Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Frugal Life I Lived

Peaceful Forest Homestead

I have been researching for quite awhile now on living the "simple life" and I know many people who follow my blog, think that means the modern homesteading life. All I can tell you is that is not a simple life by any means. No, it is a hard life, even if you are on the grid (electric coming from the utility company). I used to call it the simple life, until I lived it for close to twenty-one years. I am talking about the simple living lifestyle, or minimalist lifestyle, or frugal life. Whatever you choose to call it. I just call it life.

Garden in 2000

Ever since I moved here I have lived very frugally, but it was not by choice, as much as no choice. I have learned to make do with a lot of things I took for granted. I sold a lot of my stuff just so I could buy food, gas and the necessities of life. I bought things I needed from the local thrift stores. I made things out of broken things or nothing.  I learned to garden and can my food, so I would have plenty to get through the winter.

Nikita eating carrion

I bought what I couldn't grow in bulk and canned that. I accepted the parts of the deer the hunters did not want and cut them up, which I hated to do, but did it anyway. Canned that also. Made venison stew and chili and canned that. Our dog's favorite food was raw meat and specifically venison. The hunters in the state forest around us would gut a deer and leave the rest behind. We would find the carcass and bring it home for Nikita. It fed her for weeks sometimes. The cold weather preserved it, but she liked carrion and it fed her well.

After the tornado

For years we did not have to buy fuel for heating. In 2000, we had an in-line tornado that took down over 300 trees on our small piece of property. We were able to heat and cook with that wood for a very long time. Cooking and heating water on the wood stoves all winter, fall and early spring. I even cooked breakfast in the summer on my wood cook stove. I liked it better and it was faster for me. It didn't really heat my house up at all. A very frugal choice back then. Firewood work is not without some sort of payment. The cost is in the manual labor and the chainsaw costs.

Kerosene Lamp

For lighting we used kerosene lights for a number of years. At night our house was lit up like an Amish home. It looked cozy and welcoming. Kerosene though, was not cheap and it went up in price. As soon as we had our solar array up and able to generate more power, out went those lamps. Electric efficient lighting was now free. Talk about frugal! As we enlarged our system, we were able to add appliances, such as our SunDanzer refrigerator, that uses less power than my laptop. Free to run now!

Wild grape or known as "Fox Grapes"

Living out in the forest has made it possible to collect many different wild plants, especially in the spring time. I use many all year round, for eating and for medicinal purposes. No chemicals sprayed on any of them. If you do this, make sure you have good guide book for your area to consult before using any. Or ask someone who might know. I have so many right in my own yard. I don't have to go far from my house to gather weeds for food or medicine.

The road to my house

To live frugally it just takes effort and research to see what you can do to cut your expenses down. I am sure it is much cheaper to live in the country than the city. I know though that my grandmother did it in both places but she was raised on a farm in the early 1900's and that knowledge was common back then. You can do it though, I did.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

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