Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frugality is Rewarding!

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I started my Blog
It has been a joy to have place where I can document things in my life that are important to me!
This technology
is wonderful and really has changed my life as I am so bad about writing in a journal and even though each daily event isn’t recorded this is a great way for me and my family to look back in years to come and remember my thoughts, feelings and memories about our life.

Even though I have shared about our journey towards voluntary simplicity, I wanted to expound just a little bit further.

For the record,
I have found from many a talk with family and friends when some people think of being frugal or thrifty many times an image comes to people’s minds of a family that is just living hand to mouth in poverty and barely scraping by.
We are not poor!
it’s quite opposite of that with our family. We are actually in our financial prime. We are making more money than we have ever made. But, several years ago, we realized we weren't living far enough below our means and emergencies happen, children get sick and you acquire medical bills, etc... and you soon realize that you are using your house like a cash register (borrowing against the equity).
We realized real quick that we didn't want to be on the 15-30 year treadmill of "paying off debt" like is the "societal norm". We knew more than anything that we wanted to be completely FREE from debt so that we could finally live the life we have dreamed!! With much self discipline we are 4-5 years away being completely debt-free (including our house) and frugality has been at the core to us reaching our goal.

Living frugally has been a quest and a fun challenge!
I just really love and enjoy seeing how good and healthy we can eat for very little money spent. Tracy’s and my adventurous spirit has greatly helped this challenge as well. By learning to live frugally we are learning lifelong skills. None of us can see the future to know how the economy is going to turn, if we may be faced with unemployment, etc…. but someday we are all going to be in the same spot…
at retirement age and living on a fixed income

and the lifelong skills we are learning today will benefit us greatly on whatever the future brings our way.

It really is ironic how living frugally can actually mean eating healthier than if you didn’t live frugally (obviously this varies greatly).
By making things from scratch yourself, it is SO much more healthy because it isn’t full of preservatives, chemicals and added sugar and salt that comes from buying and eating processed foods. Besides the health benefits of living frugally, the food you purchase for your store room actually lasts longer and many times is pennies on the dollar compared to buying packages goods.. Boxes of cereal, cake mixes, muffin mixes, hamburger helper, etc…. only has a shelf life of a few months before it goes stale.
However, staples of beans, legumes, home canned goods, flour, sugar, salt, etc….have a shelf life of a year to many years. Another benefit of cooking from scratch is it makes it so you actually can have more money to buy plenty of produce to enjoy daily.
If you save in one area it gives you more money to enjoy in another area.

YES, we do splurge and eat very well…Salmon is cooked weekly, we all enjoy an apple each day and many other varieties of fruits as well.
One of my greatest things I believe is that:
"Health is Wealth"!
(see “Our Splurges” post here).

So, I consider frugality a very rewarding challenge that is actually a part of me. It has taken years and many baby steps to get to this point, but
frugality is running through my veins
the concept of trading our precious life energy for money and then choosing what that money is spent on is instilled in me and there is no turning back.

To quote Joe Dominguez in the book
"Your Money or your Life"
(which, this is one of my all-time favorite books)

"Goldilocks expressed it well when she declared the porridge
"not too hot, not too cold, but just right".

Frugality is something like that...not too much, not too little, but just right. Nothing is wasted. Or left unused. It's a clean machine. Sleek. Perfect. Simple yet elegant. It's that magic word --enough."
Keep this in mind as we explore ways to save money.
We aren't talking about being cheap, making do or being skinflint or a tightwad. We're talking about creative frugality, a way of life in which you get the maximum fulfillment for each unit of life energy spent".

(more Joe Dominguez)
"Remember Frugality isn't about being a cheapskate, or a penny pincher. It's about honoring and valuing your most precious resource--your life energy.
Shopping smart, saving money, following the adage "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" isn't about deprivation;
it's about loving yourself and your life
so much that you wouldn't think
of wasting a second".

"If you want to feel rich,
just count all the things you have
that money can't buy".



Ann Marie said...

Great Post!

I am HUNGRY after looking at all of those yummy food pictures!

Your food storage room looks full and beautiful! :)

You have such a great attitude.. and you are very rich indeed!!!

The Garden of Egan said...

Beautiful thoughts Kimmie. I agree with you.
Your storage room looks awesome.
Glad you share your knowledge and pictures, they are awesome to look at and I can't number the recipes of yours I have tried. Usually with my laptop on the counter cooking as I read your blog.
Thanks! You are awesome.

Britt said...

I love how you've defined and explained frugality. I agree with you that people in general seem to associate being frugal with being poor. I think you've done a wonderful job on your post that will hopefully help others to catch the vision. :)

As I was reading your post I was reminded of the budgeting discussions the ward is going to have and then remembered Elder Hale's thoughts on this matter. "It takes faith to trust that life will be better as we sacrifice our wants in order to meet our own and others' needs." Your post perfectly illustrated how life is truly better and so much more rewarding as we CHOOSE to live frugally.

Thanks Kimberly. You are such an inspiration!

Cherie said...

You are very inspiring!

I think you have to do the things in life that make you happy and enrich your life and living within your means and having the things you need is a great gift which helps you realize other dreams!

Way to go!

JENNIFRO said...

Wow. That was a fabulous post. I am truly amazed that you have chosen to be so focused on your goals frugality. I'm picking my chin up off the floor. Probably because we are not very organized in this way. It's phenomenal that you are going to be debt free so soon. Jeez will you be debt free by the time you're forty or shortly thereafter?! Actually, I have no idea how old you are now that I think about i--you look young to me! AMAZING! I love the way you live your life. It's really so inspiring to me. I'm with Ann--your food storage room is incredible!

Connie said...

AMEN, sister! Love that you show us your storage AND your wonderful cinnamon rolls and cookies and other delectable foods.
Living below your means is SO SMART! We could learn alot from you! (actually, I HAVE learned a lot from you!)
Great quotes that should be on everyone's "wall".
Thsnks for sharing.

Tracy Smith said...

My sweet Kimmie... I rarely make comments on your blog but as I was reading this post you made this morning, It occurred to me how interesting it is that you value your life so you value your money and yet it isn't so you can keep it all to yourself. Quite the opposite in fact. You are so free in giving of yourself and your money to others. You are the most generous and charitable person I know and it humbles me that I get to share my life with you! I love you!


Brenda said...

Great INSPIRING post! Thanks for making me remember the most important things in life aren't THINGS...Your food storage is VERY impressive! Thanks for sharing all your great reciepes...I always get excited when I see that you have a new post!

Creative Mish said...

Very inspiring. I better get working on my food storage and provident living. It's alot of work, but worth it!

Candace Taylor said...

LOVE IT ALL! great post! Thanks so much for the porter's card! Can't wait to go pick something fun out. I totally didn't even expect it!! My eye glasses repair turned out wonderful too. You guys are awesome!

Small House said...

WOW...what a great post. NOW SERIOUSLY I got more out of your post than what I'm about to say but....
Man, I wish I had a pantry/fruit room/storage area. I'm always envious of those that have such a great room to put food supply. And looks great.

You have a wonderful attitude! I always leave feeling uplifted, and taught!!

Enjoy your day.

Cheris said...

You are AMAZING!!! I miss how much I learn from you from just sitting next to you. I wish I was still there every once and a while to pick up on all of the great lessons I missing out on. I hope that one day I can really learn to be smarter and live like you do. I've got a lot to give up and when I think about it, they really aren't worth holding on to but change is hard...
Thank you for sharing. You really do movitate people more than you know!!! I love it!!! Miss you SO much!!!

wileyfamilyof5 said...

So true. THANK YOU!THANK YOU! That has been our goal for this year. So hopefully I can follow your example.