It’s important to define what simple living is before diving into the suggestions or tips. First and foremost, simple living is not sacrificing, contrary to what many believe. Many think that living simple means living on the ‘cheap’ when in fact its simply living on less. It is entirely possible to be content and have all your needs met and satisfied by living in a simple and frugal manner without great sacrifices.
Simple living is actually less stressful and brings the inner peace we all long for without financial pressure. Isn’t that what we all strive for? Stress-free living without sacrificing our needs? It can be achieved with some work because of course, everything worthwhile requires work and dedication or its not worth it.
So now that simplicity has been addressed let’s look at some ways we can achieve the simple lifestyle:
Eating with the seasons – choosing foods that are in season is not only a healthy way of eating but budget friendly as well. Foods that are grown in different climates or travel from long distances will definitely cost more. Eating what is in season brings the freshest ingredients to your table and helps to save money as well. Now, don’t misunderstand and thinks that only the freshest of foods are available at the costly health food stores. That is simply not true. Local produce stands have fresh and inexpensive foods and if that is not possible growing your own is another great alternative.
Canning, dehydrating and otherwise preserving in season foods allows you to extend local eating into winter months as well for relatively little money. Can you imagine growing your own tomatoes in a window box or fresh herbs on a window sill? Food doesn’t get any fresher than when you grow it yourself. Not to mention the health factors involved in eating fresh foods..these factors certainly outweigh any negative factors that may come to mind.
Just as we can grow our own foods, we can also cook our own foods and avoid the costly fast-food or processed foods. Yes, that is also a part of simple living. Cooking your own food is a wonderful way to get the entire family involved and you also know exactly what is going into the food you eat. Living simple doesn’t mean sacrificing good, quality food, it simple means making adjustments in the way we are living our lives today.
Make time for things that matter – simple living usually means forsaking many expensive entertainment outings. The stress from the expense is one that can be eliminated if we get back to the basics of life. Instead of spending a small fortune on an outing that will be quickly forgotten, visit your local museum or zoo, go hiking at the state park or go for neighborhood walks. Go to your local bookstore and sink into one of their comfy chairs and escape for a few hours. Play games and watch movies in the comfort of your own home with minimal to no expense. Create long lasting memories without hurting your wallet, that is the simple way of living.
Simple is classic – when in need of clothing, don’t rush to the mall; instead visit local department stores in search for sales. More importantly consider the clothing items you own and purchase items that will match a few of the clothing items you already own. Keeping everything basic will stretch your dollar and limit storage space. Choosing a basic and limited wardrobe allows you to buy quality items since you don’t have to have great quantity. Classic clothes in neutral colors never go out of style and you can always accessorize with scarves, shoes and jewelry.
Frequent consignment and thrift stores for a variety of clothing items and household items. In fact, you can decorate your entire home tastefully and affordably by purchasing second hand. With a good eye for timeless and beautiful pieces, no one will know the difference. As a matter of fact, when my husband and I got married, our entire home was furnished with second hand items and everyone was always amazed at the quality and creative items we managed to find.
As you can see there is no need to feel as though you must do without in order to apply the principles of simplifying your life. You can actually enjoy life and live a much more ‘rich’ life on relatively less than you could imagine. It takes dedication, and creativity but it can certainly be accomplished. The stress-free way of living is one we should all strive to achieve.