• Finances,  Financial Freedom,  Frugality

    How to Acquire a Cheap Car

    Shortly after the near-miss flood, Katie announced that she’d become tired of walking to work in the rain and wanted to buy a car. I watched her scroll through posts and eye the selections at local lots before I made a suggestion: “why don’t you ask around at your job? Surely someone knows of a car that you can pick…

  • Frugality,  Recycling,  Simplicity

    The Importance of Ingenuity

    As I repaired my mother’s quilt, it became obvious that I would have to re-quilt it. The thread she had used to quilt it initially had disintegrated in places; to skip that step would defeat the entire purpose of repairing it. I had a problem with completing that task. In order to quickly quilt it, I needed to use the…

  • Decorating,  Frugality,  Recycling,  Simplicity

    The 40 Year Old Quilt

    I didn’t even know my mother was working on a quilt back then, but one day I arrived home from school to discover it upon my bed. It was her very first quilt, and she’d made it for me. I’ve cherished that quilt over the years. Even as it became tattered, I kept it. Eventually the holes from where I’d…

  • Frugality,  Simplicity,  Wardrobe

    A Mother’s Work is Never Done

    My Katie managed to score a day off from work yesterday, so we had the rare treat of sipping coffee together as we started the day. The conversation turned to brainstorming, since a relative had called to request some masks for herself and her son; she wants to pay and I don’t feel that it’s proper to accept money from…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Simplicity,  Wardrobe

    The Shoe Patch

    A few years ago the kid bought this cute pair of “boat shoes.” I liked the shoes so I watched her enjoy them because I knew that, in time, she would get bored of them and pass them to me. One night I noticed she had tossed those shoes in the trash can, so I fished them out. “Why are…

  • Finances,  Food,  Frugality,  Organization

    The Difference Between Stockpiling and Hoarding

    “I’ve got coupons for the crackers!” Katie dug through her coupon holder as we entered the cracker aisle. “How much should we get?” I checked the expiration date upon the boxes, holding one up to show my daughter. “How many boxes do you think we’ll go through by this date?” Katie frowned. “Not a lot,” she muttered. There is a…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Recycling

    The Stitch Rebellion

    As our governor began to list the dead yesterday evening, chants from the protestors outside drowned him out. He sighed, explained that this wasn’t about popularity. He would save as many lives as he could save, despite the protestors campaigning for him to let people die by reopening our economy. It reminded me of a parable I read in the…

  • Economy,  Finances,  Food,  Frugality,  Minimalism

    Supply Chain Concerns

    Okay, folks. At last count these are the situations we are dealing with in addition to the COVID-19 outbreak: Massive unemployment Strikes and walkouts Natural disasters Supply shortages Meat supply shortages On top of that, there also happens to be a Swine Flu outbreak that I’m watching that will affect our food chain as well as the fact that the…

  • Food,  Frugality,  Minimalism,  Simplicity

    Blast From the Past

    “Is it done yet?” Middle Daughter bounced in her toddler chair as she watched me sewing her latest dress. “Not yet, honey,” I repeated patiently. “It takes time to make a dress.” “Okay.” “Is it done yet NOW?” she asked a few minutes later. “If you don’t quit asking, I’m gonna quit!” I’d eventually warn her in frustration. The death…

  • Finances,  Frugality

    How to Plan for an Uncertain Future

    Okay, folks. We’ve got some work to do. Sitting on the couch isn’t going to make things any better – it will only make you insane. Best case scenario is we have another recession. We live through this, our friends and family live through this, but we have some financial challenges to deal with. Worst case scenario is we lose…

  • Frugality

    Katie the Coupon Queen

    My Katie and I have been discussing my muses of late, particularly my personal opinion that I wanted to encourage people to find ways to give the corporations less money. I thought my words had fallen upon deaf ears but then something interesting happened. For a couple of weeks I heard Katie watching episodes of some show about extreme couponing.…

  • Economy,  Frugality

    The Story of Bill

    Bill is an American success story. He dropped out of college to follow his dream of making windows – and he hit it big. Bill is one of the people we look up to when we decide that we want to pursue our dreams. I used to be one of those people. On the outside, Bill appears to be a…

  • Frugality,  Minimalism

    The Television Adventure

    When I eliminated my television back in 2009, I had no intention of acquiring another. I was perfectly content using my computer to stream videos or watch DVDs, so I thought I would have no reason to bother. Katie disagreed. As everyone knows, my beloved daughter is not a minimalist. She works hard and shops with the same enthusiasm. I…

  • Frugality

    The Soap Rebellion

    I’ve spent the past several days discussing the big picture that surrounds us but the reality is that some of the most effective rebellions take place at home. When we make changes in our personal life and use those changes as talking points to teach our friends and family, over time people begin to listen and make changes of their…

  • Frugality

    Minimalist Revelation

    I awoke this morning with a surprising revelation. Aside from food, I no longer buy much. At first I thought I was over-reacting so I looked at my purchase history for this past year. I didn’t spend even $500 last year at Walmart and they were my primary online ordering outlet. Once every month or so I would order a…