encouraging frugality

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If  you would like to be encouraged in your frugal endeavors and receive money saving tips, please follow us on Instagram @thefrugalsource

 

~ I am the author, under the pen name Charlie Lee Austin, of Frugal Seeds 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar

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frugal seeds

 

 

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The title of my blog gives away the fact that I live with at least one chronic illness.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually live with several, and as interesting as it sounds, it is not a whole lot of fun.  Unfortunately I am not the only one in my family who lives with such a burden.  Every person in my immediate family lives with at least one chronic illness.

As a result of all of our medical bills, we have learned to live on a tight budget.  Over the years I have had to learn to be frugal and about 6 months ago I decided to put some of  my frugal ways into a book,  Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  It is now available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon.  The entire book can be read for FREE with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership.

You will notice it is written under a pen name.  This has been done as I working on additional books and I am determined to keep the lives of my children private.  Thank you for understanding.

 

 

frugality, budgeting, minimalism and saving money

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There is a simple, no bells or whistles website, THE FRUGAL SOURCE,  that lists links to  publications, blogs and websites, all having to do with saving, investing, retirement, budgeting, minimalism, do-it-yourself and using money wisely.

In my attempt to stretch our budget a bit tighter, I have found many of these sites to be helpful.  May you find something that can bless you too.

I have written a book, under the pen name Charlie, Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would be honored if you would take a moment to check it out.

free budgeting apps

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“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” — Dave Ramsey, financial radio host and best-selling author.

 

Everyone can benefit from budgeting his/her money, but having a chronic illness makes your financial life more complicated…….every dollar ( at least in my situation ) must be stretched in order to be able pay all the medical bills and their bill friends that come along for the ride!

Below are links to free budgeting apps, each a little different, so you should be able to find one that fits your specific needs.

 

mint

goodbudget

wally.me

everydollar

nerdwallet

pocketguard

dollarbird

honeyfi

claritymoney

fudget

spendee

expense-iq

“Beware of little expenses: a small leak can sink a great ship.” — Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers, inventor, diplomat, and the author of The Way to Wealth

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Make, Save, or Stretch a Dollar

Free Reading Sites

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Those of us who are chronically ill tend to spend our free time participating in less physical activities such as reading.  Since most of us are on a budget due to those endless medical bills, I have done my best to compile a list of websites that offers free reading material.  It is my hope that this list will be beneficial to even the biggest bibliophile.  Happy exploring!

 

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/free-online

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

http://rivetedlit.com/

http://www.readprint.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

https://www.wattpad.com/

https://www.fanfiction.net/

https://www.bookrix.com/books.html

http://www.read.gov/books/

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks

http://manybooks.net/

http://www.online-literature.com/author_index.php

http://freecomputerbooks.com/

https://librivox.org/

http://www.authorama.com/

https://archive.org/details/texts

https://www.questia.com/library/free-books

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.bibliomania.com/

https://openlibrary.org/

http://www.sacred-texts.com/

https://www.free-ebooks.net/

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/0/free/any

https://mises.org/wire/ten-books-read-free

https://fee.org/books

wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would appreciate you taking a moment to check it out.  Thank you.

Charities that will pick up your donations

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Sometimes we are just not able to personally remove all of the unwanted stuff out of our home.  It is either too heavy, too big, or there is just too much to physically put in a vehicle.  So, during my last decluttering session, I went on a quest and searched for places that would be willing to come and pick up all of my discarded treasures.

The quickest pick-up date was given by Goodwill and they were willing to come to my house and take all my stuff as long as it was on the first floor and was near an exit.  Done!  I set up an appointment via computer and they showed up on time and away my stuff went.  In fact, it was so easy I had them come back for more!  It felt so invigorating and freeing to let stuff go.  Less stuff = less cleaning = more energy for other activities.  Woohoo!

The organizations below are not available for pick-up in all locations, but I have provided links below for further information.  These are not posted in any particular order and is it not an all inclusive list.   Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

General household donations:

American Kidney Fund

Goodwill

The Salvation Army

Big Brothers Big Sisters

AmVets

Vietnam Veterans of America

Disabled American Veterans – DAV

Volunteers of American

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Arc

St. Vincent De Paul

Lupus American Household Goods Donation Program

 

Cell phone/Smart phone/Tablet

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Secure the Call

Medic Mobile

1 Million Project

 

Boat donations:

Boat Angel

Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship

Chapman School of Seamanship

Angel for Hope

 

Motor vehicles:

American Children’s Cancer Foundation

American Kidney Fund

Wheels for Wishes

Kars 4 Kids

Volunteers of America

The Arc

 

Building Materials/Cabinets/Appliances:

Habitat for Humanity

 

Don’t forget to get a receipt for tax deduction purposes.  All of the stuff you move out of your house to make it more comfortable and enjoyable is going to help others also live a better life.  A BIG win-win situation!

 

wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar

 

Until next time…….

In my kitchen with chronic illness.

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When you are ill, you still need to eat.  Nourishing our bodies with real food is one important way to stay as healthy as we can.  For me, meal prep, well actually all kitchen activities are exhausting.  From food gathering to kitchen clean-up, it all wears me out and makes me want/need to take a nap.

There have been times when I wanted quick fixes in the kitchen.  Overwhelmed with life,  dealing with chronic illnesses, being a wife, a mother, and all of the work that entails, I physically couldn’t do it all and something had to give.  Well, I gave in to the wrong things.  I should have let the laundry go, let the cleaning go……..it was going to get messy again in about 13 minutes anyway.  Nope, I picked the worse thing to let go…………food.  I tried hitting the easy button.  I did my best to still eat a healthy diet in comparison to the SAD (standard American diet) most people were consuming but I short changed my health by taking too many short cuts in the kitchen.  In my opinion, when you are chronically ill food MUST be a high priority, right after your spiritual life.

In the kitchen I am slow, it physically hurts to bend down, and at times it hurts to carry a pot or a frying pan.  So I have tried to work around my physical limitations and make things easier for me, even though it makes my kitchen look crowded and not aesthetically pleasing. I had to give up having things look pretty and organized so the kitchen could be more functional for me.

Here are a few things I did to make the kitchen more functional.

1  –  I got rid of things that I didn’t use.  It is physically exhausting for me to be searching for things that I need.  De-cluttering my kitchen made space for all of the items I use on a regular basis in easy to find uncrowded places.

2  –  I keep all of the pots and pans that I regularly use on top of the stove.  No bending down wasting more precious energy.

3  –  Kitchen appliances that I or my family uses on a regular basis are kept on the counter at all times, this includes a microwave, crock pot, and a blender.

4  –  Everything else that I use on a regular basis is within an easy reach.  Nothing is kept on a high shelf, or a in a low, out-of-the-way cabinet making it a circus performance to get to it.

I know these things sound so simple and you are probably doing all the same things too.  But I have found through my YEARS and years of dealing with chronic illness, you need to be kind to yourself and set up your home in a way that works best for you no matter how it looks to an outsider.  This is true whether or not you are married, have children, or are a single person.  It is harder to do when you have to think about the needs of others in your household, but it is vitally important that you do what needs to be done to help you.  So, if you need a twin bed in the family room because you need to lie down while hanging out with the family, who cares how it looks!  You need a big bulletin board in the dining room to remind you to do certain tasks, put it there!  Those that love you get it………it took me way too long to figure this out.

So……back to the kitchen.  Set up your kitchen in a way that makes food preparation as easy as possible.  Make it functional, whether it looks “pretty” or not.  A functional kitchen makes a healthier you.

How do you make your kitchen more functional?

Until next time, YOU are a superhero and healthy food is your fuel!

The Complete Tightwad Gazette: my favorite book for money saving tips

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If you are anything like me, you need to watch your pennies.  My chronic illnesses have put an enormous of strain on our budget requiring me manage it closely.  As with de-cluttering books, I have read many (and I mean many) books on how to save money, budgeting and frugality.  Some of the books were a total waste of time, others have been very helpful, but the one that changed my life more than any other money saving book is, The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is not a typical book that reads like a story, instead it is based on the subscription newsletters that Ms. Dacyczyn published from 1990 – 1996.  Therefore, the book is divided up into smaller articles ranging from………..should you let a bar of soap dry out before using it, how to make a volleyball net with plastic rings from a 6-pack, to a basic muffin recipe, and everything in between.  Because the newsletters were published in the 1990s many of the money saving tips are now outdated and no longer relevant.  Despite the book having some out dated money saving tips, I found it extremely useful.  I did read the entire book cover to cover, all 959 pages, and it was the only book I have read that encouraged me to start thinking of as many ways as possible I could save us money, how to creatively use up what we already have, and make the most out of every single penny.   No other book has pushed me past my comfort zone, to think creatively and encourage me to search for even the smallest ways to save…………hey, it all adds up!

Because this book has been so wildly popular you should be able to check it out from your local library.  If you cannot find the Complete Tightwad Gazette, you maybe able to find one of the first three volumes:  one, two and three………the later ones would probably be more beneficial.  I have seen copies of her books at Half Price Books and Goodwill.  In my very humble opinion, it is worth the time and effort to find a copy of her book.

 

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Save, Make or Stretch a Dollar

 

 

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favorite de-cluttering & cleaning book

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I have read many, many books on decluttering.  For a while, I would say it almost became a hobby of mine to search out and find books on the topic.  I would search shelf after shelf in used books stores, Goodwill stores, libraries, and occasionally websites of full-price retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Despite the numerous books that I have read, many fell very short in their benefits.  In fact, many books I read were down right disappointing.  In my very humble opinion, there was one book that stood out among the rest for readability, practicality, and relatability.

My all-time favorite decluttering book is, Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett.  This book is the only decluttering book that kept me interested from beginning to the end, I didn’t want to put it down.  Mr. Aslett drew me in with his humor and casual writing style, putting me at ease with the fact that I did not have my clutter under control.  If you would be interested in checking it out, you should be able to get it through your local library in order to save money.  If your local library does not carry it, many libraries will try to find a book for you through an inter-library loan at no cost to you.  Otherwise, you may be able to find it at a used bookstore.

Until next time……happy reading.

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Great reasons for de-cluttering…..

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  • less stress
  • home will be easier to clean
  • you will gain more living space
  • more energy left for fun things
  • find your stuff easier
  • surroundings more visually pleasing
  • think more clearly
  • blessing others with your extras
  • find things you forgot you had
  • you will actually know what you have
  • save money by not buying things you already have
  • your home will be cleaner
  • a cleaner home is a healthier you
  • cleaner air to breath
  • you may find things to sell and make money
  • surround yourself only with things you love
  • think more clearly
  • increased focus
  • move more freely through your home
  • walk safely through your home
  • rid yourself of emotional baggage
  • feel more comfortable having people in your home
  • tax write-off for donated items
  • reduced anxiety
  • coming home will feel more relaxing
  • you will smile at a job well done
  • feelings of accomplishment
  • guilt-free Netflix binge watching
  • more appreciation for what you have
  • you get to make the decisions
  • You will discover another super power!

…….Until next time………………….YOU my friend, are a superhero!