“You never know what’s around the corner. 
It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. 
You keep putting one foot in front of the other, 
and then one day you look back 
and you’ve climbed a mountain.” 
~Tom Hiddleston
August2012 347

Sometimes, as I have shared before, coming on here, and being real with you all is more than just a challenge. As a intensely private person, it is hard for me to share things that might bring judgement
or confrontation from someone,
simply because I have enough of that in my own personal life
outside of the Web (I mean, who doesn’t, right?).

But I really believe that God called me to the word ‘transparency’ this year because that is not only what I need to recall each time I write a post, but also because that is what so many people are craving when they face their own lives on the other side of the screen.
We need to know that other people are going through bad hair days,
and unwashed dishes days,
and can’t get their paychecks to stretch through the month too.
That their kids don’t get baths every single night and have perfectly matching boutique outfits lined up in the dresser waiting for school, or that the garden has been weeded so perfectly that you can define each individual plant instead of the “tomato plot”….

I mean, come on.

Life. Is. Messy.

And as Kurt and I have learned that skill over the years,
we have also learned something else.
You have only been given 24 hours in every day.
24 hours.
1400 minutes.
86,400 seconds.

And no matter how hard you try to stretch it, time stays the same.
So, we have learned the skill of working SMART before we work hard.

Think about it.
Many, many, MANY people have done whatever it is that you are trying to do for centuries before you.
Gardening? check.
Capturing the sun for solar energy? check.
Becoming self-sufficient? double check.
And I really could go on and on.

So, before you go try to make the bricks yourself, and come up with your own mortar, and build a house that may or may not stand
depending on your location…
use your brain.

When it comes to purchasing food for your family, this is a crucial step.

Do you want to learn to successfully replace a good portion of your food expenses?

Follow these steps;  Sit down and figure out exactly how much food your family consumes in one day…one week…one month….one year. Seems impossible? Start with today. Do it at night, when all your family is home, and figure out how much food your family has consumed in the day previous. Snacks, meals, etc. Multiply that times seven, and then again times four (for a month). For some people, this is where they have to stop because to multiply it out again another 11 times for a full year is mind boggling.

But you have to know where you have been 
to know where you are headed, right?

You have to know how much you have spent 
to see where you can replace and cut, right?

You have to know even the meals your family likes 
to be able to plan ahead, right?

Like I said, work smart before you work hard.

Now that you have a good idea how much your family would consume in a period of time, you need to decide what you want to do about it.

Would you rather have all natural food with as little pesticides as possible for their health? Then you need to consider growing a garden or spending your food dollars at the farmer’s market. Or find a friend who loves to garden and pay them to do it for you.

Would you rather have a quantity of food right on hand and it doesn’t matter whether you got it in cans or boxes? Then start shopping for coupons and sales. Combine the two and fill up that pantry.

See, we do all of that, and we also buy in bulk. Why? Because I make a lot of our stuff from scratch. not only is it extraordinarily cheaper than all that processed fake food mixes you have to choose from at the store, buying in bulk makes it even cheaper yet. We get the bulk ingredients, shop smart, grab the recipes, make up the mixes, and bam! I have all the stuff I need for a good amount of time for my family. And that means those food dollars can go to something else we might not get as often without making that choice.

Does it take time? Of course it does. Gardening takes time too. But when I fill my jars….and my bags….and my freezers…and have to start giving it away because there is just no way my family can eat everything in a single year or five years, then that is money in the bank. It takes hard work, but I choose to garden in a smart way—no tilling, just heavy mulching, and lots of bunny berries. That means I have to water less. But the plants love it and in return for that small amount of hard work, I reap a harvest a thousand times more than what I planted.

So when it comes to food, and providing for your family, cutting the food bill, etc, follow the steps above. Look at the links below.

*If you have never read my series Making Do Without Missing a Thing, then you need to start there.

*If you want to start saving serious money in groceries and making up mixes that replace all that store stuff but only take a fraction more of those precious minutes to make up,
 then check out my book The Master Mix Way.

*If you want to start gardening, but are not sure how, just click on a few of my links below this article, and start learning. Email me. I will walk you through it as best I can. I love to help people get started on a path of self-sufficiency, or as close as they can get, and would love to help you.

* If you want to know why in the world I think you should even start on this journey in the first place, I would encourage you to search for the words “A Whispered Word” or some of the more thoughtful posts that I have posted in the last 18 months in watching so many things really change around us, with incomes going down and prices of everything going up.

What is one of the personal “codes” that you try to live by in your own personal life?

May this day be brighter and full of more promise 
than any of the days before.

Blessings to you and yours,

How to garden:
Back to Eden method of gardening like I do

No Till Gardening

Container Gardening

Shared with:

Weekend Whatever Link up