Craving Less In The New Year

Society tells us bigger is better.

When I was young all I wanted was what I didn’t have. When I got older, I started working so that I could have what I wanted, but that lead to wanting even more. So naturally, I went to college in order to have a job that allowed me to earn more, more, more, more…

The nice car, the big house, super trendy clothes, I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was creating a better life for my family.

Then it started to happen. Debt, stress, a house to big to clean, a life to difficult to sustain.

How did it all go so wrong?

We knew we had to make some serious changes. I’d love to be able to tell you that one day we just woke up and everything was different. But we all know that’s not the way things happen:) And to be honest with you, as I sit here writing this essay, I can’t even pinpoint a moment when it all changed! It certainly has been a journey.

One filled with mistakes, joys, and struggles.

However, this journey toward Frugally Sustainable living, and a less is more mentality, has been the key factor in my family’s freedom.

2011 has been a year of small shifts in thinking coupled with big changes; and, I anticipate more of the same in 2012!

Plans for the New Year:

Kick start with the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. Nearly 1,000 people have pledged to join me in this challenge! I love to challenge myself for a couple of reasons: 1) I tend to be a bit competitive and the nature of a challenge really speaks to me:) 2) Challenges push us to the limits (Did I mention how thankful I am for my family who follows me through this craziness). Never in a million years did I think 1,000+ people would be interested in this little idea of mine, I was just hoping for 50! By the way…there’s still time to join us. The challenge starts January 6, 2012. Be on the look out for specifics in the coming days!

Embrace the local community.  I hope 2012 will be a year that I really connect with my community by embracing the joys of living where I live. Building relationships with like-minded individuals, getting to know my farmers, all of these things are priorities this year.

Further reduce our dependence on “the machine”. Beginning in late March/early April our family will embark on a 90 day no-grocery store challenge. How, you ask, will we do it? Continue to read along and I’ll tell you:)

Live without debt. Money can be the source of great stress, and stress can make us physically, mentally, and spiritually sick. Under that premise it is safe to say poor money management leads to poor health. My husband and I have together made the decision to live debt free.

Ease my expectations. As a homeschooling mama, homemaker, and freelance writer the expectations on my daily life can be rather daunting (just as they are for everyone). They are that way because I allow it. In the New Year I will strive to ease the expectations I set for myself.

Continue to work on redefining enough. As I mentioned in the intro, most of our bad decisions came from wanting something more, and not having a proper understanding of enough. Through the changes we’ve made, we are redefined what enough means to us. We have certainly determined that “more” isn’t always the answer. In no way am I suggesting that we have arrived. Oh no…there will always less. We’re learning to crave less.

Produce more food at home than we did last year. Add more perennials to the landscape. Install a few more raised garden beds. Implement vertical gardening practices. Expand the medicinal herb bed. This is probably one of the only times that more is better🙂

Declutter and sell stuff. One simple truth drives us here…The less you own, the less that owns you. Historically, I have always been somewhat afraid of empty spaces. But as we have started living within our means and essentially living with less, we have started to realize what a burden “stuff” can be! Our “stuff,” in a lot of ways, has stollen our freedom and reduced our creativity. I am continuously learning to let go.

I am fully aware that we do not have it all figured out, and probably never will. I’m okay with that. 

Nonetheless, I am confident that our Frugally Sustainable life will lead us to freedom!

Thank you for join us in the journey!

 See this post shared here: Homestead Barn Hop


  1. What a great post! Now more than ever I realize we’re both on the same page. 🙂 I can’t wait to see where you go this new year! Andrea Goes Storeless. 🙂 You can DO IT!

  2. Oooh this is so spot on! Love this and thank you for reminding me again of what I want for 2012… So happy I found your blog. Just love it.

    • Thank you Carolyn:) It takes intentional living to follow this path doesn’t it? But I’d have it no other way. I’m so glad that you are here! Thank you for your comment.

  3. I am a recently new subscriber, and wow, am I glad I found your blog!!! Your blog information is so closely aligned to my personal values and goals… “Craving Less in the New Year” spoke loud and clear to me. Looking forward to learning and growing in 2012 as a result of reading your blog. Thank you!

    • JoAnn! I am so happy that you found me. It’s such an encouragement to have a community of like-minded people to share with! I too am looking forward to how we will all grow and learn together in the new year:) Thank you for your comment!

  4. I am fairly new to your blog, this might the first time I’ve commented, but I love it… great ideals and advice! Whilst I am not taking on any new challenges in this new year (other than making more changes in regards to eating REAL food) because we burnt out trying to do too much last year, but I love the no grcoery store challenge. In eating more real, nourishing food, we will be inadvertently doing that too, but without the presssure! Tricia at Little Eco Footprints is going to be doing a year long challenge like that:

  5. I am another one of your readers who is so happy to have found your blog. I could have written something so similar! Reading your blog, and others I have found through you, is great for keeping me motivated and on the right track. Looking forward to doing the 23 day challenge with you! Thank you!

  6. I am new to your site,too.I am really enjoying your posts and need to check out all the older ones. I am looking forward to following your 23 day challenge.I am your opposite,while you enjoy a challenge and like competition,I grew up with an extremely competitive mother and sister. Say “competition” and I run for the hills!! So,I won’t commit,(another “c” word!!!),to the challenge….I will be following it! Happy New Year to All!! Darlene

  7. Danetta Cates says:

    Andrea & dixiebelle, I bought $$$$$ of seeds last yr,we planted in ground that is fairly fertile but had weeds,grass out the yang yang. We couldn’t keep ahead of them,eventually they conquered us. We too burnt out. My husband wasn’t so gung-ho about it in 1st place now trying to get him involved will be impossible. I bought a canner,water bath cooker,mason jars…you name it,we got it. I ended up canning pickles 1st time & even messed those up,lol. I hope we both have better results dixiebelle! Thank you Andrea for such a helpful blog. You & your fans here inspire me to try,try again!

  8. I want to join you on this journey. I anticipate some set backs and even failures, but I hope to persevere. I hope that this blog and the other participants will encourage and inspire me.

  9. Sounds good good good. So glad to have this inspiring challenge to help keep me focused on our goals:)

  10. I’m right there with you, blog friend. What you describe above is the definition of freedom.

  11. I have recently discovered your blog and LOVE it. I have been frugal for years but I have been challenged by some of the things you have written. I think I am the most challenged by all the things you have bloggged about our mindset and being content. I plan to be a regular from now on.

    Blessings in Him<

    • Thank you for you encouraging words Mary! I believe frugality truly is a state of mind:) I am so happy to have you hear with me.

Speak Your Mind