Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Becoming Frugal AND Natural

In striving to live frugally, we've changed a few things over time.

- reduced how much we eat out (though we could still do alot less!) 
- sold or given away items we don't need or use (saves on space)
- raised our own meat
- grown a garden
- bartered to get what we want/need (instead of buying)
- home make food, snacks (and monkey cages)

The most fun for me this winter has been couponing. I've enjoyed prowling for coupons and hunting down the deals. (Did I ever mention my favorite price is free?)


As I became more serious about couponing, I noticed that the marketing that IS couponing (companies advertising to us through coupons, offers, freebies, etc) ... well... it's starting to work on us. We enjoyed our free products from company promos, and loved it. They were all so yum ... and so free :)))) 
But afterward we continued to purchase the product -nearly becoming loyal consumers. (the whole point of such a marketing campaign, sure, but hardly the point of my couponing!)

I also noticed that in the pursuit of cheap and free, I have sacrificed better for cheaper in some things. Like pasta for example. I don't often find deals on whole grain pasta, so I have purchased the  more processed white counterpart instead. It's not as filling or healthy, but it's cheap.  

I'd like to turn this around, aiming instead at healthy rather than cheap - aim to make Miss Green Jeans more important than Miss Free Jeans. 

This may mean saying no to deals - maybe even free?!  (Am I really saying this?) 

It'll be a thing to work towards. I won't get this by next Tuesday. But here are some things I plan to work on in the coming weeks and months:

1) Research Food Storage 
I've wasted food (and time and money) by not knowing how to properly store food. We have enough potatoes to last another month or two, but they've grown soft and have developed long, long eyes. I've canned cream of mushroom soup only to have it sour in the container. I've frozen carrots (raw, cooked and blanched), only to have a soggy carrot-like substance afterward. Gross!!

I need to learn how to do this better. 

2) Use Natural Options - As In ... get ready ... HOME MADE! (dun-dun-duuuun)

We're conditioned, in this nation and generation, to buy everything. It doesn't often cross our minds to make something.  I want to slowly change out my consumer mindset, exchanging it for a natural lifestyle.

Being at the beginning, most of these sound CRAZY to me. But I'm willing to explore them one at a time at a   very.        very.          slow.              pace.

Hand Lotion (I can't even imagine doing this, but maybe one day I'll get there)

Various Home Cleaners - laundry, air fresheners, etc. 

And food. Here, I've got a start. I've canned beets, made crackers, bread and buns, tortillas, granola bars, and even Ranch dressing and crackers and pasta! (hey - I just realized I'm making progress!)
I plan to add to the list this year: 

- drying our own black beans
- canning tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato paste, salsa and ketchup
- can our own Maple Syrup from our yard. (Manitoba Maple sugaring is dicey business, so we'll see what weather allows)

I'm not even willing to CONSIDER at this point though, the resourcefulness one can accomplish with sewing and weaving and other crafty things. (You saw the monkey cage, right?) 

Seriously. I'm happy if I can sew a button and it stays. I'm happy if I can stitch a rip closed and it doesn't look like a terribly botched scar.
Yes, I'll quit while I'm ahead. The one crafty thing in this world I can do is signs. That's enough. 

So we begin. 



at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I think the main reason I don't coupon is because most of the stuff the coupons are for are things I never buy (and I don't want to start, haha). I'd love to do couponing though... but I just can't get into it. Sigh. I look forward to seeing what you do with making homemade lotion!


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