Economy in the new year

Happy New Year dear friends!

Last year was a year of challenges for us, and definitely was a stretching of the budget!  As things are continuing on into this new year, I am trying to be even more careful and find ways to stretch our finances, and yet to have the Lord grow in me a generous and giving heart.  It’s time for me to be more creative!  I have spent some time reading the chapter on Economy In The Home ~ in an old book published in 1884 called “The Complete Home:  An Encyclopedia Of Domestic Life And Affairs”.

“Practise economy as a Fine Art:  make a duty and a pleasure of it…economy is a high Christian duty, that nothing be lost”.

Here are some of the ways I am thinking that I can try to economize this year:

Making do as much as possible ~ creativity in using what I have

Being diligent on meal planning ~ Crystal at The Family Homestead has a pretty monthly meal planning calendar that can be found here

Being quick to use up leftovers so that nothing is wasted

Drying clothes by the woodstove ~ Bill suggested getting this clothes rack out of the garage and using it to hang clothes to dry.  No sooner did we get it out and had things drying when they issued a burn ban on our county! 😦  But it sounds like that may be over by Wednesday. 🙂  I am wanting to try dipping beeswax candles and I think it would make a perfect drying rack for that too!

Remembering to turn off lights in rooms that are not being used

Taking shorter showers & conserving water in general

Experiment with having some “reduced electricity nights” where we’ll use candlelight and maybe have some hot chocolate or tea with water heated on the woodstove

Planning trips more carefully to conserve gas

Making more homemade gifts & trying to be more purposeful in my gift giving ~ giving things that are useful & hopefully don’t become clutter for someone else ~ I guess I am wanting to simplify my gifts but still be a giver!

Making as many things at home as I can ~  last year was the first time in all my homemaking years that I have had success in making my own homemade broth ~ 🙂   I have made laundry soap, deodorant, lotion, and lip balm now; and homemade flour tortillas are one of our favorites!

Learning new skills & practicing some that need refreshing (like my crocheting) ~ things that could be used for gift giving possibilities

Dispose of disposables as much as possible.  I did make some homemade handkerchiefs out of flannel I had on hand and they are wonderful ~ well, at least some of our family thinks so!  I should have made them when our kids were small and they wouldn’t know anything else! 🙂

Continue on with using natural cleaning recipes ~ baking soda and vinegar are wonderful!

Being thoughtful and prayerful in spending and trying to consume less

Being content and enjoying simple pleasures fully

Doing it all with a joyful heart!

Do you have any thrifty tips to share?

May His blessings rest upon each of your homes this year!

Sharon

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17 thoughts on “Economy in the new year

  1. Sharon, those are great tips! I know that you will do a great job being frugal, yet creative. On my blog, under the label for frugal living there are a number of tips.

  2. Hello Sharon. You have given us a lot of very useful tips there. I’m always interested in suggestions for simplifying life, and being more economical, so thank you. I will go back over these and make some notes – and then try to introduce the appropriate ones for me into my everyday living. Helen.

  3. A very inspiring post, thank you Sharon. I too, am looking for more ways to be frugal and I’m definitely going to start making our evening cups of tea by heating the water on our woodstove. Don’t know why I only do that when we lose power, I could do it all the time! Happy New Year to you too! xx

  4. Some very good ideas there Sharon. I make a lot of homemade soups, and freeze them for another day. My freezer is one of my great money savers, as we put all our home grown things in and use them gradually. So if I dont know what to do for supper I go and consult with the freezer!

  5. You’ve shared some fantastic ideas here for economizing ~ I need to remember to turn OFF lights in rooms not being used and love the idea of using candlelight some evenings :o)

    I need to plan a bit better around what I already have in the freezer before I add to it UNnecessarily :o)

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  6. What frugal and terrific ideas, Sharon! We installed retractable clothes lines at our old house up north before we moved, but I was not able to use them all that much before we had to leave. I love the idea of drying them in the house by the fire! Love the handkerchief idea too. I especially love the part about enjoying simple pleasures and doing it all with a joyful heart! If we are content with what we have, we will undoubtedly spend less on the things we don’t! 🙂 Great pieces of advice here ~ thank you!

    As for one intervention in our family that has been a true blessing is not having a television. We sold a rather large and bulky television we had before we moved because we simply didn’t want to move it (it was also an old analog one). Anyway, once we moved into our new house, we just couldn’t see spending money on a new television and on a monthly bill to run it…so we not only don’t have that extra expense, but we are filling our time with all sorts of activities we probably wouldn’t be doing if we had a TV. (We were not so disciplined when it was in the house.) We still can watch videos and DVDs on the computer, and we borrow the ones we like from the library. It’s a week long loan too! Anyway, I guess that’s a thrifty blessing that we’ve learned over the past several months. 🙂

    Thank you also for your very sweet comment on my last post. I already miss blogging, but I’m going to try to at least doing a monthly update if time allows to keep a record of our activities and such. We’ll see! I’m so grateful to have *met* you in this blogosphere, and don’t be surprised if I still stop by from time to time! Like the Proverb says that “iron sharpeneth iron” ~ your blog does that for me!

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Katie

  7. Great ideas! One thing I do is keep a teakettle of water on my wood stove at all times. I then have access to hot water at any time I need it. It also adds moisture back into the air. I use my wood stove to cook lots of things on. Ex. a kettle of soup, pinto beans. I even cook roasts on it. I made some napkins for our use so I eliminated the cost of paper napkins. I make our own bread, very seldom buying bread from the store. Just a few of the things I have found save us money. Enjoy your evening and God bless.

  8. Good Morning Sharon, in our move 3 yrs ago, we downsized greatly and frugality, I am learning, is a must. In our move we knew we would not have electric in our present home, so before we moved we taped down the light switches in some of the rooms that we used litte and bought head lamps, using them in the rooms where little light was required. We also began using our oil lamps more. Even now in our new home, though we have solar, we still use the headlamps regularly at night. Another thought, this is mostly in the winter when our work is not outside, we wear our outer clothing a week or more; Being inside alot and not much outside work to get dirty. As I wear an apron daily, I can sometimes go a few days longer with mine. We have gotten a newsletter a while back from a man who is a missionary to the Tara Indians, and they wear their outer clothing until it gets dirty on the outside then turn them inside side out and wear it that way till dirty then wash. I found this interesting, they are not worried of the ‘look’. Has given me a bit to do some deep thinking on as there were other articles written on how frugal they live, but in reality it is not them trying to be frugal, it is just their way of life. Lots of lessons there. Be blessed as you seek the Lord and He leads you in this.
    In Joy,
    vivian

  9. Good morning dear ladies!

    It is always a delight to hear from you and I am enjoying hearing all of your thoughts and frugal ways!

    I thought I would mention a couple of other things that I thought of ~ one is using draft stoppers on our two doors to the outside and the one leading into the garage. I think these must help immensely as just yesterday I was sitting in front of the wood stove when the draft stopper wasn’t in place and the wind blew and I could feel the cold coming in from under the front door! My daughter made these for my husband as gifts and they are put to good use!

    And just the other day I was thinking how I needed to get another foam soap dispenser for the kitchen sink like we use in our utility room. I purchased an inexpensive store brand one and when the liquid was gone I just started refilling it at home with water and a little liquid soap. I had found this idea online somewhere and it really stretches the liquid soap!

    I hope each of you has a blessed day. And thank you again for all of your wonderful comments! You bring joy into my day with your visits!

    Blessings,
    Sharon

  10. I stopped using my dryer about two years ago when we were going through a family budget crunch. I started out with a rack similar to yours then bought this clothes drying rack. I have found the best way to keep up on the laundry is to start a load with dinner prep. Then hang it up in the middle of the kitchen when the dishes are done. This also helps cut down the late night snacking which is an added bonus. My clothes are dry before I need to start working on breakfast and it is very easy to fold and sort directly off the rack into every ones own basket.

    If I need to do a second load I simply hang it up in the middle of the living room right before we go to bed. Again it is dry by morning and I can put it all away and have that task done for the day.

  11. Thank you, Mary, for coming to visit and for sharing your clothes drying system with me. It sounds like it is not only frugal but efficient for your homemaking routine! That is so helpful! And thank you for sharing the link for the drying rack also, it looks like a wonderful one! I hadn’t seen one like that before and I like that it is made here in the US.

    Many blessings to you ~ and I hope that you can visit again!

    Sharon

  12. Hello Sharon,

    Great post. I think it is a good idea to be wise with our resources always. I wrote about this on my blog awhile ago and included several ways to use money wisely. Here is a link for any of your readers who might like to read it. http://flourishnow.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/getting-by-on-less/.

    An excellent resource I came across last year is the book “How to live without a Salary” by Charles Long. The book is not necessarily about living without an income but how to use money wisely. I rented it from the library and later found a copy at the thrift store. It is a good reference book.

    Have a great day. Linda

  13. Thank you for sharing the link and for all your wonderful tips! And contentment really is such a big part. Thanks also for the book title ~ it sounds familiar to me, I’ll check and see if our library has it!

    Sweet blessings, Linda!
    Sharon

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