Help me with a story idea I have!

I need your help for a story that I am working on. I need you to share with me 2 things actually.

1. What have you been doing lately to save money?

2. What do you do to feed your soul?

To share just comment on this post (I will be keeping the comments private for the time being) or email me. Be sure to include links to your sites. I will be using some of your responses in a post on Indie Fixx and want to link to you. 😉


  1. to save money AND feed the soul: I sketch in my moleskin whenever I can.
    It feeds my soul, and when I put up pages from my journals as decor, I save money!

  2. 1. I’ve been eating out less. This sounds like a gimme but I’ve always been under the impression that my hubs and I could eat out for the same that we could eat in. Now that I’ve been taking the time to actually cook, though, I’ve found that it’s actually fun and we can save money, too. Plus, there’s no pressure to shower and get dressed and all that jazz since we both work for ourselves. 🙂

    2. To feed my soul, I read Calvin and Hobbes. I have about 3 or 4 of his big books and have reread them over and over again. They’re just cute, funny, timeless and true. I’ll never get tired of them!

  3. 1. We’ve been selling some things we don’t need… I sold some art/craft supplies and materials (still trying to sell some more) and the guest bed (we don’t get THAT many visitors and our air mattress works fine), and we’re trying to sell our elliptical machine (we can run on the road) and out truck (we have another car that’s fine). We also reduced our cell phone minutes and texting to cut that bill some, and we don’t get any sort of cable TV. We combine trips when we have errands to do so that we don’t use as much gas, too.

    2. Draw, blog, cook (baking is great for soul-feeding), play with my dog or work on new tricks with her, go on walks with my husband or simply curl on the couch and watch movies together. De-cluttering and giving things away (via freecycle or giving to Goodwill or similar) is also really refreshing and feels like soul-feeding too… giving unappreciated items new lives with people who will use/appreciate them!

  4. 1. Lately, I’ve made a rule with myself that I cannot buy anything the first time I see it, no matter how small. This has made a huge dent in the $ I spend each month on magazines alone!
    It doesn’t feel like deprivation, because I just say to myself “No big deal, I can get it next time”…and then most of the time I realize I don’t really want it anyway.

    2. I meditate. I imagine that I have already accomplished all of my wildest dreams, and I just bask in that feeling. It helps me realize that I don’t have to wait for “someday” – I can feel contented right *now*

  5. I forgot to add about saving money, my biggest tip really- budget, budget, budget! I allot myself a certain amount of spending money per month, including fun money. I mean, it helps to try and cut corners to save but no one likes feeling poor when they can’t even get a coffee at at Starbucks.

    The other suggestion I would add is plan your purchases wisely. Take 5 minutes before buying something. Ask yourself, “Is this something I need or something I want? How badly? Will I feel the same way a week from now?” I try to keep my major purchases to items I’ve been wanting for at least a month. This way I make sure I never regret the decision later.

  6. It may seem simplistic but I take baths. For as long as I can remember the tub has been my favorite place. I’d grab a good book, throw something into the water (oil, salts, and the like), then relax for hours on end- refilling the water when it would cool. It’s still my favorite spot, even more so now that I’m a mum. What better way to escape the confines of your own home than by staying in it. Hmm… now that I think about it perhaps I should schedule one in. ^_^

  7. I have returned to my favorite poor store to shop (SAVERS). They sell (OPS)everything you could imagine, all used.I buy 90% of my fabric from them. Then I go home and practice designing and making pocket books. I’ve been blessed with the ability to adjust to ANY situation that comes my way and survive, I do.

  8. To save money lately I have actually been spending more on groceries. Ultimately I spend less money because I have great ingredients with which to cook delicious food instead of being disgusted with what’s in my pantry and ordering in.

    To feed my soul I have been re-decorating my apartment with items that I already have. It’s an easy way to be creative without spending money, especially because it is a cold Chicago winter and I am indoors most of the time! I re-arrange items, put old items to new uses, and take items apart and put them in a different room. The last part of the project is keeping a photo log to track the transformation.

  9. To save money…instead of purchasing any new décor or furniture, I am trying to rearrange my current items (try things in different rooms) or change them in some way (paint or different hardware). It’s amazing how much we really do have if we reuse or repurpose items.

    To feed my soul…laughter. My mom is giving me sewing lessons and we have started an Etsy shop. We’ve had a lot of laughter in the process which is great for the soul.

    I hope these few things are helpful for the story you are working on!

  10. Saving money and feeding my soul are very much related lately! My goals are to be more healthy/lose weight and to get serious about my fine art/illustration career. I’ve been making all of my meals which saves money, is more healthy and feels really good! Instead of going out to bars or out shopping, I’ve been exercising at the gym and getting loads of books from the library. I am definitely more creative: getting crafty more often, entering art contests, and encouraging my friends to partake as well! It’s been really great to take my goals seriously while saving money. I feel more confident and secure. If my fun day job goes away (hope not!), I will feel secure in knowing I’ve prepared for a healthy and happy future.

  11. We’ve been eating on the cheap without sacrificing on quality. For example, instead of buying chicken legs or breasts in packets, we buy a whole chicken, cut it up into pieces ourselves, and use the entire thing. The bones go into chicken stock. Or buying tough (cheaper) cuts of meat to braise.

    I feel good about my soul!

  12. I have found a way to save money and feed my soul at the same time! My husband and I are on a pretty tight budget, but we both love to cook (and eat!). We have cut out almost all processed and canned foods, and now make our own. I started with bread, and have moved on to stocking the freezer with home-cooked beans, veggie burgers, and other staples. Also, instead of eating out, we spend that time (and less money) together planning and cooking. I have found that the extra time we take has allowed us to be more thoughtful about what we eat and how we spend our money. This, in turn, has awakened us to being more thoughtful in all areas of our lives.

  13. As an artist with a penchant for expensive supplies. In the hopes of reducing my art supply purchases I have been revisiting my current supplies in mediums I have not used for awhile. I have tons of watercolor and drawing supplies but mainly paint with oils, so lately I have been exploring watercolor and drawing.

    I also love to read, instead of going out and buying the newest book that interests me, I have been “visiting” my home library. It is a nice way to remind myself of what I already have and take advantage of it.

    There are more things I am doing in this time, but as you asked just for two, I will stop there 🙂 Good luck with your article

  14. We just do little stuff to save money like cutting back on the number of times we go out to eat each week. Instead we just stick at home and eat something fresh and healthy.

    The boyfriend and I are both also avid readers and spend a lot of money on books so we’ve started selling the used books that we won’t reread on Amazon Marketplace. We get a bit of our money back this way 🙂

    As for nourishing the soul, I’m an artist so as long as I have a scrap of paper and a pencil I’m happy as a bee in a field of daisies 🙂

  15. What I have been doing lately to save money thankfully has been feeding my soul too at the same time. Since there isn’t a great money flow going on, my friends and I don’t go out as much anymore. Plus a couple is still finishing art school so they don’t exactly have the time either. But we arrange “craft dates” at least every Sunday night. Everyone brings over food or some dish and first off have dinner. After our jolly bellies we make room on the table for our own personal projects. Some of us have paintings, while some might be doing animation or sewing. Having these dates have been really helpful and extremely motivating for everyone I believe. You always feel great when you have a support team behind you!

  16. I have a need to work with fabric, so I joined the local Quilts of Valor group. I can sew, cut, or bind to my hearts content without spending a dime. I find gratification in doing something for others who have given so much for others.

  17. 1. We incorporated LPG tanks to both our cars, it really saves a lot of money on petrol!

    2. I take long walks by myself and pay attention to the small details of people and things.

  18. 1. Actually, I’ve been trying not to save money – although a better way to explain it is that I’ve been simply trying not to change my habits in terms of spending money. I’m not wealthy, but I’m also not in the worst position given the economic climate and I know full well that people being afraid to spend at such times is a big part of what makes things worse. If I stop spending, then as an indie designer I can’t really expect people to keep spending with me! So I’m still frequenting my local cafe, still buying handmade items I want, etc.. Of course I’m watching my bottom line, but I’m changing as little as possible.

    2. To feed my soul I read books! No matter how late I go to bed or how exhausted I am, I always spend some time reading good fiction every single day. Provided I can spend at least a few minutes (and ideally longer) doing this, then I’m happy – or at least happier than I’d be otherwise!

  19. hello!
    1. We write down every purchase and bill we pay (all our money going out) so that we can see where we need to make cuts. My husband and I have only been drinking tap water with meals and purchasing the basics at the grocery store for our family (no fun extras 🙁 !). We aim to cook dinners that can be stretched over a few nights. Of course, we are extra energy aware, too, and remind each other to turn off lights when unnecessary. finally, when we can, we “pay ourselves” first when our paycheck is deposited into our main account (allocating an amount to savings and forgetting about it), which ensures we’ll need to live within our means each month.

    2. i dance! i create! i love!

    😀 cheers

  20. Great story Idea! and great blog… happy to find it by seaching “comox valley…” – which is where I am from.

    We’ve been taking drastic measures to save money as we are self-employed in the building industry (!!) We’re still busy here on Vancovuer Island, but we don’t want to take any chances!

    One of the ways we’ve been saving money is by eating differently. We no longer buy many packaged foods and spend more time as a family baking together. My husband has actually taken up baking bread! yum! I’ve also noticed that my toddler is eating much better as there are few “craker” type snacks hanging around. She’ll opt for dates, nuts, fruit, or homemade bread with honey. I never ever thought we’d be eating this well, but here we are. THANK YOU ressession!

    An extra bonus? – my SOUL is being fed by this experiene. More time around the table eating food made with love or grown from the earth makes me feel like a better mom and wife.

    thats my story… 🙂 or part of it anyway…

    again, very happy to find you 🙂 beautiful site by the way.

  21. 1. What have you been doing lately to save money?
    Since i love to shop i’ve been taking care of it with trades… i know sounds lame but i’ve been doing some really cool trades and i got really neat handmade goodies

    2. What do you do to feed your soul?
    Long, hot, steamy baths!!!

  22. I’ve tried to make as many of my coffeeshop splurges at home as possible. Of course, I make my coffee at home instead of buying it out. But I’ve also learned to make bagels, breakfast bars, and granola from scratch at home. When you’re excited about what’s waiting for you in the fridge or pantry, it’s much less tempting to spend money on treats out.

    Oddly enough, doing those things in the kitchen also helps to feed my soul!

  23. hello.
    i love your blog. so i thought i’d share a few things with you!

    1. we’ve been making dinner at home, cutting down on our grocery bill by cooking more whole foods (and by not going to whole foods!). i’ve also always tried to purchase things used–either used or vintage clothes, or getting something from craigslist. i’ve also been trying to walk more places and ditch the car. all things to help save money–but also good for the environment.

    2. mainly i take walks in nature with my dogs–that’s my soul feeding! making dinner with friends is also a great way of feeding the soul, feeding the stomach and saving money!

    hope that helps!

    good luck with your story idea!

  24. We aren’t paying for TV anymore. We have Netflix and the ability to hook our computer to the TV for the hour of watching we do every night – who needs cable or satellite?

    Feeding the soul is more complicated. I quit my full-time job (with loads of travel) last fall and took a part time administrative job at Penland School of Crafts so I could spend more time on my art. Penland’s campus is beautiful and I try to go for a walk every day – even when it’s cold out – to remind myself how lucky I am to be in such a beautiful place, surrounded by such talented people. And I’m trying to spend a full day every week (and at least a little time every night) in my studio. I feel like my work is finally starting to come together into something coherent and that’s really satisfying.

  25. Wow..let’s see. “They may be saying it’s a recession, but if so, the depression will definitely be starting Wednesday morning at 10:00” That’s what my friend Enis said to me last night. And I said to he’s right.

    I’ve been unplugging all outlets. It’s a tip I’ve learned from the Oprah Show and it definitely works! Plugs stil use electricity even when powered down. For instance, if I unplug my phone, but leave the charger in the outlight, the “in use” light will still be lit!

    I’ve also been taking my lunch, using coupons and I have only been shopping on sale. I’ve also been carpooling, and cooking more instead of going out.

    To feed my soul: I attend church prett regularly. I also read inspirational books. You need inspiration when times get hard. I pray. Not everyone is religious, but meditating helps as well. I also follow Deepak Chopra on Twitter…and let me tell you WHAT! The feeds I get on my pda from him daily, they ALWAYS make my day better! Try it! *hugs*

  26. I’ve only been following your blog for a little while, but I can sure comment on this one! For dinner tonight, in the spirit of keeping it cheaper, we had liver and onions! I fried up some chicken livers and served them with caramelized onions and apples, along with roasted cauliflower. I’m sort of interested in all the peasant cuts of meat, since I’m not a vegetarian, though we certainly try to eat meat only a couple times a weeks. But there are all sorts of parts that are cheap. When I lived in the Philippines, people at the chicken feet, the intestines, the heads. Everything gets used, because that feeds so many more people. And stories about people being poor inevitably include descriptions of the food.

    As far as feeding the soul, I may be starving.

  27. I cook a giant pot of pasta and eat pasta alfredo for three days straight for lunch at work!

    I’ve also been trying to make myself chill out and read more. Step away from the computer. I’m FINALLY finishing the Harry Potter series!

  28. to save money… i have changed our eating habits in a big way. instead of picking up things at the market the day of and going home to make dinner from it or grabbing take out, my bf and i make a big trip to sams club and spend about a hundred bucks every couple weeks and have a really fun time together picking stuff out and then coming home and divy-in it all up. like freezing a big vat of ground beef into one pound bags, same with chicken, etc. and using lots of frozen veggies now instead of so many trips to the store for fresh and keeping the cupboards stocked and making dinner plans ahead of time and cooking A LOT. every week i make a big pot of something, chili or tomato soup or spaghetti sauce for example, and the leftovers are perfect for to go lunches at work or for when we just don’t feel like cooking… there’s something there instead of grabbing take out which is also helpful when it comes to eating healthy. since i myself am not working since i lost my job due to major cut backs with the economy, i am making money by doing what i love, making cards and selling them on etsy. which in a way feeds my soul, but the best thing is just planning a simple night in with my bf and cuddling on the couch while watching a movie or catching up on episodes of Lost. No matter how simple it is, having something to look forward to warms my heart knowing its the simplest things that make me happy as long as I get to do them with the love of my life.

  29. 1) My social life is pretty important to my sanity. However, so is being able to make my car payment and rent and little things like that. So, my friends and I have cut down our expenses by having a lot more video/game nights. We all bring fun things to do and hang out thereby skipping parking fees, cover charges, drinks, tips and usually some gas money.

    2) Feeding my soul is another thing I do with my friends. A couple years ago we started a non-profit called Handing Out Hope which creates, impliments and funds projects that promote self-reliance in poverty-striken communities. Since we’re all a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings, the nights we do “splurg” and go out, it’s almost always a fundraising events for HOH. I get bars, clubs and restraunts to agree to give HOH a portion of their profits for a night and promise to bring in lots of new customers. We get everyone we know to bring everyone they know out- the bar gets a good night and we make some money to spread our relative wealth. So I get to have fun with my favorite people and feel really good about it. Total win-win.

  30. 1. turn off the tv. sounds silly, but it does save a bit of money on the electric bill. i like to have background noise, so i will use my ipod, or open the windows (on a warmer day) instead.

    2. i spend hours online. my soul lives off creativity (mine and others) so finding and reading blogs, crafty message boards, checkout out flickr, we heart it, fffound, etc. really get me going.

  31. 1. I’ve stopped eating out or ordering out and have started cooking more. I’ve also cut way back on my latte habit.

    2. I work on my shop — it really does feed my soul. I love what I do!

  32. 1. Reworking my wardrobe. I have been scouring fashion blogs to get ideas of how to make my old clothes look hip and cute. (

    2. Eat (lots of pasta, bread, cheese, & chocolate) & Talk to my friends (Not just say “I’m doing fine.” But actually talk about how I am really doing. It helps alot to be honest with your friends and yourself.)

    Good luck!

  33. 1. To save money I’ve been cutting down on purchases across the board. I make sure that when I buy something it will have more than one use (clothes that aren’t just for one occasion, ingredients that go in more than one recipe, etc).
    2. To feed my soul, I set aside time to do things that are just for me … craft, paint my nails, make tea, run … whatever it is that can get me back somewhere close to center.

  34. I’ve been bringing my lunch to work every day to save $$. Eating out is so expensive. Also, I’ve been buying used. I’m getting married this summer and even bought my wedding dress used.

    To feed my soul– I’ve been trying to concentrate more on myself. I have such a habit of doing things to please and help others and finally realized that the only one that is going to take care of me is me. I’ve also been trying to tap into my creative side more. My day-job is in IT and doesn’t really give me great joy, so I’ve been helping friends with creative projects and their weddings as well to give me a creative outlet.

  35. to save money: I received a crock-pot for christmas and since have been cooking up big meals for my boyfriend and I, then freeze all the left overs.

    feed your soul: I have been quilting, doing embroidery, drawing marsupials and thinking and asking questions about illustrating a book.

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