What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Frugal Times

Many Canadians have been faced with cutting back during the recent hard economic times.  In many ways the economic downturn has forced folks to become a bit more frugal.  The best way to become more frugal is to start with small steps with the full realization that the little things do make a difference.  For example if you stop at a coffee shop once a day during the work week (5 days) at a cost of $1.25 it works out to an expense of $7.25 per week or $377 per year.  Replacing this habit with a nice coffee maker, thermos or insulated travel mug and a couple of syrups to make gourmet style coffees would cost about $100 for a net annual savings of $277.  Simply by changing one small thing can make a difference!

Frugal living really means getting the best value for your dollar.  It means making a conscious choice or informed decision on what is important to you to soend your hard earned dollars.  In today's times it also means factoring in how consumerism affects the environment.  We have never been above shopping the thrift stores because even back in our newlywed days we recognized that buying used helped keep unwanted items out of the landfill.  We also realized that we could easily have what we wanted as far as household furnishings and clothing for the fraction of what it would cost to buy new.  Living frugally has helped us get to this point in our lives where we are basically semi-retired at well under the age of 60!

One inspirational proponent of the frugal lifestyle has been Amy Dacyzyn aka the frugal zealot and author of the Tightwad Gazette.  Amy and husband Jim raised their six children in the frugal lifestyle that many simply did not understand especially when the appeared on the Phil Donahu and Oprah talk shows.  What many missed is Amy and her family were able to live just the same as everyone else but at a reduced cost.   I have three of her books that have served me quite nicely over the years.  Some of Amy's advice is outdated but most of it still applies today.  New Hampshire Public Television caught up with Amy Dacyzyn  Amy's message has always been that frugality works, both in good times and bad.  I agree with her philosophy that if you are frugal during the good times that the bad times won't hurt as much.  Living frugally, below your means is a lifestyle that can have huge rewards.  Here's a short video of the interview at her home in Maine:

Garden Gnome