This was the view from the bedroom window this morning. It looks like we are in for another cold day. I keep telling Wendell that I want snow but all I keep getting is a light dusting. Oh well... at least it looks pretty on the pond.
This morning, while everyone else is sleeping, I just sat in my computer room reflecting on what I have learned in the past year since I lost my job. I have always been serious about trying to find ways to cut back on the family budget and I began hitting it harder when Wendell got sick and terminated from his job. One of the things I have found, that is really helping me is a website called the Frugal Village.
On Frugal Village, I have found a place with a lot of friendly people who are willing to help people just like me, learn how to live more frugally. They are a great support system, sharing what they have learned and experienced, to help others.
One of my goals this year, is to eliminate debt and live more simply. The site offers a wealth of information. There are forums for many, many subjects. Everything from how to snowball your debt to get it paid off faster, to growing your own food, how to create good, nurishing meals on a budget, plus much more.
A lot of what I have learned is just common sense. One simple thing was how to use coupons. Each week I take the time to check out the local store ads and match them up to the coupons I have clipped. It helps me budget for items we use, and allows me to stock up on items we will need in the future.
I am also learning that cooking from scratch is a good way for us to save. We are not buying all of those expensive pre-packaged foods that could easily be made from scratch and taste better. Cooking from scratch also allows me to know what we are putting into our bodies.
I have learned another good way to save is by planning our meals ahead of time. I do the bulk of our grocery shopping once a month. When I have the menu's planned out, its easier to buy just what I need to have on hand.
A big timesaver is to make some of our family meals ahead of time. For instance, I may have soup on the menu for the weekend. When I make the soup, I will make enough to freeze for later on those nights I just don't feel like cooking. My only problem with that is that my freezer is not big enough.
I am learning so much. All things that I wish I had learned a lot sooner. It may have helped us be more prepared for what the year had planned for us. Bettre late than never, though. At least now, I am learning to be more self-sufficient and with the economy being as it is, that is a good thing.
Hopefully this blog will allow me to share what I have learned with others who may be facing some of the same struggles we have faced and are still facing. If I can help just one person, it will have been worth it. If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share, please let me know. I love hearing from you!