Monday, April 27, 2009

Letting Go and Living More

I haven't had much to impart to this blog lately because I've either already blogged about some frugal triumph or I am not doing much that is frugal.

My frugality used to manifest itself in the drive to get as much free or cheap as possible by using coupons and combining sales. And I was successful at that. So successful that my pantries and cabinets are aching from the tubes of toothpaste and cans of cake frosting. Obtaining, finding space for, and taking care of those extras has left me weary and I've been longing for a return to a more normal shopping habit. You know, buying what we're out of or what we need.

So, now I'm left contemplating letting my Sunday paper go. Two weeks ago my Mom and I scavenged coupons quite nicely at a nearby paper recycling bin. If I want them, I know where to get them free.

And instead of finding great kids clothes are garage sales I'm contemplating consigning tubs of their outgrown clothes to make room for the stuff that I already have set aside for them. Garage Sale Saturdays don't have much lure for me when I think about having to put more treasures in my already full house. The siren call of the thrift store has been a weak hum. The truth is that I would rather be home hanging laundry outside or working on my veggie patch.

It's still a frugal lifestyle. It's just a different lifestyle then I've been living. And it will help me do things that I haven't done before like making dish detergent from pantry items when I run out.

So, If you're wondering where I've been and what I've been up to then that's where.
I'll be clearing out kids clothes to take to the kid's store and shining my sink Flylady style because I am ready for a bit of a change.

This week I'm planting a zucchini and cantaloupe from seeds I started in my bathroom.


Alex said...

If you ever get the urge to coupon, maybe you could coupon for social justice (food shelve donations and the like)? It's still all of the rush of getting a good deal, but for a good cause, as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree! I think frugality takes many forms, not all involve how much you spend/how much you save. I think back to years ago when the Frugal Gourmet was on and he advocated buying one good expensive knife because it would make your cooking easier, it would last a lifetime, and could still be frugal if you take care it and don't have to replace it every few years. I guess I am saying, while coupons and bargain hunting are a part of my efforts, in the end I think being a good steward of your money, time, and efforts is what makes you frugal.

I say bravo to you for looking for a balance in your world! Enjoy!!


Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Alex, I do donate a lot to a local food pantry. But, it's about time to take another load.
I think I'm just a little burned out on shopping and want to spend more quality time at home.

lizzie said...

I gave up my Sunday paper two years ago - what a relief not to have to deal with all paper lying around.
I really dont use coupons(I dont usually buy the products that there are coupons for)

but if I did I d get them off the internet.
I am not going to many garage sales this summer as like you I have too much stuff already

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Jon here - Jenny's DH - Alex, that is one of the things we've been doing - donating the excess we get for cheap that we'll never use (or simply don't enjoy.) But even that seems like a backwards step sometimes. THe amount of time and effort taken to get those items vs. the time just getting a second job or volunteering with your hands - I'm not so sure there's a cost/benefit to the time spent clipping.

Ruthie said...

Jenny ~

I totally agree. I had to stop stockpiling when we were in a temporary home and it made me realize that some sides of the frugal spectrum matter more to me than others. I like cooking from scratch, gardening, and doing/making things myself. I don't like garage saling, going from store to store, or clipping coupons.

I buy pantry staples that are generally always inexpensive, and add variety with on sale fruits and veggies.

I think you're moving in a great direction, you go girl!

Rachel said...

Good for you! For myself, doing all this coupon clipping, sale hunting and shopping at more than one or two stores seems to rob some of the richness from my life. I need to think about this more and find a way to simplify without hurting the bottom line so, like you said, I can spend more quality time at home. Working in the garden and hanging clothes on the line fill my spirit so much more than the thrill of the hunt.