Tuesday, March 3, 2015

So...this insourcing thing...how much can it really save?

 
People ask me often, why I bother with all this insourcing (as I like to call it). Well apart from being lots of fun for a creative soul like me, it saves us the most enormous amount of money! And as I keep saying, I don't care how much you've got, we all want more, don't we. And can I tell you how much it saves me?
 
One year I made tall cupcakes, as above. They were lemon syrup cake baked in recycled tins that had held corn and baked beans, and decorated with a circle of fondant, a hand fashioned lemon with leaves from the same fondant (yes, I made that), and wrapped in vellum printed with pretty green scrolls and tied with raffia. These were packed into individual boxes and paired with my homemade Limoncello, seen below. These were Christmas gifts a few years back. I have a large extended family and we still gift to EVERYONE, so this saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

 
Those savings went towards a trip to France. This included travelling to Bordeaux, seen here...

 
....Honfleur, seen below....

 
... and Talmont, where I snapped this pretty window vignette....

 
Then, we had lots of cups of tea on trays laid with our own vintage linen and china rather than frittering money away on cafΓ© lunches for another year or two....

 
...that meant we could stay in this restored farmhouse in a different part of France...

 
...visit the Arachon Coast with it's soaring cliffs and really unusual and unique wedding cake style architecture....

 
...hook back to Paris to renew our vows in front of the Eiffel Tower, where our daughter, miffed that she'd missed the first wedding, conducted the ceremony and took this charmingly (ahem) crooked shot of us. You're right...there's no 'us'. It's just the Eiffel Tower, but she was only 8 years old.

 
.....we had enough money for divine meals....

 
...a visit to the Musee` D`Orsay...

 
...and a stopover in Sydney to visit friends where the view was like this...

 
Due to clever and creative frugality, we also get to holiday at Noosa regularly...

 
...where we have a shack that's a short walk to here...
 
 
....and we've still managed a third trip to France and squeezed in a visit to the Palace at Versailles...

 
I can also indulge in my love of Chanel No. 5....

 
....fund my daughters obsession with dance...

 
.....provide for my disabled sons needs...

 
...and let The Musician Husband buy me pretties now and again...


 
So don't tell me, that having edible rose petals on hand...

 
...to decorate cupcakes instead of buying them...
 
 
...making our own desserts...

 
....and baking and decorating family wedding cakes, however humble...

 
...doesn't make a difference to our lives.
 
Because it does.
 
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18 comments:

  1. Insourcing allowed me to look after my own children, to begin with, which was the greatest gift ever to me. But now it allows us to have a life we could not afford otherwise. Like the giant cases of flowers we were talking about earlier, the beautiful meals and the lovely garden because we d/make these things ourselves. My baskets all look like french decorator baskets because I painted op shop ones french grey, my shabby chic furniture is mostly things Ive painted from the side of the road. People say to me Im so lucky. Yes I am, I am lucky I DIY into the night to get my home looking how I want! So far today I have saved $260 on trimming, colouring conditioning my hair and doing my nails. That is what it once cost! And I have only just got started for the days insourcing!

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  2. Spot on Annabel. I'm going to elaborate more on this tomorrow, as Lori asked me how exactly we 'save', as in 'putting the money in the bank'. I guess the short answer to that is...we don't take the money OUT in the first place. We withdraw only what we need, use that, and insource or DIY as much as we can. Fortunately my husband and I, like your and your husband, enjoy this immensely. Nobody can believe we live like we do without spending a fortune either. Today I've done completed the paperwork for our small business, after first preparing my daughter a nutritious lunch including satay chicken with rice and edamame beans, coconut milk pudding, home made gluten free chocolate brownies, fruit infused water, fresh fruit, steamed broccoli tossed with butter and seasoning which she eats like chips, leftover five spice pork and baby spinach salad, and some cherry ripe slice. It takes me nearly half an hour to pack her lunch in the mornings, but she eats healthily and heartily, and it saves at least $20 a day in similar canteen lunches, so there's $100 a week right there. Of course, if I worked full time, I'd have to get up earlier or pack it all the night before, but it would still be well worthwhile. I love your baskets and have one of my own that I keep meaning to give the French Grey treatment! And I cannot believe what you and your lovely hubby have sourced from roadside collections. It's incredible what people discard, but I guess if they've stopped loving it, it only reasons that giving it to the Universe for someone else to love, will mean they can have something else beautiful to love too. Home beauty treatments are a special love of mine too, and last night I treated myself to a honey mask scented with orange oil, and a hand soak and scrub also scented with the same orange oil. Again...big savings...xxx

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  3. Hi Mimi. I don't work full time because we are very wise with our money. This gives me plenty of time to cook, bake and grow our own veggies. I also have time to shop for bargains and get the best deals on pretty much everything. Much more rewarding than slaving away for 40 hours a week in a job.

    Insourcing gives us an amazing life. I wouldn't swap it for anything.

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    1. Wendy, my husband and I are at least a decade older than you, and have both adult sons from previous marriages, and our daughter who is still at home, at 15. We have made wise investments over the years, in preference to upgrading house and cars, and we are now reaping the rewards. Insourcing is a way of life for us and something that we love to do. It is an idea where you have to keep your eye on the prize, long term though, and not everyone is good at that. Clearly you and your family are. I wasn't always, but my husband was and is, and he has been a wonderful influence on me. I've always been great at insourcing though, so I guess we've learned from each other, and continue to learn and grow. Mimi xxx

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  4. Love this Mimi! Can you also add you can clean your own jewellery now? *wink* xxx
    Meaningful and reflective thoughts. Your son is handsome. I now being 'humble' is better...but, hey, he is probably both! Xxx

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    1. Yes I can Flora and thankyou! A thoughtful gift indeed and one which has already been put to good use! Yes, Mr A is both handsome and humble in spades. Your comment that these are meaningful thoughts, is another reason I decided to focus on this topic for 2015. For some reason, it's still considered impolite to talk money, or saving money in some circles, but we're in Bloggyland here. So I wanted to shed light on the fact that it is making little choices and making plans every day, that allows us to have the resources to take advantage of opportunities as they are presented to us. Be that a gorgeous gift at a great price, a fabulous holiday, or the property you've dreamed of at the price you can afford. I know that's not new to you, because you're of my vintage, but you'd be surprised at how many lovely and quite clever people, don't see the connection between where your money goes today, and where you'll be in 20 or 30 years. And that includes my sons...maybe they just think they'll inherit....hahaha!

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  5. Dear Mimi,
    This is a powerful post. What a light in the eyes of your handsome son! So many people need this to go from head to heart so they can really begin to live. I love that you keep posting these things. I have someone very close to me who *cannot (*or refuses to?) understand that it's not just her daily coffee she pays over $5.00 for, but that very habit spread out over so many things that she mindlessly spends money on that has gotten her into huge trouble financially. I don't offer advice to her anymore, I just listen. When we are ready the teacher comes. The pictures coupled with the post are not only lovely eye candy but great for the visual learner! ~big hugs~

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    1. Thankyou Colette. I love your thoughtful comments. I agree that the little bits, the $5 here and the $50 there, really do make a difference. I'm not saying we shouldn't enjoy ourselves. I had coffee with a lovely friend on Sunday that ended up including sweets for my sweet girl, and at least one other unplanned purchase, although my gorgeous friend bought the coffees! So I am not recommending a monastic existence. Merely an awareness. I know that if I spend $100 today, that's $100 less to spend on something really special in Venice, or Barcelona later this year. That's usually enough to pull me up short! And yes, I have friends and family that have been in dire straits financially from time to time, and they always dig themselves out....only to return to their spendthrift ways. And then they wonder why we are different. Changing habits is hard, but living on the tick (as my grandparents called debt) is even harder.

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  6. Delightful post! So looking forward to more ideas to make home cozy and save for trips!
    Hubby and son went from ststes to tour France last summer, loved it! Tho Cost an arm and a leg!
    Thanks so much!

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    1. Tootles, I'm happy to see you again! It is expensive to travel....or at least to travel in comfort, so I hope to share more of my own secrets on doing that...x

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  7. My husband and I are both retired. Now that I am home I have learned that I really enjoy cooking and cook almost every night. Out of a month we may eat out twice. That was not the case when we both worked. Not only do we save a LOT of money, my husband's diabetes numbers have never been lower, his blood pressure is great and his cholesterol has never been lower. I attribute this to NO processed foods and everything healthy. Yes we are saving money but more importantly we are saving our health!

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    1. Hi there and thanks for stopping by! What you say about eating in, is so true. It's less expensive, it's better for us, and mostly, it tastes just as good, if not better! We eat very little that's processed and we attribute our energy and zest for life to our wholesome eating habits too. Well done!

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  8. Oh Mimi, I love popping in to see what inspiring thought you have for the day.. although I should add, 3 parts inspiring, 1 part good kick in the pants. I am up to my ears in bottling and preserving the harvest from our garden this week, and sometimes I wonder why exactly I am doing this - then I remember, that by making all our food myself I am able to be home with my girls after school each day, which is priceless.
    As a newly single mum, I have worked out that by insourcing EVERYTHING I can get by on the child maintenance from the girls' father, and ninety days of work a year, which I can do between 9 and 3. This way we can live without government assistance, and without resorting to child care, and live a simple, unpressurised life. It is truly worth all the cooking, gardening, preserving, mending and sewing. And the fascinating thing is, that although I would never have seen myself as particularly domesticated, I would far rather be home doing all of this than working outside of home for a living. It feels so much more creative and meaningful than buying stuff in. And on top of everything else, those health and happiness benefits that other commenters have mentioned, my girls are gaining so many life skills:)

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    1. Hi Jo! Good to see you. I know what you mean. As I stood in the kitchen at 9pm last night, hand washing the 15 little plastic containers that had housed my daughters school lunch and afternoon tea (yes, 15!!), I had a moment like that. Why do I do this? It would be so much easier to just give her canteen money or a sandwich, a juice, and an apple, which is all most kids get for lunch. Then I look at her, and she's happy and healthy, with a god given alabaster complexion, athletes physique, and incredible motivation, and I think, well, yes. I'm here to support her, and help her realise her dreams, whatever they may be. I'm here to be 'Mum'. I couldn't do that for my sons because there was only me, I received no child support from their Dad back then, and I truly thought that money, and only money, was going to be the answer to everything. It wasn't. I did okay, and I'm very very proud of my sons who've all gone on to achieve great things. But I wasn't there for them in the way I am able to be for my daughter. My life experience, I hope, is a lesson for others. Creative and meaningful....as you said....I like it :)

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  9. Hi Mimi, I just wanted to leave a note to say I really enjoy your posts, and they can genuinely serve as a bit of a pick-me-up when I feel like even with the measures I take to save money it seems to help us 'get by' rather than 'get ahead'. I love your approach to still pampering yourself, just not paying crazy amounts of money to do it. And the insourcing idea is brilliant. I'm really quite surprised at how impressed people are by things like home baking, I genuinely think if I did not bake for my family (we also have a gluten free diet to cater for, as well as other allergies) my grocery bill could easily be another $100 a fortnight. I am a basic sewer, but good enough to make items like swimming bags for my children. I like that you record your savings, it's like a bit of a pat on the back and reminder that you could be spending far more than you do. Thanks for the inspiration, although trips to France seem like a distant dream for my young family it is wonderful to realise that actually, they are quite achievable if you decide to take on that dream and make it happen!

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    1. Hi there Jen. I love your thoughts on this, and I'm glad that my posts are a pick-me-up for you. I'm guessing you're a fair bit younger than us, and are perhaps at a different stage with your life planning. Can I just assure you that if you keep doing what you do now, saving on the groceries, making the few small items with your sewing machine that you can, baking gifts, and being there for your family, that the rewards will come. I promise. Sometimes it all seems like endless drudgery, and then, suddenly you have the money to pay an unexpected bill, or treat the family to a little holiday, or invest somewhere that will reap benefits for you later in life, and it all makes sense. I can tell you that the feeling of boarding a plane to go somewhere new, far outweighs the short term thrill of another bargain at the sales. And looking at the view from a pretty holiday shack, bought at the right price, when nobody else was in a position to buy, is a darned good feeling too! These are only things that my family achieved when my husband and I were in our forties. Many years of thoughtful planning and 'keeping our eye on the prize' were under our belts before we achieved these goals. My first trip to Paris didn't happen until I was 43, and I've been several times in the 12 years since then! So hang in there. I'm pleased to hear that you like the idea of recording the savings, and you're right, it IS a big pat on the back :) It started when I decided to put a value on everything I did in the home. I reasoned that if I was working outside the home, someone else would have to be paid for everything I currently did INSIDE the home. It was a real eye opener. Our quality of life is infinitely improved in a hundred little ways, by my being the Home Guardian. Yours can be too. Keep your eye on the prize, Jen. You'll get there. Mimi...xxx

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  10. Dear Mimi,

    I have really enjoyed reading this post and look forward to reading more on in sourcing. Lately I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself. We live on a very tight budget, with every spare dollar going towards paying off our only debt- the mortgage. I cook every meal from scratch, mend clothes, grow vegies, make soap and many other crafts and home school my youngest son. Sometimes I find it hard, my friends think I'm crazy for not eating out or putting extra layers on instead of using the heater! But having the mortgage paid off will be such a huge weight lifted financially for hubby and I and give us security when the kids move out. That means more to me right now. Sometimes I just need a little reminder of this when the urge to spend hits me! I have dreamed about visiting Paris for years, imagine if I keep in sourcing, it might one day be possible! xx

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    1. Dear Mel, I'm so pleased you stopped by and left such a lovely comment. You've inspired me to revisit this topic. It's good to have encouragement! Mimi xxx

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx