Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Living On Less

I would like to share a few thoughts on frugal and simple living.

We look back now at our retirement and how we planned for it.  It has been over 14 years since my hubby retired, just before he turned 60.  He had worked 35 years in law enforcement for our town, so he was eligible for early retirement, something that we put much thought into before making our decision.  We have been able to make ends meet, even putting money into our savings.  There are even more ways that we could cut back if need be.  Prices have gone up tremendously in those years.  Retirement has worked out well for us even with the economy, by living simply and being satisfied with what we have and making good choices on how we spend our dollars.

Here are a few things that we have done and continue to do to make retiring work for us.  Our home had been paid in full for many years before making our decision to retire.  I might mention that we have lived in our home for all of our married years.  It will be 49 years this coming August.  We have a small cottage that we bought shortly after being married.  This was our son's only home until he and our 'daughter' bought their home a few blocks from us when they were first married.  There were times that we thought we needed something bigger, but are so very thankful that we chose to keep what we had.  Smaller homes are less expensive to maintain.  Smaller homes are easier to keep clean.  As we have gotten older it is nice to have a small home and a small yard to keep up and to tend to.  I might mention that we were debt free when we went into retirement and have kept it that way.  We do not buy unless we have the cash to pay for it.  

Our vehicles are now older.  We keep them in good working order by maintaining them.  This makes insurance, tags and taxes much more affordable than having a new vehicle.

We have a small kitchen garden and herb garden which supply us with fresh produce throughout spring, summer and fall.  If we had more space, growing grains and fruit would be nice.  Also, with more space, having animals for eggs, milk and meat would be wonderful.  We do not have that kind of space but we do live in an area where we have friends who own farms in the country and have stands set up where they sell their produce and we are thankful to buy from them.  We buy most of our groceries from a full service grocery store (market and deli) that provide healthy, local and organic foods and produce while also supporting the sustainability and well-being of our community.  It is community owned.  For Mother's Day a few years ago, my hubby bought me a share in our community owned market.  It was such a thoughtful gift and we both love shopping there.  We also buy from local farmers and our local farmers market.

We cook our meals from scratch.  Homemade tastes better, is healthier and keeps us within our food budget.

I haven't made our clothes but enjoy making homemade items for our home and for gifts. 

We have an outdoor clothesline that I use when the weather is good.  My hubby also bought for me an inside folding wooden clothes drying rack made by the Amish.  It always has a bit of laundry drying on it.  We also have a compost bin and a rain barrel which we make good use of.

We think that it is important to try to become as self-sufficient as possible by using what we know, by what we learn and by what we have.

A few ways to save money ... take a walk ... have a picnic ... watch a movie or play games with family and friends.  We still love to take little getaways and out and about days, but we plan ahead for these special times.  We always take a small cooler and a basket filled with nutritious drinks and food.  We enjoy nice meals out, just not every meal.  Even with the gasoline prices being a bit lower than what they were, we plan our getaways not far, far away.  We did buy a small RV and have enjoyed getaways in it.  It is our little home away from home.
These are just a few ways that we have found work for us.  I hope that you find something that might work for you as well.

I think that if there is one thing that we both love to do ... does not cost a penny ... is homey and comforting is spending time on our front porch.  We have been sprucing up our front porch to make it cosy and a quiet place to sit, chat, read, work on a little project, watch our hummingbirds at their feeder and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea ... a quiet retreat and a place to enjoy family and friends.

$ $ $ $ $

Old Fashioned Words:  Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

$ $ $ $ $

We are thankful for simple living.


  1. All very good choices. So happy for you that your life has turned out well. And this is good advice to others. It is more important to have what you need; rather than just things that you want. Thank you Teri for sharing these special ways and the pictures too.

  2. This post should be recommended reading to ALL newly weds and young families!!

    We live simple and similarly.

  3. Thank you for such a wonderful post, my husband is due to retire in 6 years time, we are very frugal and hoping to have a simple retirement, thank you for the tips. Sue

  4. Kathy in IllinoisJuly 5, 2017 at 6:55 PM

    You always have such meaningful posts, Teri. If everybody would live like you do this would be a better world.
    God bless, Kathy

  5. Hello Teri!

    I enjoyed reading here today about how you and your husband have been able to retire and still do well even though the economy has not been that good. What a precious testimony you have. We begin that adventure next year and are looking forward to it so much. We have done most of the things that you have shared here...including making the porch a bit more cosy. :)

    I have enjoyed the new look here...the background is beautiful and the colors are so soothing.

  6. These are all great tips, Teri, and your post is so timely. This morning I had a talk with my kids. I showed them the checkbook for the month and how all the five and ten dollar random purchases, that don't seem like big splurges, all add up to quite a sum in 30 days. We talked about "need" versus "want" and how to make better choices. They really listened and it opened their eyes. It's amazing to me that your husband was able to retire before 60. It's seems like you guys are really enjoy it! Kudos!

  7. Oh Teri, I love this post! It is so inspirational. Being frugal is something I am hoping to master, and am working on putting into practice in our lives. I love living a simple life and you are an inspiration to me. I sure enjoyed our visit the other day. Hugs to you. Juli

  8. Good advice. I agree with Rebecca that this would be required reading for all newlyweds. Enjoy your evening. xo

  9. This is another wise and wonderful post, Teri, and inspirational. I could do a lot better on many fronts and appreciate the inspiration and advice. Happy Friday, my friend.

  10. Love this post! Sharing it on Happy Homemaker Monday at Harvest Lane Cottage July 10th edition!

  11. How wonderful that you were able to plan for your retirement and continue to live within your means! This is difficult in the world we live in, with the concept that we must "have it now". I always learn something when coming to visit you, and tonight it is an encouraging word to keep doing as we are doing, and saving as much as we can, like you said, using, reusing and repurposing. Hugs :)

  12. Wonderful tips on living within your means, Teri. It gives me inspiration, as my Mr. will be retiring in 3 short years. We are doing our best to plan for this time, but with the cost of living so high, we are naturally a bit worried that we can make ends meet. We want to buy a little camper, too, so we can travel cost effectively. That is a good point about the older vehicles being less costly on taxes and insurance, too. Something to think about. Thank you for the wise tips on making the best of the retirement years. xo Karen