No More Paper Route!

In “Creative Income“, I described how our family’s frugal adventure included two paper routes to help meet living expenses. It has been 11 months now, 7 days a week, of rising at 4:30am to faithfully deliver the newspapers to our little town. My husband and oldest daughter were the primary carriers but the younger children were included on Sundays to insert the additional advertisements.

Having been a chemist in his former life, John made the routes a science. He experimented with different routes to maximize efficiency and cut time. Once it was made as efficient as possible, they began sleeping an extra hour. Waking at 4:30am instead of 3:30am helped tremendously.

Since the Lord has provided our living expenses for next year through the grape harvest, there will be no more paper route. Yesterday, Oct. 31 was the last day – yeah!

While the younger children, who love to go on Sunday are a bit sad, the rest of the family is rejoicing! I realize, I will no longer be getting the coupon inserts from the Sunday’s paper, but I will have a rested husband.

So, what did we do to celebrate? We made homemade doughnuts. And, we ate doughnuts! We also drank fresh milk to make them even more nutritious.

One big lesson our whole family has learned from the paper route is to appreciate people. It is so easy to take people for granted, especially when they provide services that keep them behind the scenes. Don’t forget to show your appreciation to your paper carrier, mailman, UPS man, trash man …. anyone who serves you. Sure, they get a paycheck. But, it may be less than you think. Either way, a demonstration of appreciation – a tip –  goes a long way to encourage and uplift others. It also gives you the opportunity to show gratefulness.


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  1. says

    That is such a blessing that you can let the paper route go. That is NOT an easy gig. I’ve seen the job turned over so many times through the years, and that just shows how tough it is.

    Yay for the doughnuts and your good news!

  2. says

    I am so glad you and your family can get those hours back. And wonderful that your grape harvest provided that boost! Such a blessing.

    Homemade doughnuts! Woot!

  3. says

    Amen! My sister and her family has done a paper route for years, it put her kids through college! So glad the Lord is providing you with other means of income and your family can sleep in!

  4. says

    Congratulations. I know exactly how this feels becuase many years ago when I lived in New Jersey I had a fair size “motor route” delivering for a large Philadelphia paper.

    Taught me a lot about work, about people, about driving on the wrong side of the road and about my children — I was never as close to my six-year old than at 0500 on a Sunday morning bundled up against the cold, one leaning out one window for the customers on his side of the road, then the other tossing to a customer on the other side.

    I’m grateful you attained your fist long-term income goal, because as you know I have featured your story a couple times on my blog, as an inspiration to people who want to move to the Philippines (not really all that different than West Texas, except it is alt greener.

    Many use young children as an excuse for why the need to give up their dream, when instead, their children might become an important part of the dream, and their children might learn some very important life lessons and self-reliance. Godspeed to you and yours.

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