Not too long after becoming a stay-at-home mom when my second child was born, I discovered this book at the library, a compilation of Amy Dacyczyn’s widely distributed newsletter from the 1990’s called, The Tightwad Gazette. It was nearly 10 years after she stopped writing that I discovered her stuff.
I met Marilyn when her youngest and my oldest were in the same pre-school class. We learned that we were both inspired by Amy D.’s views on frugality, and a few years later this blog was born!
Here are 10 ways Amy Dacyczyn inspired me. May you find some inspiration, too! Click on links to a few of my past posts.
- I learned how to cook from scratch. I love how Linda Watson of www.cookforgood.com says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” There are many kitchen toys out there that will make cooking and baking a lot easier, especially if you purchase them with a big coupon when they are sale; look here. Like with anything, with practice, cooking and baking will become easier and more fun. At times, it’s the closest thing to magic you will make!
- I built a raised bed garden and started growing my own veggies and herbs – here. What a great way to teach kids where food comes from, introduce them to new veggies, and the importance of the fruitful chores like planting, weeding, and watering.
- I joined an organic food co-op and started to buy in bulk – here. Amy was big on buying in bulk. A bonus: the combination of doing #s 2, 3, and 4 have helped me to reduce my family’s waste big time! Looking forward to keeping this up: Zero Waste Ledger
I installed a clothesline – here.
- I used cloth diapers and hung them on said clothesline. Some people give too much of a hoot about how a clothesline “looks.” Not me!
- I sought out local farmers and learned about CSAs, farm shares and other affordable options for locally raised beef – here, and locally grown organic produce, eggs, and pork – here. Who’s your farmer?
- I began planning meals on a weekly basis and keeping a well-stocked pantry. Amy D. was big on this. This not only helps me reduce food waste, but also cuts down on waste from excess packaging that comes from excess packaging. See photo gallery of sample weekly planner here.
I worked hard to save money so that I could stay home longer with my kids. Hover over highlighted phrases for lessons learned and taught – ahh, the journey of parenting! As they grow up, the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. Important lessons include: there is value in saying “please” and “thank you”, not everything that counts can be counted and live within your means! I am so grateful for being able to share that “nature’s first green is gold” and to enjoy the natural world around them through walks on the beach and in the woods, to teach them to be with those who help their being; how “comparison is the thief of joy”; how to develop critical thinking skills through daily read alouds from books from the library and watching tv shows and commercials with them asking questions like, “What message is this giving/would you/do you “buy” it?”; building resilience through doing regular chores – here -, like mowing the lawn – here – , as well as making your own fun – here. Lastly, being home when the kids were really young was to enjoy watching all the ways my husband is a truly rich man.
- I developed a DIY mindset, “What can I make before I buy it?” – Amy D. inspired me to make oven cleaner, here, foaming hand soap, here, fruit fly trap, here, and to write about one of my husband’s DIY projects, a patio bench, here. Currently, I am working on developing recipes for DIY toothpaste and deodorant. Stay tuned for those!
IF you made it this far, chances are that you might share my take-away from Amy Dacyczyn – Frugal and Sustainable – healthy for your wallet, healthy for the Earth and healthy for You! As I like to say, Your Health is Your Wealth,