saves time. The time element adds to the cost saving, because you're not going out to shop and using fuel to get there and back. From my personal experience, I've discovered having a full stockpile encourages me to always cook from scratch, knowing I have usually everything I need, no matter what I want to cook.

    A stockpile will also get you through those times when you're time-poor and you don't have to stop everything to buy groceries, it's a reliable source of food if there is an flood or storm emergency and if you lose your job, you have that food on hand, so at least you know there will be food on the table.

    I have just checked our stockpiles, and I can confidently say we could live for six months on what's in our stockpiles and the garden.

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  10. A very timely post, Rhonda. I have learned so much from your blog but the main thing I have gained from it is the permission and encouragement to see my homemaking as a 'real job' and to take pride and enjoyment from it, something I didn't get a lot of in my (very) full time career.

    My husband has a home cooked breakfast before he leaves each morning. He takes with him a lunch of home cooked cold meat sandwiches, fresh fruit and home cooked sweeties. I have always enjoyed cooking and now I look to ways to cut down on the meat content, increase the veggie content and to cook totally from scratch.

    Yesterday I made my first batch of lemon butter and I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see it turn out so well, taste so good and be able to give jars of it to my family. I signed up for a pickles and chutney course in a fortnight and cannot wait to do it.

    I also made some gingerbread, a mixed fruit slice and the best pea and ham soup ever! Now that I have more time, I delight in searching out less expensive food items and already notice a difference in our grocery spending.

    Thank you again for your supportive validation of the career of homemaking.

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  11. I agree with all your suggestions Rhonda. We have lived like that for years, its deffinately not a hardship. I would like to add a couple more ideas: shopping at op shops (thrift stores), you can often get better quality secondhand goods than buying them new; finding other entertainment other than visiting the local shopping centre. If you go there you will be tempted to spend money on things you want rather than need. Try going to a park, bush walking, riding your bike, visiting friends, window shopping when the shops are shut (you can look but not buy), working on a project together around the house, volunteering for a community group (choose something you have an interest in and gives social contact).

    Lynda

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  12. I agree , which is why we run workshops on reskilling and started Transition Towns in our area. Your words Rhonda are as precious as gold if only more people would listen. I think there are a lot of people in for a huge shock. And the funny thing is that the way we live is look at as though it were odd and yet it is extremely satisfying and enjoyable.Thanks Rhonda!

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  13. Its funny only last night I decided we need to stockpile. I got inspired by a thread on a UK forum, there are some great deals out there. Tomorrow is pay day for us and I am going to hunt down those deals and buy a years worth. Sounds a lot but say we use one tube of toothpaste a month (I have no idea how often we go through it), then I need to buy 12 and I happen to know where I just might be able to get my hands on toothpaste at 10p a go!! I bought beans tonight that are on offer at 20p a can (I do have dried beans as well). This comes after I spent our last £10 on Friday on food which had to last till tomorrow. We did it, we didnt go hungry but I need to be better prepared in the coming months. I am going to read your link on stockpiling now, thank you x

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  14. Another WONDERFUL post! We are currently looking at out first month of living on my part-time income - not sure how things will pan out but we will do our best. there is no money for "extra's" at all and we are currently living with no health coverage at all and hoping we both stay well. These are scary times we are all living in thats for sure.

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  15. This post is perfectly timed for me. I organize a buying club that gets local, sustainable meat, and we just found a new farmer who is surprisingly cheap, AND has a large enough herd to keep us regularly supplied. I'm going down to Amish country at the end of the week, and there's this amazing bulk food store, with a lot of it being organic. I plan on doing some serious stocking up. Also, as a family we eat a lot of meat, and I have a medical condition that requires I have a high protein/low glycemic index diet. I'm just starting to learn how to cook with beans so we can save money and meat. It seems like one of those skills I should have, but don't.

    I'm lucky that I live in an area with a lot of local farmers doing sustainable practices. I now get 90% of my animal products and probably 15% of my vegetables outside of the supermarket! (Working on improving that number).

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  16. Brenda, if you live in or reasonably near central Illinois (land of soy and corn), I can give you some tips.

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  17. Hi Rhonda. Although I haven't started growing my own vegies yet (it's coming), I do cook everything from scratch and refuse to buy packet mixes or jars of bottled sauces. I bake everything from scratch too. I use whatever is on hand, use only seasonal produce and substitute ingredients in recipes with suitable replacements. My Nanna (and Mum and other generations before them) did it like this. Mum is 80 this year and Nanna lived well into her 90's. It's a much better way of eating and frugal too.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

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  18. A couple years ago, it seemed too hard for us to go down to having one income, but we are doing just fine, by implementing some changes in our attitudes and spending. Occasionally, when money does get tight, you would think that I am tempted to go back to working outside the home, but instead I further embrace my SAHM-hood and look for more ways I can cook from scratch and make do! Being a SAHM is a challenge that, when faced with optimism and creativity, brings out the best in us women! Hard times show us what we're made of, and that can be very exciting.

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  19. Excellent point about treating ourselves and entertainment. These are some of the very things that get many people into trouble. Certainly it's not a bad thing to have a treat once in while. My dh and I were discussing almost this very same topic today. We want to be successful with our goals, so that means getting a rare treat, versus occasional or recurring splurges. We're tightening the belt even further.

    It is wise to sacrifice the extras to make sure one has enough money to pay the bills, to have a stocked pantry, to pad an account or envelope to be able to take care of upcoming expenses. It sure beats having to worry and fret instead. We don't have a large income so we do all of these things little by little.

    Sacrifice is a tough word for some though. There are many who cry poverty, but continue to have cable, eat out, cell phones, etc. and spend unwisely in general. Sadly, these people crumble when a financial difficulty comes, or they lose their job. My dh hasn't lost his job (this is not taken for granted). However, we live as if it "could" happen.

    There are some great things that you mentioned - spending time with those we care about, focusing on entertaining at home, making full use of our libraries, seeking our free/fun activities. It's about being grateful for what we have instead of thinking "I deserve this, even though I can't afford it".

    Again, planning ahead is key. It doesn't solve everything, but it sure does help when the storms come.

    Lyn

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  20. Rhonda,

    This is a timely post! We are all seeing the rising cost of everything - milk here from a local dairy that doesn't use hormones etc, went up 10 cents in a week!

    Amazing.

    You are right we have the hard, but fulfilling job of being careful with our money and being frugal, where and when it is needed. We get to be creative in our homemaking. And YES, we get to make our homes a haven!

    Deanna

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  21. I totally agree. Since being made redundant 7 months ago, I have been trying to convince my husband that my unemployment in one sense has been a godsend in these troubled economic times. He wants me to return to work!
    Unknowingly at first, I have saved more money by being a home maker than a corporate worker these past few months. I don't get my hair cut and coloured every 6 weeks, so I save $130 there, I don't get my nails done each fortnight saving $30, I hardly drive the car, I walk everywhere saving lots on petrol. I don't need to buy any clothes I have more than I need and will probably give a lot away. We never have take away any more because I'm home for meals rather than getting in the door at 7pm each night. I've got two veggie patches planted which would never happen if I was working. When I go to a supermarket I actually can be there to get some of the specials on offer whereas when I worked at 6pm the specials were gone, I was tired and just grabbed whatever. I think that I might just never return to work, I can save more money by being home than trying to compete with the "corporate image" and it's was a fact that my being a female in a male dominated environment (Info Tech) I was still being paid less than my co-workers.
    I've never been happier since I've been redundant.

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  22. This is a great post, not only because it includes useful tips but also because it focuses on the positives. I've been living quite frugally for quite a number of years now and it becomes force of habit after a while. I love treating myself to the 'little luxuries' now and again (such as a deluxe chocolate bar for the weekends or a magazine) because I really appreciate what those things mean.

    Another tip: clothes swapping. How about organizing a party with a few friends to mix and match wardrobes?

    Thanks for a great post!

    Blessings,
    This Good Life

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  23. Hi Rhonda, my husband only came home last night and asked if we could share a side of beef with a guy from work...I was more than happy to say 'yes'...we have a large freezer, so it makes perfect sense. Im looking forward to seeing what we get, and how much it will cost us...Suzanne

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  24. Hi Rhonda,
    thanks for another timely post. I've just cut my work back voluntarily to have more time with my children, and in my garden. The extra time comes at a cost of about $3500 per year - whew!
    I have to say I'm excited about it, and the kids are aware that we will be back to eating home-made bread and whatever veggies are in season and cheap rather than their favourites.
    I want to encourage anyone out there who thinks they cannot cut back and still have a great life. I'm a single,self-employed Mum and my family is thriving. We have all of the important things - love,health,an abundance of good food and a lovely little cottage with enough space to produce most of our food.
    Rhonda,please don't stop writing your wonderful messages,I'm sure many,many people are learning and being encouraged by them.
    For more inspiration readers may enjoy Thriving During Challenging Times By Cam Mather. It's full of info about peak oil/water/food and the economic crisis. And most importantly positive steps we can all take for a better life.
    have a wonderful day all, Madeleine

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  25. Very inspiring post, Rhonda. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of each day we forget to see the bigger picture.

    It's great to compare where we are at now to say, a year or two ago in regards to self-reliance. Your blog is a key element to our journey..thankyou :)

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  26. I think a lot of people look on living frugally as deprivation. A treat is only a real treat if it is a rare happening. Familiarity breeds contempt, therefore the treat would no longer be special. Focusing instead on the appreciation of the simpler things in life would benefit them more emotionally, mentally and financially.

    I am content with my life, happy to spend very little on extras. Finding an economical, eco-friendly way of doing things brings joy to my heart. The strange- sometimes horrified- looks I recieve when I invariably drop what I consider a normal statement into a conversation!
    But... I also have some of those same givers of strange looks later asking advice on how to ____.

    Your blog is the top place I recommend for sensible and interesting information on simple living. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into it.

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  27. What a timely post, Rhonda.

    I am at a crossroads (again) in my life where I have had to question everything I thought I believed in. I've been a stay at home mum/casual worker for many years now and have managed quite well. My income brings in the 'extras' for our household like our upcoming family holiday to Disneyland - a trip of a lifetime when the kids are big enough to go on most of the rides, old enough to enjoy and remember it all but not too old to consider being seen with their daggy Goofy-obsessed mum as uncool.

    Now, I am reconsidering where my life is going to take me and how I can make changes to accommodate those decisions. The extra income allowed us to make extra payments on the mortgage plus a trip to McDonalds or whatever once a week. Now, I want to embrace my home and home life again as I feel that the extra income made me lose sight of all that I hold dear. I am fortunate that I have a wonderful husband who supports what I choose to do and defends me against the 'little housewife' tag some family members love to tag me with.

    Well done and keep up the wonderful mentoring you do with/for many of us.

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  28. Hi Rhonda,
    What inspiring words you had for us today.
    I have discovered something quite surprising. When I got into the habit of saving, whether it's a little money every month or by making bread and meals homemade rather than processed it feels better than any trip to the mall ever did!
    Thank you for your wonderful writing. You always seem to have the right words at the right time.
    Fondly,
    Jeri from Utah in the USA

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  29. Hi Rhonda thanks for your logic cheers affussa

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  30. thanks for the reminder Rhonda!

    After living frugally for years, I've recently started working full time, and although I'm saving around 40% of my income, I'm still spending the rest of it - some of it frivolously!

    I shall read your post again, and see if I can cut out any more (while accepting that working full time means I can't do everything myself as I used to!)

    (my job is only full time for another 18 months, so I need to remember how to be frugal for when it runs out!)

    Jenni
    x

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  31. Here in the Netherlands various products (ice-cream, sweets, biscuits) have (also) dropped in volume/weight, while you pay the same amount of money for it. How strange is that?

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  32. Hello Rhonda,
    I've been lurking a lot lately but always enjoy stopping by and seeing how you're both fairing. Times are getting tough and I've really enjoyed reading your post today. Such wise advise. I've been making lots of soup for winter, as the older folk in our home love it and I am able to cook it on the top of the wood heater which keeps our home warm here in winter. A good saving on electricity as well. Thanks for an excellent post.

    Blessings Gail

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  33. Great post Rhonda, with lots of good tips. Over here in the UK the supermarket meat is cheaper than the local butcher but very much poorer in quality. I tend to buy little meat these days and spin it out with veggies and beans. Living near the coast I try to buy local fish, but the prices vary from day to day, so it can be a bit of a gamble when you walk into the fish shop!

    We grow a lot of veggies and I buy free range eggs as the cost of keeping chickens here would work out more expensive, believe it or not, due to the cost of feed and the petrol needed to go and get it.

    Love your posts which encourage us homemakers to stay at home. Vital job. xxx

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  34. Hi Ronda

    Haven't posted for a while as we have moved AGAIN! ( knocked 125 EURO of the rent) Still in Cyprus but in a little mountain village , in a traditional Cypriot house. I continue to be inspired every day by your blog and today you have put me back on track to frugality and simple living. On that note I wondered if you have any advice and recipies for cooking in the Slow Cooker. Thanks again for being such a help to us all. Enjoy the rest of your day. Ceri

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  35. Thank you Rhonda for reminding us about what is important. This weekend I'll be having a look at my grocery budget - never seems to be enough anymore!

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  36. Rhonda as usual I wholeheartedly agree. We have been living simply for some time now. We moved to our present home - our dream cottage - 7 years ago and have been using all our spare cash to pay extra chunks off our mortgage. This has meant that we have now reduced our monthly payments to just under what we were paying in rent 13 years ago. We will pay it off totally in 8 years maximum.

    We have spent the last ten years developing our 2 allotments and they are producing lots of veg and fruit and fresh eggs.

    Our monthly spending is low as we spend free time on long walks with our dog, gardening, pottering at home. We clean with cheap/eco-friendly ingredients so save there too.

    Also as I work in town during the week, I make sure to search in all the charity shops and buy lots of my clothes/jewellrey/bags that way. For instance today I bought a blouse for £3 - that would have cost about £30 new....and a necklace for £2.75 ... that I could easily have spent about £12 on. As you say it all adds up...and this is so satisfying, and more individual...not to mention better for the planet!

    Keep up the good work inspiring us all,
    love Carole xx

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  37. Inspiring, as always!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

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  38. Hi, Rhonda! I have been reading your blog for about two months, and have been a little shy about posting. :) However, this is such a timely article, and I have been getting sooooooo much out of reading your posts, that I wanted say, "Thank you for all that you do!"

    I like having your voice in my head as I go about my day, worrying that I haven't gotten enough done that day. I have taken from what I've read so far that there is still time tomorrow, and I am learning - will be always learning - how to manage my home more efficiently for my family. Thanks for all your great ideas and recipes.

    When I can get out of our 950 square foot condo, i can really get my garden off and going. Until then, I will be content potting plants on the porch and fighting the spider mites!

    Have a great day!!!
    Yvette

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  39. Wonderful reading...thank you Rhonda! All of the little steps really do add up to big savings. Making all of these changes has had a cumalative effect on my life. I think the stockpiling has given me the most security and pleasure. Seems I can always make a recipe now. It builds your confidence to know that you have plenty to eat and are eating well. I have cut my grocery bill in half, yet am now buying mostly organics! The farmers at our co op provide an abundance of produce, as does my orchard. Living this way takes a lot of time and care, but is so worth it!
    ~S.~

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  40. I agree that the move to self-sufficiency as it seems reasonable to each of us individually. This is a good idea, regardless of the state of the world.

    Someone mentioned having a freezer and I wanted to give this tip which a lot of people don't seem to know (though a lot do!). It takes considerably more energy to cool air than liquids or solids and you should always have your freezer full to bring down electricity costs. You can just fill it with bottles of water that you put in or take out as needed.

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  41. I have been working at getting our grocery bill down. I stockpile and use our freezer and also what we can grow/obtain for free. We have chooks= eggs and a vegie garden - which I run with varying amounts of sucess. We live in regional Queensland.

    At our home there are 2 and sometimes 3 of us. Granchildren come and go. I set myself the goal of keeping our food bill at $70 or less but now find that I think it is coming in at just about $60.

    We have 3 light meals a day plus smokos and are meat eaters. I enjoy cooking and we do not buy bought bread or biscuits or cakes or pizzas . All that is homemade.

    I have enough spare money that if something is a really good special I can buy up . That I think is the basis for running a really economical household. At the moment we have a small freezer full of meat after I went into a supermarket early one day and found lots of meat 1/2 price. I bought $100 worth and have not had to buy meat for 4 weeks and there is still at least another months in the freezer.

    I also have time and I think that is another important factor.
    Rhonda I have never bothered to make my own pasta but have the idea now that I probably have the ingredients on hand so I'll give it a try.

    One of the great $ saving factors in this household is swapping with friends . We do this often and it is a great way to have variety. At the monent my kitchen has lettuce, lemons, chokos and pineapples in it - all from swaps with friends.

    I believe there is a real strength to be had from knowing you can feed your family well on a tight budget.

    Love your blog

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  42. A timely post Rhoda. Absolutely everyone you talk to is being effected by the rising supermarket and fuel costs. Quite a few people around here have started baking again due to necessity. While I've been doing this for awhile, it's nice to see others taking it on and being able to swap recipes. Bulk meat is next on my to do list.
    ps - it was a large bottle, actually a few of them!

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  43. Wonderful post, Rhonda.
    Being from the States, I have a question-- under utilities you mention rates. What are rates?
    Thanks again for sharing your good sense, perspective, and practical advice.

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  44. Thanks Tania, you don't often see the large bottles around here anymore.

    Helen, rates are an annual fee house owners pay to their local government council for facilities and services such as garbage removal, kerbing and guttering etc.

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  45. Thank you for that post, Rhonda. It is this type of posts from you that started me reading your blog long ago. It is what I want my young daughter and daughters-in-law to read. You say it so well. You are very inspiring to me.

    I love being home and serving my family. It is great to provide a haven from the outside world where living is slower and homemaking skills are valued.

    Please keep writing for us, you are very valued! I especially loved your older posts where you would show us your money jars! They are very powerful visual aids. hint -hint...

    Sincerely, Kimberly

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  46. thelittleblackcowblogJune 30, 2011 8:44 am

    I don't think I have ever seen so many comments on a subject in a post before. I find this really heartening because it means that 46 people in the world are making a difference in 'tough times'.
    I think tough times are the times where we pull together, the times where we make amazing memories. Most of my grandmother's fascinating stories start with 'In the depression...' - they are stories of hope and looking after each other as compassionate beings.
    It's no use complaining, and your blog posts remind people to get on with life, and embrace each moment as an opportunity to create something special.
    Kim http://thelittleblackcowblog.blogspot.com

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  47. I just found your blog and I have to say I love it.

    I completely agree with everything you said. Your idea about sharing the cost of meat with neighbors is a great one, we are actually doing this and it helps out so much.

    Thank you for such a nice post with great ideas.

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  48. great advice on stocking meat, saves a lot on budget too and visits to the grocery when stocks run out.

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  49. I don't have time for a lot of blog reading these days, but whenever I start to feel down I eventually find the time to stop by here and read a few posts. It always perks me up and gets my head straight again.

    ReplyDelete

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