Monday, October 19, 2015

Just being home

I think the best, most effective, and most enjoyable way to save money at home actually isn't about pinching pennies, or utilizing the contents of our freezer and pantry to the utmost efficiency, or saving electricity and water (although all these practices are good and valid, of course). It is simply staying home, as opposed to running/driving about.

Of course, we all like to go out sometimes. Day/field trips, visits with family/friends, even shopping trips are fun - but it's all about the proportion of time spent in vs. out (by "in", I also mean on your lot - in your garden, on your deck, on your sun roof, etc, not necessarily in your living room). 

It is really quite straightforward: when you are pleasantly occupied in your home, instead of browsing shop-windows, for example, you have less temptation to buy stuff you don't really need. Also, you don't waste money on gas.

Of course, this means you have to put in the effort to make your home a place of fun, enjoyment, wholesome activity, family togetherness, usefulness, comfort and recreation. And there is really no limit to all those things, even in the smallest, most humble home.

This doesn't mean you need to have expensive decorations or furniture, or spacious rooms. A welcoming home is cozy and well-organized, without being oppressive to children or visitors (as in, making people wary of touching anything for fear of ruining a perfect arrangement). 

A day or two ago, my daughters complained about "having nothing to play with". Now, if you had seen their room, you would have known the claim was simply ridiculous - because though we're not at all consumerism-driven when it comes to toys, still, gifts from grandparents and friends, and giveaways, etc, make for quite enough to be getting on with. As a matter of fact, they had a couple of new board games and puzzles they had hardly touched. All these, however, were lost in a jumble of toys all piled atop one another. 

So, you need to make books, games, toys, and art and craft supplies easily accessible. 

Another point is to create inviting areas for all sorts of activities: reading, drawing, sewing, etc. We have one all-purpose table in the kitchen that serves us for eating, studying, ironing, board games, and all sorts of projects. Being so much used, it's easy for our table to overflow with stuff. I must be careful to keep it clean and clutter-free, so that when my children want to draw, they won't need to restrict themselves to the last tiny corner of free table space (they used to draw on the floor, but with a crawling baby that likes to tear and chew on paper, that's impractical nowadays). 

Do interesting things at home and thereabouts. This week, we made a family project of harvesting, sorting, processing and putting up pickled olives. The results should be ready for consumption in about three weeks. We also have seeds going on indoors, several experiments on the go, our chickens, and always plenty of reading to do. Naturally, in the winter when it's too cold and rainy, and in the summer on the hottest days, we are more restricted to indoor activities. The spring and autumn are the pleasantest seasons where we live. 


Kathy Thurman said...

I so agree with you! I have been retired for almost 8 months now, and in that time, I've found that I like being home so much. I used to like to go anywhere rather than stay home in my messy house. Now that I've had a chance to declutter a little (a work in progress), organize, and finally work on those sewing and craft projects I kept putting off, being home is the best place to be!

Susy said...

Hello from Portugal!
I started reading some of your posts today and specially this one made me very happy. You cannot imagine (or maybe you can) how hard it is to choose to be an housewife and SAHM where I live. It is a blessiing for me to find other women who feel just like I do, because lots of times I really do feel very lonely......... Specially because all my friends have carreers and care nothing about homemaking, old times, sewing, knitting, things like that, like I do. Sometimes I wish I could enter a housewives club, so I wouldn´t feel so "alien"... :p
Anyway, thank you for your blog, I´m loving it so far, and please keep giving us a voice. :)