The great news about simple living is it is just that- more simple for us! This means we don’t need to buy extra things and we don’t need to spend money changing our lifestyle or adapting our homes. We can live a more straightforward life right where we are and with what we have right now and that is a lovely thought! Just as self-care isn’t the self-care industry, slow living doesn’t need to be expensive either.
The very heart of the ethos is to let go of extra habits that take our time and very often our money for little to no benefit. In recent years, there has been (rather ironically) a consumerist approach to living more simply because when companies see a lifestyle gaining momentum, they will work out how to profit from it. For example take home cooking. There has been a lovely shift towards eating healthier, using less ready meals and having more whole foods. This change has also been accompanied by a multitude of extra gadgets- juicers, blenders, air fryers, dehydrators, slow cookers, rice cookers, spiralisers, and the list goes on. In the past when people lived from their own gardens more and ate local, fresh produce, they did not need all of these appliances, so what is it that makes us feel we need to?
Of course, over time we may want to replace worn out things with more eco-friendly versions or if we are starting a project that will have a good result then we may need to invest in new planters for growing our own lettuce, to give an example. Don’t overthink though and don’t feel the pressure to suddenly transform all you own into eco products. It’s much better to use your current things up and then look for better alternatives.
I think people associate slow living and whole food eating with a middle class way of life and I’m determined to show that this way of living can be for all ages, all budgets and can be adapted for all lifestyles. Even the busiest of families can benefit for a few changes to live more simple/
Here are my top ways to live more simply on a budget!
- Picnic Time. Looking for the positives in the pandemic has been to finding ways of enjoying life without being able to visit the places we used to. With no tea rooms open, we’ve had to make our own picnics to bring with us and that has been one of my favourite types of day out. It’s definitely something I won’t be changing going forward. I’m sure I’ll still support my local tea room but more picnics and vegan BBQs will be on the menu going forward.
2. Grow your own! It’s an absolute joy to see your own seedlings grow into something healthy you can eat. Even growing flowers from seed will save so many pennies compared with buying them ready grown. In addition to being very low cost, when you grow your food you know exactly what’s in it and how it’s been grown. So you know that no harsh chemicals have been used and that you have loving tended to it each day!
5. Cook with your own. Once you’ve grown it, cook with it! Taking time to prepare and enjoy a meal is an activity all in itself. Many treat eating as a hurried event, something to rush through between other pursuits. If we began to saw the joy in food more, there would be more conversation, more mindful eating, less overeating and more focus on nutrition rather than convenience. In the West we really need to take a look at how we treat food and whether we could have more respect for mealtimes and the simple pleasure they can bring. When I bake and make meals from simple ingredients, I feel so much more connected with those who came before us and it brings balance and a feeling of homeliness to me which I find very calming.
4. Nature the Entertainer. When we actually pause for a moment in nature, we can truly see how entertaining she can be! Bird song symphonies, comedy squirrels and quarrelling ducks are a few of the things that can keep me occupied for a long time when I’m sitting outside. Screens are second place to the beauty of the Earth, it just takes spending time with her to remember.
5. Reuse what’s around you already! This is a fun exercise for using our imaginations. What do you have around you that can be upcycled or transformed into a different use than it was intended for? I love this and make a game out of it! In my garden I have repurposed musical instruments, kitchen utensils and pallets to create unique ways to plant and grown food in. Can you make shelves out of an old crate? Can you make a table out of a suitcase? The answer may be no haha but you might come up with something else in the process! Have fun with it, it’s a joyful activity not one to cause stress so take time and let your imagination run!
Hope you find these tips useful! As always, they are just my thoughts and things I do myself. Take up what you feel drawn to and leave anything you don’t find useful. Let me know how you get on with a little comment, I love chatting with you all!
Best Wishes and Deep Breaths,