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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Every penny counts!

Hee. File this under "Frugal Mania."

I buy notebook paper during the back-to-school sales when a pack of 150 sheets costs 10 cents. I use it not just for school, but also for other things, including my shopping lists.

I had a sheet sitting on my desk. My husband picked it up after lunch and handed it to me. Here's the conversation that followed.

Him: Isn't this the list we used on Saturday? Why didn't you throw this away?
Me: Because I'll be using the back for this week's list.
Him: You use the backs of old lists to make new ones?
Me: Well, sure. Why waste the paper and money?
Him: (After a very long pause.) All right, I'll give it to you on the not making more trash than necessary, but just how much money do you really think you're saving?
Me: I don't know. But every penny counts!

And then we both laughed because, of course we live by that rule, but this might be taking it to the extreme. As near as I can tell, my policy of re-using my shopping lists is saving us about 3 cents a year. Woo! If I start counting now, at this rate, by the time we're 80, I'll have saved us almost a dollar and a half!

So from here on out, I'm just going to say I'm saving the trees.

Still, I must say, when you think in terms of counting every single penny, it does make a difference overall. I could go the opposite way and think, "Oh, it's just three cents." but when you do that too often, that three cents here and ten cents there and dollar-fifty elsewhere really does start to add up. I know I'm a little bit insane about money - oh, all right; I'm downright crazy - but this really is the reason why our family lives on so little and yet isn't in debt or "living beyond our means". I guess I can live with being the nutty one for that. :)


Blogger Kate said...

I've got one even better for you on the list making issue- I use the envelopes off the mail we get. Every piece of mail we get gets opened and the envelope gets put in my paper holder. Then any time I want to make a grocery list or a 'to do' list or even take a phone message, I just grab an envelope. That means I am not using any notebook paper. We also take the one sided paper that my dh use to get from work (now my sister has been supplying it) and print the kids worksheets on the backs or have the kids do their artwork on the back. They know that paper with two blank sides is only used for making cards and stuff like that!

June 11, 2007 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

LOL! My mother writes her lists on envelopes, but I never seem to get the "right" kind of envelopes - the kind with enough space to write my entire list on. I tried it a few times but by the time I'd squeezed everything on there, I couldn't read my list anymore! :)

What's "one-sided" paper? Do you just mean paper that's already got something on one side?

June 11, 2007 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, one sided paper is the paper that has something printed on one side and is blank on the other side. My dh use to have meetings once a week every week and would come home with at least 25-50 pages of 'important info' that was all blank on the other side. Companies would save so much money if they had copiers and printers that on both sides!

June 12, 2007 at 9:48 PM  

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