Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Low Income – Disability Check – Recession

This year is hard on everyone with the recession : high gas prices – high food prices – job cut backs – no jobs – etc.  I wanted to share how we are making it on just a disability check of $996 a month for 3 people. This is our second month living off of it, and it was a little hairy last month but better this month.

With this check, we first pay the rent, power and phone bills. And we are left with $ 211. The $211 is used for: food, gas for the truck, truck ins., soaps and etc., and animal food. And this can be tricky and overwhelming, but so far we are doing it.

The rent bill, we can not lower.

The power bill: is high in the summer due to having to run a AC in the food barn (which holds a years supply of food) , in the winter: we use gas to heat with so power bill will drop but then we have to add back the gas bill. Everything is turned off when not in use.

The phone bill: is a little high but it includes- free long distant and a toll free number ( for family and friends to call), and our Internet which is used for school and to find new ways to save money.   

Some ways we are saving money, not spending money, doing without wants, new ways of doing things:

  1. We started last year storing and stocking up on food and other house hold goods. Which I am so thankful we did because we would be having a hard time now if I had not. And we put a beef cow in the freezer a few weeks ago. So our meat is good and will last 1  1/2 to 2 years.
  2. Our milk cow is giving us 21+ gallons of milk a week, chicken give us eggs ( 80+ a week) and meat, and vegs from the garden. You can do a lot with milk and eggs including feeding cats and dogs.
  3. We only go to town twice a month. I’d like to get it down to once a month but I’m not there yet.  A trip to town cost us $30 in gas round trip.
  4.  Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR,  etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
  5. Lower watt light bulbs
  6. Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
  7. We do not eat out, and our sweets are homemade. I do buy cereal as I have not learned yet to make it.  The good, low sugar kind- the good for you kind.
  8. I make a lot of my cleaners, clothes soap, monthly pads, dish clothes, cloth napkins, socks ( I buy wool sweaters from the thrift store, and take them apart for the wool.)
  9. I do use my dishwasher but I don’t use my clothes dryer. I chose to give up using the dryer so I could use the dish washer. And it is only ran once or twice a day.
  10. I chose to have Internet over dish/cable TV. We have air TV and get 3 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS),  we think that is enough for us.
  11. We fix things when they break not buy new. I love DUCT tape, but hubby does not. Oh, well I still sneak it in once in a while.
  12. We save for things that are needed. We don’t rent to own, where you end up paying twice. Now there is nothing wrong with people who choose this, as I know it’s their only way. But we chose not to.
  13. When I go to the store, I only buy things on sale. I plan my menu on what I have on hand.   And at times it’s been hard, as you ladies know sometimes you just want something you don’t have on hand.
  14.  You really have to learn to give some things up but not everything.  We have all of our needs meet and still have a few of our wants. It’s hardest on the kids. But I have been giving mine a choose of things. I just don’t say no. I ask her, “Would you like this or that? or Do you want to do this or have that?” Recently she wanted to go to the pool, well we did not have the gas money. Which I told her, she said ok and went out side to play. She came back in a while later and asked,” Mom, can I use that big roll of plastic to make a water slide?” I said sure. She found a way to have fun with out spending a penny. I am so proud of her.
  15.  Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
  16. Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
  17. Remember this earth is not our home. I say, Earth and living here is our boot camp for heaven.

I know it’s going to be a long hard winter for everyone. And we might have to give up some things for a while. But the sun will come out again, this I know. I know some of you are working with a income lower than ours. Some of you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food. And I’m really sorry, I wish I could be of more help to you, but I’ll pray for you. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, at least I pray they do.


I will list more things as they come to mind on saving money, etc. And I’ll let you know when I find great web sites, too.

Well I better go for now, work to do. Hope you all have a blessed day.


August 27, 2008 - Posted by | creativity, disability check, Food prices, food storage, ideas, low income, making do, recession, saving money, self sufficiency, Stocking up | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Becky –

    You are such an inspiration. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I agree with you that we are in for a long hard winter. Thanks to your blog I am starting to prepare. Thank you.

    Comment by Linda | August 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Wow! That’s amazing! You are a good woman!!

    Comment by Darce | August 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to you on my blog. I’m really enjoying my time here and it’s nice to see others who live this type of lifestyle. Can you share where you purchased the laundry spindles that hold the socks and underwear? I’m planning my laundry drying for the winter months. Thanks!!

    Comment by D. | August 31, 2008 | Reply

  4. D.
    No, I don’t mind at all. And I got the spindles a Rose’s Dept. Store, here. But I have seen them from time to time at the dollar trees, and Dollar General. I payed about $2.50 for mine and they work great. God bless and have a great day. Becky

    Comment by jordansfarm | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  5. I a beyond inspired here. I have always been a live more basic/frugal kind of person, but I come across truly wonderful blogs from time to time like yours here, and I sit in awe at how little I’ve actually done to make my life basic and simple.
    Thank you so much for sharing. This large family deeply appreciates it (we have 11 here). Our prayers will be with you and everyone who will be pinching those pennies this coming winter, whether they planned to or not. It will be a rough road ahead, but if we can all share some tips and encouragement it certainly won’t be a lonely one!
    I’ve linked you on both my blogs (

    Prayers and Blessings,

    Comment by Deanna | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. Deanna,
    Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. We will all need each other to make it though this coming winter. I am glad I could help some. With a 11 to feed, I know you have your job cut out for you. And thank you for linking here.
    Have a great day.

    Comment by jordansfarm | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  7. Becky,
    Wow, you sound just like me! I have lived much as you are living for most of my life. You have most of the things I learned and practice, figured out and applied to your family’s lifestyle. And you’ve done it successfully, which is not an easy task. My newest ‘cost cutter’ was the propane. When the propane for the house became more than it cost for gas in the car, it had to go. We just finished building and installing a solar hot water collector and it’s doing well. On a cloudy day, it heated up well enough to shower in without teeth chattering. We heat with wood and cook with wood in the winter, to save on the propane bill. In fact, I had the propane company remove their 250gal tank last summer. I didn’t want to pay rent on it monthly when I couldn’t afford to fill it. Keep up the good work and the blog. More and more people are going to want and need to know how things are done… the old fashioned way that will help them cut costs and still live well. Most of it is attitude and a ‘can-do’ approach. Instead of saying to yourself how bad it is and how it won’t work, try thinking of finding a way to make it work.. your way. I try to look at something that isn’t working and see what has to happen so that it does work. Then I try to make that happen. It can lead to some interesting associations and paths in my mental workings and often leaves me laughing. In the end, most things give up and work for me because I just never give up. Ha! Laugh a lot, it helps. Remember that there’s a larger power out there that can help when you really get stuck and let that power work in your life.Keep up the great blog, I’ll be back to read more and maybe put in 2 cents worth every now and then.

    Comment by Lisa | September 25, 2008 | Reply

  8. Lisa,
    Nice to meet you. We would like a wood stove but with Tommy’s COPD, we can’t. We have thought of solar too, but we rent and can’t. I agree with your can-do attitude. Please feel free to add your 2 cents anytime, as I need all the cents I can get.
    Have a great day.

    Comment by jordansfarm | September 25, 2008 | Reply

  9. Becky,

    I am actually inspired by your post. I am a Filipino and haven’t been in the US but I may say I even speak with at least 150 Americans Everyday. I am a debt collector by profession in a Specific Bank there in U.S. I know we have bad impression as a debt collector but not all is Heartless. I can really feel your situation and it helps me more understand people from U.S. I will pray for you and your family and to all families who experience hardship

    Comment by Daphne | February 15, 2009 | Reply

    • hi to all … i just saw the post date was 2009 . hope someone is still out there and sorry to hear about all situations. my hubby and i are in big health and financial problems . we are both disabled and trying to keep our heads above water . take care everyone and God bless all , please write if someone reads this , thanks

      Comment by gilda | April 16, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: