Kiwi And Keweenaw Top Posts of 2017 Frugality, Environment, Sustainability, Cars, Groceries, Spending, Money, Budget, Vegan

2017 Fab 5 Articles

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I hope you all are having a wonderful end to 2017. Mr. Kiwi is enjoying his month off before starting the new job! And I’m enjoying taking a week off staycation to relax, recharge, and spend time with family/friends. Saving money and optimizing savings strategies

2017 has been a weird year, filled with lots of personal growth, and lots of fails too! I’m still working on overcoming fear, stepping out of my comfort zone, and getting healthier. We enjoyed a luxuriously frugal year and spent $10,000 less than last year, without feeling deprivation! I have a feeling 2018 will be a bit more spendy as we are in the market for a new computer, renovated master bathroom, and new roof (okay, that roof is a maybe, it was on the list for this year and didn’t happen).

I’m a big fan of New Years’ resolutions, so I’m setting mine now! Mr. Kiwi does not enjoy them quite as much 🙂 . I hope you all are setting goals for 2018 and reflecting on 2017 with encouragement, forgiveness, and gratitude (or not, if that’s not your cup of tea/pint of beer).

Most Popular Articles of 2017

To close out the year, I wanted to share the top five articles (blog posts?) of 2017 from Kiwi And Keweenaw!

1. Frugal Holiday Gift Guide

Frugal Gift Guide

Everyone loves giving and receiving gifts, right? Well, at least the people that come over from pinterest do! It was fun sharing many of the items that enable us to live the frugal life.

Since fully embracing frugality we:

Much of the gift guide was for free things or experiences!

2. 15 Items that Always Make Our Frugal Grocery List

We drastically cut our grocery spending from over $600/month to $225/month! I shared the fifteen items that we are always buying to spend less money at the grocery store. Top five posts for 2017

We mostly eat vegetables, so you can eat healthy for less :). We don’t buy groceries with added sugar and avoid processed foods, since they make Mr. Kiwi’s headache worse. We also fill up on whole grains, beans, nuts, and fruits to round out our grocery budget.

While we grow some of our food, we mostly buy it from the grocery store (by a VERY large margin). So our frugal garden hardly accounts for this spending cut. We are mindful while grocery shopping and eat vegan at home (except for honey). And hey, in 2016, we weren’t vegan at home, that’s been our big change for 2017, and we don’t plan on going back! (Seriously, it has been so easy and tasty. This is one resolution that was simple to stick to.)

3. Route to FIRE: Reduce Your Spending Roundup

It’s easy to rattle off stats and tell you that I reduced my spending by $10,000. But this post shares many of the ways we actually achieved our spending cuts. We did not move, get rid of any cars, or sacrifice our happiness. Hey, we still have most of our friends ;).  How to reduce your spending from eight personal finance experts

I also got the help of some awesome bloggers who are on the way to or have already achieved financial independence, early retirement (FIRE). You can learn more about their stories by checking our their blogs:

4. The Cost of Driving – Gas Cost of Car Ownership

One of the main ways we’ve cut our spending over the past few years has been by reducing the number of miles we put on our cars. This equals less maintenance and gas, with the added perk of the cars lasting longer!

One of our goals for 2018 is to become a one car household! Neither of our cars are worth too much on the used market, but we’d still love to sell one! The savings will come from:

  • Not having to pay for car insurance
  • No registration fees
  • Putting more miles on our bikes!

This post was featured on the Sunday Best by Physician on FIRE, as he also talked about reducing driving and his electric bike commuting. To help reach our one car household goal, we bought an electric bike kit! And Mr. Kiwi is planning on using it as his commuting vehicle for 2018!

5. October Spending Report – Homebrewing, Pumpkin Carving, and Yoga

Spending for this midwest based family with a mortgage, two adults, two dogs, and plenty of fun!Tracking our spending is the thing that has made financial independence, early retirement feel like a real and achievable goal. Budgets were too much work for me, and I never got the hang of deciding how much is a reasonable amount of money to spend.

Instead of stressing about how much money to put in each budget category, we started tracking our monthly spending using Personal Capital. This made us think a bit more about each purchase. Plus, at the end of the month, we could easily review our spending to see how it aligns with our values.

October was our lowest spending month of the year (maybe that’s why it was the most popular post) with only $1,783 spent. (That includes our $950 mortgage, insurance, and property tax bills!)

I’ve enjoyed the transparency of sharing these numbers with all of you readers! And if any of you want one-on-one spending coaching, hit me up (details here)! I’m offering discounts for the first few clients!

Bonus – 6. Frugality: Spend Less By Enjoying More

Okay, okay, I know I said five and I could have just changed the number to six instead of including a bonus! But hey, it’s my blog, and thanks for making it  all the way to the end! I really enjoyed my number six most popular post of the year!

We’ve slashed our spending without sacrificing, and instead, growing our happiness. I hate the glorification of wealth and stuff accumulation! And I love that so many people are pushing to embrace frugality and increase their financial security.

We can all be better environmentalists by doing one easy(?) thing: buy fewer things. And while those cork yoga mats look super cool, I’m just as content using my 8 year old yoga mat gifted to me by a friend.

That’s All Folks!

There it is, my most popular SIX articles of 2017! I hope you enjoyed them, and check back in 2018 for much better content (at least in my opinion), to learn about upping your savings rate, reducing your environmental impact, growing more of your own food, spending less money at the grocery store, and all things frugal!

Plus, we’ll have a student in the house, so dumpster diving will be socially acceptable again! (Oh wait, maybe it never is…Shucks, who cares about socially acceptable anyways!?!)

Which of those was your favorite? Any articles you want to read for 2018?

7 comments on “2017 Fab 5 Articles”

  1. I want a cork yoga mat too! Lol! But yes, I’ll settle for my +10yr old mat and keep throwing a towel down on top of it since it grosses me out no matter how many vinigar/water/baking soda cleanings I do on it. Thanks for the rundown of the lists – all good reads! Happy New Year to y’all!

    1. Reply

      Yes, cleaning and maintenance is so important to keep it lasting long!

  2. Ha, I love the it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want mentality. I’m still using the same yoga mat from 6 years ago as well 🙂 those fancy ones aren’t cheap either!

    1. Reply

      They are not cheap! I figure my old mat has another couple of years of life in it if I treat it right!

  3. Reply

    I had to bite the bullet and get a new roof on my house this year, so yeah my spending kind of went up because of that. It was $5,100, but hey you got to have a roof over your head right?

    1. Reply

      Yeah, it’s kinda surprising how inexpensive roofs are. We priced out that it’d be $7,000 for a metal roof (if we install it ourselves) or $3,500 for asphalt shingles. Not too bad, but that’s more than 10% of our annual spending!

  4. Reply

    Nice posts sharing with us

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