Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Bare Necessities

Today my kiddos were watching The Jungle Book while we were driving home from co-op.  We had just stopped at the Salvation Army thrift store to see if we could find some good snow boots for our 10 year old (SUCCESS!  We found some great boots that matched her coat/snowpants with a price tag of $3!!), and I was thinking about our recent move towards frugality in our family...and the tight budget that we work within - especially during the 'off-season' for our business.

And then this song came on the movie:

"The Bare Necessities" from The Jungle Book...a song I've heard many times and knew all the words to...but one that takes on new meaning with our new focus on living frugally.

"Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife!
I mean the bare necessities, 
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life"

Baloo and Mowgli had it figured out!  Though society often gives the message that more is...well, more - that simply isn't true!  Though it is financial 'tightening of the belt' that has required us to take on a lifestyle where we focus on the 'bare necessities' and not all the extras...I have become convinced that living the simple life is a much better way of living - rather than the 'keeping up with the Jones'' mentality.  That makes sense intellectually - but it is a whole different thing when you've had the opportunity to actually live it on both sides of the fence! 

So how are we beginning to live a more frugal lifestyle?

Shopping at the thrift store for necessities AND gifts!  (our little ones FAVORITE Christmas present this year was a Polly Pocket sized dollhouse in perfect condition for just 99 cents!)

Making it Myself  (granted, making things yourself isn't always cheaper...but I have been learning how to sew and make other things for our family/household where we can save money.  Check out my Make It Myself posts on my Gonna Want This-Handmade blog!)

Couponing (I haven't gotten hardcore with my couponing...yet!  But I have chosen to subscribe to a few blogs that regularly highlight great ways to save on groceries and other items...and have been able to save significantly because of what I learn from these blogs!  I've listed my favorites under the "Household Management" links in the middle at the bottom of this page...scroll down)

Freebies (Similar to couponing, some of these same blogs are how I find out about great deals for freebies.  In fact, 4 of my Christmas presents to people this year were absolutely free!  I also have four coupons in my purse each for a free box of brand name cereal!  That is a savings of nearly $4...each!  There are great freebies out there...just gotta search for them.)

Reduction (We have been more diligent about making sure that lights and other electronics that are not in use are not still sucking energy in our home.  So we unplug things and turn off lights.  We keep the heat a bit lower than we have in past years and use blankets, sweatshirts, Snuggies, etc if we are chilly in the reduced heat at home.  These things are not only helpful on the pocketbook, but are also eco-friendly...another topic that is important to me).

How about you?  What frugal/simple living habits do you/your family have?  What do you recommend for living 'the simple life'?


  1. Since I've been out of work for the past 5 months or so, I've been surprised how happy and content we can be on less...less eating out, less going out, less spending ~ and more nearly gourmet-ish home-cooked meals, more just being together, and more wanting what we have. Could just be a blessing in disguise!

    Thanks for all these suggestions...have thought seriously about the whole couponing thing but not sure if they ever offer coupons on fresh fruit and veggies. Do they?

  2. AGREED! (about the living simply sentiment Cheryl!)

    As far as coupons on fresh fruit and veggies...usually those are store dependent (ie - from the Cubs/Rainbow/Target ad circulars that come in the paper) - definitely not too many produce coupons online. But I HAVE been seeing some more coupons for natural/organic food fare!