Surviving Without Money – The Simple Life

frugal-living-tipsSurviving Without Money – The Simple Life

 

Can you really survive without money? Would you want to?  Probably not, but sometimes learning how to simplify your life – or find ways to reduce your expenses can make it easier to have a bigger life. If you have less overhead – and less stuff, guess what – you’ll probably have more room in your life for the things that are really important to you.

Not to mention that if you proactively learn to simplify you’re always providing some great insurance against when really bad things happen.  I was watching the movie “So This is 40” in which Paul Rudd plays one half of a very over extended yuppie couple. He’s missing mortgage payments, his credit cards are maxed out and his business is on the rocks.  But he gets a bit of sage advice from one of the musicians he represents – nobody too famous, but someone who gets to spend his days doing what he loves…Why? Because he has a small nut (nope and that is not something weird). Having a small nut to cover means that your monthly expenses are low.  The smaller the nut, the less you have to generate every month to keep it all going.

So aim for a small nut…and here are some ideas how RichMama’s can help minimize the family nut…

 

Gardening.

 

While cheap is good, where saving money is concerned, free is better. And harvesting a crop full of free vegetables is a tremendous savings. Once you get past the initial investment, the rest of blissful bounty!

 

If you’ve never gardened before, pick up a book at the library or ask a friend to teach you. If you have limited space, consider using the square foot gardening method, or growing vegetables in large containers, even buckets.

 

Gardening is not only easy, it’s fun. . Children can get involved by helping to plant seeds or pull weeds, and they’ll feel like the garden is as much theirs as anyone’s. Planting a garden not only will help you survive should your family income disappear, it will also build memories and skills that could last a lifetime.

 

Canning and freezing.

 

In addition to enjoying fresh vegetables from your garden, canning or freezing the excess will serve you well again when there is little money to buy food. You can ensure your family receives good nutrition without it costing anything additional except time, and canning jars. However, sites like Freecycle.com could supply a nice supply of jars free of charge.

 

You can also can soups, stews, and even meats. Just be sure to follow safe canning techniques for the type of food you’re storing, mark your jars well, and store them in a cool, dry place. Your local library will have a number of books on canning, but you can also find information on reputable websites if you prefer. Again, check online swapping sites for free or inexpensive canning equipment.

 

Small scale homesteading.

 

If possible, you might also want to consider getting a a rooster and a few hens so you can gather your own eggs. If you do a lot of baking, or if your family enjoys eggs, this can really save you money in the long run. If your income situation should become desperate, this could do a lot more than put eggs on the table – it could turn into a lucrative business.

 

Experienced egg gatherers recommend gathering eggs at least three times a day and getting them into a cool place for storage as soon as possible so they stay fresh. Eggs will easily last for a week or so.

 

Ideal storage for eggs is 50 degrees and up to 50 percent humidity if you plan to hatch out any of your eggs. Avoid the refrigerator if that’s your plan as it dries them out and they may not hatch.

 

 

Bartering.

 

Another way to survive when trying to save money is to barter which is the  the trade or exchange of goods and services you can provide, for those you need.

 

For instance, if you can cut hair, you can trade your hair cutting skills for car repair, lawn services, household items, or even food. Or, say you have furniture you no longer need, you can trade it for something you do need.

 

When bartering, just be sure to consider all costs involved and look for the best deal. While no cash is actually exchanging hands, the value of the goods and services traded should be comparable for the best deal all around. Also, be careful to keep records and check with the tax codes for bartering services.

 

Hopefully, your family will never face such dire financial circumstances where there you don’t have income, but learning how to live on less now will help you be better prepared for what’s next.  Check out the Rich Mama Academy for more on building your wealthy family.

 

 

Top 5 Stress Busting Foods

Top 5 Stress Busting Foods by Erin Dow, Expert Chef, Guiding Stars Licensing Company

 

stress-busting-foodsA stressed-out person’s relationship with food generally falls into one of two camps. Some eat to soothe themselves, gravitating toward starchy carbs because of their quick-acting effects on endorphin levels in the brain. Others tend to lose interest in eating, their appetites negatively impacted by overwhelming feelings or out of control schedules that don’t support regular meals and snacks.

 

Whether you’ve lost your appetite or you can’t control it, understanding the physiology of taste–and its effect on how satisfying the foods you eat are–can help. The human brain is wired to seek out a variety of nutrients from the foods we eat. Our tongues can differentiate between hot and cold, salty and sweet, bitter and sour, and even levels of savoriness. Our mouths are also very sensitive to consistencies, explaining dishes and meals that combine various textures seem most satisfying. So, it stands to reason that this natural tendency ensures that the human body will be exposed to a wide variety of nutritional opportunities.

 

A well-balanced diet provides our brains with the right fuel to operate at peak performance. But when stress puts a wrench in the works–either by eating too much of one thing or not enough of anything–the entire balance can be tipped. It’s a hard cycle to break after it’s started.

 

So when you’re stressed and your diet is suffering for it, my advice is to prioritize small portions of whole foods with varied visual and textural characteristics and flavor profiles.  You can combine them into a meal or just nibble on combinations of them as a snack. The goal is to keep things from getting boring or hyper-focusing on one type of food.

 

If you have a small appetite, you won’t have to eat much; but, the small amount you consume will boost your brain and body’s ability to cope with stress. If you’re a stress-eater, a variety of foods tricks your brain into feeling satiated quicker, so you’ll eat less overall. Plus, the foods you’ve eaten will have covered a wider range of nutrients, meaning you’re on your way to breaking the cycle that got you there in the first place.

 

These are my top five stress-busting foods. As someone who is apt to not eat when stressed, I’ve chosen easy items that can be grabbed on the run. But I’ve also chosen nutrient dense foods using the Guiding Stars Food Finder, a handy tool that rates nutrient density of foods with a three star system at GuidingStars.com, meaning I’ll get the most nutrition out of each calorie I’ve eaten.

 

·      Nuts: Omega-3s help the body maintain a lower blood pressure during stressful situations.

 

·      Kiwi: A high Vitamin C content helps reduce stress hormone levels in the bloodstream.

 

·      Oatmeal: A small serving of complex carbohydrates can boost serotonin levels, leaving you more relaxed.

 

·      Dark Chocolate: Studies show that regular consumption of a modest amount of dark chocolate can help reduce anxiety in those prone to it.

 

·       Strawberries: High in magnesium, strawberries can help reduce anxiety and irritability.

 

About Erin Dow

Erin Dow is the mother of three children, ages 11, 10, and 6 and is the Expert Chef for Guiding Stars, a nutritional navigation system that evaluates the healthfulness of foods based on nutrient density. She consults with school nutrition programs on healthy kid-approved recipe and menu development with a focus on scratch cooked foods. Her career as a chef spans fifteen years. Find recipes and more at http://guidingstars.com/.