Every Penny Counts

Really. Every last penny.

I have always been a penny pincher, looking for the greatest deal, the best sale, the biggest clearance or the largest coupon. It drives me crazy to pay full price for something that I know will eventually be marked down to almost nothing at the end of the season. I know that if I wait long enough, that ground turkey is going to be marked down for quick sale the day before the Freeze By date and that if I get to the store early enough, I will be able to get it.

I didn’t need an Economy In Crisis or a Recession to learn how to save money and be frugal. It is because I have always been Frugal that makes this roller coaster of a financial crisis so much easier for our family than for so many others. One of my basic rules, is that just because I have money, doesn’t mean I have to spend it. I can just as easily find a great deal, spend a fraction of what I have in my wallet and still be just as happy. It is not about spending the money as it is about not spending it and still surviving. Hoping for the Best and Preparing for the Worst…without going overboard. There is no reason to live as if the world will end tomorrow or that big storm will come and rip my house apart in 30 seconds…because that is just too much worry and stress and not any way to live…but there is always reason to learn a new way to save money.

Living Frugally is about saving money at the grocery store, buying seasonal items at 75% clearance at the end of this season, so you can use it next year, planting your own food and watching it grow, picking food that you grow…for free, to feed your family…even in the city you can plant a tomato plant, some beans or some herbs in a container…you don’t need a huge piece of land to grow your own food…because even if you can only fit one container with one tomato plant on your balcony, you save money on tomatoes all summer long.

Living Frugally is about searching for coupons, making your own laundry detergent, turning the lights off, turning the water off, closing the fridge door, buying in bulk, going to the library instead of buying a book, going to the park instead of going to the movies, vacationing close to home instead of booking that flight, applying for assistance when you need it (and not being ashamed), playing in the backyard with the kids and looking for bugs instead of packing the family up to go to the zoo, getting rid of all of those extra channels that you never really watch, calling someone instead of texting, paying bills online instead of spending money on a stamp, using cash instead of credit, recycling gift bags and tissue paper and wrapping paper, cooking with leftovers and never throwing away food, only buy what you need and realize that you don’t really need everything you want.

Living Frugally is understanding that less is more and living simply does not mean doing without.

Living Frugally is about being happy with what you have and not spending your days longing for more.

When our 4th child (and 4th son!) was born in May of 2008 with a Congenital Heart Defect, that pretty much put my business on hold, and over 2 years later it is still holding and waiting for life to get back to normal. That same week we also broke ground on a 2 story addition to our home that when done will pretty much double the size of our home…and we are doing the majority of the work ourselves (pretty Frugal way build, huh?).  I used to make and sell jewelry at Arts & Crafts Shows and weekly markets…and when this whole recession blows over, I will be getting back to work. For now between building our addition, caring for our little Heart Baby and slowly recovering from postpartum depression, I need to take time off from my business that takes me away from the home. I still work from home doing other things and get paid a little bit here and there, because as I said before Every Penny Counts. If I didn’t already know how to shop smart and only buy what I need, how to use coupons and how to find the best deal, how to stretch every last dollar to get the most out of what we have, we probably would have lost our home by now.

When we started our addition, and before Owain was born, my business was doing great. Every year I made more and more money and everything seems so financially stable. We spent over a year deciding how much space to add on to The Nut House We started out reworking our space to fit 3 kids, then 4 kids, and then 5 kids, and everything more than fit into our budget, with money to spare. Over a 2 years later and our life along with the entire world is much different than we thought it would be.

Living Frugally is about working with what you have today, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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