Living The Simple Life...

Well, at least my version of the simple life.

Since it is October, that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is great and all, but I personally think it is a day in which I have to survive in order to get to black Friday. My favorite holiday of the year. The holiday in which I go stand in line outside of a Target or Toys R Us or the mall at 3 a.m. in order to do all of my Christmas shopping for everyone and be home in time for lunch. It is a glorious day-one that I look forward to with great anticipation. I love getting all of the my shopping out of the way so that I can spend Advent actually focusing on Advent and not on my shopping list.

Well, this year my husband has informed me that I need to tighten the belt a little. Blech. Can't I just live and pretend that we are rich? Oh wait... that is what got America into the situation we are in. We were greedy and now we are tightening our belts. You all knew it was going to end up like this. We couldn't go on living like we were Paris Hilton every day of our lives forever.

All morning I have been tightening the belt around here. I called our insurance company and took all coverage off of my husband's truck (except for liability) while he is gone. That was an easy phone call to make because when they told me our savings I had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Also, this does not directly affect me so it was simple... living simple, it is what I am all about.

Then I called our mobile phone carrier (didn't I sound Bri-ish just then? "I'll ring your mobile." Oh how I love the Brits and the way they talk. Swoon.) and I disconnected my husband's mobile (I think we should all call our cell phones our mobiles today... and make sure you say it with a Bri-ish accent. A salute to our proper friends) since he is deployed and his mobile has been sitting in our cupboard (notice I said cupboard instead of cabinet... if I keep this up I am going to have to apply for dual-citizenship) turned off. Why do I need to pay for a mobile that is not mobiling at all? That savings make me pull my favorite Christmas CD out of storage and I have been listening to it ever since. Man I love how that drunk lady sings the Twelve Days of Christmas. Again... this does not directly affect me as it is my husband's mobile (Relax all of you Military Supporters out there! I'll turn it back on when he gets home. Sheesh.)

Now, my last phone call was a tough one. It actually hurt me. My last phone call was to the cable company. Sniff... sniff. I cancelled all of our movie channels. That is right... we had all of the movie channels. Want to make something of it?

This is where you all come in. If I think about this too much I will have an anxiety attack so you must promise to do something for me... you must promise to alert me when you find out when the season 3 of The Tudors is coming back on Showtime. Don't ask questions... just email me post hast. I will call the cable company again and order only Showtime and when the season is over I will cancel it again. See? Easy. I am so good at saving money.

So what plans do all of you have for saving money? Anyone selling a kidney so you can buy little Timmy an XBox this year? Anyone living on rice and beans, beans and rice? How about the family dog? Thinking of selling Rover? What about your youngest child? They whine and cry anyway right? How do you tighten your belts? Inquisitive minds want to know... so does Congress.


Mama DB said...

we've been without a paycheck for more than a year now (husband is starting his own software company) so we sold one of the cars and carpool now, or he rides his bike. We don't eat out but once or twice a month (actually don't miss it all that much, surprising!) and we too gave up the movie channels. Giving out a lot of homemade gifts this year. And like it that way.

Anonymous said...

As I read your blog, I said "MOE BILE", as in the yucky stuff in your tummy. Then I laughed out when you referenced the Bri ish! I think cell phone is just an ugly name and we should all switch to calling them our mobiles!

Jen said...

If you don't mind watching Tudors on your computer then you can watch it on www.surfthechannel.com. Thats how I watch Dexter! It's free, I never have to remember to be home while it's on, and I can watch anytime I want, did I mention it's FREE? I too turned off hubby's cell phone and insurance while he was deployed, although I just turned the cell back on and shipped it out to him today so that he will be able to use it once he is back stateside, should be anytime between now and January 15th they say....

Emily K said...

FYI - you can watch all sorts of stuff on the internet FREE!

Mandy said...

Let's see, We have:

1. Cut back to basic (expanded?) cable. 1-70

2. Starting being more concious of unplugging appliances we aren't using.

3. Shut our house phone off (saving $50 per month) when everyone calls our cell phones anyway.

4. Started selling EVERYTHING we don't use or need on Craigslist and Ebay.

5. I personally haven't had a haircut in months, and have been plucking my own brows instead of waxing.

6. A lot less dining out & a lot less "frills" while shopping for food and everything else.

7. Completely rejoice in the fact that gas is less than $2.30 now

Anonymous said...

I went back to work!

We are already pretty cut-back.

Michelle said...

Ground beef...it's what's for dinner. And I'm convincing my kids that chicken noodle soup and rolls is the best dinner ever, since I found a decent soup mix for a few dollars and can get a small whole chicken for under $3. Feed 8 people for $5 - woo hoo!

And 68 degress sounds really toasty.

And if Laura Ingalls was happy with a peppermint stick and a tin cup for Christmas, my kids should be happy with a tube of M&Ms and a book, right?

Michelle said...


Kasia said...

Let's see.

I have only turned my furnace on once so far this fall, and that was because it was the Canuck's last morning here before he moves here (prolly in the week between Christmas and New Year's) and the poor guy was freezing. He doesn't have the extra insulation I do...and his mom has a nice new hyper-efficient furnace, so she's happily keeping her house at 70. I should sneak over to the thermostat and turn it down next time I'm there...toughen him up a little... ;-) It hasn't been easy for me though...when I was in the basement doing laundry, I actually sidled over by my neighbor's furnace to get some of the ambient heat...

Definitely been eating out less. And I have some bus passes for when I can drag myself out of bed early enough.

Christmas is...undecided. I haven't done my budgeting yet. There will definitely be something for my nephew and something for Canuck, but beyond that it's anyone's guess.

I already didn't have cable, had pared down my phone (got Skype for my long-distance), have a clunker car with bare-bones insurance, etc.

But you know, I've got food in the cupboards and gas in the tank (thank you, Lord, that it's below $3/gallon here now!). I've got a job, thanks be to God, and a roof over my head. The cats are still getting their ridiculously expensive fat-cat kibble, at least until their appointment in November when I get to find out if it's working at all - if not, back to Purina Indoor for them!

So - all that to say I'm cutting back, but at least at the moment, it's not so bad. I'm not looking forward to finding room in the budget for another person's food, but God will provide. :-)

Kasia said...

Oh, and my British friends say that a cell phone is what you use to call from jail. So I say yes, let's switch to "mobile"!!!

Kimberly said...

We have cancelled our expanded cable package,I am looking into cancelling our long distance,and switching to vonage. We have 1 mobile, but it doesn't work here.
We have cut our grocery budget. 1soup night, 1 salad night, 1 beans and fried potatoes, I plan my menu before I shop, and necessities only.
Christmas will be tight this year, we are in negotiations about our budget.

Christine said...

"Living the simple life" use to be the name of my blog. I have always lived the frugal life. I do not spend what we do not have and most of the time I do not want for anything.

Christmas has always been slim around here. We focus on what it is really about and try to ignore the rest of the secular world hords up on "stuff".

I liked the "Laura Ingalls" comment.

My grandpa got an orange for Christmas ....all for himself and he was very very happy.

We really do not know how rich we are.

Anonymous said...

Chris: you could make a living writing....you are the Modern Day "Ermma Bombeck" with style and cute blonde hair. I am best buddies with a huge publishing company...interested?

Anonymous said...

well, I have a ton of home grown veggies in the freezer jars of jellies in the cabinets, and a ton ( i think literally) of potatoes down cellar. We don't have cell phones, and I have been trying to cut down on how much meat I cook everyday. Meat and heat are our 2 biggest budget busters, I mean who doesn't want to keep the houes extra toasty or have a big fat steak right?

june cleaver said...

anon who is "best Buddies" with a huge publishing company... are you just pulling my leg? Dangling a carrot over my head? Telling me there is a sale on water front property in Arizona?

OK... fill me in. Hook me up. Start my career.

It you have connections then you should know that I am taking applications for a new "best friend" :)

Rebecca said...

I haven't heard of the Tudors but that same actor is also in the movie August Rush - if you haven't seen it you should, also PS I Love You is a good PMS movie too.

We don't have movie channels but use Netflix, cheaper than movie channels & no late fees like we used to get a lot of. After I got the house phone (internet, cable & phone with comcast for about $100) I lowered my cell minutes because the house phone is unlimited free calling anywhere anytime. My husbands truck only has liability on it because we don't have a payment on it. Also, meal planning has helped to save me money (& time) at the grocery store.

This Christmas (and every other) we keep things as simple (cheap) as possible. Our kids get enough gifts from other family members so our gifts to them are pj's to open Christmas Eve & a new ornament each year plus whatever we put in their stocking. I have a pretty big family so some of us draw names to cut down on expense/feeling obligated to get a gift for everyone. Grandparents can pretty much count on getting a framed family photo from us. It works.

gina said...


REDBOX - $1.oo a movie per night even new releases- can't beat it!!

We didn't order school pictures for the kids this year. Those never come out good and between the four costs almost $200! I take loads of (much cuter) pics anyways.

Back to school shopping- I bought each girl only 2 pairs of jeans and 3 new outfits, 4 new shirts and 1 new sweatshirt. They mix and matched with what they already had and are just now needing warmer stuff which is already on sale now. Plus, jeans have a way of being grown out of within a few months - so buying just a couple pairs at a time - saves us $$ if they hit a growth spurt(we didn't lose out much).

Trading kids clothes with friends and family- even if it still fits is a good way to freshen up their wardrobe for no money at all! Same with movies we own. And video games. Board games- you get the picture...

We go to the library more and borrow movies now, not just books.

Christmas presents will be lots of "things to do"- arts and craft supplies, discount movie tickets bought through AAA, etc. Inexpensive and takes care of what to do during winter breaks and winter weekends. :) I also shop etsy.com whenever possible- supporting families not BIG companies.

"Decorate" for the holidays with nature and find more "new" uses for normaly discarded items.

Walk more- drive less.

Send more "snail mail". Doesn't save money but I'm sure it is nicer than finding a bill in your mailbox. :)

Cooking a big meal for (extended)family members on their birthdays. Complete with a cake or other fave desert. Makes the relative feel thought of and creates family memories while only costing a few more dollars to stretch the recipe. (Things like shepard's pie work well for this purpose!)

Recycle. Everything in our house is fair game for my daughter's imaginations. Artwork/inventions/fashion statements- you never know what they'll come up with. :)