Farm-Fresh, Simple, Effective Skin Care -- Handmade by YOU!

Day 123: Frugal Finds

The non-stop rain kept us cooped up indoors all last week. We're not used to being inside so much. I missed our forays into the garden, the fresh air, and most definitely the sunshine.

For seven days straight I would only rush out into the rain, dump a load of hay or grain, and dash back indoors. The goats would ignore their food, calling to me with desperate bleats that sound shockingly like "Mom!" The horses were more subdued in their dejection, and would just stare after me with their long, woebegone faces. I missed them too.

Here's a fact that shows what a nouveau homesteader I am -- I did not own a water-proof jacket. Sure, I have a few nice coats but nothing I could slog though mud, toss hay bales, wrangle chickens, and scoop manure in. After hearing my complaints, my in-laws bought me a beautiful, weather-proof lined jacket with a hood for Christmas.

Did I mention it was beautiful?
With faux fur on the hood? And white? I couldn't bring myself to wear it out to the stables. Thunder would take one look at it and rub his big ol' muddy head on it just for spite.

Since November I had been pouring over the catalogs that came in the mail, dreaming about the rugged duck cotton coats in various shade of mud-hiding brown. I could never bring myself to order one, even as I drug myself inside dripping wet, because they cost well over $100.

Although a little voice kept whispering to me, "You need it, buy it." After telling my children we were going to cut back on our consumption, I couldn't in good conscience drop 100 bucks on a coat, no matter how temptingly ranch-like they looked.

Instead, I hit the local Goodwill. I figured I'd try their first, just in case. But with more rain in the forecast, I was already planning to scoot over to the ranch wear store in the next town over and buy myself a real jacket.

Wouldn't you know, I found exactly what I needed in brand-new condition, for just $6? I was thrilled. It's long enough to fall just past the tops of my rubber boots, and even has huge pockets to hold all those items that invariably need to be carried out to the paddocks or back in to the tack room.

I was so pleased with my find I wore it around the house first, just to break it in. To which my husband asked, "What the hell is that?"

OK, so it's not pretty. But it keeps me dry and I don't mind getting it dirty. Which is the point. Besides, it was $6! It may not be stylist, but I still feel like a frugal fashionista.

Homesteader's Tip:
Although my children are cool to the idea of wearing, in their terms, "used clothes," I've become a big believer in thrift shops. I figure it's good for the earth too. We buy our clothing at the thrift stores, wear them, and then donate them to the same store again.

It's a great way to stretch your budget, too. Although it takes time to search through the racks, there are great deals to be had. I've found plenty of items that still had tags!

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