What does "living the simple dream" mean to me?

I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing somthing our of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa of a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with my husband and son, without my husband having to be at work all the time. So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring with my husband and son, drinking a beer, ten feet away from a crocodile infested river. Now mine, my husbands and my sons life is all about chasing our simple dream.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

frugalise it!

I've been really full on with my "penny pinching" techniques lately. I have to honestly say this is the best effort at sticking to a budget I have ever made. In all honestly, it's actually the first time in my ENTIRE adult life I have ever been able to stick to me self imposed budget. I'm feeling pretty proud about it and for the most part its been quiet easy.

I have picked up ALOT of "penny pinching" techniques from different online forums and just general common sense. Some of the things I have been doing?

- I bought 12 white facewashers, 12 brown face washer, a big (homebrand) bottle of nappysoak and two small buckets. Now I use the white washers to clean up my son after meals (instead of baby wipes) and the brown washers are for cleaning benches/floors/walls etc. Whenever I finish with one I pop it straight in the bucket to soak then every few days I run them through the wash.

- only using half the amount of products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, washing powder, dish washing liquid, spray and wipe, hand wash, etc. Essentially this means all of these products WILL last twice as long so I will go from buying them once every six weeks to now buying them once every three months. (therefore 4 times a year instead of 8 times a year).

- cooking EVERYTHING at home, from scratch. Buy doing this I have eliminated MANY prepaged/jarred foods some of those are - variety pack chips, spaghetti bolognaise sauce jars, macaroni cheese sauce jars, curry sauce jars, stroganoff sauce jars, apricot chicken sauce jars, gravy (gravox), white sauce, cheese sauce, cakes, muffins, bread, biscuits, flavour sachets (eg. taco seasoning) and MANY other snack foods. I now make all of my husbands work snacks (such as meusli bars, cocnut slice etc) rather than buying pre-packaged snackfoods for him. We also have not been having ANY takeaway/takeout nor have we been out for a meal other than packing our food and taking it somewhere for a picnic.

- Three of the big things we spent money on were A) buying drinks at the service station. B) buying magazines (think: celebrity gossip/health magazines/etc). C) late night junk food cravings. We decided to elimenate ALL of these by A) buying the types of drinks we would impulse buy - with our groceries (they are WAY cheaper in 4 or 6 packs from the supermarkets, plus if you go in when they are on special you can get TWO 24 packs of cans of diet coke for $30 instead of for about $48. We then put a few in the fridge each week and grab them as we are running out to leave the house. B) I now get ALL my celebrity gossip fixes, health tips etc from the internet, duh! Its free, its accessable 24/7 without leaving your lounge/bed. Too easy! D) I learn a little recipe called "cake in a mug".... I ALWAYS have the basic ingredients needed for it so if im desperately craving chocolate I make one of these (but leave it slightly undercooked and gooey) and hubby and I share the one. It literally takes three minutes from pantry to mouth and tastes amazing (especially if you use brown sugar instead of white). (Cake in a mug recipe -

We have many other changes too which I will outline further down the track but right now I can honestly say that just these few simple changes have made a MASSIVE change in our weekly finances. Cooking everything at home can save you so much money and cooking everything from scratch puts yet another noticeable dent in the grocery bill, you will be amazed. I feel like these changes are such a small sacrafice in the grand scheme of things.

I basically think about it terms of how much time my beautiful husband has to spend at work. Every minute is a dollar and if we are spending them as fast as he is making them then he wont be leaving anytime soon. I'd much rather park our caravan at a beach somewhere and spend every moment having fun in the sun with Brent and Zac as opposed to having takeaway food regularly. Ultimately I nearly always either feel sick after takeaway OR dont *actually* get given what I ordered. I could honestly say that about 95% of my "takeaway food experiences" have left me highly dissapointed aswell as shocked at their cost (upto $50 for one nights worth of dinner).

So the more I penny pinch the less he works - the more time we have together, as a family and as a couple. Sounds blissful to me.

Why in the world would I want to miss beautiful moments like the photo above which is of my husband and son on the beach at Lee Point in Darwin during sunset. We only live one life and I hate wasting moments.

Have a beautiful evening everyone.

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