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How To Live Richly (On a Budget)

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How To Live Richly (On a Budget)

Written by John Ivanko, sustainablog

There should be no secrets among those who continue to prosper in mostly non-financial ways despite the challenging economic times. These people live (and perhaps work) following the laws of nature more than the “laws of supply and demand” of the increasingly dysfunctional “free” and global marketplace.

While not all frugality rules, this approach to living more sustainably does require some degree of curtailment, scaling down and living within our means. It means using credit cards less and relying on community members or family more. However, the result can be a rich life filled with health and well-being, friends and family, more time to do the things you love to do (imagine that!), a greater sense of purpose, and, my favorite, happiness.

Below are a few suggestions to get you started or continue your journey. Please add some of your own in the comments.

1. Grow at least some of your own food

In World War II, Americans called them “Victory Gardens.” Today, backyard gardens (or roof top and container gardens, if in the city) are one of the quickest ways to secure fresh, organic, healthy, nutrient-rich foods without having them airlifted or sent by ground from over 1,200 miles away. Savings are immediate. Forget about “investing” in the stock market. Invest in your own food; you’ll get an amazing return on your investment in a $1.39 packet of seeds within a matter of months. Nature tends to produce in abundance, not scarcity. Ever see an apple tree blooming in the spring, with hundreds and hundreds of blossoms?

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10 comments

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5:01AM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Thanks for the info.

11:57AM PST on Jan 14, 2011

Good article.

10:34AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

The US seems to have the most advantageous type of couponing...I'd say thats a great way to live well on less. I grow all kinds of expensive to buy vegetables in my garden...they take the same work as "regular" varieties while adding variety to our diet.

7:45PM PST on Feb 14, 2010

Good ideas!

10:31PM PST on Feb 1, 2010

Thanks for this post.

10:35PM PST on Dec 4, 2009

Hey its great post all of you guys.
Really all the points are essential to be consider for our healthy life and healthy relationship.
Vitamin C

2:54AM PDT on May 29, 2009

vegan shop here at care2 http://my.care2.com/veganstuff

5:01PM PDT on May 25, 2009

I love living a green life, reading how other people do as well, and really enjoy sharing ideas with others. I've got a list of about 50 or more things that I do every day and every week to live GREEN and these posts are so valuable! I'd like to see something about green car care, and perhaps one of our green gentleman friends can give us some tips. Thanks!
Jacqueline

10:00PM PDT on May 13, 2009

What a beautiful and inspirational article, I am just now starting my own garden. There are several workshops in local communities at no cost. What an oppurtunity to support our family, and impact our world.

3:53PM PDT on Apr 29, 2009

Am blessed to have had parents who lived well during the Great Depression and WW2, and they passed on the wisdom to me. Like the whole use it up, wear it out, find a need or do without. Was reminded of this recently when instead of buying a food scale to measure flour for bread I simply used the postal scale that I use to weigh packages for mailing. Or the hand crank can opener that also has a bottle opener on the end. And recently I gave a big pot with planting soil with corn, squash, a tomato plant and some chives as a gift to someone who doesn't have a lot of room for growing outside plants. And some friends have joined forces to grow a huge vegetable garden at one of the friends home, where everyone helped plant the seeds and are helping weed and water the garden every two days. Other friends who have fruit trees who hate to see the fruit go to waste, are networking so that all the fruit gets picked and used.

~Beth~

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