Homemaking on Pennies and a simpler life.

It’s late and the light has finally faded from the June sky. Being part hen I have trouble sleeping when there is still light and I used to rise right along with the sun rise. Now I have curtains in my coop so I sleep in a bit.

The kids and I are on my huge royal bed watching Pinkalicious. Our girl enjoys the girly, flowery show (I do too) but the boys have to make anti pink comments every five minutes to prove that they aren’t enjoying so much fluff.

I recently became a foster mother and, despite the rough first nights, and the big adjustment for the family and home lifestyle, I love the work. Even when all the children are having meltdowns at once and it’s like spinning plates, I see all the growth and maturity that is developing in my children, the healing for our new little one, and I see the change in me. We are learning to serve. We are learning to be uncomfortable, unsettled, and unsure.

I’ve also become a much better House Frau in it all. My house has never been cleaner and I’ve never been more into my housework. I’m present and in the moment with my daily chores and my growing brood. I don’t touch the laptop or answer the phone during the day, instead I talk with children, focus on the days meal prep, knead bread, harvest the garden bounty, and hang laundry.

This little girl is helping me get back to what I’ve been trying to get back to…the here and now. The home and hearth. The family. The way things were before I had a channel and Patreon and blog and wrote books.

There was a time when the boys were so small and I wasn’t doing anything besides tending to them and the house. I would sit outside under a large olive tree and read stacks of books and keep an eye on them. I remember life being so peaceful and calm. I never barked and nagged or even got upset about things no matter how big. I was truly Zen like.

Then I started writing, then promoting on Twitter and Facebook, then blogging, then a fixer upper house was purchased and I added a YouTube channel to the mix along with learning to can and garden. I just kept piling up the goods. I enjoy everything I do so it’s hard to know when I’ve overdone it. Sort of like a good cake, we just keep sneaking bits until we suddenly have a sugar rush and don’t feel so good.

I deleted Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Instagram long ago. But I work like crazy. Now that I’m putting it all on hold I’m reminded of a simpler time. I will return to making vlogs soon but the way I return to work will be changed to a simpler format that doesn’t take away from my peaceful life. I love this blog because I can write in the wee hours sharing my transitions and thoughts in the quiet of a sleeping house. This is my sweet get away.

So, the big focus right now is spending less and saving more. I’ve been watching little clips on financial forecast and I’ll admit, the quarantine woke me up.

I don’t feel fear nor do I sit wringing my hands in worry, however, I am planning and getting things done this summer. I’m getting all our appointments scheduled and done, dental, medical.

I’ve got a list of pantry items to stock and toiletries to build up. Every time we shop I add a few extra bags and cans to the cart. I do intend to set aside a lump of cash to do a big shopping trip and get the majority of it done.

But I have found a way to save in other areas. Our garden is already producing greens of all types; lettuce, spinach, and kale. We have little yellow crook neck squash and daikon radish. Instead of buying vegetables we are now eating produce solely from the garden. We only buy fruit now but in the summer so much is in season and affordable. I harvest our salad and saute greens daily.

I can’t believe the garden has produced so quickly and so abundantly. I started seedlings far too late and planted late as well, so it is all a blessing. Even some of the small fruit trees are producing and the old pear will give us a basket or two. Each year the harvest will increase.

I’ve been working hard in the house painting the walls warm and cheerful colors and moving the furniture about, covering the couch with various throws and putting the decorative pillows everywhere. I will be honest in that I’m not loving our furniture and would love to get rid of most of it and buy new goods. I would hit all the thrift stores of course, but I want to completely redecorate. Alas, I refuse to spend a dime so I paint rooms with the old paint stored in the shed or any free paint we find, I use what we have and play with it to freshen the look. I will start doing some decluttering as well now that people are feeling safer with taking and giving furnishings.

I check Craigslist all the time for furniture I can drag home and paint or clean up.

I’ve purchased easy to thread needles to make mending less dreadful. I love mending, can’t sew worth a hill of beans but love it. It’s just the threading that was painful.

I found some great items marked free on the street and dragged those home and boiled them. Now I have extra comforters, blanket and a slicer that I’ve been wanting for ages but never ordered.

The key is to act like you have no money. Keep abundance in your mind and really appreciate and celebrate every penny that goes into savings, but pretend you have no money. It forces such unexpected creativity.

I also remember stories of my friend that I tell often. She literally had no money…or a very tiny budget to work with and she did wonders. She put out nice spreads on the table during the holidays and scented candles glowing in the living room, coffee brewing, and an immaculate house. She and her children always looked nice and she was always put together with earrings and her lip gloss. Even with her 25 cent T shirts she looked lovely with her curls up in a clip and she had these great lashes she would coat with tons of mascara from the dollar store.

She made it work by hunting for sales, huge sales, and would go to all the garage sales, church sales where you could fill a garbage bag for $2 or sales at the Hospice thrift when shirts were .25 cents and old scented candles were .10 cents. She found all the deals, the free items, the hand me downs.

Her furniture was old as time and all given to her and the house had the same linoleum and carpet for over a decade but she scrubbed her house to a fresh and pleasant look. Her grandmothers colorful afghans covered worn parts in the couch and recliner and plants livened up the place.

She shopped at Food For Less, Grocery Outlet, and Dollar Tree for food, toiletries and makeup. She had three people to feed and bath and a small amount to work with.

It is work being poor or making a small budget stretch and it can wear on the soul if you let it or you focus on the lack. The other choice is to have fun with it and see what miracles you can perform and be deeply grateful for the blessings and free gifts. The Universe will support you if you do the work. Faith without works is dead but if you work hard, have fun, have faith, you will be gifted plenty.

23 thoughts on “Homemaking on Pennies and a simpler life.

  1. Glad to hear the little one is settling in better. My ladies group has been praying for you all to be blessed and peaceful. I hear you on the being creative and thankful for what you have, and not spending money. I still laugh almost a decade later when I recall my little sister in law asking me how we could afford to do so many things like we did. I just pointed to the Redneck and said, “Because I don’t spend every dime he makes at Walmart.” Just sayin’…

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  2. Thank you for the update on fostering. That little girl will remember you her whole life and you can be proud of helping to nurture her heart and soul. And as always, thank you for continuing to support this blog. I’m also signed up for your Patron acct, which I enjoy. But I think your blog my be my favorite site of all!

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    1. Glad to see that you are blogging and all your YouTube fans will understand your departure for the time being. Children are super time consuming when they are tiny and need an adult each and every step of the way. Although I enjoy my freedom now that my boys are teenagers, I do miss the closeness and time spent when they were tiny. Enjoy all your children and as you know do what is best for you and your family.

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  3. Your greens look amazing 😍 I told Harry that you’re growing daikon and he’s so excited lol Ever since he was a baby, he’s always said daikon is his favorite vegetable (even though he’s never tasted it). Harry even has a stuffed crocheted daikon he used to snuggle at night 🤣 He’s my little nutter butter!
    I agree that we need to get prepared for more uncertain times. Thanks to your inspiration and guidance, my hall closet is now a stockpile of oats, flour, rice, etc. Hubby isn’t thrilled but he will be when we have plenty of food for hurricane season! Also looking into solar thanks to you ❤️

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  4. I am so happy to hear how much you’re enjoying fostering a sweet little girl! I know this is been your hearts desire for a very long time and it sounds like you’re in the best place you’ve been in a long time! I’m just so happy for you and your family that you’re finding time together now and getting to a place where your life is where you wanted it to be and you’re enjoying every precious moment!

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  5. I was very happy to see your post, I thought with a new one at home your free time would be scarce ;).

    Many of the frugal blogs I read are discussing filling in the pantry this summer to plan for a challenging fall, you also mentioned that last week. I am making a summary of anything I need and putting together a shopping for next week. Your topics help me keep focused on the right things, thanks again.

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  6. Good Morning Kate,
    So very happy to hear that all is going good for y’all !
    Excellent blog ( I so look forward to reading them, in everything you do I by far prefer reading this blog, than the other sites, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy you tube, but this just seems more personable!!! )
    Still trying to No Spend, gradually getting there.
    Stocking up when I can, eating from the garden, just downsized from 3 vehicles to 2.
    Getting there !!!
    Cheers from Kentucky

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  7. Sweet Kate, I am so happy to hear about what is going on in your life. You have an important job with the children. Your garden sounds divine. I pray for your life to be filled with blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love reading your written posts especially since my spotty Rural hot spot on my phone doesn’t like to play you tube! Plus I can save your words of wisdom to re – read

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  9. So glad the little girl is doing well, bless her.
    Being frugal with uncooperative big teenagers is soo much harder than when they were younger. Can only hope that, though they may feel deprived of all the worldly junk most people have now, they will thank us later. Blessings, Pam in Norway

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