This week I had a few things on the go! We had pretty terrible weather and I have to say being perfectly happy inside with plenty to work on makes it much nicer.
I also did a review of where I am up to gift wise and it is really exciting to see how much I have put away! Already things have names on them and so many people are organised for both Christmas and Birthdays. This is encouraging! I use snap lock bags when a gift is complete then I write the name on it i.e. "Mum. Birthday."
All along I have said making our own gifts is good on several levels. Crafts and building up skills are good! They can come in handy for extra income, they are good for your brain and relaxing, they keep you busy and content and make you happy! You are also possibly saving a lot of money.
It depends on your previous gift budget. That will be different for us all. However from experience and letters I get I can say some people have gone from spending several thousand per year on gifts to several hundred at most. This is for all the birthdays and Christmas, Easter etc.
Some of us are making all presents and some are doing a bit of both. It is all really good!
From the beginning we have said how there are all kinds of ways to save and all kinds of benefits. For many of us saving by smart shopping, cooking, gardening, mending, gift making etc means we make ends meet! It does not necessarily mean we have fat bank accounts.
One lovely lady wrote to me and she said how all her cooking means their family eats very well and she manages the gluten free child's dietary needs which can be expensive. So all her cooking means beautiful meals, lovely lunch boxes and a lot of joy! This is saving and wonderful.
So sometimes savings are money banked or maybe an extra mortgage payment. Or it might help your holiday fund!
It might be that a saving in one area helps another. This is my favourite way of saving.
Last year almost all my savings went in to building up my pantry and filling my cellar. When I first started we built up our depleted emergency fund. For the rest of the year virtually every cent saved went into my pantry and emergency supplies fund.
I found that so much fun and so motivating!
This year we continued with that. Our next aim became rain water barrels.
Saving also meant we have had a holiday each year. Its not an expensive holiday but it is a good one!
I read an article this week that questioned if we are really saving unless we put the savings into the bank.
I don't agree at all with that. You might have saved here and there and been in front rather than behind come next pay day. You might have invested those savings into another project. Being ahead rather than being behind is a wonderful feeling!
Sometimes finding an incredible bargain means you can have something you never thought you could! Or give a gift you didn't think you could afford.
Don't let anyone tell you all your work and it's value isn't worth it! You are not being silly you are being wise!
Also it is a learning process. We might try something that doesn't work then try something else! But we need to encourage one another.
With Greek neighbours I am very conscious of savings in the bank being a good thing until the bank decides to close and not allow withdrawals! Glenda has done a lot to educate me that tangible items are a very good investment! Maybe investing in supplies, self sufficiency, preparedness is sometimes better than money in the bank.
With all of this in mind I thought to share where we are directing savings now. It isn't the bank. It is to solar panels for electricity.
In our state power prices are the highest in the world and we have been told to expect them to double again. Also they closed down the last of the coal power plants and now we have mainly wind turbines.
These do not produce power unless the wind is blowing. And, get this, if the wind is blowing strongly they turn them off since they aren't stable! So if it is windy you have no power. If it is still you have no power. In peak times the power is so expensive now that many business' are leaking about closing altogether and others are talking about closing on hot days.
In the last two weeks there have been three major power outages here affecting from 10,000 homes to 150,000 homes at once. Yesterday Andy was driving around and many traffic lights were out as well.
The greatest need for power her is our hot summers. They are already saying that there could be power shortages in summer, cuts or rolling outages. It looks a lot like if there is a heatwave we might not have reliable power.
I can survive winter with no power but not summer!
Aside of this is the enormous power bills.
It is time to get solar.
So every saving we can make is going into this and we hope to have at least partial solar power by summer.
I think this will give us security and enormous savings. I would far rather do this than anything else right now. It covers future savings and better preparedness.
Good investments from crockpots to solar power can help you get ahead in so many ways!
So this is our goal now.
Keep working on your savings and gift making! Come Christmas time you will be so far ahead and have greatly reduced your expenses.
Be encouraged! Your savings in one area (i.e. gifts) will help other areas. It is a win win!
This week I have been working on a rug that is almost finished.
I embroidered two little tops.
Also I have blanketing to work on. And I have my bets hedged with both pink and blue for future babies :)
How did you add to your present cupboard and what are you working on?
Next week we will have show and tell for the month!
Feel free to post pictures on the Facebook page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been harvesting and preserving I would love pictures of all this too. I want to do a post soon and feature what everyone has been canning etc. To me this is beautiful!
Thank you to everyone who already has!
It is fantastic to see what everyone is making and this gives us all new ideas too.
It is also wonderful seeing new skills and some of us returning to things that we haven't done in a long time or trying something we have always thought about!
I hope your week is going well! I am off to Aldi this afternoon! xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.