Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thrifty Living 2012


Welcome. Today is the first post in a new series.

In this series, there will be five women sharing the individual struggles they face economically with their families in a particular region. 

Each week one of us, ClaudiaElaineJenDiane and Brenda, will feature a topic on how we are living more thriftily in the year 2012. Then the rest of us will add our own paragraph or so on how we apply that to our own lives. 

We run the gamut. Brenda is the only single family household. Claudia and Don live with their two dogs in New York. Elaine and her husband have a small daughter and older children in Southern California. Jen and Gar have just relocated to another part of Canada and are looking for their first house. (In fact I think they just found one.) Diane and Ron live in Florida and are retired. 

Here is my introduction:

 If you are new here my name is Elaine and I am a wife and mother of four. I have been married 22 years and have four daughters that are 20, 17, 14 and three. As you can see we run the gammut of ages around here. I have kids in college and one not even in pre-school yet.



 I worked for the first 18 years of my marriage but came home full time when I had my last baby. It was always a dream and it finally came true. Thanks to a husband that works very hard and very long hours, we are able to survive here in expensive Southern California on one income. Needless to say though when we gave up my extra income, we had to change our ways if we were to survive not only on one income but on what was and is some the most expensive years as a parent. Kids starting to drive and entering college.

Before, when I was working, I would pretty much shop and buy whatever we needed or wanted. Not a good plan. Now I am a whole different person. I consider every dollar spent, working hard to pay cash only and pay off some loans so we can be debt free eventually. Frugality has become my mantra and feeding, clothing and providing for this large family as thriftily as I can has become my new job here at home. I am always reading a book on frugal this and that. You know what I also discovered? That when I starting turning my focus inward to our home and living a more simplified life, a result of our newer frugal ways, that I became a happier person. Buying and shopping was not making me happy but now cooking up a good meal and stretching our money, keeping the house warm and inviting was really what I was in search of all along. I think many people are struggling right now just to cover the basics and I hope what I have learned can help.


32 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Elaine, I am looking forward to this new series on thrifting. I recently downsized my home and collections as I try to live with less.

Claudia said...

I'm really excited about our series, Elaine!

Did I ever tell you that your family resembles mine? There were 4 of us kids. My brother was 17 years old when my youngest sister was born. He went off to college right after that. My mom loved the age span because she always had children around.

xo
Claudia

Debby said...

I am excited about this series. I have been living as simple as I can out of neccessity (is that even a word?). I am running out of ideas.
I also have four children.......When my youngest was in the 5th grade we adopted a little boy that was then 4. We had the age difference as well. For awhile we had 3 in college at the same time.....including me.
Thanks for doing this series.

reginascottage said...

dear elaine,
i am looking forward to this new series. it sounds very interesting.
have a nice day,
love regina

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's so wonderful to get to know you even better! I have always enjoyed your blog and this is going to be so much fun! And guess what...I have 4 sons! heehee! Mine are grown now but it sure was fun having a house full of kids! ♥

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love seeing a pic of your family. Gorgeous. I can't wait to read more about this series. I am on a mission this year to be even more frugal. Hugs, marty

c. Joy said...

Your blog is new to me, and from what I've seen very cute. Your babies are beautiful. I'm looking forward to this series.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I know how hard things are for us and I always think...what do people have kids do to survive. I admire you so.

Angela said...

I love what you have shared Elaine...I have noticed the same thing here also..My focus now on making my house a home has truly brought more joy and content in my life. Blessings.

Lois' Laughlines said...

I know how difficult it is to make ends meet. I love you being thrifty. I have also come t0 realize that the more I have, the more that I think I need. For me it was a contentment issue. What a valuable lesson you are teaching your girls. Blessing to you.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Elaine, I loved reading your intro. Living anywhere is expensive, even if it's just the two of us, and our cat, add in 4 children, and it gets very expensive.

I like that Brenda has picked a assortment of bloggers to represent the different types of families that are out there.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I enjoyed reading your intro...although, I have been reading you girl for a while now!! Interesting series. I won't even start to go into our frugal life...but frugal it is!!

Kris said...

This is going to be a very useful series for a lot of people Elaine!

Lisa ~ A Cottage to Me said...

Wonderful post! I too am an at home Mom to 3 girls...23, 21 and 16 (17 next month). Wow I can't imagine having another one after our 3rd. But God works in mysterious ways doesn't he! Your family is beautiful and much blessed, as are we, to live on one income in this economic time. Best wishes to you & your family!

Ann said...

Looking forward to seeing all the ideas you ladies present. Times are difficult now and most likely will be for the foreseeable future wherever we live. We can all use some good ideas.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am so excited about this new series and meeting some new bloggers. I am 'retired' and living on a very small budget. I have two daughters and one is married with a 9 mo old son. They are struggling on one income while my SIL finishes college. Your frugal ideas will help them and me I'm sure! I'm a new follower! Hugs, Linda

Debbie Kay said...

This is gonna be great Elaine, you are such an inspiration to me.

Love ya,

Debbie

The Boston Lady said...

Elaine, I am your newest follower and just returned from a trip to your part of the country to visit with my son and his wife. We hope to eventually move there ourselves and I am interested to see your tips on frugal living in SoCal. My son and his wife both work, but live very frugally and that's the way I've always lived as well, so I think I can make it work - even in CA. We get a lot of negative feedback from friends and family about moving there because they say it's so expensive, etc. I'm determined that when we make the move that we will be able to carve out a beautiful new life in your beautiful state. I've been a long time follower of Claudia and I look forward to hearing how each of you wonderful women will make 2012 a year of frugality. Ann

Donna said...

Hi Elaine, I was so happy to be able to get on your blog today ~ it seems every time I have tried to visit you in the past my computer would lock up (I got a pop up window saying something running would slow my computer), anyway....I am very excited to be here! I liked reading your introduction and I am looking forward to this series on thrify living and all your good tips! You have a lovely family.

Hugs,
Donna

Annette said...

Elaine, this will be a great series. I too live in So Cal, and have a 22 yo daughter. Her father became sick 7 years ago, and we've gone thru a lot of cutbacks. My newest find in So Cal is Fresh N Easy, to be it is so much cheaper than the other big grocery stores. Last night we went to the cheap theater movies. Hadn't been to a movie in over 6 months! So I cant' wait to hear your take on living in this beauitful state of ours.

Precious said...

What a beautiful family you have. I know how your DH feels with all of those women. I had a houseful of men when my kids were home. :-)

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

So true Elaine! You have a beautiful family. We have so much in common from the ages of our children to staying home now, living on less and enjoying life more! It's the best life!

Linda said...

Love the new series! I was so lucky myself to be able to stay home with my boys until they went to school...then only a few hours a week until my youngest went to college...I worked full time for years after that and now I am back at home full time...I watch every penny and love it more than I can say!!

Betsy said...

Hi Elaine,

I am really looking forward to this series on all your blogs. You sound like a kindred spirit. I've been working on simplicity and frugality for some time now, and have so much to learn. We've probably read many of the same books! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Betsy

labbie1 said...

Bouncing over to say hi and follow your thrifty living series with the others! I look forward to reading your ideas and adventures in thrifty living! I'm your newest follower!

Leslie said...

Great series. I love learning new thrifty ideas. Have a great weekend.

Angela said...

Love how you summed up what you were looking for all along ... finding happiness in making a good meal & keeping your home warm & comfy for the fam. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Cranberry Morning said...

Hi Elaine. I found you on Lavender Dreams. I just became your newest follower and am looking forward to this Thrify Living series! Hope you'll stop in at Cranberry Morning. Living thriftily in Wisconsin, Judy.

Katherines Corner said...

A wonderful series! Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop at Katherines Corner. Hugs and smooches and wishes for a wonderful weekend

Honey at 2805 said...

I think this is a great new series, Elaine! Thank you for sharing this fabulous post to Potpourri Friday!

Sara Shay, Your Thriving Family said...

Thanks for linking up. I am on this journey right now. Although a little sooner, I've been working for these 7 1/2 years of our marriage. But with the coming of our 3rd and family not living here anymore (also in Southern California) it just isn't feasible. $40 for working a 7 hours day after childcare and gas - SILLY!
But I am feeling the same way about making a home, here, not from a store.

Debra said...

My goodness ! I just found your site today and marked it to favorites to come back to later because it looked interesting. As a bonus you had a link party as well! Without HTML I could not get your button to copy / paste or anything in my sidebar though :(

Anyway, I came back and here you have this whole SERIES and not only involving you but several other families. I can see I have alot of interesting reading material here and I appreciate it :)

I am a newbie blogger ( not quite two months yet ) and new to the blogging world as well :)

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