Edited to add one more "Nothing" to the list...
Frugality is something I think a lot about. I don't always get around to writing about it, but it is on my mind constantly.
Last year my sister went through a great personal challenge, to do without for thirty days. It was an economic challenge to be more frugal, to take a look at what she spent her money on and try to cut back considerably.
I decided to take this challenge I just discovered at OwlHaven.net. I have read her blog before, but recently been redirected here again. She is a great writer and has much to say about being frugal, living cheap, making do or doing without. And her life is not easy, she is a Homeschooling Mom to 10 kids, 6 of them adopted from Korea and Ethiopia. She often compares her life to those of the families and countries from where she adopted her children. Things like the amount of clothes in her closet compared to the "outfits" an Ethiopian child has, the vehicle she drives, or kitchen equipment, etc. It is humbling to me to think that we in this country have so much, yet are often dissatisfied with what we have and want more.
So this brings me to my challenge, 30 days of nothing, and how I will incorporate this in my/our lives here. I already volunteer at the food bank and I get first pick from the food of the day. I work there each Thursday and often come home with enough food to feed my family and share with several neighbors too. Groceries, praise God, will not be a challenge at all. The challenge will be for me to stop running around wasting gas and coffee shop drive throughs. I do love me some coffee and if you make it a Grande-Sugar-free-vanilla-non-fat-latte, iced or hot, it is nearly impossible to resist. To top that all off, my little po-dunk town now has a drive through Starbucks. Sigh...
So, in list form...
1. No drive through coffee expenditures.
2. No drive through fast food.
3. No unnecessary trips in the Suburban.
4. Use the clothesline, not the dryer. I have two wonderful retractable clotheslines in my back yard, there when I need them, zipped out of sight when I don't!
5. No trips to the grocery store unless it is to pick up WIC items, (Women Infants and Children Federal food program. Boo Boo still qualifies, Robby just graduated he's now 5.) We get milk, eggs, cheese and beans.
6. Money spent will ONLY be for paying bills and catching up accounts.
7. Necessary car repairs will be made. Sorry, we can't be without our vehicles.
8. We purchased pre-paid oil change cards for each vehicle last fall, so those will remain on schedule.
9. NO turning on the furnace until October. Bear mentioned this the other day when he saw steam and smoke pouring out of a neighbor's furnace flue. He commented that he thought we could go until November without turning it on, I think October might be a more accurate estimate. It has gotten down to 45 degrees or so most mornings, but highs are in the 70's during the day. As long as the sun shines in during the day, we can cuddle up at night and be toasty.
I do need to pick up a box of diapers for Boo, but maybe I'm ready to try the yucky store brand instead of Huggies. But when I've gone that route before I tend to use more than I would have, because they don't seem to work as well. Any ideas? I've gone cloth route before and I have all the stuff, but without my dryer and the humidity around here this time of year, I don't think they'd get dry. Ahh, still torn on this one..
I guess that is about it. I'll add more if I think about it later, I'm starting this kind of late, she started on the first of September, so I think I may continue into October as well.
The tough thing will be, this is my birthday month, and Bear's is next month, so I'll have to think creatively about how to celebrate birthday's cheaply.