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What is living simply?

  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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  • On Jan. 11, Joanne suffered a major stroke. She is now at home and continues on the journey to recovery.

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Mary @ Simple Things

No credit cards. If I can't pay cash, it doesn't go home with me.

Marla Taviano

You said it. That's mine. Stay home. Mary's is good too. Cash only. And less cash than I think I need. Then I have to be creative with how I spend it.

Misty

I'm staying home too! Grocery store once a week is about it! I did have to go find stuff for my DD's Valentines this week but that was it! We are working on staying within a budget and right now it is a pretty tight budget.

We started using Dave Ramsey's online budget, My Total Money Makeover, and it is great!

Staci

To add to the 'cash-only' committment - I've found that when I have only a certain amount allotted - say for my "blow money" at Target - then I get really picky and choosy about where I want each dollar to go. Using the debit card doesn't hurt me; letting go of my cash does. We've only been doing this for about 6 months but already we've saved so much!

Beth Whitney

Thrift stores. My kids clothes are mostly thrifted. Why buy them stuff at Target, when you can get Gap/Gymboree/Roxy/American Eagle stuff for less than a buck?! JUST DON'T GO TOO OFTEN! ;)

Fuzzytop

Our budget is really tight now - my husband's business, which is construction related, has essentially screeched to a halt.

I'm with you on the staying home idea! In addition to all the reasons you listed, staying home helps me save time too. For the first time in ages, I am caught up on rhings like ironing, mending, etc...

Other things we're doing:
* We have really cut down on spending for leisure and entertainment.... We check out books and movies from our church or local library, and we've been spending more time at home instead of going out to movies, etc.
* We are cooking at home a lot more, which includes baking at home instead of buying premade snacks. Your "Mom's cookies" recipe has become a favorite!!!!
* Thrift stores are great if you have the time and patience to search for the gems....

Blessings
Adrienne

linda thompson

Hi Joanne!
I never pay retail... ever. If I want something bad enough I will wait for it to be put on clearance and then usually by then, I don't really want it anymore.
Randy & I also have an agreement that we sleep on major purchases so we don't make impulse buys.
And I agree with you, just NOT shopping... sooo true!

CherryTreeLane

I put some pictures of things that I REALLY want (Goals etc) like a house in Belmont Shores, a pic of a child graduating from college etc next to my credit cards and I remember that those are the things I REALLY Want and it helps me with things I "kinda" want....

Melissa @ Breath of Life

I totally agree. I was just telling my husband the other night that staying out of Walmart (we don't have a local Target)has saved me a lot of $$ and stress.

Also, I buy my groceries at a grocery store that doubles coupons (but still watch the prices), plan my menus based on the sales and we eat at home more. I've found that having a menu plan makes a huge difference for my family. My new rule of thumb for groceries is that if it's not on sale or I don't have a coupon for it, I don't buy it.

Lina

Using cash instead of debit card is my main strategy. We also practice delayed gratification by making ourselves wait for things we want to buy, even if we could afford it right now. We are a culture of want it-need it-must have it RIGHT NOW, and it feels good to stop, think and recognize that want and need are NOT the same thing.

Meredith

Same as everyone else...pay cash, stay home, don't pay retail.

I also quit looking at the sale ads in the Sunday paper. I throw the Target, Joann's, Michael's, and Kohl's ad away without ever even glancing at it. Otherwise, I just think of reasons I need to go pick up those fabulous bargains.

Stephanie

I try to stay out of Walmart but it's hard to get everything and not forget about something or run out of something. Coupons are my friend too!

Carmen

I was just thinking about this. I find that when we stay home, we don't spend either. It's kind of amazing. Sometimes, I think we won't be able to make it until payday, but then I realize I worry for nothing. By staying home and eating in, we end up still having money by the time payday does come! Also, we don't have credit cards and if we don't have cash, we can't have it. Using Cash even over a debit card is money saving as well. With a debit card, it is easy to overspend as well even though the money comes from my checking account. I find that it's harder to part with cash than to use a debit card. I'm also a total book junkie. I used to buy everything, but now I rely heavily on our libraries. We are blessed with good library systems here in CO. Now, a book comes home with me temporarily and I'm happy that I don't have to find a place for it. don't get me wrong. I still love to buy books, but I'm way more selective about it now.

Ashley P

I'm a "once-a-month" shopper - I do all my grocery shopping once a month (with a list!!!) and have a budgeted amount I'm not allowed to go over (although, I can DEFINITELY go under!!).

And my biggest saver - LEAVE THE HUSBAND AT HOME!!! If my husband is with me in ANY store, we will most likely find something that we didn't know we needed, but can't possibly survive the rest of the day without. I love my husband dearly when he offers to stop at the grocery store to pick something up, but I only let him if I know we can afford it! :) It's worth the hassle of dragging an infant and toddler along for a quick trip to save the extra money! :)

Mandy

I couldn't agree more about staying home. We also make nearly all meals from scratch, which saves a ton and is better without all the preservatives and things. I make most of my own baby food, too. We go to the library regularly for story times, movies, and books.

Michelle

I love your blog. We share a lot of the same values and ideas. It's nice to find like-minded people! I have your button on my blog, too...I'm proud to be frugal!

One of the ways I save is by making our lunches rather than eating out. I struggle with it...not because I love fast-food, I really don't. It's more of the convenience aspect that grabs me...

I am also working on sticking to my lists! I went into Costco the other day with three things on my list and would you believe that I CAME OUT with THREE THINGS!? I'm getting better! No books that I don't need. No clothes that we don't need. JUST what was on my list.

Good job steering clear of Target...that place is dangerous!

Bobbi

The envelope system is rocking our world...it humbles the snot out me! The cash issue...of it being super painful to spend in a way that credit cards just aren't. The "allowance/blow money" makes me super picky about what I buy for myself...it's a LOT harder to justify items. The soooo gooood feeling when we make the budget for the month...and beat it...and nail a chunk of that debt snowball! You're right too...staying home...and not even GOING there!!

Angie Platten

I am not a big shopper anyway. My main shopping place just for "stuff" or clothing is Goodwill or Savers. Necessities will call for a regular store but, either way, no matter how cheap it is, if I don't LOVE it, I won't buy it. I only shop when I absolutely am in need of something, especially clothes. I always check sales racks or aisles. I do a ton of comparison shopping too. But I, like you, don't go out that much to shop. I"m a home body.

Debra

I love all of the money saving tips! This is also my favorite way to save money too, just stay home! Last summer I made a list of all of the fun free things my family could do together. Go to the park, have a picnic, feed the ducks, set up a tent in the backyard... It was so much fun to check off all of those fun free things to do with my kids. Also, LOVE Dave Ramsey's cash budget. We've been doing that for over a year now, and it is so liberating.

Sara

Find low cost or free things to do with the family. Walks, park, library, etc...

I hear you about Target. I used to go there weekly too. I live closer to WalMart now and it's hard to go in there for just one thing. I'm so distracted by all the stuff I don't need. Shopping has become such an exercise in restraint! :)

Tara

At the risk of sounding redundant...stay home. We moved from a city (with nearby outlets) to a rural area about 10 miles from the nearest store (and then the only stores we have are Walmart and Lowes!). I used to go shopping all the time (looking for good deals of course), but now I think of the money I save, the time spent at home with my family, and the unneeded junk that doesn't come home with me only to be given away in a few years. It's a win, win, win for me.

I've also really started thinking about my husband's favorite saying...it's only a deal if you really need it.

gretchen

I can't add anything more...

Nice asking for gift cards from family when they want a "list" for Christmas. That way, we do things (like movies and restaurants) for free.

Diane

You are SO right. Don't go - don't spend! I am doing this now to try and cut back and boy has it helped! We also know that if we don't go out, we usually don't end up eating out. So that works twice as good!

Bonnie

Great tip ! So simple ... stay home ! I love it !!

Loney

I have my wish list on the side of the fridge. If I see something I like or want it goes on there. Then if I have extra money, I look on the list. Most of the time I don't get anything. It wasn't worth having. Plus it is also what my husband looks at for gift ideas. We both do this. Most of the time we end buying stuff for each other. It is always nice to get a gift even when it is not a holiday or birthday.

Kim Feth

Ditto with the others - staying out of stores, cash only in the stores, cash matches the list in the store. One time I needed to return some different items from Target several different shopping trips in a row, and because I said I paid with cash, they thought I was a shoplifter. The customer service mgr was appalled when I told her we only pay cash!
My child's PTA sells the coats that haven't been picked up by the end of the year. You can't be a kid's name-brand coat for .50!
Peace,
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Jen

Use cash. Make a list and buy only what is on the list. And treat yourself every once in awhile.

Lori Anne

Getting in & out with only the one or two items is so hard sometimes. Whew! I'm not the only one with that problem.

ginger

If I have to run to Wal Mart for just a couple of things & I know I can carry them myself, I DO NOT get a cart. That way I only have the capability of carrying out what I went in for. I also pay cash; much more thought-provoking than a debit card.

Puva

Staying home, of course! Or, going over to a friend's house. That way, I have loads of fun and I won't have to spend money! (:

Kayren

I can't touch this one, Joanne, it's so good. And I can so understand the Target thing. Last night I ran in to get a few storage boxes I needed and walked by the absolutely cutest display of melamine Easter/spring dishes. They had dots, and flowers, and they spoke to me. I had a few things in my cart, Hubby went to another part of the store for a minute, and I put it all back and walked on to the plastic storage. But if I hadn't known it was there, I wouldn't have wanted it in the first place. It reminds me of the part in The Squire and the Scroll where they are in the cave with the jewels embedded in the walls, and that verse I had last week "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."

Have a blessed weekend!

Deanne

Remaking older clothes into a new garment. It's fairly easy to make a pair of pants with holes in the knees into a cute skirt or a toddler dress from one a mans shirt. They look great, can be made to fit the child's personality, and cost only the thread you make them with...pennies for a "new" garment!

Holly

This Mom has a great idea, for when your girl's legs grow too fast .
http://www.not2crafty.com/2008/02/add-a-lace-cuff-and-new-life-to-an-old-pair-of-jeans/
Thinking about staying home, then you need less pricey stylish clothes, b/c your not out getting into comparing self ;)

Amy Barrett

I don't have any tips really but I need to learn the just stay home one!!!!

annie

Ha! Staying home's a good one.

I also go away and think about something before I buy it. If I'm still thinking about it in the next few days I'll go get it because I know I really want it, it's not just a spur of the moment thing.

Allison

AMEN! I stopped going to Target about a year ago (with the exception of picking up perscriptions because let's face it they have the best system out there) and it saves me so much....and I have so much more room in my closet without the $3.24 bargains!

Robynn's Ravings

Very, VERY true! I do not shop unless I really need something. Otherwise I discover things I can't live without! Thanks for the reminder! :)

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