Aimee’s Frugal and Sustainable Faves

My older son took this photo of me after we did this and a few other experiments from “The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science.” Great, smart, and frugal fun times from the convenience of home. Winter 2011-2012

Welcome to my Frugal and Sustainable Faves page! Here are resources that help me and my family be frugal.

To me, being frugal means living within your means in a sustainable, prosperous way.  When many people think of the word sustainable, they think about “saving the environment.”  To me, it’s broader.  To be prosperous goes beyond financial.

Living frugally and sustainably = achieving prosperity in a way that leaves the world a better place for generations to come.  

For our family, frugal and sustainable includes:

  • investing in a healthy food budget
  • learning how to cook with a variety of whole foods and grow a garden
  • connecting with others and with nature
  • raising our children to be respectful, resilient, and responsible
  • enjoying work with a sense of purpose, and
  • living within our means with integrity, creativity and, most of all, joy.
Summer 2016
Summer 2016, taken by my daughter, budding photographer

Read my Frugal and Sustainable Blogposts here to get a better idea about what I mean. Be sure to check back for updates, and sign up here to learn more. Join me on a journey toward sustainable prosperity!

~Aimee, TFF

WEBSITES 

Fairfield Public Library – “If you have a garden and a library, you have all you need.” ~ Cicero.  The library is my go-to resource for the latest cookbooks and gardening tips, and so much more.  Check out their collection of music, dvds and cds.  Gardeners of all levels: check out the free Seed-to-Seed Library.  There are always wonderful, free programs for all ages.  Our town library offers so much more than books, it is a valuable community center.

The Zero Waste Home – “Zero waste is good for your wallet.”  Who knew that my family and I were already practicing some Zero Waste ideas?  This website offers endless inspiration to do better.

Freecycle – I have been a member of the Bridgeport group for at least six years.  While it’s better to give than to receive, I must say that I am grateful to have received great stuff from bread machines for me to winter boots for my kids.

Mother Earth News Magazine – Since 1969, it’s been “the Original Guide to Living Wisely.”  Great DIY tips for gardening, cooking, and homesteading.  My girlfriend gave me a subscription as a gift, three years ago, when she and I and the magazine turned 40!  I cannot believe I hadn’t heard about this great read until then!

Mothering Magazine – offers parenting wisdom for following your intuition, raising conscious, connected, thoughtful children in a disconnected world, and tips for sustainable living.

Common Sense Media – a great guide for reviews and ratings for Family Movies, TV shows, Websites, Video Games, Books and Music.

Environmental Working Group – my go-to resource for “The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce“, safe sunscreens and more.

NonGMO Project – another go-to resource to find out what foods and ingredients in processed foods are genetically modified organisms. Read about how to avoid GMO’s for your and your family’s health.

Simple Prosperity – David Wann’s blog – In his book, Simple Prosperity, Wann writes, “If health, happiness, and humility become new American benchmarks of success, we’ll no longer need hypergrowth or overconsumption.  As a result, we’ll generate less stress, environmental destruction, depression, and debt!”  Yeah, let’s be a part of this change!

Experience Life! – A Revolutionary Manifesto to living a healthy, balanced life.  Thanks to my friend, Gretchen, for pointing out this great site.

FRUGAL FOODIE COOKING AND EATING TIPS

BUY LOCAL

BUY IN-SEASON

Here’s a guide to the Connecticut Grown Crop Availability Calendar.

START A HOME GARDEN – Click here to see resources that were of great help to me

Plan your weekly dinners to reduce your grocery bills.

  1.  Create a master list of your/your family’s favorite meals.
  2.  From this master list, plan out the week’s meals around what’s on sale, in your freezer or in your pantry.
  3. Make a list of items that you need for the week.

FRUGAL FOODIE KITCHEN INVESTMENTS

See my post on my bread machine, blender, stand mixer and slow cooker

Food processor

Pasta Maker

FAVORITE COOKBOOKS – Click here

FRUGAL EXERCISE IDEAS

Running – it’s cheaper and more convenient than going to the gym.  Investments are running shoes and clothing that fit you comfortably and, fees for the occasional race, if you choose to participate.  You can start at any age (see Runner’s World magazine for countless evidence of this.)  Road races can motivate you to get in even better shape and provide an activity for the whole family.  There are great road races that take place in Fairfield.  Family faves are the St. Patrick’s Day 4 miler and Turkey Trot 5 miler.  My husband has run the Fairfield Half Marathon since 2005.  It’s a beautiful course, and you do need to train for it.  I accomplished it for the first time last year.

Exercise DVDs from the library – try a variety of workouts in the privacy of your own home at your convenience – for free!  There’s no excuse not to get in shape!  I love the Zumba DVDs!

Walking – Get into a routine of at least a half an hour a day, and you will see the difference in your outlook and waistline in no time.

LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS

Budgeting – stay tuned for a separate Budget Toolbox page

Couponing – In the wake of TLC’s show “Extreme Couponing” and a current NYTimes Magazine article, there’s a lot of judgement out there about people who coupon.  I find this quote to be applicable here, by Ian McLaren: “Let us be kind to one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”

Department Store Coupons:  Kohls, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Old Navy

BJs Coupon Booklet

Online Couponing – My husband and I have gotten really great deals by finding coupon codes, free shipping deals on top of sale prices.  We almost exclusively buy our running shoes and gear online.

Amazon.com “Subscribe and Save” – I purchase our regular supply of organic coconut oil through this program.  It’s cheaper than through my food co-op.

BOOKS

Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

FRUGAL FAMILY FUN

BOARD GAMES

CARD GAMES

MOVIE NIGHT AT HOME

SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

AREA MUSEUMS – See the Museum Pass Program at the Fairfield Public Library

GUIDING PHILOSOPHIES…

CITIZENSHIP – Democracy is NOT a Spectator Sport

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” ~Margaret Mead.

Be knowledgeable about what’s going on in your town government.  A few years ago, I went to a town budget hearing and signed up to speak at the Public Comments section of the meeting.  As nervous as I was, I collected my thoughts and joined others to express the need to keep the town library budget intact.  Instead of cutting positions or money for materials, a compromise was reached to close an hour early every weeknight and reduce hours on Sundays.

Every voice counts.  Every vote counts.  If you don’t speak up, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.

…AND QUOTABLE QUOTES FOR JOYFUL LIVING

See my Quotable Quotes for a Sustainable Serenity

Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mohandas Gandhi
Self-criticism never helps.  It just makes you wretched and annoying. – Martha Beck
Relentless optimism does feel odd.  But it feels good.  Calm.  Kind. – Martha Beck


Comment Rules: This is a personal blog with individual views of the author, with the common theme of living frugally. Even if you disagree with a post, please keep all comments respectful, and please join in on the conversation! Thanks! TFF

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