About Us

Hi! We're John and Mary Johnston the authors of "The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy"

Over five decades John has earned degrees in marketing, business, and education, taught, worked in cities around the world, started small businesses, and counseled financially over 1,000 individuals.

We've experienced some of the richest economies and some of the poorest. We've had the opportunity to interact with people of many cultures and have gained from them invaluable knowledge of financial principles. We have discovered some universal financial truths that work in all times and all cultures.

Along with our son Benjamin, we live in Wisconsin. We are working as a team experimenting and implementing The Frugal Prosumer principles that we teach and write about.

This blog is based on our experiences. Our desire is to improve the lives of people by empowering them with knowledge and truth that can free them up financially so they have time and resources to follow their passions and make positive changes in this world. Our vision and goal is not only to help individuals, but to teach them how to help others.

So why are we taking up your precious time and air space? Because we obviously feel we have something of value to share with others. And we think others have something of value to share with us. Hopefully it will generate experiences from readers to help people along in their frugal prosumer journey. And maybe it will help others to take a look and realize they can do it too.

It’s really hard to know where to start with this. I(Mary) could start with my own parents who had to manage 7 children. I don’t remember any heart to heart talks on frugality or prosumerism. They just lived it.

John’s parents were very much the prosumers. Living as missionaries in a place that begged creativity and make do-ness instilled in him some skills. Or at least permission to live deliberately. When everything is there for you I believe you lose the opportunity to make the choice and take personal responsibility. We do our youth a disfavor by taking the easy way out and “supplying” for them. How many of you had to scrimp and save and furnish your first home with curb side furniture when you were first married? And didn’t you just love it? The Value was in the adventure and making due and doing something together. Frugal Posumering that paid off.

We’re going to let you take a peek into our life journals and glean from them. We’ll even give you permission to say “NO way”. That’s okay.

About John
   John has put these Frugal Prosumer ideas into practice by leading and participating in educational adventures in many parts of the US and the world. He has lived and worked for over twenty five years in Asia and the Middle East.
   He has an AA in Marketing, a BA in Business Administration, an MA in Christian Education, attended seminary, and has pursued postgraduate studies as an Educational Specialist in Guidance and Counseling.
   John has taught kindergarten through college as well as lots of adult education classes. Teaching classes on: Computer Usage (Desktop Publishing, Databases, Accounting, Word, Excel, Macintosh, Windows, etc.), Running a Small Business, Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, Senior Life Issues, Using Quickbooks, Bible, Personal Finances, Bankruptcy, and more.
   John is an entrepreneur who has been involved in starting his own businesses since elementary school. He has done consulting for over 200 businesses and organizations and has financially counseled over 1000 individuals.
   Along with his wife Mary, they are currently setting up a center to teach The Frugal Prosumer lifestyle that keeps one financially, physically, and mentally healthy. Their emphasis is on things that enable one to Live Rich on Less and at the same time prepare one for an uncertain tomorrow.
   He is also the author of: The 7 Pillars of The Frugal Prosumer, The Frugal Prosumer Finances Workbook, Tips to Escaping Debt Slavery, and co-authored a book on choosing computer accounting programs for small businesses.

 About Mary
   Mary has been a Frugal Prosumer for a long time. She lived in Canada until she turned thirteen and has traveled with John to Japan and Pakistan. Coming from a family of nine she learned to live frugally and do it happily.
   She has enjoyed the adventure of thirty years with John and is still looking forward to more adventures. Her talents and passions involve singing, songwriting, studying and using herbal medicine, being a mom, helping John in his business ventures, as well as operating her own cottage industry of herbal body care products.
   Mary continues to thrill at the many uses that herbs have in everyday life and she loves flowers. Her academics go beyond high school but that isn’t important to her so don’t ask. Tee hee!

Do You See What We See? 
   As we look around, we are not happy with society’s deterioration. All of us see things that we believe could be better, but we are frustrated by our inability to break free. Lack of information and resources make it difficult to break out of our old thought patterns. We see:
  • Many living under the tyranny of debt, living paycheck to paycheck, being deceived by the robber barons, and worried about an uncertain future.
  • Hurting families, youth, and individuals who seem to have lost their way.
  • People lacking moral standards.
  • Our health and the environment being destroyed.
  • People seeking meaning, purpose, and direction in life but not finding it.
  • Youth squandering valuable time on electronic media, video games, materialism, and a deteriorating school system.
  • Youth leaving school without the real life skills they need.
  • Untapped youth potential and energies that could be channeled into more productive pursuits.
   While society and charitable organizations are suffering from lack of workers and resources, they overlook two underutilized groups:
  1. Our youth who are our most energetic resource and who want to change the world.
  2. Our elderly, who have vast stores of experience.
Our mission is to:
  • Equip the our youth and use the knowledge of our elderly.
  • Teach The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy of Living Rich on Less today while preparing for an uncertain tomorrow.
 For over 15 years we have been developing, living, and teaching a practical approach to achieving a simpler, saner lifestyle. We call this the way of The Frugal Prosumer. The way to Live Free.
What we Believe
   We believe that building community and reducing expenses are two vital principles and are the keys to a fulfilling life. It’s not about becoming as rich as possible or becoming super powerful. It’s about stripping away the things that are hindering you from living the life you want to live. We want to give you hope so that you can achieve freedom.
  • We believe that relationships are one of your strongest assets and greatest joys. Without good relationships you will never be truly happy.
  • We believe that knowing how to reduce expenses is key to one of the greatest struggles in life...money. Where will you get it? How will you spend it? How you’re going to keep it.
   With these two key points covered and running smoothly you will have the freedom to accomplish whatever it is that you want. This is the freedom to be free.
   After years of weeding through the details and the overwhelming flood of bad information we have pulled out the stuff that actually works. We condensed, streamlined, and are now presenting this information to you.
   We believe in what we write because we live it. We know it works.


  1. I tried hemp oil for sleep for a week, gradually increasing the dosage from 10 mg to 50 mg. It did NOT make me sleepy, just made me groggy the next day...I have lots of trouble getting to sleep. I can't handle ANY sleep aids except gentle herbs. Even too much Valerian Root can make me groggy the next day. Melatonin aggravates the chronic depression, OTC's make me hyper as does too much Vit B, making my sleep issues much WORSE...SO frustrating. I've also had adverse effects from Ashwaghanda, CA Poppy, CoQ10 and ALL stimulants, natural or not.


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