Hey there!

If you’re looking for a place full of thrifty living tips, healthy recipes, and recipes for kicking chemicals out of your home and everyday life, you belong here!

This blog is my happy place where I get the opportunity to do my best to add value to your life through my own experiences, and life lessons.

I first started my gluten-free journey when I married my husband with celiac disease in ’09, then along came two kids, and I as they’ve kept me more and more busy, I’ve shifted more and more away from time-consuming recipes to quick and easy run-and-done meals.

Having kids is pretty awesome, even if one of them did just smear my bathroom sink with an entire tube of homemade toothpaste, which brings me to the second facet of this blog – homemade home products!

Smearing toothpaste is annoying, but you know what? It’s also 100% safe. No warning labels on the back of my hygiene products, or lotions, or cleaners telling me to keep the kids away, and that is the BIG reasons why we do our best to make it all from scratch.

Image shows a family photo of Elise and her family(obviously, he’s the farmer and I stay out of the sun. :P)

What Is Frugal Living?

A few years, when I started this blog, we were at the bottom of the barrel so to speak. We were dirt poor and couldn’t even afford to heat or cool our house properly, so I started sharing my tips on how we were making do with less, like how to keep cool without the A/C, and how to incorporate more beans into your diet.

Those were all necessary things during that time of our life, but I want to be clear that reducing your expenses down to the very bare minimum just for the sake of spending less is not the essence of frugal living.

Frugal Living means being smart with your money. It means for instance, finding a way to have a smart phone without paying the average smart phone bill.

It means saving money on something so that you have it for another thing, whether that thing is a trip to Disney land, or a retirement fund, or paying off your mortgage.

Our $20 grocery budget wasn’t just a “because we can” scenario, it was a necessity.

Today, frugal living is a huge part of my life, but you can bet your pants I run the air conditioner whenever I jolly well please.

Today, living frugally looks like making five minute tacos on busy days, instead of ordering pizza, or searching out the best price on drywall for the house we’re renovating instead of simply making due with what’s there.

Living frugally doesn’t mean I don’t spend money, it means I think twice before I spend it.

Living frugally means that we were smart about the way we spent, which made it easy to save up enough money to take our family on a three week Argentine vacation last summer.

Living frugally also means that we tailored the dates of our vacation around the best flight possible prices (not including the flights with horrendous layovers. Yeesh.)

Do you see what I’m getting at?

This is something I wanted to clear up right away on our about page so that you know. Yeah, I see your comments about how ridiculous and unrealistic my beans-and-rice-budget articles are. I also see the scathing comments telling me what  hypocrite I am for using Expensive Thrive Life food (even though if you read the article, I tell you exactly how it saves me money!).

You should also know that as I spent the first 8 years of my blogging career approving all those scathing comments and responding and kindly as possible to each and every one. But I don’t do that anymore. The world is a place that needs more positivity and less negativity. So while constructive criticism is great, if you find yourself tempted to leave a comment that’s less than constructive, you should know that they go straight into the trash.

xoxo, Elise

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