As for Me and My House ...

All week long I have mulling over how I work to be frugal with my resources. My focus is mainly on how I do this as a wife, a mother, the “household manager” around here. Rather than carry on for an extensive post of rambling … I will make it most “list-like”.

- Keep a cash budget. Once there is no more cash in the envelope for designated categories, we don’t spend. Sometimes with diapers and stuff, it can get a bit dicey as I budget very tightly, but it helps us to stay low in entertainment, clothing, grocery, household, and misc. spending.
- Cook at home. No order out, no take out, and rarely eat out at all anymore. I do attempt to bake most baked goods as well. But, occasionally Eli requests a loaf of store-bought sandwich bread. I don’t know why he likes it, but sometime he just does.
- Shop garage sales, Craigslist, etc., for clothing, furniture, you name it!
- My kiddos (and me!) wear LOTS of hand-me-downs. And I am SO grateful to those who share with us!
- Attempt to make homemade gifts when I can. And we also shop sales for birthday and Christmas gifts all year long. Clearance can be a good thing!
- Keep our heat as low as we can with kiddos in the winter, and just comfortable in the summer with the AC.
- Buy store brands and use coupons.
- Try to live simply. Eli’s salary had a significant drop when he changed jobs. We made the determination in our hearts to not “sweat it”, but give up things, mostly material, and focus on being grateful for what God has graciously given to us. Save, Re-use, Re-purpose, etc.
- Keep a to-do list on my fridge to keep my mind and actions focused during the day.
- Make a point to have occasional date nights with Eli to keep a priority on our marriage.
- Spend time with the Lord. He reminded me this week that “His yoke is easy, and His burden is light”, and that being frugal and resourceful is a wonderful thing, but only when it stems from His leadership in my heart. Otherwise, I risk becoming resentful rather than enjoying the challenge of it!

- I admit. I adore Tide detergent. So, I do pay for name brand laundry detergent. I have lots of sweaty, stinky workout clothes, and it just really cleanses them. So, I don’t cut a corner here, but I do in other spots.
- I don’t use cloth diapers. Again, an admission: totally afraid of them. Yes, I realize I have spent more on disposables, and yes, I realize it is MUCH better for the environment. But, I am super intimidated by them and haven’t yet had the guts to take the plunge.
- We still pay for cable TV currently. It’s always on the discussion table, but our love for KU basketball is currently trumping the desire to save that $$ each month.
- and yes, there are many more, I’m sure!

We all do the best we can, I believe. Probably everyone that reads this blog is much better than I am at conserving and using what you have. I’m not going to get caught up in comparing myself to anyone else. I just hope that I can look back and be confident that I was obedient to the Lord in what He asked me to do, and that Eli and I worked together as a united team to best raise the boys and manage the household “stuff”. I’m looking forward to what else is shared this month!


  1. Such a great post! You do so much for your husband and your family! I have to admit, as I was reading this, I was tempted to begin the comparison game. Everyone has areas that they splurge more, and areas that they save more. We are all trying to be as faithful to our Father as we can, and improve in the areas that we come up short. So no comparison game over here! I am just excited to see what everyone is doing and hopefully will find some ways that I can improve!!

  2. My husband reminds me often that I am frugal and I promptly remind him that it is better than being a spender, to which he quickly agrees! I told him the subject for the blog this week and I asked him for his help in coming up with ways that I am frugal. I am concerned that by the time it is my turn to post that all of my frugal ideas/ways will be taken. I guess that wouldn't be so bad. It's amazing how like-minded we all are! Great post! Here is a question: what do you do when you want to get rid of something (ex: newspaper) but your husband does not?

  3. Sarah, haha! Eli and I "disagree" about getting rid of stuff often. I look around (and I dislike clutter of all kinds - though it follows me) and just want to purge! He wants to "keep" everything! No good answer, we just try and work through it, and usually compromise in some form or another. Newspaper ... why save that, though?

  4. Jeni, totally on board with you on the comparison game thing! It's so easy to fall into, and in doing we let go of that beautiful truth that Elisa mentioned- His yoke is EASY, and His burden is LIGHT. But we want to pile on the things we see others doing and pretend like His expectations are the same for everyone.

    Elisa, don't worry about diapers- it's a total toss up, both economically and ecologically. I had friends who were religious cloth diaper-users who had to switch back to disposables because of their water bill. One of the big reasons people switched to disposables in the first place was to conserve water, not just convenience. Neither one is the perfect answer, so don't sweat it! And by that I mean, I'm horrified that you didn't have your child potty trained by 9months ;)
    I think having a to do list that keeps you focused throughout the day is a great resource!

    Sarah, I have the last week, so save some ideas for me, or it will be a quiet week! =) No, I do think there will be some fun advantages to wherever we are at in this schedule...we'll see.

  5. Sarah K. - You could always do what I do with the kids when we purge. I have them pile all of their stuff into "Love" and "Let Go" piles. If the "Love" pile is small I may leave it at that, but if it is large I have have resort. It may be keep one, let go of one, or keep two, let go of one. It allows them to keep only what they really value. I'm not sure how well that would work for husbands though.