Where do these people come from and what is this need to keep up with these so called perfect people doing to our well being? How is this need keeping us from living a simple and serene life? I know that I cannot feel serene if I am constantly worried about money or how I am going to keep up with the Joneses. And yet, we want a comfortable living space and a healthy self reliant life.
I found this wonderful article on Mother Earth News. You can read all 65 tips here, but here are just a few that I like.
1) Saving money on construction and home decor.
Using salvaged materials will dramatically cut down on building or decorating costs. You can often find these at construction sites (ask), on Craigslist, or at places like Habitat For Humanity ReStores, and if you don't have the expensive tools you need, how about bartering with a friend who does have them. Maybe you could bake something for them in exchange.
I have a pair of pants that people are always asking me where they came from? I just smile and say thank you. I bought those pants at Goodwill 12 years ago and I am still wearing them. The cost? $2.50. So I say scour thrift stores. It's amazing the clothes you can find with the original tags still attached. Also, did you know that your clothes dryer accounts for 6% of your electric bill? That is a lot. Hanging your clothes to dry is a great alternative. I can't hang clothes outside to dry where I live, but I do hang most of my clothes indoors. (added bonus: they add moisture to your home in the winter)
Do you know where that food you are eating comes from? Do you eat at restaurants or fast food places a lot? We have definitely become a society of convenience. When I was growing up and when I was raising my children we ate at home. Eating out was a treat. With all of the worries over GMOs, pesticides, and hormones in our food supply it is important to know where our food comes from. Growing as much as we can ourselves and shopping with local farmers is not only better for our health, but better for our pocketbooks as well.
4) A healthy person is a happy person in my book.
Health care spending has gone through the roof and there are many preventative things we can do for ourselves to help prevent disease. First of all see #3. Eat better. Eat locally. Eat nourishing toxic free foods. Grow your own herbal remedies. Meditate. I do it every day and it is absolutely free. Oh and guess what, good mental health has been shown to reduce physical ailments. So, a simple serene life is a healthier life.
Gas prices are ridiculously high. I know that I can't afford to do the amount of driving that I used to do. So what do we do. For one, I consolidate my trips. I make a list of errands I need to do and I make a route. I try to use services such as the library, bank, grocery, drugstore, etc as close to my home as possible. I need to walk more, so I am thinking about getting a market cart and walking to some of these places. Also, I used to love riding a bike. Maybe this would also be an option for me.
What are some of your self reliant money saving tips? Please share.