Nature is a natural saver. It beckons us to harvest, store, preserve and save from the bounties of fruits and veggies it has provided so we have food for the colder months ahead. It calls to us for taking in what we will need and appreciating the labor of our hands in the process of growing and harvesting that food – even when you are getting it from the fresh section of the grocery store.
When Fall comes around, these harvesting feelings come to us in ways we may not even realize. There is a heightened gratitude we feel for our home, what and who is inside it and all that we have accomplished. We are attune to the simple things that make our lives feel blessed. We feel a sense of calm and security knowing our family’s will be ok. There is even an appreciation for looking at our own budgets to make sure we are progressing where we want and saving where we can.
In our household, I always see October as a month of simplicity and frugality. Our electric bill has finally started to ease up after months of non-stop air conditioning needs. The water bill is easing up with less need to water grass and keep it mowed every week. Our grocery bill shifts as we use the crock pot more and make meals that have yummy leftovers for a night or two. It’s a month I can see some extra savings for the upcoming holidays and start to plan for the following the year financially.
Stretching the Clean in Fall
Now that the majority of our home is transitioned to natural cleaners I have been able to decrease our month-to-month budget on what I used to spend for cleaners. Even with purchasing supplies to make many of the things we use it still comes out less than a trip to the store for soaps, detergents and cleaners. Making cleaners and personal care products is a fun family activity and perfect for an October weekend together.The real value of making your own household products is in the benefits you gain physically, emotionally and financially. You are proactively reducing chemical exposure to improve your immunity which improves your health long term. You are gaining the benefits of natural ingredients like essential oils that deliver incredible healing powers to your physical and emotional health. You are saving and being frugal with savings to your budget being realized. Oh yeah you also get a couple hours with the family doing something together that everyone can enjoy and personalize things they use to their own preference.
I went back and looked at our prior years’ budgets before I transitioned our home and on average we spent about $50-$75 per week on things like laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach, air fresheners, bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner and so on. This also included things like bar soap, body wash, shampoo and lotions. So on a good month where I had extra coupons or found a great sale, I might spend $100 or more just keeping us and the house clean. These days I spend on average $50 a month. I promise we are still clean and take showers every day too! Over half our expenses were eliminated though when I made simple shifts in what we used.The benefits of changing to natural products are incredible for your health and well-being but if for no other reason than financial it is worth switching. By the way with the holidays coming up homemade soaps wrapped in brown paper and twine are a beautiful gift.
Eating Well in Fall
I freely and openly admit I am in love with ordering our groceries online and then just driving up, having them loaded and going home. It is the most wonderful service I absolutely love and would cry if I had to go back to regular grocery shopping. While I do still go to the store for occasional needs it is no where near the time or expense it once was when I did it the “old fashion way.”Not only has how I grocery shopped changed but what I buy has changed too. This time of year I would be loading up on meats, spices and expensive items to make those hearty meals. They are delicious but we can all agree that some things on the grocery list have some sticker shock when you go to buy them. Plus with so many corporations doing some incredibly weird and unhealthy things to our foods, it’s scary to grocery shop!There is a local meat market by us that offers a monthly box special of meats for a great price. It contains an assortment of things and is grass-fed, real meat without the scary stuff. The other place I buy meats like bacon, burger and chicken breasts is in bulk through a co-op service that comes through our area regularly. We have a large freezer in our garage to store the 15lbs of thick cut bacon we all love and that will last us quite a while. There are a lots of services out there that have a farm-to-table product at a economical price.
If 15lbs of bacon is too much you can always split an order with another family too so both of you are benefiting from the savings.Farmers markets are a wonderful economical way to get fresh veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses and eggs. Seriously there is nothing better than a fresh farm egg. I love scrambled eggs and when I have fresh eggs to fix it’s like Heaven on a plate. The taste of freshness direct from a farm is undeniable and you’ll notice it right away. So not only are you helping a local farmer and getting incredibly fresh food you are also saving a lot more money. Trust me those farmers are not marking up their milk to over $3 a gallon like the grocery store.
The other way I have drastically changed our grocery bill is through flavoring. I use essential oils that are high grade and pure so they are edible and can be used in dishes and desserts for flavoring and spice. These last a lot longer than store bought ingredients and are very economical to keep on hand.
Changing the Budget
Changing your home and meals to include more direct nature elements is powerful to how you feel, what you experience and what’s in your pocketbook. These are things you can’t just get when they are labeled “organic” in a store with a high price tag either. Nothing about living natural means you have to live a life off the grid growing your own food or living without indoor electric. It is entirely possible to live simply, frugally and peacefully right in your current neighborhood where you spend a couple hours this weekend making soaps with your family or browsing a local farmers market. Get the eggs too because I promise it will be the best Sunday omelet you’ve ever had.If you’re ready to transform your home to be more natural, that is super easy and your family budget will thank you! Just click here to get started: dragonspitapothecary.com