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Frugality is Not a Killjoy

Furgal post 

I am in a writing mood (although I should be working on Wren). I hope you enjoy my take on frugality!!


“By sowing frugality, we reap liberty, a golden harvest” ~Agesilaus


    I love this saying! I have it written on my chalkboard, which came from the old school house down the road. When I was young though, I hated the word frugality. To me it meant NO fun, no adventures, no joy! I thought frugality was just about the things you lose. It was all about self-denial and I will be the first one to say, I am not good at self-denial.

    I was pretty pampered as a girl. Life was about more and I liked it that way. Instant gratification worked for me ;- ) Well until it did not but I am getting ahead of myself. Life was always one expensive adventure after another. I will be honest and say it was fun. I loved seeing new places, trying new restaurants, buying new outfits. But the thing is I had all this fun because I have a father who worked hard to buy those things and I did not appreciate that fact. My father was a workaholic and I took it for granted how hard he worked. Plus my father likes to shop, dine and travel even more than I do. The interesting detail is when I wanted to get married I did not want to marry a man like my father, who lived for making money. I love my father but I could see how lacking the other areas of his life were.


“I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.” C S Lewis


    Well one day my knight in shining armor came galloping in (who scrubbed my coffee pots at work, so I did not have to, without even being asked. Now if there is ever a way to win a girls heart, especially a pampered girl like me, that was it!). He did not live for making money. He is hard worker but is much more interested in his family, his life, his wife and children. This means he was never going to make the kind of income my father made

    I was torn in half; I wanted to be a fulltime homemaker. I loved the challenge of making the most around me. Like our first Christmas, when I decorated the house with the pine boughs from outside with gold painted stars. BUT I also love Paris and the thick hot chocolate I had that could barely be poured. Sadly I could not have both. I was going to have to choose, I was going to have to be frugal. Well if I was going to have to be something, I would have to find the fun in it. I had to embrace frugality and as I did, I started see what it added to my life. I was wrong as a girl, frugality was not a killjoy, it was a liberator. Now it can be a killjoy but anything can be. It is all how you use it. Before embracing frugality I struggled with:

  •      Depression (Depression, from all the things I wanted and could not afford.)
  •       Worry (Worry, from the money I spent on things, I should not have.)
  •       An unhappy marriage (Unhappy, because of the fights with hubby over the  money I used.)
  •      Disregard (Because when you just buy something and never make anything with your own two hands, you do not understand and appreciate all the work that goes into it. I will never take a loaf of bread for granted after trying to hand grind wheat!)
  •       Un-creativity (Well actually I was pretty creative when I had money BUT I was way more creative when I did/do not.)


  “Joy is not in things, it is in us.” Richard Wagner


    This opened up a whole new world to me. Not having money forces you to think out of the box. Make the most of what you have. See things in a new light and you know what? It is fun! I have made candles, picked grass for salad (well dandelions), shoveled goat manure for a raspberry patch so I could make yummy, homemade ice cream, cut up an old flannel nightgown to make a pretty rose covered petticoat, scented baking soda for homemade cleaners and a zillion more things. I am so much better for it. I do things with more thought and care now. I see the world around me in more detail and appreciate it. I admire and have a bond with others who create. I think the big thing is I am not so me, me anymore. I will not say I am not that way at all because we all know that’s not true ;- ) But I have learned that more things do not equal more happiness. Actually less things, means I love the things I have more. I am not looking for the world to fill me up; I am busy filling myself up.

    Also being frugal does not mean we have to think small. Making frugal choices, does not mean the choice has to be frugal. I am all for making your dreams come true. It just means you do not run off with every whim. Especially if you are like me and have expensive whims. No, it means thinking long and hard before deciding what is really important to you. It might be some over-the-top thing like hundreds of paper butterflies tacked to a hall (which I was considering). But by being frugal it will also mean saying no to a lot of other, less important things. Frugally is not about loss, it is about making choices, owning those choices and being better for them. And that my dears, adds to one’s life, not takes away!


“I was wrong as a girl, frugality was not a killjoy, it was a liberator.” Me


Thank you Karen romantic vintage home for the beautiful image above. Stunning xoxo

Linking up to Raising homemakers


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Wow, what a beautiful and thoughtful post. Love the sentiments you shared - you are a wise woman!

Children of Eve

This is so true. A wonderful, wonderful post. Making the things you need is empowering. Frugality (and making due) is liberating, it gives you a freedom from being led by the nose by people trying to sell you things or by our own "I want it now" appetites.


So unbelievably, beautifully said!!

Linda Colantino

Such a nice post Clarice and a good reminder.
Love ya,,,,

Clarice dear,

YOU HIT THE NAIL square on. Nobody could've said it better or more truthfully. The way you allowed us to actually see the things that depressed you.

Wonderful!!! Thank you...



So true Clarice--I believe there's a difference between happiness and joy--joy is always there, if we choose to see it, no matter what our exterior circumstances.
Thank you for such a thoughtful post!


Hello sweet Clarice! I love your beautiful article and the beautiful photos from sweet Karen that you shared! Both are equally inspiring and resonate your heart-felt words and experiences! You are so genuine, and that my friend makes all you share such a blessing! I appreciate you sharing your list of struggles and the joys that came out of choosing a different and a better way. The quotes you shared are wonderful. I especially love the one by C.S. Lewis! Yours was wonderful too!

Thank you for showing that frugality is a beautiful thing and that it has nothing to do with being cheap, but being creative, resourceful and grateful for what you have! Love, Paula


♥♥♥I love this post♥♥♥

{{hug}} ~C.


Hi Clarice!

I loved your post! I think this is the day and age to learn to be "frugal", knowing that it can be fun and liberating! I would love to see a picture of the pine boughs and gold stars!! As woman, we just keep on keeping on don't we!!



Well said, young lady!!

Tracey McBride~Frugal Luxuries ®

Fantastic post subject Clarice...and so very simply but beautifully put. Your story is intriguing and your choices are such an inspiration.
Love, love, love,
P.S. Am lovin' your quotes...especially the last one!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest

Well said Clarice! It is about making choices and it does make you think outside the box. I also had a very privileged childhood/young adulthood and it was very difficult to learn to live on one income. I didn't even know how to cook because living in NYC I ate out all the time! I've come a long way.

Several years ago my husband was promoted and we had more money than we'd ever had before. It was nice to not have to think about every purchase but it also made me feel weird - can't describe it. It guess I just wasn't use to it. Grocery shopping was strange because I didn't have to stay on a budget and yet it was disquieting. I can honestly say we weren't any happier even though there was less stress. Well, anyway he got downsized and we're back to where we were (and I wish I had saved more during that time instead of spending so much)! I think the way we live now is really a more "richer" way to live.


Dear Clarice,

I love this post! I love the term used in Cranford "Elegant Economy" for frugality. I think that your life demonstrates it perfectly!

Thank you for being who you are, and for sharing this with us.

Love you lots,


p.s. Audrey's reading Wren to us right now!


This is such a great and thoughtful post! I struggle with this too, and its difficult. The world tells us to want--- to buy things to make ourselves happy. I often find that if there is something I really want but dont buy it outright--- it is often that much more special to me. Sometimes I set goals for myself like "If I sell this painting or x amount of art this week, I can have it." And there is a special satisfaction of making something of your own instead of just handing out the cash for it. Then you truly are a 'home maker.' :)

Gumbo Lily

I so agree with you! Being frugal is challenging (and I'm up for a good challenge), rewarding and satisfying. Thank you, Clarice, for always challenging me and inspiring me to "do with what I have" and to be creative in the process.



What a truly beautiful post, Clarice! Thank you for writing this. THere is much meaning here and is so inspirational, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) xoxo


I agree completely and I LOVE those pictures.


I've never had an affluent lifestyle, so I'm not really sure how that must feel, but I do know that there is much to be said for the freedom that comes with living free from debt and those such things. Mostly though, like you, I love the creativity that can be found in doing for myself, and in making a lovely home with my creativity, and the happiness that comes from learning to appreciate the things in life that are free. So much of life is about making choices, and my husband and I have always tried to choose time and enough, over other things, for our family.

I really appreciate this post Clarice. Thank you.


Dear Clarice,

That was wonderful! My husband and I have been frugal our entire lives and as a result have our mortgage paid for by the age of fifty, no debts and enough money in the bank to live off of for the rest of our lives. We do not have to worry about all those what ifs. Very liberating! It is also a joy to now have the money, because we do not owe anyone, to write a check to charity or to someone in need without hesitating. I think that is the best end result of frugality.



And Amen once again!

You hit it on the head, dear! A friend and I were talking yesterday about Will and Jada Smith's house--- all 25,000 square feet... with custom furniture. That is great, but what happens if they lose their income? What if they can't act any longer? And, more than that, how fulfilling can home be if the homeowner's hands and handiwork are not evident? Hmm... Maybe this is part of frugality -- living within our means so that we can have meaning??

Great reminder of what is really important in life. And, you could never have been a spoiled girl. You have too generous of a heart! :)




Great post Clarice! I definitely think frugality makes us more thoughtful -- or should at least. Sometimes in making our own, we spend more than we would if we just bought an item. It's a delicate balance!


I was wrong as a girl, frugality was not a killjoy, it was a liberator.” Me

I have learned that more things do not equal more happiness. Actually less things, means I love the things I have more.

“I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.” C S Lewis

Amen and

Excellent testimony Clarice! Every young woman should read this.. and every old woman who hasn't figured this out as well!!

Blessings, Debbie


Wonderful words and life.
I chose simple long ago and I am so rich in spirit because of it.


Clarice, this is so true - money does not buy happiness. Attitude is all-important. Contentment can be learned. Beautiful writing.


Wonderful post dear friend.
We have a considerable number of things in common it seems.
Faith in GOD releases those materialistic feelings too.
If you had nothing but the clothes and shoes you are wearing would you be happy?


Great article, Clarice-and so true! You put it so well. xoxo

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