Feed Your Soul and Boycott the Recession!


I am tired of that”R” word…recession. Now, you made me say it. I’m tired of hearing all the doom and gloom and of all the finger pointing and of all the downright negative crap.  I just don’t think my spirit can take anymore it. I want the world to be all faeries and light and chocolate lollipops. And while I know it’s not,  I just want to pretend anyway. But seriously, I think it’s important to step back and try to put things in perspective, count your blessings, look for the silver lining or whatever your catch phrase of choice is.

To that end. I’m doing 3 things.

  1. Sharing some of the things you all do to feed your souls. Remember back here I asked you for your help.
  2.  Sharing some of stuff you guys are doing to take a bite out of the “R” word and to save money.
  3. Finally, I am sharing a very special Feed Your Soul and Boycott the Recession Contest. Each month, for at least the next few months, I will be giving away books donated by Chronicle Books. Great feeders of souls in my book, (no pun intended), the fab folks over at Chronicle Books offered to donate some of their wonderful titles as their way to participate in the Feed Your Soul Project.

Here’s what you can win this month…


Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea by Alice Waters

Wallpaper Projects: More than 50 Craft and Design Ideas for Your Home, from Accents to Art by Derek Fagerstrom

Stitchable Stationery from Jenny Hart

How to win:

Leave a comment on this post with something that you do that feeds your soul or something that you are doing now to save money.  Leave as many comments as you’d like, each will be counted as an entry, so leaving multiple comments will help your chances of winning. I will picking one random commenter to win the prize. This contest will end April 9th at 11:59 pm. This contest is open to international entrants.

So now, how do you feed your soul?

Jaime from Glue Girl

~~~  “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 a lot to be honest with your friends and yourself.)” ~~~

Wendi Gratz

~~~  “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.” ~~~

What are you doing to help you save money?

Tara from Handmade in PA

~~~ “I’ve tried to make as many of my coffee shop 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.” ~~~

Lisa from Handing Out Hope

~~~  “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.” ~~~

That’s it for now! Periodically throughout the month, I will be sharing some more of your suggestions. Thanks you to Chronicle Books for their wonderful donation!


  1. I spend time in my garden planting fruit trees and veggies and lots of flowers. I look forward to all the wonderful plants that will grow from a single tiny seed. It’s amazing how you can find beauty in such a simple everyday thing. And everyone can do it!! Growing my own fruit and veggies is good for the purse too lol

  2. La forma de alimentar nuestra alma es hacer algo por los demas, ayudar, escuchar, compartir. Sientes esa alegria inmensa que no sabes de donde viene pero ahi esta, puro sentimiento en el corazon.

  3. Wow — just saw you posted your winner over on Twitter so wandered over to take a look — what a fabulous idea!! So happy to see this, I am SO tired of the doom and gloom and sadness and in need of inspiration – looking forward to reading the comments and contributing a bit, too!!

  4. i feed my soul by indulging in my love of books! books are such an amazing investment to me, and i can always find a way to afford them. when i was a kid money was really really tight, but we always had books, even if we forwent toys to get them!

    lately i’ve been making even more of an effort to buy them from independent bookstores. we can’t afford to lose any more of them to the big companies like amazon, and i’m scared that they’ll get less business with everyone worrying about the “r” word. by supporting them i’m feeding my soul in two different but both very satisfying ways!

  5. Spending quality time with my family and making stuff are what feed my soul. Baking & cooking, sewing and paper arts help keep my sanity and reignite positivity in my life. And of course, unsolicited hugs & kisses from my two daughters and hubbie.

  6. I read! Anything I can get my hands on, fiction or nonfiction. Anything that will teach me something new, or make me think about something in a different way.

  7. And to save money I’ve decided to buy my clothes from thrift shops now (why not – I didn’t realize they have good stuff until I got my most favorite sweatshirt at one!) and of course turning off the lights (I’m trying to get everyone else in my family to do it too) and making our own meals.

  8. I talk to my boyfriend on the phone. Due to work we’re currently long distance, and I find it really recharges me to connect with him at the end of the day.

  9. I’ve been making homemade gifts for my nephew, who is due in July. It’s less expensive and way more meaningful.

  10. To feed my soul, I spend time with my two amazing granddaughters creating art projects,planting seeds and getting in touch with the magic as much as I can. I also hug the people I love and cuddle with my animals. Their unconditional love is priceless!

  11. Another way I feed my soul is to slow down and not require myself myself to be producing all the time. Specifically, I take a nap with my toddler. Sometimes I don’t sleep, I just stare at her and kiss the top of her head. But sometimes I fall asleep and there is nothing more wonderful than waking up with her in my arms.

  12. I feed my soul by making things. And I make small things so I can get instant satisfaction–like quilted coasters and little zippy pockets.

  13. I recently felt the effects of the recession by learning I didn’t get the job I was hoping for, and then realized I’d have to move home. So I made some tapioca and tea and sat outside enjoying the plants I got to grow on my teeny apartment balcony. Sometimes you just need to take a time out and enjoy the things you have been able to do.

  14. I’m planning my meals based on what’s on sale. Not only does it keep me away from impulse buying, but my meals are the cheapest they can be.

  15. i also do a lot of trolling on etsy for inspiration. seeing what other people are making sparks my imagination & a few times i’ve come across bead shops with stuff on sale. if i’m going to spend any money on beads, i’d rather it go to an individual seller than to a corporation.oh, & “inspiration” never includes stealing ideas- just things like color combos or material ideas…..

  16. i love to make jewelry, but i can’t really afford to buy beads right now. i’ve been “bead shopping” from my stash instead! there’s a lot of stuff i forgot about or have since added more beads to go with, & it presents new challenges sometimes to “use what you’ve got.”

  17. Feeding my soul and saving money, I’ve been going out and just walking everywhere. I’ve been making gifts for my friends altering old clothes and thrift shopping. Not only is it helping my wallet (which I also made :P), but it’s fun and everything is different and interesting.

  18. Hello! Your contest certainly brings a smile to my face. Wonderful books certainly feed my soul! Our family doesn’t eat out nearly as much since the recession and I find that eating more at home equals eating more healthy for us. Our vehicles are on the older side, with lots of miles on them. We are hoping to keep up on their maintenance so they last us awhile longer. One major change is not using credit cards very much! If we don’t have the cash for the extras, then we don’t need them!
    As a family, we spend more time in the kitchen cooking and baking together! We also ride our bikes on all of the tree lines trails that blanket our town! We have a new rescue puppy named Daisy that is bringing so much joy to our hearts.
    She is definitely a plus during these recession days. It is my belief that simple things shine brighter when times are a little more tough. Many thanks…..Cindi

  19. To feed my soul I do hot yoga, bake, and rub my 4-year-old’s Buddha belly at least four times a day (more if he’ll let me).

    To save money I drive little, walk much, and reuse Ziplock bags like a fiend.

  20. To save money, I almost always shop at thrift stores (which is like recycling!) and use coupons. I go to the library and rent things and use free Redbox codes and such to save money but still be entertained. <3 Yard sales are fun too! And my husband works at a game store, so thats where many of the posters decorating our walls come from–rather than being trashed.

  21. To feed my soul, I like taking long bubble baths and drinking cammomile tea before bed. ^_^

  22. I do crafts, beading and knitting. I also like to bake, I feel like I am nurturing not only myself, but my family too.

  23. to feed my soul AND save money I started making my own cards and sending them to my family and friends, not just on birthdays, but on any occasion (even to bless them on Shabat). I enjoy making the cards, and even more I enjoy seeing their reaction or hearing from them as they receive them. and using stuff I already have means it costs me close to nothing!

  24. I am doing both, saving money and feeding my soul, by baking our bread, something I love to do but never had time for before. I got a really good deal on the best bread machine I could find and have been using it every other day to bake various kinds of bread. And what we don’t eat, we recycle by feeding the birds with our leftovers, so we have kept them well fed through the winter. No waste and it saves us money while making us very happy to have fresh-baked bread.

  25. I go outside in the garden and watch the ladybugs, bees, and butterflies; listen to the birds; get my hands dirty. I also listen to Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites on a regular basis!

  26. I’ve been making all my gifts instead of buying them. It takes a bit more time, but the reward of seeing them used and enjoyed is so fulfilling.

  27. Composting has actually become a way of feeding our souls and once our garden starts producing, it will feed us more literally, too. I like the cyclical nature of it.

  28. I feed my soul and calm my nerves by going for “walkNtalk”s with a friend. While talking through things we burn off extra worry adrenaline and calories. Great for body + soul!

  29. This year we enlarged our vegetable garden to 45’x25′ to compensate for the high costs of buying organic vegetables and the dreaded “R” word.

    Not only do we gain healthy foods for us and to share with our neighbors, tending the enlarged garden has given us a deeper inner “zen” type peace. It is a very tranquil place.

  30. Thrift and consignment stores are another great place for saving money, especially now. I love Goodwill and Salvation Army. You can find real gems at these places! I like shopping there more than any mall, and prices are always so low!Best of all, at most thrift shops the money is going to a good cause.

  31. To help save more during the recession, I google search recycled crafts all the time! There are a bunch of great functional projects that can really save money, as well as tons of nifty crafts for the kids. Seriously, do it – there’s some great stuff out there!

  32. To save money I have been buying less and using what I have instead. Being frugal is not new to me, but I have been trying to buy what I need and forgoing the items I want.

  33. I have been planting seeds in the dirt and brooding chicks. All of that new life and potential is exciting, miraculous, and reminds me of all that is hopeful and alive.

  34. Every now and then I take a couple minutes out of my day to just sit down, anywhere, and do nothing but think. Sometimes I’ll think about what I have to get done or just calm myself down if I’m having a hectic day. It really helps me focus on whats ahead of me instead of mindlessly rushing from task to task.

  35. My mother always told me that if you worry about the things you don’t have, you will never appreciate the things you do. I always took that to heart and it has helped our family during these rough times. I always start the morning by sitting on the porch with a cup of tea and watching the sunrise. This is the first thing I am grateful for and then in my mind and soul I go down the list. This feeds my soul everyday and helps me to see the world so clearly. We have a vegetable garden and share our vegetables with the neighbors as we are all in the same boat. We also plant a big flower garden and also share those with our neighbors and our local senior center. Somehow, even if you don’t have a lot of money, having beautiful flowers surround you, make you feel so good inside. We also use the library and thrift shops. I know that someday things will be better, but I want our family to enjoy the times until this happens as every minute of everyday is so precious.

  36. I feed my soul by having a monthly craft group. I teach a different craft each month. My friends come with snacks and leave with a new creation.

  37. I spend time contemplating how blue my grandkids eyes are and how they inherited them from my grandpa and me and how we are “Family” and what an eternal idea that is. If I have any happy in this world it is because of those little kids and I owe them everything. I think I will start with a kiss and a cookie. I can afford those things no matter the recession.

  38. Thank you to all the lovely artists who are offering free downloads of their work. I’ve been printing them all out and plan to frame them and hang them on a wall to honor the generosity of these wonderful artists!!!

  39. I feed my soul everyday by spending time in my craft studio. If I don’t have alot of time to actually work on a project, I take a few minutes just to putter around and organize. It can always use some of that.

  40. My hubby and I purchased more seeds than usual this year, and we are gardening with seeds. We’re also planning on creating a compost, so we can fertilize our own soil. And I’m interested in learning how to build a rain watering system. Of course, we garden and that saves money. Plus, it’s much more fun to have fresh produce at your fingertips!

  41. I have a 15 month old daughter and we use every community sponsored event we can find to stay busy. We go to story time at our public library and visit our botanical and municipal parks and gardens. We met a play group through meetup.com and join their weekly activities at playgrounds around our city. We run affordable races and bring the dogs along too. We spend as much time outdoors and we’re learning baby sign language. Although the recession is making things hard for lots of people, we’re enjoying family and friends and trying to see this all as an opportunity to make things simple again!

  42. one word – LIBRARY. We use our local libraries for umm, everything? DVDS, storytime, arts and crafts, books, magazines, you name it, we get it there. for FREE! And through freecycle, I give away things we don’t need, and sometimes get something we do need from another giving freecycler! Hooray for freecycling!

  43. I feed my soul by just living.
    By helping some one even in the little ways. Open the door, picking up after my siblings, letting some one pull out during traffic, To never hurt any one intentionally. By living day to day enjoying life, and helping others enjoy life. I feed my soul with so many good, small wholesome things, that when there is any trouble, I am able to cherish what I already have that much more, with out expectation of any thing better.

  44. I sing. Loud & clear. Its the best medicine and the best way to get your confidence back on a not so good day. I cant go a day without singing, I sing everywhere and anywhere, and it has never failed to make me smile. I can sit for hours just singing, doing nothing else and I won’t get bored at all! I recommend it to everyone.

  45. I’m on a newfound embroidery kick! I’m making birthday presents from scratch and other presents just because for the people I love. Home cooking is also an excellent way to feed my soul, wallet, and tummy. Experimenting with new recipes makes me smile.

  46. I just recently learned to embroider, and I have found that it really calms me and makes me happy. It’s a fairly cheap hobby, too. My favorite things to embroider are tea towels, because I collect them.

  47. Nothing feeds the soul like giving or doing for others. Recently, I joined an organization called Chemo Angels. Knowing that I can make a difficult time in someone’s life a little easier and perhaps sunnier makes all the difference in the world.

  48. I love buying vintage and nothing quite feeds my soul like a visit to my favorite indoor flea market, except finding the perfect treasure.

  49. One of the things I do to feed my soul is to read! I love books and stories of all kinds! When I pick up a book I become part of the story and get to visit different places and meet new people. A truly inexpensive vacation!

  50. To feed my soul I ride my bicycle. I was a chubby coach potato before I started to ride a year and a half ago. Since then I have learned that I can do 80 miles in one day. I can bike 40 miles any day when I am fit. It gives me time to think and figure out whatever is troubling me. It’s a wonderful achievement to get to the top of a hill that intimidated me while I was at the bottom. Riding my bike has changed my life.

  51. i live by the beach, as far as i know its still free! after church on sundays we spend the day there surfing and collecting shells.mmmmmm,cant help but be thankful!

  52. It feeds my creative soul to make fabric sacks for my family and friends. They use them for groceries or crafts or as everyday bags. They are inexpensive to make too!

  53. To feed My soul I spend time with my kids (who I homeschool), we make our own bubbles, clay, we paint we explore our back yard and try not to watch any TV so long as there is daylight! Trust me, finding ways to entertain kids at hoe definantly saves money! When they are off on their own I embroider. I live to embroider! I have also been known to crochet, sew and color. All of these things give me an enourmous happy soul for pennies.

  54. I feed my soul by baking and feeding anyone who won’t turn down a box of cookies, muffins, soda bread, or cupcakes. Naps in the sun, reading Annie Dillard, and cleaning house with a beer in hand also make worries and exhaustion disappear.

  55. My family and I have been saving money several ways. We’ve cut back on dining out, buying things unless we *absolutely* need them.

    I’m also a papercrafter. I have purchased so many supplies over the years, and I’ve decided to use what I have before I *impulse* shop and buy things I don’t need. If I do need something, I make sure it’s on sale, use a coupon, trade with other crafters or buy from a whole sale distributer. I also sell my things on Esty and eBay for extra spending cash!

  56. We save money by not having cable TV and by not turning on the air conditioner until it is well into summer or absolutely necessary. I always make sure the windows are open at night and then shut and cover the non-breezy or sunny windows during the day.

    To feed my soul I talk to strangers everywhere I go, even when they least expect it. I sing along to oldies records that I play very loud. Giving baked or sewn gifts or eggs from my chickens is always win-win too.

  57. When I have to give someone a gift for a birthday I give them something homemade. Wheather it is pistachio chocolate brownies or an apron I embrodered the gift means a little more because it is something I spent time on and has my imprint.

  58. I withdrew from graduate school to feed my soul with time off to practice creativity. I’ve been looking after household things and packing my husband lunch every day, as well as eating at home myself. Less eating out definitely saves money!

  59. the number one way i’m trying to save money is by not shopping online, as sad as it is! the dollar is just so bad, i can’t afford US prices anymore. as a side benefit to it, i’m trying to do more shopping at independent retailers locally. even if items are a few dollars more, i’m saving money by paying in Cdn dollars, and not paying shipping, and i’m supporting the local businesses that i’d hate to see the community lose.

  60. To feed my soul, I have also been reading. I have been turning off my TV where there is so much negativity and have been enjoying reading books about making crafts and creative ways to express oneself. I have also been saving money by not watching TV.

  61. To feed my soul, I go on artist dates like suggested in the books by Julia Cameron. So far, I have gone out to eat, to a store that sells treasures, to a free art gallery, to the bookstore and to a scraps store. Julisa Cameron suggests that you go by yourself on these artist dates. Most of the dates I have gone by myself, but the others I have gone with my husband, which has been a nice way to share some time together. Julia Cameron, also suggests that you go on walks. I am planning on starting that now that the weather is getting better.

  62. I’ve taken to baking my own bread. It makes my house smell wonderful and all the kneading is a positive way to channel my frustration and anxiety. Plus, since I can’t eat all the bread I make, it’s also been a boon to my friends.

  63. I’ve finally faced my fear of my sewing machine, I brought it about 5 years ago and have only just started using it. I’m saving money (currently making a lap quilt for about £25 – £30 cost in materials, something I suspect would cost £75 – £100 in the shops) and it’s incredibly relaxing to!

  64. I also feel good when I use freecycle.org either to give something away or receive. You can find your local city on there and start right away. It’s a great way to keep waste out of landfills and maybe pick up something unique. I got a free antique cash register from someone, took it apart, polished the parts, and made jewelry out of them! You can see it here: http://lilacpop.etsy.com

  65. To save a few bucks I take all the (many!) notes sent home from my daughter’s school and re-use the backs of them for my computer paper. I sell on ebay and etsy so every time I print a shipping label, my daughter’s homework is usually on the back!

  66. My soul does well when I get out on sunny days and go for walks with friends, maybe for coffee or ice cream. If it’s not sunny, I’m happy to stay in with my embroidery.

    Saving money is something I’ve had to think about before the economy tanked (not a lot of money in being a grad student). I manage by making gifts for friends and family and by finding free entertainment – like a game of canasta with a good friend.

  67. I am feeding my soul and my friends by baking up a storm. Too dangerous to keep in the house, I bring half the baked goods to work to share with my second family. People forget about petty complaints when they are eating chocolate brownies.

  68. To feed my soul, I’ve been getting really engaged in genealogical research! It’s amazing how much you can learn about history if you delve a little bit into your ancestors! I’ve also been learning how to embroider! To save money, I’ve been eating as many whole food/organic/home cooked meals as possible, instead of eating out. I’ve also nearly stopped buy coffee out at 4$/cup cafes! When I do go, I make it a special occasion 🙂

  69. this year I am finally getting back into shape to feed my soul! I have always hated to try Yoga and on this new workout its required and its an hour and half. I find myself so calm afterwards that my kids could paint my walls and I still wouldn’t care! I always believe you take care of you first before others otherwise you have
    nothing to give!

  70. I love this idea! I hate the R word too!

    To feed my soul, I doodle, take photos, read inspiring blogs and appreciate all the positive things in my life.

    And save money by making packed lunches, having friends over for tea and dinner, cycle instead of using public transport and buy second hand clothes.

  71. To feed my soul, I create handmade jewelry or simply browse my numerous Flickr contacts’ lovely photos.
    To save money, I… uh… there must be something… guess not.

  72. To feed my soul, I get outside and notice what nature is up to. Whether it’s taking a walk in the woods or just observing the birds in my backyard, taking the time to get outside and pay attention nourishes me and makes me feel like a part of the world.

  73. What I do to feed my soul…watch Arthur (like a trip back to childhood), and cozy up with a good book.

  74. Saving money — keeping lights off where they are not needed, although I think I’m just being more aware lately. I did it before, but now just make sure I do turn them off.

  75. One more….I have been trying to recycle more. It’s important. This will help me feel better about myself and also helps the earth. It is something everyone can do.

  76. I love my dog & cats. Last year, I found my dog outside roaming aimlessly – well it was a stray then, not mine. We saved him, he loves us, and it’s funny how my bf said no dogs…but now he talks like a big baby to the little guy, Oliver. He does help feed our soul. It is so awesome to come home and have someone always happy to greet you.

  77. I got a brand new range for Christmas. I’m trying to learning to cook for my boyfriend and I. I am so hard on myself about food, but he is really liking the fact that I can actually cook. It feeds his soul and his belly!

  78. I had surgery Friday, which takes a lot of energy to deal with. However, my wonderful boyfriend went and bought me a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet so I could draw on my laptop, etc. It is going to really help feed my soul. I just did a print of Catherineholm bowls and will have it printed up on rag paper or velvet. Can’t wait to see what it looks like. I’m hanging it in the kitchen.

  79. I’ve been playing with Illustrator a lot lately, trying to learn to draw, etc, digitally. It’s a good way to release tension from a day at work and it does feed that creative part of my soul.

  80. Lately, I’ve been spending more time to do everything. Rather that mutli-task and rush to finish, I’m taking my time cooking and sewing and shooting photos. I’m also trying to listen to more music. I use Pandora to help introduce me to new songs/singers that I might not have been familiar with before. I’m finding that listening to music while I do what I do makes it even more magical.
    As far as saving, we’re eating at home more and simply making do with the things we have. Rather than spend a little here and there, we’re focusing on saving for the big things that we love: travel, seeing family, and our upcoming wedding!

  81. i like to take walks and pick wild flowers. i find a cute thrift store vase and put them all over the house for friends and family to see.

  82. We live one block from an amazing park – we spend as much time in it as possible – and in the spring, there is nothing better for my soul.

  83. I plant stuff with my kids – that is one way I feed my soul. I love being outside with them and they love being in the dirt.

  84. I (mostly) quit buying all the processed snacks and just try to make them – it is healthier for our family and usually tastes a heck of a lot better.

  85. I feed my soul with walks and with spices. I love tiny jars and bottles filled with herbs, oils and resins. Going to an herb shop is a true treat and a soul date.

    I save money these days by never ordering beverages in restaurants. When we go out for lunch or dinner, I always get water. I make tea, lemonade and coffee at home and appreciate it more.

  86. I’m making Atcs and other Art stuff to feed my soul – I’m also having now a project A Photo A Day – that helps me to look better on the environment – to save money I do now what I always did buy second hand cloths – alter things I find etc….

  87. Wow, we’ve done several things. Cooking more things from scratch and eating out less, walking and biking around the neighborhood instead of joining a gym, getting pretty creative with date nights that are usually more fun, using what I have to feed my crafting addiction instead of always buying new, repurposing items…the list goes on and on.

  88. Listen to the birds.
    Cook. Bake. Garden. Sew. Breathe.
    Help the environment.
    And remember that the world of economy is just one part of the puzzle.
    Love to all.

  89. Today to feed my soul I treated myself to a coffeeshop visit – something I have been cutting back on lately, but like saving for a Friday only.

  90. I feel so inspired at the moment! Thank you for everything your are doing and for this wonderful giveaway. I’m in school for landscape architecture and have heard wonderful reviews of the Edible Schoolyard book…I would love to own a copy and share it with my fellow students.

    So what do I do to feed my soul? Lately, quite a bit (grad school is draining). My best friend and I go to Yoga twice a week, it has been a truly gratifying experience. I love to go on walks through my neighborhood or out in the desert. That is so rejuvenating! And whenever I can find time, I love to draw or paint…nothing gets me into the present moment like being immersed in art.

    Saving money…hmmm…I’m in grad school so I’ve been pinching pennies for the last two years. I make most of my food from scratch, shop at the farmer’s market, ride my bike, peruse at thrift stores…and it’s all a lot of fun!

  91. To feed my soul I read, create, play w/ my kids, drink coffee, hang with my husband… all the things that make me smile.

    To save money I am not spending on anything that doesn’t have to be purchased… We’re on what we are lovingly calling a spending freeze over here, as my hubby was recently laid off. We have prioritized & downsized our spending considerably and hoping to come out of this in the best shape possible… If not better and happier and more in love!

  92. making puppets for ham-theater. Thinking of doing reproductions of post depression (1930’s) stimulus plays.

  93. Since the recession everyone’s been drinking alot – so I have taken up to making terrariums in liquor bottles.

  94. I am a new mom and all those baby nappies and housework seem endless to me.. My soul gets its daily feeding everytime the baby smiles/giggles/gurgles at me.

  95. We’re saving money and energy by swapping out the old lightbulbs with CFLs. They come in all sizes now, so they fit all our lamps & even replace the old globe bulbs in the bathroom. One caveat is that they have mercury in them, so they must be properly recycled.

  96. Since I’m not eating out as much and cooking more at home, I am “investing” in pretty dishes. I shop around for clearance and sale items and just buy one or two plates or mugs, what ever I feel like at the moment. I’m also using cloth napkins instead of paper ones. This way, even if I’m just having a sandwich or cheese and crackers, it feels more special with pretty plates. My only restriction is that the plates must be made of porcelain or china.

  97. I spend several hours a night just in creative mode. I have purchased tons of craft supplies in the past. It is a good time to use them up.

  98. Hello! First time here I love your blog….Lately I have been trying to mak my sons clothes to save money…and also made a challenege to myslef to make or give handmade for the whole year! Its wuite a challeneg, but I am having fun creating.

  99. I feed my soul by making stuff. I just made a t-shirt for my toddler, I’m going to make some banana bread too. Later I will also probably make some music. All these things have the added benefit of saving us cash too. 🙂

  100. I’ve been using my extra free time (since being laid off from my full-time job in April)to work on a lot of creative projects that I could never get done in a weekend. Time truly is a valuable gift.

  101. Something I’ve been doing lately to feed my soul, something that strangely has made me more happy is giving up my 7Up addiction. It’s also saving me some big bucks too!

  102. I’m a new reader of your blog and thought I’d say hi! Steve Shaw who runs egullet.com has a challenge going on. No grocery shopping for a week. Eat only what’s in your freezer, fridge and pantry. I think whatever you can pull from the garden would be okay too!

  103. i like making gifts for friends and putting them in the post as a surprise – the thank you texts are always lovely and today i proof that what you put into the world comes back as there was a package waiting for me at the post office! one of my friends had put together a crafty package for me of crafty goods! check out the pics of her gift here -http://www.flickr.com/photos/samadhya/sets/72157615979182700/ – soul feeding goodness!!

  104. I’m basically just trying not to spend money unless it’s something I need. The feeding my soul part is that I don’t skimp at the grocery store(s). If my son loves blackberries and they’re out of season and $5 a pint, I get them. I am cooking at home more and buying TONS of fresh veggies and fruit, and making my own bread. Those ingredients aren’t always cheap, but the cooking and eating are what feed my soul…and sharing that food with others.

  105. One of the ways I feel my soul is through bookmaking. I try to make it a part of every week. But it’s also important to me to make a personal contribution to my community, and so I volunteer with two local organizations whose work I value. Each of them is engaged in promoting the value of the handmade object, creating opportunities for artists, and connecting art and community.

  106. Chronicle books rock!:D
    I’ve been making and selling jewelry to get extra cash and to give as presents instead of buying something. I’m also getting married in May and i’m doing everything. I’m making my cake/decorations/favors/programs/bouquet etc to save and also to fill the wedding with my handmade love!

  107. creating is my favorite way to feed my soul, painting, knitting, or taking photos pretty much always fills me up. a walk in the sunshine also does wonders.

    my favorite money saving trick (for non essential items), is to ask myself if I would still buy the product if the cost were doubled. This definitely helps me weed out things I don’t truly want (especially at a thrift store:))

  108. I’ve been trying to save money. One of the things I am doing is trading. Either trading things from my Etsy shop for other great things from Etsy or trading my services. This week I am sewing a bag in exchange for my friend’s homemade fruit cake. Last week I sewed in exchange for a Starbucks voucher.
    I am also giving handmade gifts all year – either my own or others’.
    Your blog feeds my soul too!

  109. my family has done away with the t.v.(the source of the doom and gloom!) its been so much better. my kids are playing outside more. my daughter and i have started a garden. we are enjoying what we have, which is alot when you think about it!

  110. I was laid off in December, which made me a full-time freelance writer. Scary, but it’s also something I’ve been wanting to leap into for a long time. With the extra time I’m saving working from home and in between jobs — again, downtime is both scary and fabulous — I’ve already completed two sewing projects, preserved meyer lemons, started my garden from seed indoors and a million other creative things. I suppose that my answer to the “feeding your soul” question is: being my own boss. I’m also starting to branch more into food writing now that I have more flexibility, which is something I’ve always wanted to specialize in.

  111. as i spend most of my money on food i’m trying really hard to make my own lunches and not buy anything out, and luckily have a park to sit in for lunch – just being outside in sunshine, with green stuff, is the best soul food for me

    also – reading, cuddling, talking, baking, chopping vegetables (i love it!), music, walking…

    also on money saving, hosting my first clothes swap this weekend, and hoping that results in us all going away with a few new items for free (and having fun…)

  112. i requested and received an energy saving action kit from our local state government – it has heaps of tips for saving money and the environment, including an egg timer for the shower (hubby is worst at long showers!) and a thermometer to monitor the temperatures in summer and winter with guidelines for what you should set your thermostat at in winter and air con in summer.
    hopefully this will make a difference in many ways, not just to our pockets

  113. i have been crafting too – but not buying supplies, lloking for objects that are going in the recycling that i can turn into something neat – it is very satisfying and addictive!

  114. Great idea. Sure won’t make things better focusing on how bad they are.

    Walking my daughter to and from school each day is a great way for us to appreciate each other, and really notice the world around us. Good for body, mind and soul and saves on petrol too.

  115. To save money, we got rid of our landline phone since we have a cell phone which is more handy. We have plenty of minutes so we never pay extra and we use the phone for calls only – no texting, no email.

  116. It has been very sunny and windy here lately so I dug out my childhood kites and have been flying them every day. There is something soothing and mesmerizing about flying a kite. As mundane a task it is I can do it for hours and hours and it doesn’t cost a cent! I also took up playing the ukulele and have almost daily jam sessions with my family. They are such an inexpensive instrument ($30 – $40 for the most basic ones) and SO easy to learn. There is nothing like a good singalong to lift my spirits while being unemployed!

  117. We have saved LOADS of $ when my husband became my own personal barista. That guy makes the best darn latte. I have willingly given up my expensive morning coffee “out” habit quite willingly. It rules to have your own (& cute) barista!

  118. We make our own yoghurt a few times a week. My family gallops through yoghurt so we save loads of money by doing it. It’s also quick, easy AND gratifying to the soul.

  119. My creativity also feeds my soul. I especially love to make stuffed animals. It really warms my insides to see kids so happy to play with something I made and to hear how they are comforted from the creepies of the night. It makes my world a little brighter and softer.

  120. Word! I usually love listening to NPR while I drive, but thanks to the “R” word I’ve been opting to listen to the crappy “top 40” stations, which is the only thing I get out here in the boonies of Nebraska.

    So to that effect – one of my favorite things to feed my soul is to listen to our music collection with my cutie-pie partner for life, which I have been doing now for the last 3 hours 🙂

  121. My room mates and I get together to make dinner as often as possible. Sunday night is taco night, and we make everything fresh from the guacamole to the whole-wheat tortillas!

  122. To feed my soul I joined the Peace Corps. I’m in Kenya working with the Deaf. Learning about Kenyan culture and teaching and telling stories with my students is amazing.

  123. I love the phrase “boycott the recession”. I’m all about that. I’m pretty frugal anyway, but I feed my soul by being artistic every single day. I appreciate all of the beauty that surrounds me, and there is a lot of beauty in this world. I also take care to give generously of my attention to the wonderful children in my life- my students! That definitely feeds my soul. Thank you!!

  124. To feed my soul I am baking every week and giving it all away to make people’s days a little brighter. I mail some across the country to friends, give some to the kid’s teachers, I even gave some to the local postal worker the other day!

  125. To feed my soul I take a break from everyone. I grab a book, a light snack and head down to a deserted park bench. Sometimes I just need to reset from all the commotion, talking and touching (I’m still breastfeeding. It also gives me a chance to soak up some sun (Vitamin D FTW!) and be outside, especially now before it reaches 110 degrees.

  126. This has ended up feeding my soul and saving me money, but I am using and reusing things for my ‘art’. I grab whatever is handy and use it to stamp with or on. Sort of fun!

  127. To feed my soul I write letters. I write to my 92 year old grandmother, my Uncle a few states away, long lost friends, everyone. I wrote a lot when my friend was in the peace corps for 2 years! It’s so fulfilling to spend the time connecting with someone in a meaningful way and to let them know you appreciate them just with the time you spent to write a real letter.

  128. After going through cases of plastic water bottles, my fiance and I went out and bought really nice metal reusable water bottles from a camping store 3 weeks ago and use them on a regular basis at home, work and school, the gym, in the car, everywhere! What an easy way to save money and save the earth at the same time.

  129. I am a graduate student who drives to school every day and I have spent the last 2 years paying $4 a day to park in the school’s parking garage. Just a couple months ago I switched my car to a garage that’s 2 blocks farther from the school than my original parking spot, but only costs $30 a month. Do the math- that’s a lot of money saved for just a little but more walking each day. I only notice the change when it’s raining!

  130. our family has begun baking bread on a regular basis. it’s economical AND quality family time. and delicious and awesome. artisan bread in 5 minutes & the cheeseboard cookbook have become well-worn and loved in our home. 🙂

  131. Love the idea of focusing on what makes your soul happy! I’ve retreated to reading, writing, and knitting instead of going out. I have been checking books out at the library rather than buying them, knitting from my stash with the tools I already have, and writing is as free as it gets (literally and metaphorically!). I’ve lived frugally for many years, so the big R isn’t really impacting my day-to-day…it is more encouraging me to use what I have instead of just snagging every pretty yarn or book I see.

  132. To feed my soul I have been crafting a lot lately. It helps to keep my mind on positive productive things and I usually have something awesome to show for it!!

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