It’s been a busy few weeks around our house. My husband and I have had some time-consuming projects. The kids are busy with school projects. We’ve battled strep throat, ear infections, and colds. We even had a vet visit for the dog. We’ve had car repairs and house repairs.
The events of the past few weeks have wiped me out. Summoning creativity has been a challenge. So while the writing muse hasn’t been blessing me, I have been blessed by all of the interesting and inspiring ideas I have been seeing across the web.
Today I share a little bit of everything I’ve been reading and thinking about:
Monopoly to add “House Rules”
Monopoly is one of the best games to teach kids about money and capitalism. It’s also a game that causes quite a few fights in households. Sometimes the arguments are about “rules” that don’t even exist on paper. Hasbro is now adding optional “house rules” to Monopoly and you can debate which ones should be included on the Monopoly Facebook page. We’ve always placed $500 in the center of the board (along with any fines or taxes) and the first person to land on “Free Parking” wins the pot. I’ll be curious to see how this debate plays out.
An Even More Thrifty Way to Use a Pump Bottle
Last week, I shared one of my favorite ways to save money – Using a pump bottle for things like shampoo, conditioner and body wash to control the amount used. Well, Mama To 5 Blessings took this a great thrifty step forward with this super soap saver idea.
How to Clean LEGOs
Our family is absolutely in love with LEGOs, but one thing that’s been a bit challenging is how to clean them. Turns out the folks at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Chicago have some handy tips for cleaning LEGO bricks.
For Those Who Are Struggling
Zen Habits has a beautiful post that will remind you that no matter how difficult the journey, you are not traveling alone. Read You’re Not Worse Than Other People.
Less Processed Foods, More Wholesome Goodness
If you’ve been following along with my quest to embrace “less is more,” you know that I’m trying to eat less processed foods and more wholesome fresh foods. I will sheepishly admit that I go right back to my old bad habits when life gets crazy. Although I’m making slow progress in this area, I am much more aware of all of the amazing convenience foods I could make myself – things like these awesome Homemade Tator Tots at Little House Living. You should spend some time poking around at Little House Living because there is homemade awesomeness with every click.
Thinking About The Future
I am currently watching several young adults in my life make some big career and life decisions. I’ve offered my advice when asked, but ultimately, the decisions are theirs to make. Laurie’s post Don’t Borrow Against Your Future Self at Three Thrifty Guys really resonated with me as I thought about the decisions I made as a young person. So much changes in such a short period of time, and a simple thing like resisting debt can go a long way toward a bright future.
Times Have Really, Really Changed
My boys and I have been reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read all of this series as a kid, and it’s been a delight to be able to share them with my children. We’re about 2/3 of the way through Little House on the Prairie, and it’s lead to some fabulous discussions about frugality and self-sufficiency. These books definitely make you appreciate all of the modern conveniences we have available to us.
On Buying Local
There’s been quite a lot of discussion in my local area about buying local and using local vendors to provide services at events. And it brings to mind the struggle I feel as a cheapskate living in a rural area. I want very much to support my local businesses because it supports the local people in my community, boosts the local economy, is better for the environment, and ensures my access to being able to see, feel and try products before I buy. But the convenience often comes at a price. Sometimes there is less selection. Sometimes the prices are higher. So I re-read the post Michelle wrote on Supporting Local Shops and Small Businesses. And it reminded me that as long as I’m continuing to be an intentional shopper, who doesn’t just buy the cheapest thing to be cheap, I can support my local businesses and still continue to save money.
Looking for inspiration
My goal at Northern Cheapskate is to help you be a good steward of your financial resources. I’ve got a few ideas for how to do that, but I am always open to suggestions. If you have ideas for things you’d like to read about on Northern Cheapskate, I would love to hear about them. Just send me an e-mail or leave a comment below. I’d love to know what types of features or series you’d like to see here. And I’d love to see more of YOU at Northern Cheapskate – through guest posts and comments.
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