Friday, May 2, 2014

Know when to quit!

Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich. 
Be wise enough to know when to quit. 
Proverbs 23:4 NLT

 I can remember a very specific time in our marriage when I was not content with my husband's income and ended up wearing myself out to make more money. I wanted just $50 more a month to spend on gifts for my relatives at Christmas and birthdays. So I racked my brain until I came up with the idea to start a used curriculum business for homeschoolers. The business grew and eventually brought in a decent second income but my family paid a high price for my lack of contentment. I wore myself out trying to make extra money and it put a strain on our home and our relationships. My best was given to the customers in the store and my family was given the leftovers of my energy.  All because I lacked faith that God would provide through my husband and a lack of contentment with his wages. If only I had been wise enough to know when to quit as the scripture says above.

Recently I am learning how this scripture speaks to my life today. I'm learning that frugality can wear a person out, too.  There have been times when I've crammed so many frugal duties into my day that my exhaustion tempted me to be less patient with my husband. I've had to ask myself lately if I'm elevating saving money over loving my husband well?

What is more important? Saving a few pennies or my relationship with my husband? The answer is obvious but how do I work this out daily? A few days ago I found myself feeling anxious as I rushed through three loads of laundry that needed to be hung and bread rising in the breadmakers and my Monday housecleaning that needed to be done. So I did the unthinkable and threw a load of towels in the dryer and you know what... the world did not come to an end! *wink* I also chose to not compost that day and made other small choices to make it easier to walk in the Spirit rather than put myself in a position to be tempted to sin by being impatient with my husband.

God's ways are so much higher than our ways. Our culture says we need more and better.  Our flesh always screams for just one more and something new. But contentment in every situation gives us rest from all that our flesh is screaming for. Why can we be content? Because HE will NEVER leave us! His ways are so wise! He only wants what is best for us and our families.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5 ESV

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1Timothy 6:8  ESV

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5 ESV


Here are a few things I did in my home this week:

1. I cut my husband's hair this past week as I've been doing for 30 years. Boy has it saved me a lot of money through the years.

2. Another garden plot was added for tomatoes. They are doing beautifully! There is a chance we'll end up with no lawn at all as our veggie garden slowly takes over!

New tomato bed. 

3. I'm still eating Paleo/Low carb. I've found a yummy (to me) ice cream recipe. I've taken it to family gatherings and it's helped me not to be tempted to indulge in high sugar goodies! I can't remember where I found this recipe so if you recognize it then please let me know so I can give you credit.

Chocolate Low Carb Ice Cream

1 can full fat coconut milk 
(I used 1/2 can of coconut cream from Trader Joe
 and coconut milk to fill the rest of the can)
4 Tbsp. Hershey's cocoa
4 Tbsp. Truvia (I used 4 Tbsp. Erythritol and 1/8 tsp. Kal Stevia)
4 egg yolks (I used 4 egg whites)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 package Knox gelatin (I used 1 package)

The original recipe calls for heating the milk on low flame and then mixing in the rest of the ingredients until it reaches 175 degrees and then cool down. This is the recommended way to cook eggs for ice cream. I didn't do this though and just mixed up all the ingredients and poured it into my 
ice cream maker.  It's the kind of ice cream maker that you put the tub in the freezer and don't use ice or rock salt. I then scoop it into Popsicle holders. 

4.  I've heard that our city may be  in a drought so I'm trying to conserve water. I hate to see water running down the drain while waiting for it to heat up to wash my dishes. So, I'm running the cold water into an 8 cup plastic measuring cup. I tried doing this a few years ago but I was running the water into a bucket instead.  It was hurting my back and neck so I stopped the practice. The measuring cup is small enough that it's not putting a strain on my back. I have a small bucket on the back step that I throw it in and it's used to water the plants near the back step.

5.  I've added a 'vegetable garden envelope' to my budget. There's been a pattern of purchasing potting soil and seeds and fertilizer in the spring so I need to budget for this expense. This year I took it out of other 'envelopes' which is not a good practice. I'm setting aside $10 a month for now. That will give me $120 by next Spring... Lord willin' and if the creek don't rise ... or prices.! :-)

6.  I'm slowly checking off projects on my 'to do list'. I finished a lap quilt that needed a new binding. The next project to tackle is my unfinished quilt. I wasn't feeling perky this winter and never got around to finishing it.  I need to go through 2 large Rubbermaid tubs of photo pictures. I'm searching for the best solution for storage. Right now they are in my closet and no one is able to enjoy the pictures. I'm considering downsizing the pictures to a limited amount of albums I can place on my bookshelves.   (Update: I'm almost finished with this project).

7. I went over my grocery budget by $100 last month. I got some counsel from my friend Laine and she suggested I go back to shopping weekly. So, I've divided my budget by the number of weeks in the month. I will 'pay' myself the budgeted amount each week. This method of budgeting always works well for me. I got off track because I was stocking up at some discounts stores in the beginning of the pay period. I spent too much and then ran out of money before I was half way through the pay period. If this doesn't work then I'll have to come up with another plan. Food prices continue to rise.

8. Our summer garden is slowly growing. I'm picking strawberries right now and some Stockton Red onions. We have cantaloupe, squashes, spinach, Swiss chard, garlic, collard greens, celery, tomatoes, hot peppers, okra, artichokes and two kinds of green beans planted along with corn. Our 5 types of berries and grapes are showing fruit but not ripe yet. It amazes me how much we can fit into our small city lot.

9. I organized the garage and the side of the garage where we store pieces of lumber and pipe. It amazes me how quickly a room can get out of order. Then when you try to find something that's not in it's place you end up buying another one to replace it. An organized home is one way to save money.

10. I'm back in the routine of washing my car once a week since summer is here. I pretend I am paying myself $10 for washing it instead of paying someone else. I always dread it but once I start it takes me less than 10 minutes.

What I didn't throw away:
  • Tea bags (3 'recycled' tea bags = 1 cup of tea)
  • Egg shells (great for my tomato plants)
  • I'm starting to compost again now that the weather is turning off warmer. 
  • Lawn clippings go into compost pile
  • Washed and dried used tinfoil. 
  • Rubber bands from asparagus and broccoli. 
  • Washed and dried plastic bags from lettuce and Erythritol. 
  • Banana peels: Buried near root of rose bushes. 
How are you ladies doing? I know everyone is so busy but I do think of you and I'm always encouraged when I hear what you are doing in your homes.

Blessed to be a homemaker!



  1. So inspiring, as usual. Oh, and getting worn out by tasks instead of being there for hubby is so good also.My unfinished quilt, writing and housework are not as important as my hubby.


    1. You are right Carol! Those tasks are not as important as your hubby. Now to live it out daily. Lord please help us bring you glory by the way we love our husbands.

  2. Thank you for the wise words. This is something that my husband has specifically asked me about-doing things to make money and then not having time for the family. So hard, but we start to see where our heart is when we have to make decisions like that.

    1. Our husbands do well in leading us... sometimes we just have to be better listeners. (I'm speaking to myself here! *smile*).

  3. Great post. When we lived down in SE Texas I had a few raised bed garden plots made from cinderblocks like your tomato bed. They were fabulous. I planted marigolds and herbs in the cinderblock holes to not only utilize all the space but also for organic pest control.
    Your hair style in the photo with your husband is lovely for your face.

    1. I want to plant marigolds in the cinderblock but haven't gotten around to it yet. I hadn't thought of herbs but I like that idea. Thank you for the comment about my hair. It changes all the time depending on how long it gets. :-)

  4. I too "helped" my husband with an extra income for years while my 3 were young. I am now feeling the consequences .When you said you counseled with your friend Laine-was it from Laine's Letters or another Laine. If it is Laine Amivazca-I hope she is well. really miss her writings. thanks

    1. I also wondered if it that Laine too? That Laine has been an encourager to so many homemakers.

    2. Yes,it was Laine from Laine's Letters. I didn't want her to think that I was taking credit for the great idea. :-)

    3. Hi Georgene, I am happy to hear a sort of update about Laine. That must be so nice for you to have her for a friend I know she must be busy with their new daughter and grand babies. If you can, tell her I think of her advice often.

  5. Hi Georgene,

    Just a thought. I wonder if you live frugally every day, every waking moment already. No need to try new frugal ideas to list as you are living as you wish - or do you feel the need to get "more" frugal every day? Sometimes I am more frugal than others, but on average this lifestyle has stuck. Everything I do, the way I think, the way I act, in the end I am living frugality. It is ok to let things go once in a while (especially with my hubby) because everything else done that day was frugal. I think you are 'LIVING IT". Cheers

    1. I have a 'frugal' pattern to my days. It comes very natural by now because I've practiced it for many years. So I have my 'norm' but I'm always watchful for new ways to stretch our income... especially since prices continue to rise at the grocery store. And you are right.. when I forgo a frugal duty in order to love my husband well... it's not the only frugal duty I was doing on that day.

  6. So glad to see a post from you. You at so right that spending all our time doing every frugal thing possible is too much.
    I am not frugal because I love money, I certainly spend when I need to, but I do frugal things to stretch my husbands income and so I can be a homemaker. Because me being at home full time is just best for us.

    I have spent many days this school year taking care of young grandsons but I will have a break this summer. I smiled at your comment about your messy garage and how fast it got that way- this is so true! I have lots of organizing projects to keep me busy all summer.m

    1. I agree. One reason I am frugal is because it allows me to live the life that is most important to me and my husband... being a homemaker. My daughter in love and I were talking about grocery store sales in our area today and I was sharing how I think of it as my job to shop the sales at different stores so that I can get the best deal.

  7. Hi, Georgene! The Lord had been dealing with me by showing how discontented I have become with the income that God had provided through my husband. I have to say it was surprising to me that that was what was bothering me! I, too, divide my grocery budget up in weekly increments so that I can catch a good weekly deal.

    I am so glad that you are back writing your blog as I had only started reading it when you quit for awhile. I have to say that I believe that your words on this post were divinely inspired to me! Blessings to you and your husband!

    1. I'm thankful the post was helpful! God is so good! He knows what we need. I've often found that as the Lord is working in my life in a particular area He's also working in that same area in another life,too. Pretty amazing!

  8. How lovely to hear from you again. I look regularly so I don't miss anything.
    Would love to cut my husbands hair, he won't hear of it!:) can't think why.
    Sometimes because I'm not the most organised person in the world, frugality is low on the list, but not too often, it's in my nature to be careful. One advantage is not liking shopping unless it's for food. When I do go to the shop for anything else I just don't know where to start.
    Thank you for reminding me about the proverbs scripture.
    Love Angela xx

    1. Hi Angela,
      I wish I didn't like to shop but I do. :( I've changed my shopping to thrift stores instead. I can have fun with a few dollars. :-)

  9. So glad to see you are posting again. I've missed it! Your yard looks amazing! I agree with this post. Since I have several chronic health conditions, I simply cannot do all the frugal things I would like. I wear out too quickly. So I take the easier route and maybe spend a little more for milk or ground beef, etc..

    Grocery prices are a big concern. Meat is especially high. My husband is working out 5-6 times a week, so he is eating high protein. Lots of eggs, I made black eyed peas last week, and will be making lima beans soon. We also like red beans and rice. Our 20 year old son may move back home for awhile, so more to spend on food. But I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve! We have cut back on eating out in the last year or so, and don't do as many costly outings with our grandchildren.

    1. You're wise Rachel to know your limitations. It sounds like you are still watching your budget in many ways. It's always a challenge to be a good steward but absolutely doable.

  10. This encouraged me this week!

  11. Thank you Georgene for such an encouraging post. I keep getting this message so I understand I need to pay attention.

  12. I just happened upon this site and I believe this message was intended for me right when I needed it. Since my husband was layed off and took a lesser paying job I've been going nuts about money even though we have plently. I needed this, very encouraging and humbling as well.

  13. Hi, so glad to see you posting again! I don't know if you would happen to remember the name/brand of that pretty wall paint color behind you in the photo above? I'd like to paint my living room a color like that?? :)

    1. The picture was taken in my son's home. Here is what my daughter in love wrote: "The color is called 'Warm Carmel'. I buy the Home Depot brand and have them color match it." I love the color, too. I hope to pain my living room sometime in the future with the color.

    2. You are so sweet to find out! I will look around at home depot to see if I can find it! It's almost warm enough to paint here!!

    3. I wasn't quite clear what she meant in her first response so this is what she wrote back: "It might be Glidden brand or the other color swatchethey have at home depot. I buy Glidden brand paint, if Glidden doesn't have Warm Carmel, I have Home Depot color match and give it to me in Glidden." Hope this helps! :-)

  14. Thankyou for sharing this :)

  15. So glad to hear you hear from Laine! Years ago when we switched e-mail addresses we wrote and told her but never received any more letters.. Does she still write letters and send them out? I know so many women who miss her and learned so much from her! I know I am one of them! Tell her she is much loved and we are grateful for the time she taught us. I wish I could get on her e-mail list again. Can you still? I am sorry to talk of Laine on your blog. Yet do not know of who else to ask. It was so odd though to hear her name and that you talk to her! :) You too are helping us to stay close to god and do right in our homes. I was so happy to see you posting again. Yes I too find myself getting worn out then to worn out to enjoy time with the family. That was a wake up! I have used a FloBe to cut my hair for years now and cut hubbies too. I have no idea how much we save as I have not been to a hairdresser for many years! LOL Our garden is doing well now too and we hope to put in more this fall. I have to watch in this area too though. You can grow too much that you have to take care of. Can it? Dry it? Give it away? Cook it? It all takes time too!! I cut back the amount of tomatoes plants this year! :-) Sarah

  16. I have enjoyed this post! I think being frugal is great, but we must balance it in our lives, I believe. Spending all of our energy on 'cutting coupons', 'shopping the great sales', 'saving every little bit of everything', etc can sometimes take over and we neglect our families! We must remind ourselves to rely on God. Do what you can, but don't becoming fanatical about it. Moderation in everything! God Bless~~


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