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I know I said I was going to post daily, but well, the weekend happened, and I just couldn’t spend it online with so much time to work on our kitchen. So here are my personal updates, and takes on the last few days of the Frugal Living Challenge.
Saturday was all about going to the minimum. Finding ways to scale back, and learning to live with what you have. I really liked the tips Andrea posted. The biggest problem I found in setting a goal for myself here, was that I already do most of them. I like to leave lights off, and open the blinds for some natural lighting during the day, I don’t shower daily, because I don’t need to. Unless my kids are getting extremely dirty, they don’t bathe daily either. I try to do all our laundry in one day as this saves heating costs on the dryer (it’s still warm as you put in the next load, therefore not needing to use as much energy to get hot).
After looking around at what I already do, and then browsing the Frugal Living Forum, I located an area we could be less wasteful. When we have leftovers, I tend to forget about them. They get pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. So my goal to scale back, and waste less is to eat our leftovers. I know I always plan a night for leftoever, but I’ll be honest, rarely do we end up following through that night.
Sunday Andrea explored the idea of downsizing our homes. She challenged us to see if we could downsize, would it be possible, and would it benefit our families. Having just bought our first home, I don’t see us downsizing to a smaller home anytime soon. To be honest, I don’t ever see us purchasing a smaller home than this one. We’re quite comfy here, and we plan on growing our family larger. For me instead of thinking about purchasing another home to downsize, I suggest looking at the space you have and finding the most efficient ways to use that space. Take for example our recent kitchen remodeling. We had a 2 shelf open pantry that only went up half the wall. Then it was an open bar like space to the family room. To us, this was wasted space. Yes I could’ve decorated it all nice and fancy, but in reality it was just a dumping grounds for clutter. So we made plans, and put those into motion to build a full floor to ceiling pantry. This offers us the much needed space for all our food, and gets rid of one more place for clutter to accumulate. So although I may be upgrading my space, I’m also “downsizing” the need to ever purchase a home for the space.
Yesterday, as I sat through church, a scripture was read that really made me consider this option to downsize. It’s found in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi chapter 2:15 “And my father dwelt in a atent.” At first look this scripture seems insignificant. But when we put the story behind it, I think it has much more meaning. Lehi was commanded to flee Jerusalem, and take nothing with him but the neccessities. He left behind all his money, and valuable items, and took only his family, food, and shelter. While traveling to the promised land, they lived in tents and hunted for their food. As I thought about this scripture, I wondered whether I would be prepared to leave all behind if I was to be commanded to flee. Although I see that as somewhat unlikely to happen to me, I do see more practical circumstances happening. What if Mark were to lose his job (education can be a very unpredictable employer). Where would we go, what would we do? Those questions I followed up with “What can I do without? What could I leave behind?”
I know we won’t be intentionally downsizing our home anytime soon, but if the neccessity arose that we had to, I know we could. I’m starting to look at our things in a more practical manner.