Thursday, June 18, 2015

Frugal vs. Not Frugal

Frugal- I've made dinner from our pantry every night this week. 

Not Frugal- The kids are and I are all doing VBS everyday this week and the by the time we're done, we're all tired and hungry.  We've had a lot of drive thru and today I splurged on Denny's for lunch.

Frugal- We've spent almost no money on outside activities this week.

Not Frugal- We've planned and paid for another Orlando$ vacation for this fall.  No, it's not Disney this time.

Frugal- I've been reading a lot of library books!  I haven't bought any new books in a while. 

Not Frugal- I forget to renew my borrowed items on time.  I have a stack to return and just haven't had the energy or inclination to drive across town to drop them off.  $2.10 in fines as of today.  I've been really loving Cassandra Clare.  I admit I love the YA section of my library. 

 In other news-
It's been too rainy to hang any clothes or do any gardening.  I'm coming down with a cold and I hope I don't share it with my group of Kindergartner's tomorrow at our closing ceremony. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sparking Joy and When the Answer is Yes

My wardrobe has been examined over the past week or two.  If I didn't love something or it didn't fit, it went into a donation bag.  I don't have a capsule or minimalist wardrobe.  I am not striving for that either.  I just want to have a nice collection of clothes that I love and wear.  And I'm finally getting it.  I need to be more judicious with my money and the things I allow to take up precious space in my home. 

I discovered a lack of capri jeans which is a staple of my summer wardrobe.  I scoured the racks at Kohl's and tried on two pair and picked my favorite.  This is weird for me since I don't like to try on clothes.  But, knew I needed to really like the pair I bought so I wouldn't waste money and space.
This should not be a revelation to me, but it is.  And I didn't automatically pick the pair that were the least expensive.  I need to get over the need to get the cheapest item in favor of having a few good pieces that I will really wear.  My mantra when shopping has been, "Do I need it?  Do I have room for it?  Do I have something like it at home already? Can we afford it?"  These jeans were a definite yes.  And that sparked joy. 

Today my little guy and I whittled down his wardrobe.  Now all his clothes fit nicely in his dresser drawers without a struggle.  I went through the small stockpile of next size up clothes in his room too.  I noticed that I don't have nearly the amount of saved clothing for him that I used to have.  There was room leftover in the bottom drawer.  And I'm not itching to fill it up either.  I'd rather wait until we have a need and buy good stuff then.

Next up is my stuffed full pajama drawer.  There's a monkey sleep shirt that I've had for 8 years that I dearly love.  It's holey and threadbare and I got it free from a Freecycle box in the first place.  It needs to go to the bin.  And then there's a super comfortable pair of cut off sweats that have more holes than fabric that need to go.  Somehow I don't think my husband will mourn the tossing of these less than sexy clothes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Answer is NO!

I'm going through and cleaning my massive collection of personal care in the basement today.  This is just the basement.  I'm not including the collections under the sink, in my dressers, on my dresser, and other miscellaneous places.   It's overwhelming.  My family should not need to buy any soap or shampoo for at least two years.  At least.

There's also the books, kitchen ephemera, stockpile of pantry food, clothes, make up, paper supplies, school supplies, laundry supplies, storage containers, office supplies, pet toys, and other stuff I've probably forgotten.  I've gotten better.   I'm bringing less home from stores and frequently leave thrift stores empty handed now.  It's not enough.   From now on if we don't need it, I am not dragging it home.  I am done.  Done taking care of stuff I don't love.  Done stockpiling things and couponing because it's free.  Done signing up for free samples.  Done shopping for fun.

Back to my sorting and laundry in the basement.  I've got to start somewhere.

“Have Nothing In Your House That You Do Not Know To Be Useful, Or Believe To Be Beautiful.”  William Morris

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Quick 5 Frugal Things

Things I do to save from the top of my head-

Navy Shower.  I turn the water off when I soap up, when I brush my teeth, and when I shave.

Air Dry.  I open my dishwasher to air dry my dishes.  Anything on the top rack gets a quick shake off.

Use Less- A smidge of toothpaste, half the amount of detergent, conditioner mostly on the ends of hair, etc.

Pick Up Pennies- And anything else usable you find on the ground.  It all adds up.  I've gotten some cute jewelry and hair clips for my daughter.  Just wash and air dry.

Eat Your Pantry- It's already paid for.  Save the cost of gas, your time, and make extras for the next meal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Use It Up- Frankenstein Your Make Up

So, awhile ago I watched this tutorial on youtube on how to DIY your own blush color.

And last week my Ipsy* bag contained a blush compact that was completely crumbled to bits.
Ipsy is great about sending replacements for anything damaged so I did contact them for a new
blush.  But, being the cheapo that I am, I did not want to throw out that broken blush.

Today is my first day alone in over a month.  Hubs started his new job today and the kids are away at school.  I hunted down my rubbing alcohol and started digging through my make up stash.
 I combined a mostly used up powder compact, two tiny blush samples that I never use, and that powdery mess of blush.  I ended up with two compacts full of new blush.  It was a bit messy but I got the hang of it.  While I was at it, I whipped up two light purple eye shadows from three mostly used up shades.  I used double-sided tape to put them back into their cases.

I'm already thinking about combining a too dark bronzer with some face powder that I don't use.  And perhaps some lip gloss from a tube of almost gone lipstick and a lip balm.

Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that will send you 5 samples (some full size) every month for $10.  Each package comes in a cute little make up bag and each month has a theme.  I personally find it worth the money because I like trying new things and the quality of what I get is sometimes better than store brand stuff.  I've found some new favorites this way.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Frugal vs. Not Frugal

Frugal- I ate leftovers for lunch.
Not Frugal- Those leftovers came from an expensive night out at a nice Italian restaurant.

Frugal- I've been driving the same car for 8 years.
Not Frugal- I just had to spend thousands of dollars on it for repairs.  Almost as much as the car is worth.  (Not an easy decision)

Frugal- My date night out dinner with my husband was marked down shakes from the convenience store on our way to see Bo Burnham.
Not Frugal- Bo Burnham tickets in good seats.

Not Frugal- Paying a babysitter $10 an hour for our date night.
Frugal- It was less expensive and better care than the drop off daycare we used to use.

That's all I've got for now.  What's your frugal vs. not frugal?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Five Frugal Things

Katy of The Non-Consumer Advocate hopefully won't mind me borrowing her famous blog post title.

My husband is on a job hunt again as his last contract position was done away with.  We are doing ok and not in the woods financially.  Thank God for being debt free!  But, I'm trying to get back into a more frugal day to day state of mind.

*I'm continuing to try to use up what we have instead of buying new stuff.  I've been going through travel and sample sized bottles of lotions and potions like crazy.  I just used up the last of my pumpkin cinnamon body wash and I will not buy any more until I am completely out.  By this fall I will be ready to put that on a birthday list.

*I've been a free food magnet lately.  My local salvage store has been having a box of free dented cans.  I'm helping myself to the max of ten each time.  The last thrift store I went into was giving out free bags of huge granny smith apples.  They weren't pretty and some of them were almost black with spots but once peeled they taste fine.  I made a small batch of chunky applesauce with them tonight and it was awesome.   I'll probably chop up some more tomorrow and make muffins.

*The same store where I bagged some free apples (bah!)  had a quarter sale on VHS.  I scored three tapes for cheap entertainment on the weekend.  We've also been enjoying the library for free reading material.  My husband borrows books on IT to brush up on his marketable skills and I get free novels and movies.

*Spring is finally here.  That means yard work and getting a garden together.  This year I'm going to try to have a small patch in my backyard so I can grow radish, beans, and other things.  My daughter is asking me if she can help too!  I scored a bunch of clearance seeds at the MFA for a nickle apiece.

Now it's time for another favorite frugal activity.  The kids are put to bed.  The dishes are done and it's time to cuddle with my husband and catch up on some Netflix.   We finally finished the last season of Orange is the New Black last night.  We high-fived afterwards because we never finish any show.