Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Frugal Yet Fanciful Life ~ Thrifty Thinking and DIY's


"A thrifty housewife is better than a great income.
A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth."
~ Spurgeon

Frugal living is not necessarily about living cheaply, but living more creatively! You can have an abundant life on very little. Here are some posts from the past that share this understanding.  Some are simple sentiments, others are frugal tips and healthy living on a budget while many are do-it-yourself delights. Perhaps this little collection will inspire you to think differently and more prudently in this new year!


First of all, 8 Ways to Combat the No-Spending Blues is a good way to begin this journey. We want to train our minds to think without the word "shopping" attached to it! Should you require further inspiration, you may be interested in learning how I forged my path into frugal living with my mother-in-law as my mentor. This incident was unreal to my "young self". Please visit, "Doth $afely Trust in Her" for this amazingly true story!


Ladies, in our daily household duties, we can make a huge impact! Just changing our routine from a dryer to a clothesline can save a pretty penny and provide other benefits at the same time. Visit our "Clothesline Collection" for further inspiration! This is a simple way to start your thrifty lifestyle.



In examining the table linen, we share some ideas for finding inexpensive napkins and tablecloths. Cloth products are much more luxurious than paper and you will save mounds of money from making the switch (along with extra savings for using the line). You can even make your own "paper" towels to cut down costs! And here, you will find some frugal inspiration for acquiring bed linens.



The idea is to think of refashioning rather than repurchasing. How to make your old and ugly potholders to be nice and new again is one such example (DIY here).



Even making your own household cleaning products will help the budget while still giving you that glamorous packaging and delicious scent (that some of us crave). We share some pretty cleaning labels and natural recipes to get you started. This saves not only money but your health (from inhaling all those chemicals in the store bought kind).



You can be wonderfully luxurious and make your products according to the seasons. Lavender for spring and summer while the citrus cleaning products are perfect for fall and winter. Both are inexpensive but beautiful!


Let us take a trip into the kitchen, shall we? We often feel we can not feed our families healthy food on a small budget. One such way this is possible is by growing a garden. You can afford to eat organic produce this way! You can shop the seasonal farmer's market in your own back yard! You are also giving yourself the blessing of some old fashioned work.



Beans are an obvious choice for frugal-friendly meals and they can be very tasty. We share our favorite 14-plus meals to make with pinto beans along with some black bean menu ideas too!


This "end of the harvest" soup gives you a variety of ways you can prepare a large batch of soup with all your leftover produce. Hearty and very healthy, it is also quite frugal! Make large batches of this and freeze them in family sized portions for the future.



The beauty of bone broth shares how you can nurture health in your home with an inexpensive bag of bones! You can add this golden liquid to your pantry by canning or simply freeze large batches for the future! Either way, healthy does not necessarily mean expensive health food store items!


You can also create a prudent pantry using recycled jars and containers {ideas here}. When you attach some pretty pantry labels (we share a free printable here), it is a lovely finishing touch. There is nothing more frugal than preparing your own pantry and eating at home. Visit here for more ideas!



Learning new skills and bringing back old ones will also embellish your prudent lifestyle. Canningfermenting foods, and dehydrating will help to build your pantry (even little projects such as shredding and freezing those "odds and ends" produce will make an impact). Making your own mixes is a wonderful way to keep "convenience food" on a budget. It is all about redistributing your pantry ingredients into jars which create a finished product from the inventory and at a fraction of the cost.



One large piece to prudent living lies in the area of resourcefulness. Visit "Embracing Ma's Practical Pioneering Spirit During Lean Times" for a lovely little history lesson and inspiration for "making do"!


Being resourceful is challenging and therefore very satisfying. For example, do you have access to a lavender plant or rosemary, or anything else medicinal, culinary or lovely? If so, I encourage you to create with these free gifts from the garden. For instance, here are some wonderful gift-giving ideas and household projects that involve lavender. Recipes are included for a medicinal oil, drawer sachets, lotion bar, carpet deodorizer, bath salts and so forth! There are many fantastic items you can make at home for a fraction of the cost (if not for free)! We just need to be aware of our surroundings.


Another example is produce! If you have access to free lemons during the winter, utilize them to the best of your ability! There are so many blessings in a bag of free fruit! Here is a list of wonderful projects you can do and make with lemons! It includes making your own cough syrup, lemon extract, body scrub, seasonings, lemon marmalade, frozen lemonade, lemonade syrup, cleaning products and the list goes on! We can create on very little and this would include some thrifty gift-making!



You will also be amazed at the frugal fun you can have in the kitchen with discarded orange peels! Such a variety of pretty projects and presents! You can make decorative potpourri for pennies, seasonings, bath scrubs and powders, mulling spices, handcrafted tea blends, etc., and all from your leftover citrus! So the question is, what do you have access to in your home that you can create with?



It is also more economical and very enjoyable to make your own gifts. There is a bit of something you can create for everyone-- whether young or old, child or infant. Working with your own hands and resources will bless the budget as well as others in your life!


Prudent living does not mean unpleasant living. You can still have a decorative home. Do you have a desire for cheery vases of fresh flowers to be spread throughout? Does this sound lavish? Picking wildflowers surely makes a table pleasant and it costs nothing. You can also harvest seeds from simple flowers to create a free cutting garden in your own back yard! Or, visit this post for rooting techniques on certain flowers. Frugal can still be fanciful!



"There is great satisfaction in making something out of nothing, in restoring some old cast-off to a place of usefulness and beauty, or rescuing some discarded piece of wood, stone or metal from the dump and turning it into an object that has purpose and charm in your home." 
~ Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Recycling or "turning trash into treasure" is another aspect of prudent living the pretty way. Think more creatively! For example, these apothecary jars are very easy to make and use items easily found around the home. They can store herbs, laundry room sundries (such as soap, clothespins, etc), kitchen counter items such as coffee, tea and sugar, decorative items from nature (like sea glass, pinecones and such) and dry goods in the bathroom (like cotton ball, quips and bandaids). The idea is to use what you have. Frugal can be fun! Visit here for more do-it-yourself inspiration.


In the end, it is all about being content with what we have and using our resources and skills to the fullest potential. "He Praiseth Her ~ The Contented Homemaker" shares how an attitude of gratitude is the best formula for frugal living. If you combine this mentality with a dose of old fashioned labor (see the Blessing$ of Old Fashioned Work ~ Part Three), your family will truly be blessed! Looking for ways to utilize what your land provides (even a city home) will also be very helpful along with this Homemaker's A-Z Index which gives ideas of what to do with what you have. So, here's to a debt-free, frugal but fanciful new year, ladies!

More Reading on the Subject:



"FRUGALITY AND ECONOMY ARE HOME VIRTUES, without which no household can prosper. Dr. Johnson says: "Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty. He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty will enforce dependence and invite corruption." The necessity of practising economy should be evident to every one, whether in the possession of an income no more than sufficient for a family's requirements, or of a large fortune, which puts financial adversity out of the question."

For further reading, some blogs that convey this concept (of pretty living the prudent way) that I have come to appreciate are The Bluebirds are NestingThe Prudent Homemaker and A Tray of Bliss. Happy homemaking!


P.S. You can still enjoy your blended coffee drinks when budgeting! Just mix up your own at home using leftover coffee that you freeze in ice-cube trays! You feel better now, don't you? :)

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.

26 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing such a useful collection of posts JES :-) I am interested in the coffee one in particular, but will be having a look at quite a few of them now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the coffee one! A girl after my own heart :) Thank you for visiting!

      Delete
  2. Jes,

    I love this. I am so excited to go through all the reading and trying to apply the things taught. I have been so blessed to have found your blog as I am starting my new journey of frugal living, reviving my passion for homemaking, and parenting again. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Revival is a beautiful thing! Thank you for sharing here today Mrs. Chrissy! :)

      Delete
  3. Dear Jes, This post is just filled with some of the best information! You my friend have shared a treasure chest worth of jewels! May I use this post link on my blog for a gift to my readers, please let me know!
    Happy New Year, I have been missing in action to recover from not feeling well!
    Hugs and miss you and your blog!
    Hugs, Roxy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, may you have a speedy recovery sweet friend! I too, have been missing in action. We have been visiting family for the last month. Please feel free to share a link on your blog. Sending hugs and a healthy 2016! :)

      Delete
  4. Your posts are so beautiful and full of information it's a joy to read them over and over, but I hadn't seen your post on what to do with leftover coffee so I really enjoyed reading that one. I do save coffee for frappés and mochas. They're my weakness. o.O
    Have a great rest of the week!
    Toni

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, frappes and mochas are my weakness as well Toni! Perhaps this is why we get along so well :) Thank you for all the kind comments left in the last year! And may your new year be filled with all His good blessings! :)

      Delete
  5. Jes you are such an inspiration and I have to say your Blog is my favorite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tracy for taking the time to encourage! We all could use a "comment hug" now and then :)

      Delete
  6. My dear, lovely JES, what a blessing to stop in for a visit. I agree with Toni, your posts are oh-so-beautiful and refreshing. Simplicity is such a lovely thing and you, my dear, make it even more inviting :)

    Happy New Year, sweet friend. I am looking forward to another year of following your charming blog. Love and hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit Stephanie! May your new year be bright and beautiful my friend :)

      Delete
  7. Dear JES,
    Thank you for this treasure trove of posts. I just love everything I read on your site, and your blog is one of my absolute favorites. (I'm glad you mentioned Bluebirds are Nesting, as that is another favorite that I actually discovered through your blog!) I am going to go back through several of these posts you mentioned for inspiration. Oh, and yesterday I dried orange slices following your tutorial. I'm so pleased with how they turned out. It kept me from wasting them and saved me almost $30 if I were to purchase them already dried. Thank you for all you do! Love, Kelsey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Kelsey! So glad you enjoyed the orange slices tutorial. Such a fun little project that smells heavenly, doesn't it? :) Thank you for taking the time to comment so kindly. It means a lot! :)

      Delete
  8. This is a wonderful collection!
    Please drop by and say hello!

    Have a wonderful winter season!
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the visit Laura. I will be over soon :)

      Delete
  9. Wonderful, creative ideas and beautiful images. So inspiring! x Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen for taking the time to comment today (and so sweetly too!)!

      Delete
  10. My loved, dearest JES,
    you're just a blessing to me, such a bright star in my life !
    Thank you for everything, sweetest and precious friend of mine,
    with much love and thankfulness
    Dany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave some "comment love" :) Have a beautiful and peaceful weekend my friend!

      Delete
  11. Yes! The simple things can be beautiful if we only learn to appreciate them. Thank you, once again for sharing your wisdom. We are always trying to expand our knowledge so that we can live frugally and abundantly. The two often go together though they seem at odds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing here today Amanda! Expanding your knowledge is like expanding your bank account, you save more with your resourcefulness! :)

      Delete
  12. Dearest Jes...how lovely to return from a holiday with family, to find a lovely message from you, sending new friends my way. I hope the year is off to a flying start for you, and look forward to welcoming you to my Homespun Year. Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      I am sorry, I do not...

      Happy Tuesday to you! :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...