The chickens ate my unmentionables!  Well, okay.  Not literally.  But it does feel that way sometimes…

Around here, we live on a budget.  Some days it is strict.  Some days it is rough.  Some days it is either suggestive or a dream.  But we do try to manage our money – what little bit of it we have.  One thing is a given.  All of our animals are fed, watered and cared for, long before we pull up a chair to the table.  Unlike humans, most animals do not have thumbs, so they are mostly dependent upon us to provide for them. 

As I was folding a load of laundry, I noticed that my undergarments were getting a little threadbare.  I shook my head and wondered about how I could possibly keep forgetting to buy new ones.  And then I remembered.  The budget was tight, so I ‘moved’ money over to buy chicken feed.  The next month, money was tight again, and the cows were the beneficiaries.  Then there was the yearly vet bill for all the dogs’ shots.  Oh.  Yeah.  And the Country Boy’s unmentionables looked worse than mine, so one month he got the windfall.

Living on a farm just isn’t cheap.  The more we need, the more we spend.  The more we spend, the more my Mama is praying that I don’t get in a wreck and have all those emergency personnel viewing ratty undies.  Well, at least she is praying for me.  Beggars can’t be choosers. 

Living frugally isn’t just a fad for us.  In order for us to make ends meet, we have no choice but to forego some of the luxuries like eating out, new and more fashionable clothing, going to the movies, or joining the New Car of the Month club.  Instead, we grow as much of our own food as possible, process it, and find new and delicious ways of serving it.  Instead of a membership to a gym, we use pitchforks, shovels and post drivers to get our aerobic workout.  Weight training comes in when we move a newborn calf from the back corner of the pasture to the safety of the barn.  Jogging for us means avoiding being run over by the bull – in which case it is called ‘all out running’.  Money earned simply means paying the overhead bills and feeding the animals.  If a cow ‘goes down’, we just pray we can handle it ourselves, instead of having to do a costly on-site vet bill. 

We love our lifestyle.  We love our farm.  We love our animals.  When we pull through the gate, we know without a doubt we are not only home, but have made the right decision for us.  Living frugally is just something we do, without really thinking about it.  Once we really got the hang of it, we also discovered we were much happier, with a deep-seated contentment lodged in our hearts.  I wouldn’t change things for the world.

Maybe next month I can get on the budget for new unmentionables.  That is, if it isn’t time to order seeds, get new chicks, work the cows, or repair the fence – again…

Want more fun posts about chickens?  Visit my post Chickens & Cell Phones!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. Ha, this is a great post! I am new to your blog (found it while searching for info about chicken keeping.) Totally understand the necessity of diverting money to places where it’s needed more. My great-grandma always worried about emergency workers having to see her ratty undies, and passed it down to me. I bought my husband new undies a couple of weeks ago and he was so excited.

    1. Author

      Hi, Dianna! I’m so glad you had a good laugh. Yes, farming can get expensive – but it is so worth it – even if it does cost me decent unmentionables!

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