Guest Post on Thrifty Living

Today's guest post on Thrifty Living comes from a very special source.
Meet Darcie.
I talk about her often on this blog, and if we've met at a local show, you have almost definitely met her as well. She is fun, hard working, and has a heart the size of Texas. 
She is my baby sister.

After finishing her Undergrad degree at OSU, she has been working as a CNA at the hospital, while taking classes to prepare for nursing school. The big news came this past week with a late morning phone call from Darcie, "Lin, I got in!"
She did it. She got into the nursing program she was hoping for.
Chills covered my body, as I fought back the tears of pride and joy in my little sister.

Just yesterday, she read one of her scholarship essays to me.
By the end of the short and sweet 500 word ditty, I found that the corners of my mouth were turned up in delight. She had produced an entertaining read on a topic that has become a way of life for this stay-at-home mom...making me proud yet again.

Without further ado,
Darcie Rabun on Thrifty Living

During my time at Oregon State University where I earned my undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Science I also learned the science, importance and sheer thrill of penny pinching.  It was during these college days that I held down a position at a local feed store, assisting the community of self-appointed bird and wildlife animal conservationists with all of their bird seed and squirrel feed questions and concerns.  The money I earned working 20-30 hours every week helped pay groceries and rent for my modest apartment I shared with 2 other girls.  I had a vehicle to drive, however the old Toyota with 300,000 miles was saved for lengthy trips, so the majority of the time I opted to hit the pavement, saving money on gasoline.  It wasn’t uncommon to walk 20 minutes to campus then another 20 to work, equaling a grand total of 40 minutes hoofing it home, usually in squishy water logged shoes thanks to a typical Oregon rain storm.  Over the summer months I was a bona fide poop scooper for local horse stables, which earned me cash that I put towards paying for school tuition and used during the school year.  By the time I graduated from college I was catering to over ten barns by feeding horses and cleaning stalls.  

Today, I am still nurturing my thriftiness but I am doing it bigger and better.  As I am about to start nursing school in the fall I have adopted many great methods of saving money.   The most impressive gesture I have made yet in the name of saving money is living in a barn.  My husband and I have seized the opportunity to live rent free in an old barn on my parent’s property.  We have successfully converted the old space into a cozy, semi drafty dwelling, with only the occasional uninvited bat, spider and mouse. (Although that takes the guess work out of what’s for dinner that night, another money saving tip.) We utilized yard sale finds and Goodwill treasures to furnish our abode for dirt cheap.  I physically cannot pay full price for something, my stomach begins to churn and I get clammy all over.  I treat this self-diagnosed physiological disorder by shopping at brilliant places like Ross Dress for Less, TJ Max and second-hand stores.  I have no mercy in the game of saving money, not even on my beloved tresses, so I have implemented the practice of minimal hair washing, usually every 3-6 days, and in turn my long locks are healthier for it and I save a great deal on shampoo and conditioner, although my husband can and does enforce the sniff test and informs me if my hair is due for a washing.  Along with these efforts I have bought a new cell phone for one cent, which does not have internet capability, I put water in my mascara to make it last longer and I line dry my clothes.