Learn how living a simple life with little money can change your life in the best possible way.
Admit it: watching the price of even the most basic foods at the grocery store rise every single week has made you consider becoming Amish.
Yeah, me, too.
Ok, so maybe that’s a little drastic. But there has to be a way to simplify things at least a little bit.
Because the cost of everything isn’t going down any time soon, the time to change some of your spendy habits is definitely now.
This doesn’t have to be painful! In fact, I’ve found that simplifying many parts of life has made me feel less anxious and more fulfilled (while saving our family budget).
Here are some things I definitely think you’ll want to try.
Easy Ways Of Living a Simple Life With Little Money
Start off by simplifying your grocery shopping. I’ll show you the step by step method I use to shop for my family of eight on one income.
There’s something about getting your hands in the dirt that makes you feel good.
Not only is it therapeutic to garden, but you also get the chance to save on your grocery bill.
If the idea of gardening intimidates you, start with a hanging basket of cherry tomatoes. Or a small herb garden in your kitchen window.
You can grow food in a small plot of containers or raised beds, or plow up a field and go crazy.
Just make sure you don’t blow all of your savings on special gardening tools.
I’m not a doctor, and I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so consult your own physician on this one.
I ran across some YouTube videos of Dr. Jason Fung talking about the power of intermittent fasting (here’s one example), and I had to try it myself.
(I also read his book, The Obesity Code, which was very eye opening.)
Ultimately, the idea of fasting is to eat less food. Especially breakfast.
Now, I like to eat. Breakfast is my favorite meal. So I wasn’t sure how this would go.
But guess what? Turns out that all of those times I got busy and forgot to eat breakfast was because I’m just not that hungry in the mornings.
I’ve been skipping breakfast for months now with no problems at all.
Several of my kids have told me for years that they just aren’t hungry in the morning, too. And now I’ve stopped trying to force them to eat “the most important meal of the day”.
That means I’m buying less expensive cereal, frozen waffles, and all of those other expensive carbs we tend to have in the morning.
As a bonus, we also have a small flock of chickens and get plenty of eggs if someone wants breakfast anyway. I make it quick and easy by hard boiling eggs and keeping them in the fridge.
Try Generics Again
If it’s been a while since you tried the generic version of something you buy regularly, what better time to try again?
Generic versions have really stepped up their game.
Aldi stores are full of them, and I’ll tell you something: My family prefers the Aldi brand of some things like trail mix, breads, and more to the name brand.
Don’t go crazy and buy generic everything (unless, like me, that’s your M.O. already). Start small and try one or two things at a time.
I know some moms even keep the box from the name brand cereal, for instance, and put the generic brand inside to see if their family even notices.
Having plenty of food on hand probably doesn’t feel “simple”, but it does simplify life.
It means you aren’t completely at the mercy of every little price hike.
Even if things go badly for your family for a while, you know that you have food to eat.
My method of stockpiling food for a family of eight on a budget is too much information for one blog post, but you can get the videos and workbook for about the price of one fast food drive thru trip.
Easy to listen to while you fold laundry or wash dishes!
Make Your Own
My daughter and I tried our hand at making our own soaps and lip balms. It was way easier than we expected!
You can get supplies on Amazon or at Hobby Lobby on one of their half price sales.
We used a recipe similar to this one, and it took 10 minutes to make enough lip balm for the whole family that’s lasted for months. And it’s similar to Burt’s Bees at a fraction of the cost!
Think about the things your family likes to use, and check the internet for ways to make it yourself. You might be surprised at how little effort it is to DIY your favorite things.
If you really want to live a simple life with little money, this one is a no brainer.
Look, I might be a blogger… yes, on the world wide web, but I’m gonna say this anyway.
If you truly want a simple life, you absolutely must get off of the internet and put some nature into your life.
You might not be willing to ditch the smartphone completely (although that would almost certainly save you some money), but you can make your phone less smart by removing apps and turning off notifications.
These days, I pick up my phone out of habit, but it quickly reminds me that I don’t have any social media apps left to suck up my time.
And that naturally makes me turn to other ways to use my time.
Reading good quality books (if your library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, I highly recommend Thriftbooks as a cheap way to get what you need!) will stimulate your brain and clear the brain fog.
Get into nature. Star gaze (we love to find Sirius and Orion in the winter time), go fishing, watch the sun set (or rise if you’re a morning person), plant a cheap packet of flower seeds, take a walk, learn to identify birds or trees, try something new.
Your brain was made to be creative. To learn, to invent. To study and think deeply.
The more time we spend watching mindless entertainment, the less happy we feel.
Connect with the beauty and goodness around you. You’ll find that everything will become simple without spending money.
Do It Badly
This is something I tell my kids all the time.
If you want to learn to do something new, you have to be willing to stink at it first.
You are naturally going to fail when you try to make a life change.
Some days, you’ll spend money you didn’t mean to spend. You’ll forget to water the plants, and they’ll die. The family will refuse to eat a bite of some grocery you bought to save money, and it will feel like you wasted all that cash on food you are now tossing in the trash.
And that’s ok!
The trick is to understand that it’s ok. And it doesn’t mean you should quit trying.
The difference between the expert and the beginner is just a matter of persistence. So be persistent.
Stink at simple living for a while. But be willing to learn and grow.
And before you know it, you’ll be an expert.
And you won’t believe how much better you feel.
Living a simple life with little money might be the best thing that ever happens to you.
Jump in and give it a try!