Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Year of Frugal Living

Jeff and I really underestimated how much our move would affect our business. Who would have thought that moving one mile up the road, on the same road, could be that painful? It wasn't just the new location, but also the expense of renovating studio space, along with the cost of rebuilding our gas kiln. We did most of the work ourselves which saved a ton of money. There is still more to do but since last April, we feel we are up and running at full speed again. 

Jeff and I have never lived extravagantly but for the last eighteen months we have tried to cut our expenses anyway that we could.

We switched propane companies when the one we were using  increased our rate to $2.39 per gallon. Quick math will tell you how much a 500 gallon tank costs to fill at that price. I made a few calls and found a company that offered $1.15! Now if I could only get the old company to remove their tank from our yard... it's been sitting there since September. I wonder if I can start charging them rent?

Next on the "things to cut" list was XM radio. We have it in the car and the studio. After some discussion we decided to cancel the car and just have it in the studio. Our radio stations here are awful and we often need a break from NPR. When I called to cancel they offered to cut my bill in half and keep both radios. I accepted, thinking... why didn't I call months ago to cancel?!

I have been shopping at Aldi's and the dreaded Walmart, more than I used to. We rarely eat out and there are no take out joints around here, so there was no adjustment needed in that department.

The traffic to our studio isn't quite what it used to be. I think we might be dealing with that until a new area map of the potters comes out.  Thanks to a couple of really good shows and excellent Etsy sales, we are now able to breath a little. The struggle has been well worth the pain and effort. We own our own place (along with the bank) and in the long run will have more control of our future. I think we have turned the corner and I am looking forward to 2017.

We loaded the last bisque firing for holiday orders. We are working right down to the last minute. Check out that HUGE chicken cooker that Jeff created! It's a special order for a couple in Lexington. I think they might be able to cook a turkey in it.


  1. Well done on cutting costs! That chicken cooker looks huge! I hope you'll share photos of it when it's out of the kiln.

    1. Laurie, I have often used your frugal accomplishments as inspiration. I don't think my clothes dryer was used more than a handful of times over the last 6 months!

  2. I had to open this because we started cutting back many years ago. I could handle one year. Haha! I've lost count on how many years we cut back on the things we use to do. Need to run into town be sure you have a list, no satellite tv or radio, streaming on both, cook in eat out only occasionally, make beer, make bread.....I'm not making our clothes yet, but could be next.
    Keep making those pigs they are bringing home the bacon!
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Like I said, we never lived extravagantly... even when I sold real estate. I haven't had cable tv/satellite in many years (mostly by choice). We will still eat out rarely, but I was able to treat myself to... wait for this..............NEW DISH TOWELS and A CARPET SHAMPOOER! All bought at a discount :-). It's the little things that make me happy these days. Don't bother making your own clothes... material and notions are more expensive than buying ready made at Marshall's and TJ Maxx!
      We won't be going to the Bahamas next month, but at least I don't have to worry about paying the electric bill.


Don't be shy, talk to me... I won't know your out there if you don't!