Hello and welcome to my blog! I'm on a mission to prove - both to myself and to others - that you don't need a lot of money to live a rich life.
Let me start by saying I'm immensely blessed. I live in Napa, California where a drive to the grocery store includes breathtaking vineyard views. I have a wonderful family with a winemaker husband and two joyful boys. Our life includes good food, great friends, and - of course - fantastic wine.
What doesn't it include? A big budget. We live in a modest fixer-upper house. We drive hand-me-down cars. We spend less than $400 a month on groceries and less than $50 a month on restaurants. We use cloth diapers. We line-dry clothes to reduce our power bill.
And you know what? I don't think we've ever been happier.
Building a family in a place with a high cost-of-living has taught us to be smart with our money - and, by virtue of that lesson, to focus on what is important in life. It's taught us that simple things - like taking a walk, sitting down to a candlelit dinner, or planting a garden - are what infuse life with joy. It's taught us to let go of "neighbor-envy" and instead be content with what we have.
I started this blog in 2012 as I began my frugal journey. At the time I thought my blog was going to be about saving money, but I've discovered that is just the tip of the iceberg.
What I've found is an incredible sense of empowerment in knowing that we can live on less. In saying "no" to our materially-obsessed culture and choosing to be happy living without rather than with. At a certain point along the way I realized that I was no longer living frugally just out of necessity, but because it was leading me toward a more simple and fulfilled life.
On these pages you can expect to find the practical things we're doing to live on a budget, as well as the big questions we're grappling with on our quest for a simpler, values-driven life. It's my hope that our journey will inspire others to embrace frugality and the Good Life that comes with it.
I hope you enjoy the Frugal Mama Files!
It's so fun to read about you, because I identify a lot with your journey and the discoveries you are making along the way. We too love a simpler, slower life centered around family, community, and home, and much of it was born out of a desire to be able to spend more time with my kids.
I'm honored to be on your blogroll -- it looks like I'm in good company!
Wishing you all the best,
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on my blog! When I happened upon your Frugal Mama blog a few months ago, it was as if I found a kindred, frugal spirit (in my hometown of DC no less!). I admire and agree with your approach to frugality, and especially appreciate how you are trying to balance your work with your blog with your family. I've found that there is an inherent conflict in leading a simple yet technology-driven life, and am constantly seeking the right balance between being present in the moment and enjoying the creative outlet of this blog.
I am honored to have a seasoned blogger such as yourself reading my posts - your comment is my first and I couldn't be more flattered!
One of my friends just posted your blog on facebook and I immediately impressed when I saw that one of your favorite cookbooks is 'Dinner: A Love Story' which is one of my favorites. Then I saw that you live in the Napa Valley (we live in Calistoga). How fun! Glad to find your blog and look forward to reading more of your tips! Cheers, HeatherReplyDelete
It's so nice to virtually meet you Heather, and to discover someone else in the Napa Valley who loves 'Dinner: A Love Story' as much as I do! What a small world it is that we are neighbors. I make it up to Calistoga quite often as my husband works at a winery just outside of town.Delete
I'm glad you happened upon my blog and hope that you'll find the posts I share here helpful. Who knows - maybe our paths will cross one day and we'll get the chance to meet in person. Stranger things have happened in this tiny valley we call home!
I'm sure our paths will cross at some point! I just read your peach blog and am gearing up to make some peach salsa. we have two peach trees and must have gotten 500 peaches this year. Crazy!Delete
Sounds like you have the same peach "problem" that we had this year! I hope you enjoy the salsa. Give yourself a day to do it (if you've ever canned before, you know what I mean...it's a process...), but it is so worth it. We recently opened a few jars and it gets even better with time.Delete
Hope to run into you sometime!