Thoughts On the Seasons Of Life


I love seasonal living. And like so many others, fall is my absolute favourite time of year. The weather cools down and so does the laundry list of chores and projects and obligations as the general busy-ness and chaos and sweaty, sticky, uncomfortable heat of summer subsides. I even like the rain that starts up again, because it offers an excuse to stay inside and cozy up with some hot chai and a good book.

Of course, fall is still busy with its own set of chores. We’re still preserving the harvest and prepping our garden beds for winter and gathering firewood and buttoning up all sorts of other projects that need to be finished before winter sets in. But in general, fall is the time of year when we start to slow down just a little bit and begin to really enjoy the fruits of our labour; The final products of months of blood, sweat and toil (and yes, sometime tears) that we put into our homes and gardens and lives in the spring and summer seasons so that we might be blessed with abundance come fall and winter.

Yes, I love seasonal living, and I love fall most of all. And I’m especially glad that seasons come and go each year and don’t last forever, because each one has its virtues as well as its drawbacks. I would never want to live in any one season too long.

And yet it seems, even though summer has come and gone this year and the cool, crisp days of fall are upon us, it seems that we are very much still in the summer of our lives right now.

Because just like each year has four seasons, so too does each lifetime. 

I’ve thought a lot about this at various points in my life, and I’ve been thinking of it an awful lot lately. The past few years have been trying ones for us. To say we’ve been busy is a massive understatement. We rarely get a weekend as a family to just be. We’re either renovating or building or moving or birthing or coping with loss or moving relatives or going to work or pursuing higher education or starting businesses or tackling homesteading and gardening chores of all sorts… There’s rarely been time in our lives over the past few years to take a break to savour our accomplishments, (although I will say that we certainly make gratitude a priority every day).

At 35 and 31 years-old, respectively, my hubby Ryan and I are right, smack-dab in the busiest season of our lives, which I liken to summer. It’s the time when everything seems to be happening all at once with no end in sight. The to-do list seems to be never-ending, and there’s always so much going on in all corners of our lives that it can feel overwhelming and hard to keep up with it all. But then I remember that it is, indeed, only a season. 

Sure the seasons of our lives last longer than the seasons in a year, but all things come to an end. I know we won’t be in the summer of our lives forever, and that certainly helps me to get through the hard days and to practice gratitude instead of wishing my life away. Still, summer is a hard season. It’s busy and chaotic and jam-packed with responsibilities and “things to do” before fall. And that’s where we are right now.

Still not sure quite what I’m talking about? Let me break it down season-by-season, starting, as most all life does, in the spring.

 

Spring

Every year has four seasons. So too does every full lifetime. Here I share with you some thoughts on the four seasons of life from birth to death, the significance of each one, and why we should always be grateful for whatever season we're in at the moment.

Spring is all about birth, growth and preparation. For our gardens it means sowing seeds and nurturing seedlings that will grow into big, healthy, nourishing plants as the year progresses and the seasons change. For humans (and other animals too) it means being born, learning to walk and talk and do many of the things that will serve us later on in life. 

The spring of our life is all about learning and growing and becoming. Spring is never about products or results. Instead it’s about sowing the seeds that will one day blossom into all of the goodness of tomorrow. It’s about initiating the hard work of building a good life for ourselves, for much like gardening, if we begin this process too late in the season, we will be at quite the disadvantage later on in life.

Indeed, spring is hard work. But it is also forgiving. In the spring, time is on our side. There’s time to make mistakes and start over again. There’s time to play and learn and discover new things. There’s time to simply enjoy the process of growing up without all of the responsibility that comes with actually being grown up. Spring is hard work, but it’s not as busy as summer.

 

Summer

Every year has four seasons. So too does every full lifetime. Here I share with you some thoughts on the four seasons of life from birth to death, the significance of each one, and why we should always be grateful for whatever season we're in at the moment.

In the summer, things really ramp up. In the seasonal summer, life revolves around weeding and and watering and building projects and harvesting and gathering and preserving, as well as the busy-ness and chaos of all of the social commitments, weddings, special events and children home from school. Summer is fast-paced and jam-packed with activities and obligations, and while it can be loads of fun, it can also be stressful and overwhelming if we try to fit too much in.

Likewise is the summer of our lives. This is the time in life when we are busy establishing ourselves. Perhaps we’re getting married and having children and shaping our careers and buying homes and setting up homesteads and trying to build wealth while simultaneously haemorrhaging money trying to do all of the above. It’s exciting and fun but also stressful and overwhelming.

For many of us, “summer” means raising children of our own and nurturing them through the spring of their own lives as we try to fulfill all of the duties of our adult lives as well. It means responsibility and keeping up with all of life’s demands at once and feeling pulled in a million different directions. We may even find ourselves “praying for rain,” so to speak, so we can just get a break from the overwhelm.

Luckily, just as sure as the seasons change each year, so too do the seasons of our lives. They must, for no mortal being could ever keep up with the pace of an endless summer.

Summer is always sure to fade into fall, eventually. And when it does, we find often find ourselves breathing a sigh of relief as things begin to slow down. 

 

Fall

Every year has four seasons. So too does every full lifetime. Here I share with you some thoughts on the four seasons of life from birth to death, the significance of each one, and why we should always be grateful for whatever season we're in at the moment.

The seasonal fall brings with it a feeling of gratitude and abundance as we give thanks for Earth’s bounty and enjoy the fruits of our summer’s labour. Sure, there is still work to be done harvesting and processing and preserving and preparing for winter. But the work of fall is the work of finishing projects, and comes with the satisfaction of checking things off our to-do list once and for all.

In the summer, there is always more to be done. In the fall, however, projects get finished and food gets stored away and most of our gardens begin the sleepy process of being put to bed for the winter.

In life, fall means much of the same. It’s the time in our lives when we really begin to reap what we sowed in the spring and worked tirelessly at growing in the summer. 

Perhaps it’s the time in life when we feel our careers are well established at last and we start to enjoy the benefits of better pay or a better position at work or simply more money in the bank that we’ve sacrificed for years to save and invest. Maybe the fall of your life means seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to paying off your mortgage or finally seeing your dreams become reality, whether those dreams are of building your perfect business or homestead or family or life. 

Fall is also often the season of life when our children are perhaps not fully grown, but grown enough that they are able to genuinely contribute to the household because you spent the necessary time teaching them the things they need to know to become independent, thoughtful human beings who understand the value of hard work and pulling their own weight. 

And fall is also the time when we get to slow down and sip a cup of tea and simply just enjoy being. It’s cozy and comfortable and much less stressful than the summer. Sure, there is still much to be done, but we can make time for a walk in the woods on a crisp morning. Maybe even a little vacation?

Of course, after fall comes winter.

 

Winter

Every year has four seasons. So too does every full lifetime. Here I share with you some thoughts on the four seasons of life from birth to death, the significance of each one, and why we should always be grateful for whatever season we're in at the moment.

Seasonal winter is first time for celebration. It’s the ultimate time of joy and merriment and kicking off your boots to relax by the fire with a rum and eggnog at long last. 

There’s some busy-ness at the start of winter for sure. The holiday season brings with it a time of social events and family gatherings, travel plans and dinner dates and parties and gift exchanges. It’s as if everyone is trying to cram as much fun and as many festivities as possible into the short time they have left before winter really socks in and we all turn in to hibernate through the rest of it. Because after the raucousness and gaiety of early winter comes the slow, reflective, quiet of late winter.

This latter part of winter is when we slow down, relax, reflect on the past year and make plans to do things differently next time around. It’s the time of year to prioritize ourselves for once, and to focus on our physical, emotional and spiritual growth and wellbeing. It’s a sleepy time of year when, on our own time anyway, we have total permission to sit back and do nothing at all should we so choose. 

We’ve done the hard work in the spring, summer and fall. We’ve celebrated and lived life to the fullest in early winter. And now it’s time to wind down and bask in gentle enjoyment of our year’s worth of hard work before it starts all over again.

For in seasonal winter, there is always the promise of another spring; Of another year of seasons ahead. Not so, however, when it comes to the winter of our lives. 

 

More On The Winter Of Our Lives

The early winter of our lives might look much like the early winter we experience annually, full of excitement and celebration and fun. Maybe it’s around this time in our lives that we find ourselves retiring, making more time for friends and festivities, travelling the world and seeing and doing all the things we’ve never had the time or money for in previous seasons of life. Indeed, this time in our lives can be just as busy as any holiday season as we rush to knock things off our bucket lists before we become proverbially “snowed in” for the rest of our days.

And then, just as one year turns to another and January sets in, we too begin to slow down in the late winter of our lives. 

At this point, the most important work still to be done is on ourselves. It’s the time when we reflect not just on the year gone by, but on our entire life. Do we have regrets? Are there amends to be made? Did we live a life true to ourself and our beliefs? How can we grow most meaningfully in our remaining days? What would we do differently if we were promised one more spin around the sun? What lessons and legacies do we want to pass onto the next generation before our time is up?

 

What I Know For Sure

As I sit down for the third time to finish writing this, squeezing this passion of mine that I have for my little blog in where I can as I charge forward through the midsummer of my life, I am reminded that in life we only get to experience each season once.

For me, my spring has already come and gone. I’ll never get it back. And while I look forward to fall when a few weights might hopefully be lifted at last from our shoulders and we can finally begin to really take the time to enjoy the life we’ve created for ourselves, I wouldn’t trade the seemingly endless, busy summer of my life for anything. Because all of the chaos and overwhelm; The births and babies and kids and marriage and mortgages and projects and financial struggles and the fact that there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done…

All of that only comes once in a lifetime. And for all we know, one lifetime is all we ever get.

So as we ease into fall here on our new little homestead-in-the-making, we have every reason to give thanks this season. For even though we are still very much in the summer of our lives with no seasonal change in sight, I know deep down that winter is coming, and fall will be here soon enough. 

So enjoy whatever season of life you’re in, because it’s the only chance you’ll ever get to live it. Life ticks by whether we’re present and enjoying it or busy wishing it away. 

Even if you’re struggling or suffering or simply stuck in a rut, find something to be grateful for in this moment of your life. In good times and in bad, always remember, “this too shall pass.” Just as sure as the seasons change each year. 

What about you? What season of life are you in right now? How do you celebrate the season you’re in and practice being present where you are right now? Let me know down below.

Oh, and Happy Fall Y’all 🙂


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

4 Comments

  1. Kate

    This is absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad I stumbled on it. You should submit it for publication somewhere, I can totally imagine this being the back page of Victoria Bliss or something.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Oh that’s so sweet of you. You made my day. Would love to see my work in Victoria Bliss! That’s one of my favourite magazines! Food for thought…

      Reply
  2. Melissa Keyser

    This is a beautiful post! I too, love seasonal living and recognize there are seasons to our energy and our lives and even our careers, beyond the rotations that the earth brings us. I too, at almost 35, am in the “summer” season. I’ve had a difficult past few years. No wonder, I hate summer!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I read your post about hating summer! I’m with you. It’s too chaotic for me. I’ve started waking up before dawn so I can have quiet, contemplative time to myself before the world awakes and the light of day brings a sense of urgency to the day. I think it’s just what I need right now, because I’ve learned that there’s no fighting the season we’re in, just like there’s no fighting the seasons throughout the year. It is what it is. But there are pockets of peace in between if we seek them out.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

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I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

(The answer is obviously no one… No one wants that).

Automating our homesteading tasks as much as possible allows us to worry about other things and saves us a ton of time. Plus, it makes sure that things get taken care of, whether we remember or not.

Using an automatic chicken door has been a GAME CHANGER for us. It’s one of those lesser known homestead tools that can make all the difference, and I’m always recommending one to anyone who keeps chickens!

This chicken door from @chickcozy_ is so easy to install and use too, and right now you can get one for a steal during their Black Friday sale!

Save over $40 off an automatic chicken door, plus use my coupon code for an ADDITIONAL DISCOUNT!

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

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Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
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If you’ve been feeling called to level up your self-reliance skills (because let’s be honest, we’re in for a wild ride these next few years with everything going on in the world), now is the time to heed that call.

Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

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There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

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As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
#simplepleasuresoflife
#thatauthenticfeeling
#findhappiness
#artofslowliving
#simplelifepleasures
#lifesimplepleasure
#simplepleasuresinlife
#thatauthenticlife
#authenticlifestyle
#liveanauthenticlife
#livinginspired
#savouringhappiness
#livemoment
#localgoodness
#simplelive
#lifeouthere
#enjoywhatyouhave
#frugallifestyle
#homesteadingmama
#offgridhomestead
#modernfarmhousekitchen
#crunchymama
#rusticfarmhouse
#farmhouseinspo
#farmhouselife
#modernhomesteading
#backyardfarmer
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