Monday, February 23, 2009


Our family tries to shop as frugally as we can, but purchasing the cottage & traveling to-and fro between homes has made this an even bigger necessity. Convenience foods can seem "cheap and easy" at the time, but what a deception! Lacking in nutrition and sustenance, too often we're left hungry and out of $10+ (which could've been spent on "staple" ingredients for homemade (tastier) snacks.
Here's what I try to do:
*Freeze breadstick and pizza dough
*Make pancakes the night before, then freeze it for the week (heh, more like 2-3 days--we love pancakes)
*Keep baby carrots in a tupperware container to easily bring along in the car
*Bake cookies--they keep well (if they're not instantly eaten:) and its worth it to triple the recipe!
*No more boxed cereal (if we can help it) Honestly, paying $3 a box really adds up, especially in families with children! Having cereal for breakfast, plus as a quick snack=the FREQUENT question," Where is the cereal? Where'd it go?!?" LOL

Lately, I've been assigned to the job of monitoring the grocery budget, and making sure we get "the basics". Well its been great, but we're looking forward to eating from our garden this summer--grocer prices are slowly rising! But luckily at Publix I found (hidden) savings! Canned goods are for our "emergency pantry".

4 cans of northern beans $0.40 each
1 can of organic beans & rice $0.50
McCormick seasoning $0.99
Large package of pork chops $9.99
Total savings $15
~ (above photo: washing my dresses by hand)


The thing is, I've been trying to minimise buying clothes and accessories. My personal goal of non-accumulation is to give away most of the things that I'm not using--which is hard!!
My favorite online resource on clothing is How to dress like a pioneer woman. Its amazing to think that the average 19th century woman had only 2 dresses as her entire wardrobe, wearing aprons to keep the dresses clean, and one pair of long-lasting boots :) Although this isn't practical for many of us, I think its resourceful, challenging, and inspiring.

I still have so much to learn, but I wanted to share with you what I'm learning on the importace of frugality~

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" Matthew 6:25


The Schoolhouse @ Deer Run said...

You are a most beautiful young lady with one of the most inspiring blogs I've seen. What a blessing! God bless you & your family,

Jenna said...

Oh Mia, I love this post! You encourage and inspire me:)

With a family of 10, I know how hard the grocery budget can be! We have been incredibly blessed by our food pantry in town. Without them, things would be SO tight, even worse than what they are right now for us. I see this as God's provision!
We're looking forward to gardening as well!!! We plan on really expanding the garden, so we'll see how that goes.
I also love how you dress:) I have found myself wearing many more aprons with my skirts/jumpers!!!!

God Bless You Mia~
Your sister in Christ,

Rachel and Jessica said...

Mia you are a very wise young lady! It is hard for my family as well and I have been trying to find healthier and cheaper ways of doing things as well! One thing I have found is that I can make a big pot of vegetable soup (without meat) and a loaf of homemade bread and fill everyone plus have some extras to freeze for another meal or for lunches! It is so helpful! Another things is that I make up mixes of things instead of buying it from the store (like pancake mix, bread mix, a mock bisquick mix, etc.). This really saves us money AND it is so much better for you! =:)

Thanks for your tips and sharing them with us! I will have to try some of those! =:)


A Young Lady In Waiting said...

Frugality is something that many of us where mocked for practicing before this present economy but now those who laughed are now asking for advice! Thanks for sharing.

Also, I'm not sure if your family clips coupons, My mother and I often can cut our grocery money down 50-65%.
The only problem with seeking out coupon deals is sometimes all that is on sale really cheep in the junk stuff that we don't buy, but often times you can get good wholesome foods for next to nothing! If you haven't hear of it money saving mom is a great place to start.

Love your blog more and more with each visit!


Emily said...

We do the same thing in our home. Eating more "made-from-scratch" foods does cut costs! It's amazing! I have been making my dresses and my children's dresses as well to cut the costs of clothes. Wonderful blog!

Kate said...

I have a book from the 50's or 60's that lists a very practical, frugal, minimalist, yet lovely wardrobe. I think I posted it on my blog in the past. I'll see if I can find it and repost it.

Lydia said...

I found your blog the other day...I most say that it is one of the most lovely and inspiring that I have ever come across.
I know what it it to have to be frugal, I come from a family of eleven, we also struggle to keep or budget down and yet still provide healthy snacks and meals. We almost never eat cereal it is too expensive ;) especially since I have nine brothers and they eat a lot!
God bless.

Kate said...

I found the post! You can view it either here:

Or, just visit my blog at and catch the link there.

Mia said...

Ms. Torie,
Thank you, and I appreciate the encouragement! :)
You're too sweet! That's awesome that your family is expanding your garden--I'm looking forward to gardening at the cottage this year!
Yes, making big batches of soup can really stretch meals! I like making mixes too :) Thank you!
I'm definetely going to need your help on coupons--we try, but it never seems like our local newspaper has more than a few. I know we could be saving so much more! Do you buy certain newspapers? I appreciate you stopping by!

Ms. Emily,
I agree, made-from-scratch meals are always the best!
I really want to get to a point where I can "make my own clothes" I'm almost there.
Thank you for stopping by! I'm so glad you like my bog, I enjoy yours, its lovely :)
Ms. Kate,
Thanks for leaving the link! That's wonderful info on how to simplify :)
I'm so glad you found my blog!!
Yep, cereal is too expensive for what its worth. Thank you for stopping by!
I appreciate your wonderful comments! Thank you!!!
In Christ,

Rachel and Jessica said...

I tagged you Mia! Go to my blog for details.


Miss Jen said...

What wonderful tips! ;)
I know... isn't that amazing.... that the average 19th century women had only 2 dresses?!! I have often pondered this fact before and considered having fewer clothes that occupy my closet. ;) It just goes to show you how we really don't need a mass number of garments to survive! I really enjoyed your tips and ponderings about frugality!! It's always a joy to visit you dear friend.

With Much Love
Your Sister in Christ,

Andrea said...

Dear Mia, I'm so glad I found your blog! It's awesome! As a pastor's wife I'm always concerned about frugality. Your priorities are to be admired and appreciated. Thank you! God bless.

American Home said...

What a beautiful blog. It is a blessing just to read it. Keep up the good work.

Miss. Brittany said...

I linked to your site through another blog, and i think i'm probably going to start following your blog because i find it to be very interesting.
i love how you post pictures as well as a lot of detailed writing!
you are always welcome to stop by my blog, although it is not as colorful as yours is :)
Blessings and best wishes, Miss. Brittany :)

Julie said...

I have enjoyed browsing through your blog. I am the mother of three young daughters and I always love finding blogs to inspire them to be future homemakers. Your blog is lovely!

Rachel and Jessica said...

Hi Mia! We awarded you! Go to our blog for details! =:)


Johanna said...

Hi Mia! I have awarded you! come over to my blog for the details!

Anonymous said...

I can see where the name "inspiring homemaker" came from!!

Those are wonderful ideals and expectations to live up too, especially in this day and age.

JoAnna said...

when shopping for spices, consider getting the stuff sold in the ethnic aisles instead of the spices/baking aisle. Usually they are sold in cellophane packets, which are easy to transfer into small jars and keep handy. You'll save a bunch, and it will encourage you to cook for yourself even more often.

Also, an entire POUND of dried beans usually costs about a dollar, so you can pinch a few extra pennies if you go with dried beans you cook yourself instead of canned. It takes planning (you can't just grab a can opener, you have to soak overnight and simmer for a couple hours) but you know exactly how much salt is (or isn't) going into it.

Feel free to stop by my blog if I can help with any cooking questions.

Kristen said...

Mia, I'm definately new to the making pancakes and freezing them thing (but mm.... I'm a big pancake lover and will probably do a batch tonight!) my question is how do you reheat them?

I'm trying to minimize my microwave use (I haven't got a chance to try the oven, the toaster, or the frying pan yet to reheat; I'm planning to experiment soon) and wondered which way ya'll did it?