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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Organizing to cut back expenses

March 6, 2013
I reminisce often of the past
Seems like our generations before us may have been the fortunate ones...
Now we are living during an economic crisis and many people have lost their homes due to foreclosure.  Many have lost their jobs and are living on the edge of financial disaster.  Some are living in their cars but only to find that there are laws that make it illegal to live in a car or on the street.  Where is one to go if there is no place that will allow you to set up a small tent or park your car? 
Some are having their power cut off, not by choice.  This is a situation where I hope that they had prepared survival equipment and were ready for a natural disaster because this is a time that equipment could be used.  Where I am going with this is you must have the right equipment to be basic. 
An old homestead
My husband and I knew that our economy was spiraling and we would need to learn how to be extremely basic if the economy got worse.
For several years now we have been trying to live very basic.  We do not live on a farm, we live in the city and we have discovered many challenges to living basic in the city. 
We did things that our grown children thought was a bit extreme like turning off our hot water heater to save on electricity.   
We found other methods to heat water.  We made many cutbacks and reduced our power and water bill by a considerable amount.  We even asked for a visit from a city utility billing manager to see what we were doing and helped us with more ideas.  He was very impressed with our methods of conserving water and electricity use.  We cut our cable bill by reducing our service options to basic cable.
We have found that conserving is uncomfortable, either we are hot or cold most of the time if we are not using electricity so we have to give in at times.  We have found that it is hard to stop habits such as flipping a light switch when you enter a room.  What has helped is we unplugged a lot of unnecessary power drainers, such as night lights and electronics that pull power even when they are off.  We added power strips and turn them off when not in use. 
Saying all of this, if you are facing your power being shut off and you have a house full of carpet it might be easier to set up a tent and camp in your back yard than to live in your house without power.  We removed our carpet, painted and tiled our floors so we can keep our house clean without power.  That first day I swept and mopped the floors I felt empowered that we were no longer dependent on electricity to have a clean floor.  I do miss the carpet and the floor is cold in the winter but we are blessed to have warm house shoes.
They ripped out my carpet and antiqued the floors, I don't know about this......
See it didn't turn out so bad
So we did another bedroom......
Then we did the livingroom.............
We ended up removing all the carpet in the house and painting the floors, no more electricity to clean our floors.
Very Important: We found that we had to organize the way we lived to consume less.  More clutter causes you to consume more of everything.  If you cannot find something you may go out and buy another one.  If you clean out your closet you may find you have more wearable clothing than you think you have. 
Organize your pantry or kitchen cabinets so you can see what you have and keep your refrigerator clean so you do not waste.  If your children have televisions in their room take them out and try to get down to the most simple things because most everything comes with a plug. 
Use a manual can opener instead of an electric.
To conserve water and save on our water and sewer bill, we flush our toilets with used laundry water so we had to buy some buckets and find a place to keep them handy.  This is not easy but if you make things handy you will be more likely to use the option to be frugal.  By the way, the laundry water needs to be used within 24 hours.  We only collect the amount of laundry water that we need and usually just the rinse water is all we need. 
We still have more options to cut back like completely disconnecting our cable and landline and/or cell phones .  We would do that if necessary because those things are not life sustaining necessities.  Let us all hope and pray that the economy gets better before we have to do that. 
I have been writing articles on this website for many years now and so my website has continued to grow and I have many articles written for the purpose of helping others to get back to basics.  In the top bar of this page you can see the drop down menus that will guide you to other articles.  I hope you come back often.  Grandma Donna
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