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Flour Sack Mama’s Tips for Simpler Living

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Welcome to, where we say that yesterday’s thriftiness inspires today’s better living.  I’m inspired by my grandparents who married during the Great Depression and lived frugally because they had no other choice.  They grew much of their own food, fixed things instead of throwing them away, and lived happily with less stuff than most of pack into our houses these days.  They learned some common sense from my great-grandparents.

Whether or not gardening saves you money, you probably realize the benefits of bringing your own fresh, organic produce to the dinner table.  It turns out that at least some of that extra stuff we thought we needed to buy could be contributing toward making us unhealthy.  And maybe you’ve also heard about this little scientific reality called climate change.

As I’ve met resourceful folks, interviewed experts and learned a few things over the past couple of years, I’ve often included links to helpful resources that relate to a simpler lifestyle.  This is an effort to put some of those resources in one place.

Dig in to Real Food:
Find your hardiness zone for gardening with this USDA map.
Find resources on seed saving at the Organic Seed Alliance.
Locate the freshest food grown near you at
Prioritize your organic picks with help from the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Become a Conscious Consumer:
See how your favorite cleaning supplies rate with EWG’s new science-based guide. compiles data about toxic chemicals in everyday products.
Good Guide helps shoppers see how products rate on a range of health and environmental aspects.
Check out how your favorite makeup or sunscreen rates at the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Save dollars and energy resources with Energy Star.

Do It Yourself:
Avoid unknowns in common cleaning products by making your own with WVE recipes.
Conserve energy and money by using a clothesline.  See how much you could save at Project Laundry List.Wishing you the best on your journey toward simpler living!  Thanks for sharing this website with your friends.


3 Responses to Flour Sack Mama’s Tips for Simpler Living

  1. Anne June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Thanks! I’ll add that book to my reading list. It reminds me of Kansas farmer Jake Geiger as a man still living out those old-world traditions.

  2. Lindsay June 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I love the concept for your blog of inspiration from our grandparents. I am actually reading Giants In The Earth, by Rolvaag. Its a great read about Norwegian immigrants settling on the Dakota prairies. I described it as “Little House on the Prairie for Grown Ups.” It is very good if you haven’t read it! Moving back towards our grandparent’s farming and simple lifestyle times makes total sense to me!

  3. PiedmontHomeVegetableGarden June 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Fantastic advice! It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ people have today, compared to our grandparents’ generation. I’ve been working at downsizing the amount of stuff I have, and only keeping quality items that I use. Same with the cleaning and personal hygiene products — I love making my own soap and using baking soda and vinegar to clean. It’s so simple and liberating (not to mention cheaper!).

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