Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Frugal Mindset

I've always been a little bit, well, cheap. I've more or less had to be. Now, having resigned, I am looking at bringing in no income, at least temporarily. So, I have been rethinking lots of things that we can do to help bring our expenses into line with our downsize budget. Of course, even if I hadn't resigned, I wouldn't have gotten paid in the summer, so it was time to pare back a bit regardless.

1. Eat at home. We have gotten way too comfortable with the convenience of eating out, usually fast foods that are terrible for our health. Cooking at home is somewhat complicated with my doctor having put me on a special diet that no one else in the family is following. Hmmm. That will take some thought.

2. Haircuts at home. Keep cutting the boys' hair at home. Only rarely do I get a professional cut to help with thinning out hair. Maybe I will invest in some thinning shears. At $10 per haircut for the boys, it can add up quickly as we don't let the boys have long hair.

3. Repurpose. We are working on a few projects that involve this principle. When DS13 outgrew his captain's bed, hubby kept the pieces. We needed a chest of drawers for him because we had used the one under the bed. Since none materialized, he took the dresser part from the old bed, added sides and a top out of MDF and stained it all to match. As soon as it is dry, it will replace the repurposed coffee table that holds his video game system, etc. Now, it will be both a video system and a dresser for very little cost! I need a desk now that I will be at home. Hubby is making me one with a piece of the left over MDF that will anchor between two bookshelves. All it will cost is the angle irons to attach it and maybe some paint to decorate it.

4. Frugal gifts. I have always loved to make things, crafts, crochet, knit, quilt, even scrapbook using computer software. Now, I have time to make more things, but less money to invest in materials. I am collecting Vintage Sheets from thrift stores for quilting and other things, as it is very cheap yardage. Old jeans can be made into nifty, strong shopping bags and other things. Lots of projects can be made from my stash of fabrics and scraps. If I don't have something suitable, I'd bet my mom does and she is trying to reduce her stash and save money also.

5. Basic sewing. I am no seamstress, but as a quilter, I know my way around my cheap-o sewing machine! Simple repairs, alterations, simple valences, bed coverings, pillows, etc. are all within my grasp. I have some capri pants that I will dart in to make sure they continue to fit for the summer. I can cut off the boys' too short pants into durable shorts. Any purchased materials will need to be on super special sale or with a mega-coupon (or thrift store finds).

6. Freecycle. I really could use a new sewing machine. I really can't afford to buy one, but I would consider using one that I found on Freecycle.

7. Thrift Stores, Yard Sales, Estate Sales. I generally look for vintage linens for sewing, but I am not above looking for other inexpensive, usable items if it is something we REALLY need.

8. Minimize Car Usage. Combine trips, etc. Just plain stay home more.

9. Canning. I love to can fruits and veggies. When I get windfall foods this year (like pears off of my parent's trees) I can can them for later and even give them as gifts. I used to make baskets of home canned foods and jams. They always went over quite well.

10. Free or Reduced Admission Days. Many local attractions have one day during the week that has a reduced admission rate or is free. I will take my kids on those days. That way, we can have a "stay-cation" and the kids won't feel deprived--and neither will I! This includes our annual parking pass for all Georgia State Parks. Since there are so many parks in this state, we more than get our money's worth on this one.


Michelle said...

I just found your blog, and I am collecting vintage sheets too. I am making fat quarter bundles to use as birthday gifts this year for my friends in our small quilt group. I love the quilts that are being made with vintage sheets, (have made one and want to make more!)and I too, am very frugal, so 99.5% of the fabric I use in quilting comes from thrift stores. Goodwill is my favorite. I also buy fabric yardage I find at thrift stores. I am not too proud to use 'not new'. To me, fabric is fabric. Yes, there is something luxurious about quilt fabric. I love it too, but it is not necessary to make a quilt or sewing project. If I had to pay the big price for fabric, sewing would not be one of my hobbies. I work too hard for my money to only buy quilt shop fabric. Our family was very poor with too many kids when I was a kid, and I can't break away from being frugal.

I'm rambling. Have a great summer, and be blessed!

Michelle said...

I love yard sales & thrift stores! Oh, and I just bought shears on ebay for $6.55 (that includes shipping) from vendor: closeoutpower.

I enjoy the idea of saving money! LOL!