Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A penny saved...

My brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Melissa, have been on this incredible journey over the past year.  They have been living off the land so to speak, on their farm in Michigan.  You can follow their blog here at True North Found.  Anyway, the goal is to cut spending by using the natural resources that are abundant on our property in Mi.  Our family shares 120 acres of land, of which my brother has a house on the west 40.  The started small, just turning off lights and unplugging things from the outlets when not in use.  Now they have a garden, pigs, clothes lines, and a wood burning stove.  The have literally cut their expenses in half if not more.  My brother has coined this phrase, "Every dollar I don't spend, is one I don't have to earn."  Basically he decided not to have to work 50-60hrs a week away from home, but now works 50-60 hours around the farm.  Anyway, you can check out his blog and get more info.

Jean and I are always looking for way to cut cost.  And I have my brother to thank for keeping us inspired and giving us valuable information.  I think more people can do this if they want to.  Jean and I were shutting off lights, unplugging things, keeping the heat at 64 degrees etc.  But we still would have lights on at night while reading or watching TV.  So I thought about oil lamps.  Ya know the kind with the glass globes on top and the really wide wicks.  So we inquired of my brother and he said, "Candles".   Candles are a lot cheaper and would last longer than the oil lamps.  So we went looking for those tall candles that come in the glass containers.  We call them "holy santos" candles cause they look like you would see them in a Catholic church.  We actually had to go to a hispanic grocery store to find them, but we did and they work great.  We started out with 8, and at $1.80 a piece it was very inexpensive.  The store we went to was on the northwest corner of Central and 14th st here in Decatur.
Now you can use the expensive ones if you want, totally up to you, but we wanted to go as cheep a possible.  So now we will wait for next months electric bill to see if our usage has dropped.  Oh we also decided to remove the extra bulbs from the ceiling fans and bathroom mirrors.  We ended up removing 6 light bulbs total.  6 light bulbs not using up power. 

I hope this helps anyone who is trying to cut expenses and save money.  Also GET ON A BUDGET!  You will be surprised at where you are leaking money.  If you have any tips for us, please comment. Peace and blessings.


The Bass Player's Wife said...


I have a few recipes for homemeade cleaning products that really work. The laundry detergent works out to be arounf 3 cents per load!

SWelch said...

That is so awesome. It is a dream of mine to live off the grid like that. I hope one day Sam and I rely completely on solar energy. Love the blog! =)

Wojo said...

Thanks guys for the 411. Kelly, send me those recipes and I will pass them on to Pat too.

Thanks so much Summer. You guys Rock