Frugal Living

Denver “homegrown” advocates use Michael Pollan’s 2006 bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, to entice locals to improve their health through backyard farming.

The book, which describes the vast ethical, ecological and health problems associated with our nation’s food-production system has become the bible for Denver’s growing movement.

Advocates see themselves as creating an alternative to commercial food-production. Read more about how residents are bucking the system to raise livestock and more flavorful food, while laying down a challenge to plant 2,009 new home gardens this year.


Local Garden Club members dig deep

Local Garden Club members dig deep into their gardens and produce not only fresh fruits and veggies for family and friends, but fond childhood memories as well. One group is reaping more than just savings in their food budget, they’re also learning that gardening can be good for the body, mind and soul.

Read more about how people are more people are taking food into their own hands because of cost but also out of concern about how vegetables are grown.


Frugal Families Do Own Chores and Save Big Bucks

Beth Rogers, a stay-at-home mom, and husband Stanley, from Fayetteville, Ark., ditch weekly services they can do themselves and save $10,000 a year. As the economy continues to struggle and household budgets remain squeezed, more and more families are taking the family’s finances into their own hands — literally.

Beth Rogers is taking the family’s finances into her own hands — literally.

The 35-year-old from Fayetteville, Ark., ditched her weekly housekeeping service and now mops her own floors. She and her husband, Stanley, work in the yard after canceling their lawn care contract. She cooks at home instead of the family eating out, and she told her husband to iron his own shirts rather than send them to the cleaners. Total savings? About $10,000 a year.

“It made me feel embarrassed, because I realized the things we were hiring out was just me being lazy, or things I could do for myself,” said Rogers, a stay-at-home mom who made the changes after business began to slow at her husband’s car wash company.

Across the country, people are taking on chores that only a year ago were hired out to someone else. They’re dyeing their own hair, shoveling their own snow, washing their own cars and taking up paint brushes to brighten their living room walls.

The do-it-yourself trend has hurt some businesses and created opportunities for others. While every shirt ironed by 35-year-old Stanley Rogers is one fewer for the local cleaners, it also means the Rogers family will be buying more detergent and fabric softener.

Multiply the chores the Rogerses are doing by the millions of people like them who are changing their habits and the future looks bright for the do-it-yourself market.

Experts say that area will be among the first to recover once the nation’s housing sector regains steam. The research firm Mintel International, which follows a narrow segment of the market from tool rentals to building and decorating supplies, predicts the sector will make steady gains over the next two years, ultimately growing to a $15.1 billion market in 2013, or about 50 percent over a decade.

Home improvement stores Lowe’s Cos. Inc. and The Home Depot Inc. reported stronger sales of snow blowers this winter as people stopped paying for snow removal service. And they expect gardening and house cleaning items to be among their best sellers this spring and summer — a time when overall store sales traditionally are so strong that it’s likened to the industry’s Christmastime.

“We sense that people kind of want to get their hands dirty,” said Home Depot Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome. “There’s something to be said about playing in the dirt right now when you’re feeling miserable about everything else.”

Read the rest of Frugal Families here…


Simple Living Manifesto…72 Tips and Ideas to Help Slow Your Life

Simple living has a different meaning for every person. But, with 72 tips and ideas, every person can take one step closer to living a more complete, less chaotic, serene life.

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what’s important to you.

It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value.

However, getting to simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward, and one backward.

If you’re interested in simplifying your life, here is a great starter’s guide (if you’re not interested, move on).

10 Essentials For Starting Your Simple Life

If the 72 tips in the Simple Living Manifesto are a bit overwhelming, try the 10 most popular things you can do today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month. Today. Choose one and do it today. Tomorrow, choose another. And, you’ll be making great strides to simplify your life with little effort.


The Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living

There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but 50 ways to live a more simple, fulfilling, frugal life are much more interesting. For all areas of home and life, these tips allow you to spend less than you earn, save more than you have in the past and spend more time with loved ones. Check out all the options for living a frugal lifestyle.


50 Ways to Be Romantic on the Cheap

Tough times don’t always bring out the best in any of us. Tempers run hot, patients runs thin and the person we love the most often times gets the brunt of all our frustration.

These little, inexpensive ways to be romantic will pay off for your relationship in big ways. Trying a few each month can send your relationship in a whole new direction.


100 Ways to Have Fun With Your Kids for Free or Cheap

Don’t let a bad economy affect your relationship with your kids. Use these fun and funny kid activity tips to build childhood memories and a strong bond with your children.