Living Well Spending Less Inc. Mom Blogger Starts a Viral Toy-Free Revolution

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Stay-at-home-mom of two inadvertently begins a revolutionary campaign when her blog post on taking all her kids' toys away goes viral.

Money-saving expert & blogger Ruth Soukup has learned a thing or two over the years about making the most with what she has. The stay-at-home mom of two saves close to a thousand dollars a month just by using coupons, usually spending less than $50 a week on all her family’s groceries & toiletries.

A reformed shopaholic, she has for the past three years taught others how to save money and use coupons through her blog All that coupon shopping & searching for deals came with a price, however, and eventually Soukup began to feel like her family was accumulating far too much stuff.

In January, she began a year-long experiment called Project Simplify 365, with the intent of “simplifying [her] family’s life and ridding [her] life of excess.” Over the first half of the year, she gave away about 75% of her children’s toys. Then in July, after becoming worried about the discontentment she was still seeing, she took an even more drastic step and took away every last toy in her daughters’ bedroom, right down to the designer comforter on their bed.

Amazingly enough, claims Soukup, her children welcomed the change: “I had no idea what a dramatic difference this one semi-impulsive decision would make in all our lives. I worried I was taking away their ability to self-entertain; in reality, the opposite has happened. They are more content, appreciative, creative, & patient. They like not being overwhelmed by stuff or having to spend so much time cleaning their room.”

When Soukup wrote about the experience on her blog a few months later, the response was overwhelmingly positive & it immediately went “viral.” The post has already been shared over 11,000 times on Facebook and continues to receive feedback from parents who have been inspired to follow suit and encouraged by the thought of an alternative to a consumer-driven culture.

Soukup just laughs. “I think it’s great; it’s a toy-free revolution. For our family, there’s not turning back.”

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