Since we got back from our two-month trip in Hawaii earlier this year, I’ve been taking small steps to live more simply. It was such an eye-opening experience. Really. I thought it was going to be at time for us to enjoy a long vacation and spend more time with the kids. And it was that – and so much more.
We were in Princeville, Kauai for over a month. We really did nothing except go to the beach to surf and play on the beach. There were no scheduled play dates. No gymnastics class. No Chuck E. Cheese or indoor play structures that require a paid admission. The only play structure we went to was built by the community and built of real wood. And most often, we let the kids climb on nature’s playground, i.e. the trees that were overgrown with sprawling branches on the beaches.
And we rarely went out to eat because 1) everything was either too expensive or 2) we were just too lazy to drive. It was cheaper for us to buy staples at Costco and then buy local vegetables and fruit from farmer’s market. We ate home three times a day most of the time, which is something we never did at home. We usually took the kids out to eat at least a few times a week and throughout the weekend.
Now that we’re back home, I’m having a hard time letting go of our island lifestyle. In fact, we even went to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party and I got overwhelmed and anxious after a few minutes. Too many lights, noises, and people. I was craving the solace of the beaches and soothing sounds of the ocean.
So rather than going back to how things were before Hawaii, I’m embracing it and taking it as a sign that our family just needs to live more simply. I’ll share our experiences in how we do it and hope to inspire others to do the same. It’s actually much easier than you think.
For instance, we used to go to restaurants (dine-in or pick up) with the kids about 4-5 times a week. That added up quickly – up to $150 a week. We’ve pretty much eliminated that and only pick up at most once a week – and usually from the food court at Costco because my kids love their pizza or from a local taco shop. Instead, my husband and I use the money for date nights once a week – and we rarely even spend half that. I still get to enjoy eating out, but without having to hurry or think about kid options. I can enjoy my meals with just my husband.
Something else we’ve done is cut down on paying for play. We used to take the kids to indoor play structures and paid for admission. Since Hawaii, I’m keeping my kids outdoors instead. Whether it’s the park or the beach, I’d rather my kids enjoy the outdoors for free and luckily San Diego’s climate is pretty temperate so we can go outside year-round.
So each week on this blog, I’ll try to share tips on living more simply and living a greener lifestyle – one step at time.
What’s your favorite way to live more simply?