Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving it up to go Back To Basics

3 years ago, we were living the "good life" - a 4,000 square foot house, nice cars, took vacations, bought things when we needed them (um, more like wanted them!), my husband and I were making good money and I was as well. It was easy for us to "afford" to eat organic all the time and to buy "green" goods without looking at the price tag. Well, when I got pregnant with our 2nd, we started to re-think our lifestyle - we realized the hard way that the big house wasn't the way to go - we were just going along with the success flow and we needed to stop! We decided that I should be a full time mom (so I could be the one raising our kids) and we'd need to sell the house and downsize to be able to support this new lifestyle. We'd also need to be more self-sufficient to be prepared for what the future may bring, plus have more yard than house for the kids (not to mention reducing our carbon footprint!). In the midst of our Great Revelation, the Great Depression #2 hit and house values PLUMMETED! So, we were forced to do a short sale, which I was not a big fan of, but it had to be done! It was a long and stressful process, but it was worth it! We found this great 4 acre property, a rare gem among the sprawling suburbs where we live, that had a house on it but it needed a lot of help. Especially desirable to us was the fact that it has it's own well and septic system, so we will only have to pay an electricity bill and that's it! We fell in love with the land and the prospects of being more self-sufficient rather than the house itself!
So here we are today - I started this blog to share some of the things I am doing to save my family money to support our one income in a two-income world, without completely stopping being a consumer, which keeps our economy afloat and keeps people employed. I like to save money in areas where I didn't save before, and then if budget allows, I can spend the difference on other things; essentially getting 2 items for the price of one (excuse my sale lingo pun! I was in Marketing before my current mommy job!). I can also still afford to buy organic food items at the store by saving in other areas of my life. I hardly ever have to buy cleaners, etc. because I use vinegar to clean almost everything. Click HERE for my blog post about that and HERE for my post about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.
We are also a LOT more self-sufficient. I find comfort in knowing that if tragedy struck, we would most likely make it through with some of the preparations we've been making, such as having emergency food supplies and emergency preparedness supplies. We have our chickens for eggs and a garden (well, not much of one right now!!). Even if my husband lost his job, we have enough to get by on for a few months without going to the store.
You don't need 4 acres and change your lifestyle to the extreme we did, but I believe it is a good idea to be at least a wee bit more self-sufficient - you can grow a garden in a very compact space, even on an apartment balcony or indoors near a window that gets lots of light! You can stock up on food and an emergency preparedness kit and store it in your pantry, basement, garage, or even in a corner in your closet! Click HERE for food storage and HERE for preparedness kit tips.
I'll be posting a lot more hints and tips along the way, so stay tuned!

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