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When someone mentions being frugal, do you picture living on a shoestring and always carrying around a little coin purse to squeeze every last dime out of the budget?

When someone mentions living in a rural area, do you picture being in the middle of nowhere, miles from inhabitants?Missouri

And if someone mentions the Ozark hills of Missouri, do you picture a hillbilly scene from “Deliverance” and a shack in the woods with a washtub and outhouse in the back, and lots of people who need major dental work?

If you have ever had these notions of these ways of life, you are not alone.  There are a lot of us who see it this way, and sometimes for good reason.  There are still people who fit these definitions and live exactly like this, even in this day and age.  I have known a few of them!

But, most of us have also heard about people who spent most of their lives being skinflints, and then upon their deaths are found to have amassed a fortune that ended up going to their pet.  Or about people who lived a backwoods way of life just because they wanted to, and not because they had to or didn’t know any better.

Being frugal is actually just as  much a part of wasting less.  Even some financially comfortable folks may decide there is too much waste in today’s society.  Or, a person may be on a fixed income and has figured out ways to make money stretch.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they have a bedspread crafted out of garbage bags, or that they stand over an open fire making apple butter every Fall.  Nor are they eating leftover food that was foraged  from a dumpster, or going places dressed in clothes that look like feed sacks because they’ve made them all from old bed sheets.    Some frugal people can be credited for not only having common sense, but also for having some amount of taste!

Rural living can be a farm way out in the country, but also rural life can be a small town surrounded by countryside that is able to sustain itself and it’s inhabitants with a full array of stores, churches, restaurants and businesses.  A rural town is usually just like a city, only on a much smaller scale.  Because of this, there is less congestion, and less headache.

It’s good that rural life is more modernized–I like all the modern conveniences!  But Frank and I do try to choose wisely.  Some conveniences cost a lot to use, or take up even more of our time, so we have to decide if it is worth to us what we will be getting out of it.  

And, as far as saving money by doing things myself, I like things that are easy, so it depends on how much extra effort it will take on my part.  If there are a thousand steps involved with making it and it takes a long time for little results, then I don’t have time for that, no matter how much money I save.

One of the hazards of rural life is that I also don’t have time to frequently travel to a city specialty store to get exotic or specialty supplies needed to make a project or recipe.   The alternate option of ordering things online usually comes with a hefty shipping fee, so any savings from an item’s cheap price gets eaten up with the cost of sending it.   It’s always good if everything I need can be found at the closest Walmart.

So, it’s kind of a contradiction–one time I might serve you chili whipped-up completely from convenience foods, but another time I may use mayonnaise I made myself to make you a sandwich.  All is not always as it appears, as the ingredients for the chili are found at Walmart inexpensively and cook up quickly, and the mayonnaise takes five minutes to make in a blender.  Believe me, if there is anything more to it than that (with a few exceptions), I usually won’t do it.  Most of the things I post on this blog will reflect easy, quick, inexpensive ways of doing things.  And hopefully they are things you will find worth doing as well.

Being a rural frugal hillbilly housewife has been a good way of life.  Not all of us live like L’il Abner.  Maybe being married to a no-nonsense urban Texan has taken some of the hillbilly out of me, thankfully!