Monday, September 28, 2009

My Blog Poll

I'm interested in knowing what you would like me to address on this blog. Tell me in the comments section. If you have something specific for a post, please, let me know. Although I already have 55 unpublished posts in various stages of development, if you make a request, I'll get it near the top of the list.

Also, I'd love more poll ideas. I really like these polls, so if someone has a suggestion for a poll, share it in the comments section. Does everyone else like the polls, or am I driving people away, asking all these intrusive questions?

On a total side note, I have gone back and cleaned out some of the old comments sections. The comments sections look a little odd now, but there are two central reasons that I cleaned out some comments.

#1) Off comments breed off comments. Someone new to my blog may read a post, want to post a comment or question, then see all those nasty or off topic comments. They may then respond to some of the comments, which only furthers the off comments. I want this blog to be a resource, so comments that took away from that purpose were removed. Sometimes whole comment conversations were removed to clear confusion, especially if a topic was addressed thoroughly in a later post. I am in the process of linking older posts to follow-up posts that address the question readers had.

#2) I got an apology that made me reevaluate why I hadn't removed nasty comments sooner. I want to forgive all the readers who wrote nasty comments, and I want to move on.


Carla said...

I put your choice. I almost put frugal philosophy since that is of great interest to me but honestly, I love reading about all things. They all kind of work together to make this blog what it is. Keep up the good work!

Marie said...

I selected "its your choice".

I honestly enjoy recipes, tips, and frugal philosphy so I couldn't decide.

However, I would enjoy reading more about your background,what you are reading, etc.

Anonymous said...

I want a blog post about why you will not use God's resource of WIC. You know it has changed as of October 1st to include fresh veggies and fruit? You could make cheeses out of the milk you would get, yougert too.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy precisely the type posts you have been writing.

A few questions, though. Since you live in a cold weather climate, what do you and the kids do during the days when the weather is bad? Are there low/no cost activities in your area? Do you have access to a car?

How do you handle building an emergency fund when you are using most of your paycheck for living expenses? If you've had an unexpected big expense, how have you handled it and worked it into your budget in the past?

Have you ever done any bartering? Are there like-minded people you know who could swap relevant services with your family? Seems like if available that would be a natural extension of your living philosophy (I know we would do that if more people in our area were amenable to that)

Thanks, Emily!

Kim from Philadelphia

Anonymous said...

In response to the above anonymous comment, can you get WIC since you're married? I am also curious as to why you don't take advantage of food assistance programs, government or non (such as food banks).

Anonymous said...

It's your blog, and I think that a good writer can make almost anything interesting to their readers. I think you have so much in your lifestyle that is not mainstream that you will find many topics people will enjoy reading!

As far as questions go:

Just wondering some of the best frugal ways that you've found to entertain your young children?

What routines do you build into your day/week/month to make your home/budget/family life run smoothly?

I read almost everyday and very much enjoy your perspective!

crabcakes said...

I put "it's your blog". I like the surprise and variety.

As for the comments, I also think "it's your blog, do what you want". But I kind of like the raw honesty in some of them. Especially if I see someone post something false. One of us might be able to provide you with resources to counter that.

But whatever you put is fine. It's your blog! :)

Emily said...

Kim, who asked about tackling large expenses and building our saving account, I wrote a post about that:

I love these suggestions, and each one I am turning into a post.

Anonymous said...

Not a comment for a blog post, but a general suggestion. I understand you are going for a black-and-white theme with your blog, but would you consider occasionally posting color photographs? Looking at photos of food in black and white is not particularly appetizing. Plus, when you describe something many haven't heard of before, such as soapnuts, it would give readers a better understanding to see things in color. Just a friendly suggestion. Take it or leave it (or start a poll!). :)

Nydia said...

I read through your entire blog, I think I would like to hear more about your everyday life, Im really interested, I get why you do it, and I just am really impressed with how you live on so little.


Devon said...

I'm with the Anonymous who suggested some color. I agree--black and white food is not particularly appetizing.

Daphne said...

I just read your entire blog and wanted to suggest growing some organic veggies in your window sills. I am in CT and grow lettuces, basil, parsley, thyme, oregeno and spinach. Seeds are cheap and go very far. Plus they are decorative. Good luck

Diana said...

I like the tips and that's what I voted for but I really like a little bit of everything like you already do because it makes for a very interesting blog. I subscribe to you on google reader but I like actually coming to your site to comment and make sure you get some extra hits if possible.

Thanks for keeping it awesome!


Penny Saver said...

To the above poster who asked about WIC, yes, you can get it if you're married. I am married and get WIC. It has been very helpful to my family and I'm looking forward to the changes in October that add whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. We already get cheese and plenty of milk that I could make yogurt if I wanted to.

I think it's in place for someone in your exact situation, Emily - young families who are trying to get ahead but need a little extra help to keep good nutrition on the table of their small kids. It's like the Earned Income Tax Credit in that regard - there to help families do the best they can for their kids when incomes are low and it's harder to provide for them.

As for the blog, I have enjoyed most all of your posts and I don't think you should limit yourself. There is clearly a following here that isn't so common for month-old blogs, so you're doing something to keep people coming back!

Anonymous said...

I picked "whatever, it's your blog". I find your blog super interesting and think you're doing a great job with it "as is" yeah - keep up the good work :)

As far as deleting comments...I don't blame you. What's the point of allowing rude, ignorant, hateful comments? I mean, if something is actually CONSTRUCTIVE - that's one thing - but a lot of people are just attacking you. I moderate my comments too, and although I haven't received any mean ones (yet)...i'm sure I eventually will - although no one will ever know...because it's MY blog, and I wont put them up!

Anonymous said...

I chose general tips but I enjoy everything you write about. You have a way of making anything interesting.
Specifically, I would love some suggestions on frugal gift giving. Not only ideas of gifts but also how to handle family and friends that may not understand frugal gift giving. We have very little these days but have some family that still expect a nice (read expensive) gift. My husband would rather not eat for a day than give his mother anything less than a perfect gift. Not so much for the heart felt sentiment but because she expects it.
What do you do or would you do with this type of thing?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the color on the food pics. Also, I know you don't want to be a drain on the government but WIC is in place specifically for women in your position. Why not use it to get better quailty fresh ingrediants to feed your family.

I have one other question. I know you have a 98 protege. How do you intend to get 3 car seats across the back of that car. What seats do you have? I know you say that you are trained in installation. I'm merely just curious to know what seats will work across the back of that car and keep all 3 children properly restrained.

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions for you that I've been wondering for awhile.
1) Do you use ANY type of convenience item? Not sure exactly what I would consider convenience--maybe I'd like to see what you consider convenience as well! Do you use sandwich baggies or tin foil? Things like that...
2) I know that you are a Christian. Does your family budget for tithing or charitable donations? You don't have to share this if you don't want to-just curious.

Keep up the good work!
~Emily Los Angeles, California

Rachel said...

I voted for frual philosophy, I guess I like the debate it brings. I never really thought there were people who thought that children "had" to have their own room, own bed, Cinnamon toast crunch, and Happy Meals. I am in my 40's, probably older than a lot of your readers. we slept where we fell at the end of a day of outdoor play. We didn't bathe every day. We rode in cars without car seats or even seat belts on. My mother opened the door to anyone who needed a place to stay. There were more kids in the room, less privacy all the way around. But no one went hungry, and relatives depended on relatives for help, not government programs.

As for the WIC issue, we probably qualified with out first child, but we never went to get it. There was a mindset among young couples at that time, early 1980's, that you simply provided for your children what they needed. You learned to budget and do without other things so you could buy milk, cereal, eggs, etc. An example, my daughter is on WIC. They get the cheerios, rice chex,etc., but they also buy the pre-sweetened cereals. That just shows me that they can afford to buy their own cereal. If they couldn't, they would not spend the extra. I raised my kids knowing that I only had $5 between this paycheck and the next one. If we had groceries, the utilites were paid, and there was gas in the car, all was good. I really think this is what Emily is trying to bring back. Yes, I can take care of myself. I don't have to have WIC, food stamps, etc. I don't have to live in the nicest house in the nicest part of town. I don't have to have a new car every four years. This concept is so alien to young people today, they just can't comprehend this lifestyle choice.

jennifer said...

I put - whatever it's your blog - but I do wonder about the home schooling. I'll be honest, home schooling freaks me out, but that is me. I do wonder what if when the kids are older, say 10-ish, and they want to go to public school would you let them? and what is the reason for home schooling and what will you do for socializing and using/ putting into practice social skills?

Mary Ann said...

I enjoy reading for the frugal tips, so that's what I checked off in the poll.

Echoing some previous comments, I'd love to see some color photographs, especially of food.

Henrietta said...

I wanted to click "Other," but since that wasn't an option, I'll list it here. :-)

I would love to read more about your interpersonal interactions in regards to your lifestyle. How do your friends, your family, your husband's family, your church family react to the way you have chosen to live?

In regards to savings or an emergency fund (efund), as Kim asked about, I went back and re-read the post you linked, but I think your "The Situation" post better explains how you are saving money (putting any extra paycheck, which happens every other five-Thursday month, in savings, right?). I was going to ask about that, but I guess I found my answer!

In that same post, you talked about putting some of that money in investments. Are you referring to a CD, annuity, etc., or, as I've seen you refer to low-priced ground beef or cheese as an investment, tangible goods?

Oh, and I'm with the other readers who would like to see some color! As an artist whose primary medium was black and white photography for years and years, that's saying a lot! ;-)

Samantha said...

I have been reading for a little while and I enjoy your posts. I might not use anything you discuss, but it's interesting none-the-less. I just wanted to mention though, I think you're right not to use government assistance. Your husband could get a job that provided more money for your family, or you could even get more consistent work. If you're not willing to do either of those things and are fine with your lifestyle, then by all means continue to do live the way you do. But, like you said, you choose to be there, so there really is no reason for you to use government assistance that can go to people who can't provide for themselves. So, while I might not agree with your lifestyle, I at least thank you for leaving resources to those that need them.

Lyn said...

I just enjoy reading about the everyday things that people do to live frugally. It is helpful to know we're are not alone and that I can learn from others in similar circumstances.

We are doing fairly well I feel as we live on a smaller income and have the expenses of a home. Still, of course, I feel the pinch at times. Gearing up for the colder and more expensive months is a challenge. Planning ahead has been key but even then sometimes I find one can only do so much with limitations.

As a suggestion I've noticed that some people are asking questions that have already been answered. It would be logical for people to read your blog from the beginning (I doubt everyone will). Perhaps you could post some "most viewed or popular posts" on your sidebar? This would save you time from having to answer the same things, over and over.

I am glad to hear that you've deleted some of the negative comments. I know your heart is to help others. Making your blog a positive place to visit will encourage others and will encourage more people to comment too.

You're doing great, keep up the good work!

Emily said...

I'm going to turn the black and white topic into its own poll for next week. I love black and white, but if colors are more helpful for recipes and select other posts, I can bend a little.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have the Anonymous comments up again.

I've been reading for awhile and love your blog! It immediately become one of my favorite must reads of the day!

I would be interested in hearing of gift giving ideas! With pictures of course. :)

I also like black/white pictures but at times for detail I would like to see some color pictures. I'll be sure and vote on that poll next week. :)

Please keep up the great blog!



Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and have read through some of the archives. While I have to admit our beliefs are obviously very different, I respect you putting yourself out there and sharing your life. Just one question I had and didn't see addressed - where does your husband's tuition come from? Others have addressed your lack of insurance, medical expenses, etc. missing from your blog. I just happened to think of tuition because I am also in grad school and my family is living off one salary. Just wondering where the tuition payments, books, school supplies fit in. Thanks.

Emily said...

I'm looking forward to a lot of these posts suggestion and have written a few, as I was instantly inspired to. There are a few questions that have already been addressed, so I added a search bar so people could find answers easily.

K said...

Color please! (at least for food!)
Will you publish your ketchup recipe? Thanks! :)

christmas gifts said...

Thanks for the tips. It was a good reading and will be useful for all. You have got lots of comments so its quite famous too.

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