Thursday, 3 September 2015

We Are Not Poor !!!

Well I'm sure the title has grabbed your attention and it was meant to.  I probably should have posted this a year ago when my family's story was featured on national tv.  Better late than never but  I would still like to clear up any misguided judgements about my family  This post will probably not take the blogging world or facebook world by storm.  I'm not expecting thousands of people to share this as I know,  talking about money is not cool.

Over the last year it has been bought to my attention that many people who know us think we are poor.  Just because we live a little differently to what society now thinks is normal does not make us weird or poor.   I'm writing this article to clear the air.

*  We are not poor because we live in a 15 square home.  We love our home and yes, it is a home not a large house with unused rooms.  We have three bedrooms,  two bathrooms, two living areas and it's clean and tidy.  What more could we want ?  I've been told we should build a new big home and move to a new estate because  " new is better ".  Why would we do that ?  To move to a new home would mean another mortgage.  We own our own home and have done so for the last five years.  We are debt free. We also have one of Australia's largest shopping centres a stone's throw away from our home.

*  We are not poor because we buy some of our clothes from an op shop.  We know the value of a dollar and our dollar goes so much further at an op shop.  Why would we always pay retail when we can buy new or almost new for a fraction of the price ?  Our wardrobes have never looked better.  We are always neat,  tidy and well presented.

*  We are not poor because we grow some of our own fruit and veggies.  We do so because it's the closest we can get to organic without paying organic prices.  Yes it does save us some money but more importantly,  it's healthier for us.  You can't get any fresher than home grown.

*   We are not poor because we don't have a double income.  My husband has always worked long hours in hard jobs to support us and for that,  the girls and I are very grateful.  I do not need a career or full time job to feel worthy in society.  My real job is to look after my family and home.  My second job helps other people keep their homes clean.  My third job helps other people live the best life they can.  My life is full,  rich and abundant.

*  We are not poor because we don't have the latest iphone and tech products.  In fact,  only one family member has an older iphone she bougth secondhand.  So many people tell me I need to " get with the times " and get a smart phone.  A smart phone will not make me smarter but it will chew up my hard earned dollars and valuable time.  My Nokia phone works fantastically and does what mobile phones are meant to do - MAKE CALLS AND ANSWER THEM.  My life is too precious to spend it looking at my phone.

*  We are not poor because I cook and bake everything from scratch.  My family's health is more important to me than brand name processed foods.  Yes,  cooking from scratch does save us a lot of money but that's a bonus.  My food is tasty,  healthy and I know exactly what's in each meal.  My family loves my food and that puts a smile on my face.

*  We are not poor because we mostly buy no name groceries.  If it does the job,  I don't care what colors are on the packaging.  The food I cook and bake still tastes the same .

*  We are not poor because we rarely eat out or go to the movies..  As I said above,  my food is tasty and there's little that we long for from a restaurant.  Yes,  it's costs too much to eat out but that's a side matter.  Movies always come on tv at some point and we much prefer our own version of " Gold Class " at home with our recliners and yummy food.

*  We are not tight because a tv show put that in a story title.   It was JUST a title - nothing more.    Just because we are wise with what we have does not make us tight.  Someone told us we needed to use that title to prove that we ARE generous to others.    Yes we are generous when we can be,  but we are not going to broadcast it.  We are not boastful people,  not in the slightest.

*  We are not poor because we receive family benefits from the government.  We only get what any other Australian family can receive.  Nothing more.  We work,  we pay taxes and we are very grateful

*  We are not poor because we save for things. We will not go into debt because society says you must have everything NOW.  The saying "  Good things come to those who wait "  rings true in our family.  When we save,  we look forward to the day we can buy that wanted / needed item  Guilt free  !!!

*  We do not eat poorly because my tinned food stockpile was featured on tv and in local newspapers.  It's just one small part of my stockpile and those tins will take a few years to use up.

Our lifestyle might not be for everyone.  That's ok.  We never said it was. 

If you really really know us,  you'll see the wonderfully abundant life we live.









139 comments:

  1. Amen Wendy! Good on you for writing this. But even if you were poor, would there be anything wrong with that? Income or wealth aside, what's the problem with conserving your (and the planet's) resources and using your money intelligently?? I used to grapple with this a bit myself, thinking that I 'should' be spending more, but now I'm completely at peace with it. As a family we also are not poor, but I don't see the point in spending more for things than I need to, in living in an oversized house, in buying things we don't need, in taking a lifetime to pay off my mortgage when I could pay it off in a fraction of that time etc.Which of course doesn't mean I'm tight or miserly.

    Capitalism and marketing have conditioned a generation of people to think that new, bigger etc is better, and that anyone who disagrees is not up with the times. As a society we need to question that, and we don't do it enough. I do feel like change is happening though, and blogs like yours are a key part of it. Keep doing what you're doing, Wendy!

    Jo

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    1. Thankyou so much Jo. Your comment is SO right.

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    2. You're so right. Less really is more!!!!

      People need to stop looking down on those that actually are poor - it's not a crime. A little compassion and love sure goes a long way nowadays.

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  2. Bravo Wendy! Aye aye and I concur.

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  3. Hi Wendy you have written this very well. It is amazing how that deciding carefully what your own money is being spent on and feeding your family healthy meals on a budget can be seen as being poor. I love to bake and garden and would still do these things but they both save us loads of money and we always make sure we share
    .
    We consider ourselves to be careful with our money which in turn allows us to live how we want, mortgage free and because I am at home taking care of business very time rich.
    Thanks for the great blog I don't usually comment but always read and enjoy.

    PS We love op shops and their great bargains

    cheers Tracey

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    1. Thankyou Tracey. Even if we were really rich, we wouldn't change a thing.

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  4. Great post Wendy. Smart, clever, inspirational, encouraging, innovative, wise, savvy... the list could go on. I have never ever thought of you as poor. Thank-you so much for all the sharing.....

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    1. Thankyou Jo. I've always appreciated your support here and with The Cheapskates Club xoxo

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  5. Great post Wendy - so well written :)
    There is nothing wrong with the way you live If more people had the same attitude, society would be so much better off The way you live is what I am striving to achieve with my family The way you live is the way I started out married life,,,,,somewhere we went off track due to many reasons and now I am reigning everything back in to return to my old ways
    If people don't like ur lifestyle then too bad - at the end of the day I know who will be the happier of the group and it won't be the one with the McMansion and flash cars :)

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    1. Good on you Coeen. It's never too late.

      I clean a few Mc Mansions. They are not homes.

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    2. Yes we do house cleaning too and I agree the McMansions are not homes in the true sense of the word They have no life and no sense of Family
      Give me my small and slightly cramped house any day!

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  6. Well said Wendy! I can identify with so much of what you have written here.
    I admire your honesty and integrity... I wish were neighbours. More people like your family in our community is needed. Keep holding your head up high as you all deserve too. Ps My new favourite saying is 'Live Like No One Else'

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    1. It would be wonderful to be neighbours. Think of all the sharing we could do.

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  7. Wow! What a post Wendy. So well said!!!

    It seems in today's society, if you don't conform to 'their' way of thinking, you are 'strange' or 'different' and they makes people uneasy of you.
    We get this a lot from family and friends to 'upgrade' our house, cars or furniture. These family and friends are not seen very often anymore.

    I stick to my guns about my present budget with family. If they wish to buy or give expensive presents, so be it for them, but I'm not 'matching' it just so their children get a 'better' present.
    I keep getting asked "When are you going back to work?". Like you said, my job is looking after my family and home. We worked hard to have this earlier on in our married life to pay off our mortgage and debts.

    And yes, we grow our own food, shop in op shops, limit our outings and shop within our budget and eat well from homemade cooking. We both volunteer within our community and teach our children to be generous to others which doesn't have to be with money but time and giving of yourself.

    When my grandparents/parents lived this lifestyle, it was not considered 'strange' or 'weird', yet they said it was the best time of their lives.

    And it is for us!!!
    Don't change Wendy. Know that you and your family are doing great things for yourself and others.

    Blessings, xxxx
    Maureen

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    1. Thankyou Maureen. You've become a great friend. My grandparents would love to see the way my family lives. It's just like they did ( but with mobile phones and computers ).

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  8. Oh I hear you SO much Wendy. We're also a single-income family by choice; hubby and I decided that it was more important to have me home looking after our family than it was to have the extra income - this concept baffles so many people in our circles. and we live in a house smaller than yours (3 bed, 2 bathroom, 1 living area) which also seems to throw people in a tizzy. Call me crazy but I don't feel it necessary for every person in the house to have their own bedroom, and living area, and bathroom and rumpus etc... There have been times when I've thought an extra living area would be nice, but when it boils down to it we are comfy, very lucky and have what we need. As far as growing vegies, the money saved is a bonus for us. I do it for the sheer enjoyment! I also love being able to teach my kids the countless lessons that come from gardening. I could go on (because I was nodding along with basically every point you made - accept I have an iphone and much to my own amazement I LOVE it!), but I hope you get my drift! Haters gonna hate. Live YOUR best life and respect others. If only everyone else would show the same respect ;)

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    1. Thankyou for your kind words Larissa. I just love seeing things grow in the garden. I have to remind myself to get the housework done first. Then I can reward myself with some garden time. My girls love knowing where their food comes from. They know so much more than their friends.

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  9. Love the post Wendy. DH and I are "not poor" either even though we have very little money. We downsized from a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 living area to a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom/2 toilets and 1 small living area which we love. Smaller homes are easier to clean allowing you more time for the things that matter.
    I read lots of blogs and recently several of them have mentioned that often poor people actually spend more money on groceries etc than you, and they don't have any idea how to manage their money. So no you aren't poor, you are rich in the things that matter to you, and you are teaching your girls how to live a good life no matter what happens to them.

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    1. Maggie, I love the time saving aspect of having a small home. Thankyou for your comment.

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  10. I have never thought you were poor or tight - you are just SMART! If more people lived just a little bit like you, there would be less people in financial difficulty.
    I'm not as frugal as you but you have taught me to shop for specials (I love half price ones!), to stockpile regularly used items, make Miracle Spray (love it!) and your cook from scratch recipes are delicious and now favourites of ours.
    Everything you do makes cents (sense)! Thank you! :)

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    1. Thankyou Joolz. It's interesting that being smart with your money gets confused with being tight or poor..

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  11. Well said wendy!!! Im proud of you.
    Kathleen
    Perth

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  12. It's such a shame that people think that living within your means and a family budget is considered poor. I am so grateful that I watched you on a current affair, it changed my life and my families lives For the better. We were struggling to get by and were living week to week, alot of the time having to over withdraw to pay the rent. I was budgeting but I didn't know that you could get a food budget that low!! Our was at least $800 a month. Now its down to $375 per month (4 weeks) for a family of 6, and we are still eating really good home cooked meals. Its been a year and in that time our income has dropped we have welcomed a new baby and have savings. All thanks to you Wendy and the story on a current affair.

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    1. Thankyou for your lovely words Nicole. WOW !!! $375 a mnoth is fantastic. You should be very proud of yourself. xoxo

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  13. Wonderful post Wendy. I 100% agree with what you have written. We are not "poor" either, even though at the moment we don't have a lot of extra income (it's going off the mortgage). We have no debt except for the mortgage and live a wonderful life. You lead a life similar to mine except my boys are a little bit younger than your kids (I also have two older girls). I love reading your blog. Kind regards Rachael xx

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    1. Thankyou Rachel. Your hard work with your mortgage will be rewarded. Please keep in touch. Let me know when you get rid of your mortgage.

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  14. Excellent post, Wendy - well said. I agree with all you say. We also own our own home, older style, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 living area but we've made the once wide open downstairs area in to a cosy den where we just love to relax - we cop the same flak with our mobile phones etc but hey, who cares? We don't need all that, we're happy living the way we do stockpiling, making meals from scratch, gardening - what else do we need for contentment?

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    1. Exactly. Our lives are rich in so many other ways.

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  15. I loved this post and I don't think I can say anything different to what has already been said so well by the other readers. All I know is that your photos say it all - a content and happy life full of abundance. Just looking at them makes me happy and makes me want to go and make some jam and grow something! I guess nobody can really know the joys of this lifestyle until you have experienced it but for those who knock it, it really is their loss, both personally and financially. The great thing is that YOU are experiencing and living this wonderful life and sharing it with so many others! Thank you for sharing xx

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    1. Thankyou for your lovely words Jackie. I knew you'd understand what I was trying to say. Can't wait to see some jam and garden photos on your blog xoxo

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  16. If by doing what you do people think you are poor, then so are we.mwe live simply as you do. We don't go out very often as both my husband and I are good cooks. We like our food, much of which is made with no name products or products bought on special. For those who see us as poor, I feel sorry for them as they are caught up on the consumerist treadmill. Thank goodness we are free of that grist.

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    1. Jane, we can be " poor " together. Oh what a wonderful life we lead xoxo

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  17. Hi Wendy, I love that you are living your life your way , and that is all that matters. People often fear that which they have no experience of .We have been in our home for decades, and I have been a sahm all that time.We'd like a smaller place now but other than that there is no need to move , but we do need some big maintenance to be done.So that we can sell when the moment is right.
    Thanks for being an inspiration.Maria :-)

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  18. Amen Wendy ! I only wish I had a husband so I could stay at home and live like you ! I take inspiration from you ! And have learnt how to save and live within my means. I wear basic clothes, and actually don't want the things other 38 year old women have ! Go Wendy !!

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    1. Sonia, I think i'll start praying for a husband for you. Your dreams of being a SAHM might be just around the corner. xoxo

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  19. Hi Wendy, A great post, i too have experienced such judgements from other because we don't fit the modern ideal of the with it and got family. I have been a stay at home mum for most of my 32 years of marriage and have only just started 3 years ago having an outside job, my youngest 2 are nearly 10 years old and my job is flexible and they can come with me in the holidays, we only have one car, we have what we need and our kids are happy. looks of success can be misleading, a new car and new house, holidays and extra trimmings can have much stress and worry behind the scenes, i like ti sleep peacefully at night knowing where we stand as a family rather than risking it to fit in. Your an inspiration to so many, rich in what matters most,the love of god and your family. Keep up the great work. Oh and i saw a dietitian yesterday and was told canned food is perfectly fine as part of a well balanced diet and more desirable backup than takeaway foods.
    By the way i found you via The Prudent Homemaker and The Bluebirds are Nesting, not TV we don't have one, but we don't mind.

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    1. Cassandra, the trimming are just fluff. Our lives have substance and are lives worth living.

      Brandy and Annabel have become wonderful blogger friends. No need for tv to make great friends xoxo

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  20. Very Well said Wendy and good on you for saying it. Your an inspiration xoxo

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  21. Sounds to me like you have a rich, loving and fulfilling life. Abundantly so!

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  22. well done Wendy... it's only shocking to me that you have to defend your lifestyle choices!

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  23. Very well said! I get a lot of criticism from my MIL and some from my mom. My family doesn't complain, why should they? Frustrating!

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    1. Jenn, I SO hear you and know exactly where you are coming from

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  24. Hi Wendy. I too agree with you and your bloggers. In my situation, our family would be considered rich due to my husbands work status and income and yes, I have a big home and the trimmings. We have achieved this through hard work as both sets of Grandparents migrated to Australia due to poverty and undertook blue collar jobs. My father worked in a factory and my mother as a cashier. Growing up I learnt the value of a dollar and to sacrifice and to be grateful for what I had. I too find that I get discriminated by people for what I have and have been labelled "rich" in a snarly way at times. I am a self professed cheapskate. I may appear poor by what I buy at the checkout, only generic foods, foods on sale and discounted. I feel no shame in perhaps appearing poor by my grocery choices. There is no shame in poverty and our value is not tied up in what we have but rather in our value as human beings and the immense value that God has placed on us. I believe that there is such a deep level of discontent in society that whether rich or poor, it makes no difference, people will judge and be judged by a prevailing jealousy, rivalry and discontentment. If people spoke to me they would know that our family is down to earth and that I too budget. I often find that I can talk about not spending to people in the context of budgeting because they think that I'm holding back from spending to afford something else, something bigger but can't accept not spending as a general rule. I won't go to a cafe and buy a coffee and cake or out for breaky because often their prices are a rip off. I won't pay exorbitant prices just because I can. I am a housewife and want to teach my children the value of a dollar and the value of treasuring family and not stuff. Society has a real hang up about money. It is what it is-a means to an end. Let's put it in its proper place. Let's value what's on the inside rather than the outside. Job well done Wendy. Regards, Liz.

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    1. Thankyou for your wonderful words Liz. If only people would look at our hearts, they would see the real us. I rarely buy a cup of tea when out because I can make it better and hotter in a really clean cup for just a few cents. I know God is pleased with us. xoxo

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    2. Wendy, hubby and I do the same. We come home from outings to have a cuppa and lunch or take it with us. Once at an airport when travelling I had even been critisized by cafe staff for questioning why a small cup of coffee would cost an extra 70 cents for a dollop of soy milk as opposed to regular milk, when I can buy a litre of soy milk for $1.20 at the supermarket. The staff member was impolite to me but I take a stand against being ripped off. The principles of cheapskating are fundamentally good. It promotes wisdom, sensibility, management, discipline, sacrifice, patience, organisation, self control, gratitude, contentment and many more wonderful character qualities. It makes us richer in spirit and in pocket. I love win-win scenarios. Regards, Liz.

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  25. Hi Wendy,

    I enjoy reading your blog posts and am grateful to you for the time and effort you take to share you experiences, recipes and thoughts with others. I admire your lifestyle choices and the courage you have to share your ideas with others, knowing you will receive criticism from many. I also admire you for paying off your mortgage at such a young age as you and your husband did - fantastic!

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    1. Thankyou Debbie. I'm just happy to help others.

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  26. Fantastic post Wendy!

    I wouldn't worry about the nay-sayers. There is only One that you have to answer to about how you live your life. Other peoples opinions are insignificant.

    What a wonderful God blessed life you live.

    Count your blessings,
    Name them one by one,
    Count your blessings,
    See what God has done.

    xTania

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    1. Tania, that's a lovely hymn. God has blessed us and we are very grateful. We hope that others see the blessings instead of judging us.

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  27. I once read that being frugal is not the same as being 'tight' or 'cheap'. I get it. Thanks for such a wondering post!
    Tania in Hawthorn

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    1. Thankyou Tania. We try to do the very best with what we have xoxo

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    2. obviously I meant wonderful! *giggles*

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  28. Wendy, I feel like your words 'Our lifestyle might not be for everyone. That's ok', are spot on. I've been working my way through your blog posts, and have seen some of your features on ACA and not once have I ever had the impression that you think other people should live as you do. You're just offering help if people want to live like you do. You are incredibly generous through both your posts and responses to comments in helping other people who are interested in living a similar way. I can understand why you would want to write this post, and think you've written it very nicely.

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    1. Jen, of course it would be wonderful if everyone could live a simpler life but that's not going to happen. Instead I just want to offer people an alternative to living above their means.

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  29. You go girl!!!!!!!!!

    Hubby and I have the same issue of people assuming we are poor. I had to give my parents a run down of our finances this last Christmas because they had assumed we were poor because we had one income and I stayed at home and grew vegetables and cooked everything. lol...
    We do not give people our financial details very often but as they were older and genuinely concerned we shared.. now my mother has started to use some of the techniques I use :-)
    So often I have wanted to shout from the roof tops " we aren't broke we choose to live this way", but you have done it nicely and I feel better for your well worded statement thank you. You may not have realised that you speak for many when you put these statements forward.... Thank you again :-)
    Linda
    P.S. we love our life style and wouldnt change it even if we won lotto...which would be a miracle because we dont waste money on it lol

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    1. Linda, we wouldn't change anything either. We don't go in any type of lotto same as you. I'd much rather feed my family 2 - 3 meals than waste the money .

      If anyone else comes along and says something negative about our life, I'll be directing them to this post. It can get a little tiring explaining what we do. Thankyou Linda xoxo

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  30. I pinned it and I shared it on facebook...it is worthy of sharing around a bit :-)
    Linda

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    1. Thankyou Linda. It might help or inspire someone else

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  31. Keep it up Wendy you doing a wonderful job
    Theyre all jealous because your living a fulfilled and abundant life
    Donna

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    1. It is a wonderful life isn't it ? Thankyou Donna.

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  32. Great post Wendy!
    We too have no debt and live simple, I love how you live and wish I could be more like you. Never feel like you have to justify!!

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    1. I just don't want people to think wrongly of us. Thankyou for your comment.

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  33. To be content and happy with our lot is one of the biggest blessings that can be bestowed on us. Learning to be content and happy is one of the hardest lessons to learn, and some of us are just slow learners.

    I think I've told you before Wendy, but jealousy is a curse some people just can't shake. They're green with envy at the fact that you and your family are happy and contented and at peace with the lifestyle you've chosen, while they are constantly wanting more, bigger, better (supposedly) and never having more, bigger, better; never knowing what it is to just be happy with what they have.

    You are a living example of the joys of living a frugal life and I'm blessed to be able call you and Darren friends.

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    1. Thankyou Cath. Contentment comes with maturity too. Life is too precious to be constantly wanting more. xoxo

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  34. What is Poor?
    Poor is not having enough money to feed and clothe your family.
    Poor is not being able to keep a roof over your head
    Poor is also not having enough hours to spend with your family because you are working two or more jobs to keep up with the Joneses( sorry to the Jones family)
    Poor is not being able to cook for your family because you are never home (due to work) and not being able to sit down as a family at meal times.

    There is dirt poor and time poor.
    Wendy, you and your family are neither. You spend quality time as a family. You serve others through your Church work and other charitable duties. You have a roof over your head and food in your stomach. You are Debt free and so you are not working for a lifestyle that is unsustainable in the long term. And besides how many people end up downsizing once the kids have left home because the home is too big for a couple of people.
    Well down for sticking to your dreams and lifestyles. I admire you and how to copy your example.

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    1. Thankyou Janine. Would you believe, my grandparents surname was Jones.

      Some people's idea of poor is so wrong. You described it perfectly.

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  35. Even if you were monetary poor you would still be spiritually wealthy. Carry on living how you want to NOT how other people think you should. Ronnie (England)

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    1. Thankyou Ronnie - all the way from England WOW !!! We won't be changing anything.

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  36. Hello Wendy, have no idea about your feature on ACA, or your website etc. But hey, I think things will go from bad to worse with our economy, the global share market, Europe in crisis with migrants etc. It will be the sensible people, who know how to 'do it tough', that will survive a severe slide in our economy. Nothing wrong with being frugal. I like to see my dollars strech, and see value for money. Keep on keeping on Wendy!
    Robyn

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    1. Robyn, there are many good lessons to be learnt from being frugal. We are prepared for anything.

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  37. Hi Wendy

    I must admit I did read that a long time ago and it made me mad. When did smart become poor? Those comments were made by people who did not and never will get it. I wish I could be more like you and must say slowly its happening. We do not have room for a vegie patch but I will be planting tomatoes, capsicum, beans and cucumbers in pots. My gorgeous neighbour two doors up lets me help myself to herbs, lemons and grapefruit in exchange hubby mows her lawns and helps with her garden as she is elderly.

    I actually think that people who make nasty comments like that are very jealous. My first house was 10 square metres, it was old and needed work but it was clean and it was ours and what we could afford at the time. I wish I saw your story then :)

    I wish that we were in a position that my hubby could slow down a bit and I am working towards owning our house in about 4 years time. He is still of the mindset that he works hard so he should have it........baby steps.

    Thanks for your blog. I love it and check for updates all the time.

    cheers

    Deb

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    1. Thankyou Deb. Keep your end goal in sight all the time. It will keep you focused.

      Having a garden comes in all shapes and sizes. You are doing what you can with what you have. Mixed lettuce grows wonderfully in pots too.

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  38. There is a post/ poem I've seen somewhere that talks about having to work extra hard to pay for the car and clothes you need for the job you need to pay for the mortgage you have for the big house you don't spend time in because you're so busy working. I can't say it properly, but it sums up the (to me) madness of most people's lives. Well done to all of us. It's OK to be different.

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    1. Joy, I think I've seen something like that too. I certainly understand it's meaning. It's not a life I'd like to lead. You could call it the treadmill of consumerism.

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  39. Your post speaks abundance and wealth loud and clear Wendy. Well said. I too have had people say 'but why would you do that when you can just buy it?' This applies to baking, crafting, and sewing amongst other things. I don't bother trying to explain myself any more. I just say 'because I love doing it'. That silences everyone. When it's a lifestyle choice, apparently it's okay. Go figure. Love Mimi xxx

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    1. Thankyou Mimi. I won't be explaining myself any more. I'll just point people to this post.

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  40. Dear Wendy,

    You have articulated yourself wonderfully. I found your blog through Annabel. It is a must-read for me and I genuinely appreciate the time you take to share with us. Even though I share many of your values, I was overwhelmed to break down all the shopping, meal plans, etc. You helped me see so many areas I could improve upon.

    The world is a lot smaller than we realize. I'm all the way in the US but I've learned we have so much in common. We are surrounded by discontentment. Many people are chasing a life they can never pay for or be happy with because technology changes too fast, fads come and go, and consumerism is a disease. The attitude of entitlement just screams all around us and I dare say those people caught up in it are not happy. I think it's beautiful that you take the time to make this information available for those who truly want to manage their lives and enjoy their families.

    Thank you for providing your real-life blog. Real-life people can read it and receive real-life help and guidance to richly providing for their families. I hope you continue because this information is needed. I read the comments, I enjoy all of the ideas and recipes and encouragement. I wish I had all of this help 20 years ago! I was clueless and I needed help. But God is faithful and I choose to believe he led me to you, Annabel, Tania, Brandy, Mimi, etc., for THIS moment in my life.

    Thank you for writing this post. I'm letting it serve as a reminder to pray for others who are consumed with jealousy and fear. Those emotions can cause people to do, say, and write awful things.

    I believe what you have is a ministry.
    It's obvious you are not poor.
    You are a child of the King!

    Love,
    Colette xxx

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    1. Thankyou Colette. Your comment is so well written. Although I've always been good with a budget, I wish I had this sort of information when I was a newlywed. Thanks to the internet, we can spead our knowledge world wide.

      Our network of christian bloggers is wonderful and I feel so blessed to know them.

      For many years I knew I had a ministry to share. I waited on God for the opportunity and he answered my prayers. I'm very grateful and very blessed.

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  41. Well said. True riches are not in material possessions but rather in a loving, close knit family. You do things together to make the life you desire. Rather than being pitied for being poor you should be applauded for being rich - in the things that really matter in this life. You and your family are an inspiration to me so keep blogging, I await each one with bated breath.

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    1. Thankyou Marilyn. We are rich in the things that really matter. We are blessed. xoxo

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  42. Hi Wendy,

    A great written post Wendy. If only people took the time to think about what they're spending or wasting their hard earned money on, they may decide it's not worth it.

    Thought I'd throw my ten cents worth in also. My part time job is to pack and unpack people's possessions for when they move house (great stress free service I might add), and I have to tell you, it's a real eye opener. The more money people earn or have, the more they waste. Soooo many people have way too much stuff that's simply not necessary. The more storage, the more it is filled. I don't understand people paying for storage units filled with unwanted previous generation's stuff when not used or loved. Simply money down the drain. I know there is some psychological issues with this, so they'd be better off spending money on rectifying the problems than throwing money down the drain.

    With my job, I'm often saying to myself, Wow. And then I often return home and tell my family we have nothing, nothing in comparison, as far as possessions go. I mean I own about 8 pair of shoes together with thongs and slippers. I am often packing 2, sometimes 3, standard boxes or tea chests worth of shoes just for the lady (who often says a woman can't have too many shoes!!!). Now more often than not, these shoes or bags or whatever, are often covered in dust to prove they don't get worn often. Don't get me started on clothes often with tags still hanging. Astonishing DVD collections (think JB HiFi), bookshelves upon bookshelves of books (think mini libraries) and kitchens full of unused gadgets or items (who needs 20 platters??). Let me tell you, landfill is going to be very full in about 20 years time.

    I notice that the younger generation (current 30's to 40's) are more happy to spend their money on holidays, experiences (concerts, footy, hot air ballooning and the like) and going out for breakfasts, lunch and dinners, and not so much on possessions. Also often these people are renting, so don't have huge financial overheads or maintenance to worry about.

    As the saying goes, everything in moderation, and so long as families are healthy, happy and successful, and you have a purpose for getting out of bed each day, that's the main thing.

    Keep doing the great job you are doing Wendy, because obviously many people agree with you, including myself. I continue to learn. Go with the majority, not the minority, when it comes to whingers or critizisers, they're obviously not happy. At least you and many others are smelling the roses!!!

    Btw. how's that new kitchen coming along?

    Deanne


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    1. Deanne, I SO hear you. As a cleaner, I see lots of shoes covered in dust. The clothes, oh the clothes. So many clothes. Kitchen cupboards, yes they are always flled to the brim. Surely these peole can't use all the stuff. It's not a life I'd like. Too much stress with all those possesions.

      We are still saving for the new kitchen and flooring. We are over a 1/3 of the way there. This time next year we should be getting our new kitchen.

      Delete
  43. Wendy, if I can just add that this is such an important post, I'm sharing it on my Facebook page, and I'd love it if you'd link it at Five Star Frugal this week. Thanks, Mimi xxx

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  44. Hi Wendy

    Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for your blog and for being an inspiration to both myself and many others. I have been following you since I saw you on A Current Affair last year and I look forward to your posts. I have used a number of your recipes and the chunky chicken and sweet corn soup, family meat pie, seasoned bread crumbs and KFC drumsticks are family favourite's. To this I can add miracle spray and laundry powder. You have also inspired me to dust off the sewing machine and get back into sewing.

    Monday's blog about op-shopping struck a big chord with me. Like you, when my son or I need new clothes, I check out the op-shops first and then go to the department stores (if I need too). The day I read this post I had just come home from a successful visit to the op-shop and bought my son winter clothes for next year for half price - and all in great condition.
    Thanks so much Wendy for leading (or should I say living) by example and showing us that life doesn't have to be about having the biggest or best or more. That great contentment can be found by living within your means, home cooking, gardening, sewing, time with your family and that you don't have to spend money to be happy. I am looking forward to your future posts.

    Thanks again, Naomi.

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    1. Thankyou Naomi. I think this is your first comment. If so, welcome to a wonderful community.

      I'd love to hear about your sewing. What are your latest projects ?

      Living a simple life gives us balance between work, family, chores, craft, gardening, cooking and rest. It doesn't get any better than that. Thankyou for your kind words.

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  45. Hi Wendy,

    I love your blog and I think that you have a wonderful life.

    My daughter told me about a girl in her class who eats McDonald's , KFC
    or some other type of fast food every single day and that she has never
    seen her eat fruit , yoghurt or home made food. The family appears to live a life
    of consumerism and wasting money, all the children (3 I think) have the iphone 6.
    I think that a lot of people will be in a lot of trouble and unprepared during tough times
    (e.g. recession) etc.

    Tricia





    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tricia, my girls have friends just like that. So many just bring junk food to school because parent don't have time to cook / bake or they are not home to supervise what's being put in lunch boxes. Very, very sad. I worry for their future health.

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  46. Hi Wendy,

    I have been following your family's story ever since the ACA story. Thanks for writing your blog and for reminding people what really matters. I'm in my 20's and reading your blog has made me more mindful of my spending habits and put things in perspective. It's not surprising a lot of people are in debt these days given the trappings of lifestyle inflation.

    Through reading your recipes I've realised having a delicious, healthy home cooked meal is a luxury in itself and I personally would choose this over takeaway/eating out anyday, your family are very lucky!

    Cheers,
    Y

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    1. Thankyou Y. We love our home cooked meals and look forward to them each night.

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  47. Your lifestyle sounds just lovely and your photos show it to be so. Good for you!
    (I found you at Five Star Frugal #17.)

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    1. Thankyou. Mimi reminded me the five star was running on her blog again.

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  48. I was really moved by your post. I live in the U.S. but what you said really rings true here too. Society is driven by covetousness and greed. It makes the financial wheels go round. When someone chooses to step outside of that 'grind' they often get criticized by making changes and taking chances that the criticizers are too afraid to take. And to live a life that is not driven by what the masses say are necessary to happiness and well-being. Bravo to you and your family! I just recently stumbled upon your blog and I am so glad I did. I love what I have read so far! Please continue to do your best to give your family the most blessed and pleasant life you can and honor your Creator, which is mankind's greatest duty. And bless us all too with your lovely blog posts that encourage and uplift. Thanks for your efforts, I am really enjoying your blog!
    Blessings from halfway around the world,
    Valerie

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    1. Thankyou Valerie. We are blessed to have the time to walk outside and marvel at God's creation. Our chickens, our veggies, our plants, the clouds and even the rain. Al amazing blessings from God.

      Please visit my blog again. We have a wonderful community here. Blessings to you in USA xoxo

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  49. Well said. Pamela

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  50. Wendy,
    Great post!!!!! You are so... Inspiring.
    Kind regards
    Kathryn

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  51. 15 square feet?
    Isn't that like 3 by 5?
    How does that work?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The house itself is 141.57 metres squared which is 15.23 squares.

      Delete
  52. Wendy, I didn't read all the comments, but I will tell you what I think you are: Prudent, wise, smart, creative, loving, responsible, dependable, thrifty, inspiring, blessed and a blessing to others, a teacher, a homemaker, generous, a chef, healthy, happy and content. So glad I found your blog, I'm learning from you and other thrifty/wise folks and it is such fun. Oh, and you are productive!! Joy in the U.S.

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    1. Thankyou for your lovely words Joy. As Mums we wear many hats. Being thrifty really is fun. Much better than being in debt.

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  53. I loved this post Wendy, in my eyes you are rich with all the blessings and love you have with your family, friends and homelife♥ I really loved the photos on this post as well:) Have a wonderful week Linda

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  54. Hi Wendy

    I loved this post. I just wanted to say I really enjoy reading your blog and it gives me lots of motivation. Your posts are so uplifting. I love how you make the most of all of your blessings. Thank you and please keep blogging.

    From New Zealand
    Kate

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    1. Thankyou. I'll keep blogging as long as someone is interested. We are truly blessed.

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  55. Hi Wendy, I have only just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading through it. I especially loved reading this post, it is great for motivation and knowing that it is possible to live this way and be very happy doing it. Looking forward to reading more.
    Sharon

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    1. Thankyou Sharon. It is possible to live well on a budget.

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  56. Hi Wendy,
    It's a shame that society puts pressure on people like us to over indulge (and over spend) and make assumptions on others when they don't do what is considered the "norm".
    You do what's best for you and your family and you don't need to answer to anyone. I know it's frustrating. My husband and I often are called "cheap" because we turn off appliances at the wall, buy meat on special and tell friends that we prefer to make dinner as opposed to going out. However, all three of us are well fed, well clothed and our only debt is our mortgage and we have achieved far more than others our age. However, these people that made these comments originally found themselves in debt and realized why we do things the way we do, and they have asked us how to budget better. Of course we helped them budget better and now they understand. You are an inspiration Wendy, you have helped me and my family to live a good life without spending too much money. Besides, it's not worth the stress of being in debt as it can break families apart. People only criticise what they don't understand. You're the best Wendy!

    Amy

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    1. Thankyou Amy. The ' norm " has changed so much over the last 20 or so years. We are so happy with our life that buying, buying, buying doesn't interest us.

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  57. Hello Wendy, Have just discovered your blog, all you say in this post is exactly right and the way we have been living for the last 35 years since I stopped work to have our eldest.
    I'm adding you to my reading list.

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    1. Thankyou for your comment Sue and welcome to my blog. I'm sure you live an abundant, happy life too

      Please visit and say hello again.

      Delete
  58. Hi Wendy
    I am commenting from Scotland and found your excellent blog through Morgan. In retirement, I have been volunteering in a recycling/upcycling project to save clothes, shoes and other textiles going to landfill. It's based on a swapping principle and so far 1ton of textiles have been saved and put to good use. The standard of the clothese coming in is sometimes eyewatering-labels still attached to items costing many, many pounds. I have been running a sewing project where we have used cotton fabic from clothese to make some fun items eg bunting, aprons, mug rugs to give people pleasure from making something which is both useful and beautiful. Thank you for your post-slainte! Catriona

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    1. Hello Catriona and welcome. What a wonderful way to use clothing that's been discarded. Do you have photos on a blog ?

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  59. Hi Wendy, Thank you for all you do to help others. I was one of those people who lived in a double income family with the big house that had unused rooms and and money to spare to buy what ever, usually with a loan because we new we could afford the payments and wanted the new whatever now. Then I got sick, that took 4 years to diagnose with a disease that Australia refuses to acknowledge, LYME disease. Nothing is covered by the PBS scheme so all my medicatons are bought at full price, $1500 a month. The exhaustion makes it almost impossible to work so we are down to 1 income, we have moved into a much smaller rental property and I cant eat any of the processed foods at all. I have been here for 12 months and cannot for the life of me understand why we think big houses and flashy cars and the latest TVs are must haves. I saw your story on a Current Affair and due to lack of finances started to change my way of doing things and now I dont even think of going back to the way I lived before. Not only was it bad for our finances but it was definitely bad for my health. We are starting to get back on track and can afford to splurge a bit more but find I dont want to. I love the op shops and have found so many bargains and things that I sometimes see still in a normal retail store for triple the price I paid and sometimes the stuff still has the original price ticket still attached to it. I dont see us as poor, all our basics are covered and anything else is just cream on the top. I recently started to look at houses to give me something to aim for, I am looking for something with property so I can rescue animals and I found that if the house was over 15sq I wasnt interested at all, because not only do we not need a big house but cleaning a big house takes up to much of my precious time. What I can do in 1 hour here used to take me 4 hours at the old house. So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have taught me and others and have shown that being smart with money is not about being poor but is actually a better and healthier way to live. :-)

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    1. Thankyou for sharing your story. It's stories like yours that keeps me going with sharing everything I know about being frugal yet wise. I'm sorry you have LYME disease. I've seen stories on tv about your illness. Hopefully in the future Australia will help sufferers.

      There is so much to be said for our way of life. It brings pleasure, peace of mind and security.

      I'd love to know your name. Could you please reply and maybe send a friend request on facebook ?

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    2. Hi Wendy, I truly believe you have saved my life both financially and health wise. I still have at least a year to go with antibiotics and supplements to try and get LYME and his friends under control and although this is a path that I have pretty much been forced into because of the illness, I am grateful that it happened because this is a much much better way to live. I know everything that goes into my food, the 2 light rule works very well, the water bill is almost halved and the gas bill only goes up in winter as the heater is the only thing that uses gas and I feel the cold alot more at the moment than I used to and now I get more snuggles on the couch to keep warm :-). Both my son and husband say thank you for dinner now as they see how much work goes into actually cooking from scratch and both say that the food tastes so much better when I make it now than it used to, fresh is definitely much better. My son comes shopping with me and picks out the specials and what is cheaper by the $/c per 100g, he even works out which toilet rolls are better value by cents per 100 sheets. My daughters fiance did grow up poor with alot of hand me downs and flat out refuses to op shop, I went to their place the other day and she raved about how nice my outfit was and actually looked shocked when I told her the whole getup cost $8.50, my daughter was in the background saying "see, I told you". You truly have changed my life and that of my family, The homemade washing powder has stopped the itchy skin I used to get and I no longer get a headache from air fresheners now that I make my own following your tips. I would never had started this whole journey if I hadnt watch you on A Current Affair and again I dont think I could ever thank you enough :-) I just looked at your gift tags and they are truly lovely and I have already started cutting out the useless ribbons in my shirts. :-) Narelle

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    3. My heart is full of happiness for the turn around in your family's life xoxo

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  60. Amazing...We live in India & me and my family are doing a lot of what you mentioned...When God was here on earth, His lifestyle was very much the same & we should learn from Him. Life is more that Food & Drink :)

    While we may name them as consumerism & minimalism I would say it is Worldliness v/s Godliness


    God bless you abundantly...
    Kaps

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  61. I love this post so much! I recently crunched some figures and found out that by Australian standards we are living "below the poverty line"! I was shocked! Then I found humour in it! I feel like we always have an abundance. We have a lovely house, our bills are always paid before the due dates, we grow our own fruit and veg, create yummy meals at home, have a car for transport and have frugal hobbies like reading, sewing and cooking. We are truly blessed! I remember when my family watched your first segment on ACA, we felt a connection as our lives are very similar! My hubby especially loved the part where it was your husbands birthday and you made a lovely roast dinner and cake-just perfect! We never eat out and for every birthday we pick a "favourite meal" that I cook. It was my daughters 17th birthday recently, and she requested Japanese karage curry and a homemade icecream cake :) Many blessings to you and your family Wendy. x

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    1. Thankyou for your kind words Mel. The family story we did for ACA was the second highest rating story for them in the last four years, We knew we had something special to share but never dreamed it would impact so many people. To this day, I still get stopped in the street as people want to talk about it. My heart swells with happiness knowing we've helped so many people.

      Mel, please keep in contact. We can learn something from each other.

      Thankyuo so much for your comment.

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    2. Will do Wendy! thank you so much for your reply :)

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  62. not that you need to explain yourself to anyone but what a wonderful response! well explained Wendy....Well explained indeed! I LOVE your Blog! hugs from Bella

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    1. Thankyou Bella ( beautiful name ). No I don't need to explain myself but I really dislike people thinking the wrong thing of my family.

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  63. Wendy I have just stumbled upon your wonderful blog. Thank you so much for sharing fantastic tips and a glimpse into your lovely rich abundant life. I look forward to making many of your delicious recipes and am now off to make up my first batch of Miracle Spray. Have a great day.

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    1. Thankyou so much Christine. You'll love Miracle Spray and it will save you lots of money.

      How did you come across my blog ? I'm just curious. It's always interesting how people find me these days.

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  64. Dear Wendy,

    What a great post and answer to many peoples questions. You are a fountain of knowledge and more people should read this blog and start taking a leaf from your book.

    You've taught me to:
    Stockpile and buy goods when on sale for half price
    Make cleaning products
    Cook/bake your great recipes (that honey mustard chicken is a winner and so are your Hooty Creek Cookies!)

    All this is free to learn on the blog so why wouldn't anyone give it a go. There's lots of things you do that I don't do - saving water from shower warm up, use rinse water for next load etc. but I do try and keep the lights to a minimum at night and turn off our appliances at the wall. I don't buy clothes from the op shop but one day I might.
    I read each post with interest and wish you continued health and happiness as you go about your abundant life.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  65. Hi! All I can say is a hearty Amen to what you wrote! Nancy

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    1. Thankyou Nancy. God knows our heart.

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