Many of you already know that I have made the choice to work from home to be with my husband and dogs everyday. This does not have to be a problem when considering the topic of money or making a living, although that would likely be the reason that most people would choose NOT to work from home.
The amount of income one makes working from home does not necessarily decrease because you are working from home. However, Ernie and I are naturally frugal people, and as I wrote about in my post about this choice of lifestyle, we don’t spend money on just everything.
I purposely work a little less so that I can have more time withe my dogs. This DOES mean some less income, so I use the time to be with my dogs while doing certain things that save us money.
One: We grow a lot of our own food, and cook all of our meals from scratch.
When I am cooking or, in the fall, putting away vegetables for the winter, the dogs are able to spend time with me in the kitchen and enjoy checking the floor for veggie morsels. Vegetables are pretty much free for the taking for the dogs. The latest consensus is that your dog benefits from having vegetables added to his store-bought dog food.
I am not a veterinarian nor am I an animal nutritionist, but from my own experience feeding dogs for 17 years now, I have found that dogs enjoy these extras and they don’t put on weight. Two of my dogs are now well over 15 years and so this has not hurt them one bit in my opinion.
Two: I learned to groom my own dogs.
I love grooming and doing the work myself allows me to spend more time with my dogs. While you don’t have to do all of the grooming if you are uncomfortable with doing it or if your dog is not happy about it, it is important to do at lease SOME maintenance of your dog’s coat and nails.
Three: We feed our dogs high quality food.
WHAT? This is not a frugal tip is it? Actually, feeding your dog or yourself well is one of the best illness preventatives there is. Notice I did not say high quality “dog” food. That is because I don’t want to distinguish between foods. If you choose to feed pet store bought food to your dog ( I still feed it for now to three of my dogs) that is your choice. I also feed regular food (not people food because in my opinion there is no such thing it is all just food) to my dogs as part of their diet. Good quality food is important in reducing vet bills. This I know because I have been experiencing it for years personally.
If you are not sure, you will need to do some research for yourself – and there is a lot of information out there to go through. Then, once you have done that, make a decision you can live with. For me, this is a frugal tip because I save money on dog health bills by feeding well. You will need to determine this on your own for your own dog.
Four: Prevent doggie obesity.
For us that means giving the dogs regular exercise and taking care as to how much our dogs eat. Overfeeding is a waste of money and not good for the dog. There is a lot of scientific research on the benefits of calorie restriction or fasting. I don’t fast my dogs but I definitely keep the food amounts down. That goes for myself too. This is something else you will have to research and find out if it is right for you to do.
Five: We don’t overspend, but we buy good quality equipment.
The most important thing we do as frugal stay at homes is to NOT SPEND MONEY. There is so much you can do without spending it isn’t even funny. For example, walking, is really the best exercise there is in my opinion, and it is easy to do with your dog (hopefully) and dogs love it. It costs no money.
We make a lot of our own stuff like dog cushions and covers, some dog training equipment, dog treats, and we don’t go on fancy vacations. We entertain ourselves mostly for free (with the exception of cable TV which we still have). When I am working (my work is done on the computer) my dogs are with me and I can monitor them well and occasionally do some spontaneous training (somewhat entertaining).
It is very important that when you buy equipment such as leashes, collars, bowls, cushions, etc. that you buy GOOD QUALITY PRODUCTS. Living frugally doesn’t necessarily not spending at all and it doesn’t mean being cheap. You may have had the experience of having something breakdown or tear/rip very soon after being bought. Most likely these things were of poor quality and were cheap in the real sense of the word. Don’t buy cheap things. Buy good or excellent quality things at reduced prices, occasionally at full price. Then you know that the product will likely last and you will get your money’s worth.
So there are actually many different ways that you can be frugal enough to consider staying at home with your dogs, you just have to be creative and be able to make do with not buying everything in sight. Although it is easier not to buy when you don’t go into stores, it becomes more difficult with the prevalence of online shopping.
However, you decide to do it, make sure it is what you WANT to do not what you feel you must or are pressured to do by someone or yourself.