At the beginning of the year, Sallie wrote:
"This saying is already a part of my life in many ways, but I know I can do a much better job. And I would also enjoy the feeling of being a good steward of using the things I already have in my home rather than bringing more home to add to the stash. I also want to focus on the spiritual and relational abundance I have and how that comes into play with the material abundance."
Well...I think we did all right! It was probably the most interesting grocery-shopping year we've had in awhile, since our favourite price-chop supermarket went through a terrible mess of renovations and we were forced to check out alternatives (including a discount store known better for its glitzy sweaters and cheap flip-flops than for its groceries). I don't think our grocery bills went down any this year, but at least they didn't go up much, and that's saying something considering that there are now five regular-portioned eaters here. (I don't have an exact figure on that yet--Mr. Fixit hasn't finished his year-end accounting.)
Yard saling, thrift shopping this year...well, back last winter I did a lot of thrift shopping relating to homeschooling, and a bit more in the summer. And there were the things like craft supplies and yarn which kept popping up--requiring us to find ways to use them creatively! Outside of that...clothes have been a bit more difficult to find this year, although the above-mentioned discount store has helped in that area (we find it amusing to buy a hundred dollars' worth of groceries plus a coat for about the same price as we'd normally bring the groceries without the coat). Mr. Fixit did pretty well this year with his gadgets and gizmos, although most of his great finds this year were on E-bay rather than bought in someone's driveway. But there were a couple of good yard sales for him as well.
I was most impressed by everyone's Christmas creativity this year--proving that there's more than one way to think abundantly! (By everyone I mean both those inside and outside the Treehouse--you all are included.)
But there was one other thing that became more important this year than material abundance, frugal or otherwise; we saw it particularly through the lives of several people we know both online and in real life: abundance of the heart.
"...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34)