Where Do Your Biggest Savings Come From?

This post is inspired by a post on one of my favorite blogs, Northwest Edible Life. Erica is a wonderful person who is much more self-sufficient than I am, or ever will be again. I wish sometimes I was her age again, with the drive to live life the way she lives it, but I'm not. In her post, she talks about "negabucks," which is her husband's name for the savings they gain from their homesteading activities.

I am getting older, and to a point where anything that involves using energy I don't have makes me miserable. I didn't enjoy gardening anymore, so I left my home and yard and moved to this apartment. Now I don't even like taking care of the few plants I brought with me. I was offered a community garden plot, and turned it down. I don't even like writing about gardening anymore. It seems that you can get "garden burnout" when you've done too much of it for too long. 

I've even started eating a lot of raw food, simply because I don't enjoy cooking anymore. No amount of savings could make me bake my own bread, and I will probably never again grow my own food. I can make more and get greater satisfaction from just writing a few articles to pay the bills and then be done with it. 

My "negabucks" comes from not having to work outside my home, with all the expense that entails, and not having to own a car, fix my hair or wear makeup or even bathe every day. That's a substantial savings, especially the car. I live next door to a grocery store, a mile from Dollar General, and a $3 bus ride takes me anywhere else I need to go. Once I get my bicycle, I will hardly even need the bus. My water is paid for with the apartment, and I pay $30 for cable + internet instead of $50 for internet alone. I don't even use the cable. 

I have a 2 BR apartment, and if I got a roommate, I could have even a few hundred more "negabucks," but I love living alone. Not having to worry about anyone else's comfort lets me keep the air on 81 during the day with a fan to keep me comfortable. I'm thinking of paring down even more, getting rid of everything I possibly can so as to fit my possessions into a nice-sized 1 br or studio apartment. I don't entertain, so I don't really need the space and that would be even more "negabucks" in rent.

Thinking about "negabucks" has gotten me thinking about all the ways doing what I do saves me money. I used to struggle on my measly $311 take home pay from Publix, but now I can live quite comfortably on just a little more than that. Thank you, Erica, for turning me on to "negabucks."  Now, go bake me a loaf of bread, woman! 


  1. An excellent point: the negabucks we reap do not have to fit in a harvesting basket. Great article, thanks!

  2. I get 80% of my clothes, including shoes, at a community free box. I know that sounds icky, but it isn't, because I soak everything--often several times--in hot water with a little ammonia to remove odors, bacteria, and dirt. And I know it sounds as though I must look like a homeless person, but I don't. I have a huge array of silk shirts, cashmere and merino and cotton sweaters, coats and jackets (winter wool, microfiber, cotton), yoga/leisure pants and tops, nightgowns, and jeans--and only in my best colors, as I am selective in what I pick up. Not to mention shoes. All I buy are black leggings to go with all the tops, and dress shoes once in a while. I get a lot of compliments about my style, and I rarely tell anyone how cheap it was, ie free. (Just the cost of the ammonia, LOL.) I don't shop in thrift stores much anymore, as I have come to expect to pay much less. Ie, nothing.

  3. Yucca, you sound just like me. I used to shop at a Goodwill Bargain Barn where clothes were $1.69 a lb. I got some gorgeous stuff digging through the clothes, and I regularly get name-brand shoes for next to nothing. I moved, and there are no really good thrift stores here. I am seriously thinking of moving back to where I used to live just to be near to the good thrift stores.


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