I have been interested in living super-frugally for many years. This started long before I had children, when I was sharing an apartment in an expensive city with another single friend. Rent was high, and I just needed to figure out how to make it all work. That was child's play, though, as I was working and had no family to think of.
Now, many years later, my husband and I decided that I would be a stay at home mother to our children, homeschooling them and running our household. This means we have only one paycheck earner, which goes against the trend here in Israel, where everyone works and sends their children to long hours of daycare beginning at very young ages...
Sometimes it's really hard to be doing so many things differently. We are American Olim, which makes us different from most people around us (we currently live in the northern city of Teverya, which really doesn't have a strong Anglo community). We are American Olim who do not live in the Jerusalem, Modi'in, or Ra'anana area, which makes us different from most American Olim. We homeschool our kids (clearly, being part of a group of only an estimated total of 500 families in the entire country makes us different from those around us). We eat natural foods. We use car seats (even extended rear facing, which is really unheard of here) for our children EVERY time they go in a car (how unfathomable in this country!). I breastfed all of my children till they were 2 or older. We have asthma and allergies, and avoid all manner of synthetic fragrances. The list goes on and on. We are, simply put, DIFFERENT.
So, when no one around is really like you, you have to draw inspiration from the global community. Here are some of my favorites:
A Time of the Signs
I love to read my friend Toby's blog because every English speaking oleh in this country just needs to know that someone else sees how ludicrous some things can be...
Budgets and Bargains
Most of this blog is completely irrelevant to life in Israel, but I still love the frugal ideas. You just never know when something will translate perfectly to life here...
Fun to read other people's vegetarian recipes (we eat mostly vegetarian, did I forget to mention that?). Even though we have some reflux issues, and I can't use all the spicy combinations in this blog, I love getting inspired. And I love the pictures. One day I will be organized enough to put pictures on my blog!
Cooking Outside the Box
Lots of creative cooking ideas! And I like the fact that now I know I am not the only person who doesn't like to use Teflon. I prefer my stainless steel and enameled cast iron pots. There's a really handy evaluation of your teflon-free options on this blog!
Dati Leumi Mom: Lost in Chul
I just discovered this blog, and what can I say, the title got me. That was ME for 12 years. That's how long we did our lost in Chu"l stint. Now I am so happy to be back in Israel!
This is an Environmental Working Group blog. They keep me up to date about lots of issues that I care about: clean air, clean water, healthy food, avoiding chemical exposure, and the latest environmental research. Check them out, you will find a wealth of knowledge there!
Flowing With My Ducklings
Here's a blog written by one of my online homeschooling friends. It's so great to hear another homeschooling mother's perspectives, ideas, and more. And maybe one day we'll actually meet in person! Wouldn't that be great?
Frugal Family Fun
I read this blog to get inspired - mostly for her easy to do, budget minded crafts. We've tried a whole bunch, and usually they are frugal, fun, and not too overwhelming...
There are many more, but this is a start. I hope you enjoy checking out some of the places I get inspiration. Feel free to post a comment with blog or website links you think I should check out! (or your own blog!)