This Is Me

Jessie Bee
I am a seeker of God, a help-meet to my husband and a mother to my 3 children. I love hot lattes, good books, cold weather and anything that inspires me to be creative. I desire simplicity and authenticity, but often have to remind myself to seek those .
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Going Frugal.

I'm aware being frugal was a way of life before the introduction of debt.  But much like peasant tops, soda made with real sugar, and starbursts (no, not the candy), the word "frugal" is making a rapid resurgence into our everyday vocabulary.  I had a professor who said that if I used a word three times, it could be mine too.  I hope writing it counts because, guess what readers, IT'S MINE!  Well, as long as the title counts.

I urge you to try it.  Tired of those calls asking for donations for the firefighters and prepared dinners delivered in automobiles?  Let them know you wish you could help, but you have to be very frugal with your spending now.  Sure, they're just going to ask for a smaller donation, but now you only have to use the word two more times and you, too, can own it.  

Anyhow, because I now personally own this word, I have tried to figure out how to actively use it.  And not just in a blog.  A blog is like a book report, and I was looking to make a diorama.  Remember those?  Pure awesomeness.  I wanted to make my new word active and alive.  So here are a few of my attempts:

1. Bedding:  my girls desperately needed new comforters.  Why?  Because their mom wasn't looking when the youngest child personalized them with permanent marker.  Bad mom.  Instead of putting out $70 for two new comforters, I went to Ikea and spent $20 on two duvets to cover the perfectly usable comforters.  

What's that you say?  Amateur frugality?  Then try this:

2. TV stand:  I found someone giving away a free tv stand on craigslist.  I picked it up and, when I finally get around to putting a couple coats of polycrylic on our free one, I'll swap it out for our current stand (which is our old coffee table which doesn't even fit our dvd player).  I'll then SELL the coffee table for...let's say...$20?  Awesome.  Oh, wait a second.  How much did I spend on those duvets? 

Look who's amateur now?

3. Spaghetti sauce:  Costco sells three jars of spaghetti sauce for $7.  Not too bad.  Oh, but stop.  Remember that new vocabulary word?  Right, frugal.  Costco ALSO sells cans of tomato puree and diced tomatoes for $2.50 each.  I bypassed the spaghetti sauce, purchased the large cans, and went home and made about 6 batches of spaghetti sauce (using less than $2 worth of spices).  

Can you say "frugal"?  Well done - the word is now yours too.  =)

4. Menu planning:  Instead of staring into my fridge for 5 minutes, walking over to the pantry and spending equal amount of time there and repeating that process until dinner decides to crawl out, I've begun a simple yet little-known process of menu planning.  I know - what the heck is that, right?  This strange custom involves sitting down and inventing 5 meals that I'm going to make in the next 5-7 days.  I pick 5 because we usually have left-overs or have plans to eat elsewhere (can you say "parents"?).  I then write out the ingredients those meals require and purchase ONLY THOSE, preferably with a coupon if available.  I'm a pair of heels and a pearl necklace shy of looking archaic.  

5. Buying in bulk:  I'm pretty sure that a synonym for being frugal is "buying in bulk."  But at the same time if you need rice for dinner that night, spending $2 on a bag sounds cheaper than spending $7 on one.  However, this is where menu planning and b.i.b. mesh.  You see, long ago when I didn't plan menus (i.e. March), I would need some rice for dinner that night (because the dinner that crawled out would demand the presence of rice) and run to the store and get said rice for $2.  Let me clarify that.  I'd get a pound of rice for $2.  Because of menu planning, I can plan for buying in bulk (meat, flour, sugar, etc) and go ahead and purchase that rice for $7.  Oops, more clarification.  I can buy 25 pounds of rice for $7.  I need to come up with a frugal dance for wins like this.

Okay, so none of this is life-changing.  No extreme couponing, no mad bargaining skills, no eating solely off a home garden.  But aren't diorama's a third grade project anyway?  I'd say I'm doing pretty decent for a third grader.  

At least I can make spaghetti sauce.  

I'm dying to know - what are YOUR frugal ideas?  

Oh, P.S.  So tacky, I know, but I created a Facebook page where you can comment if you don't have a blogger account.  I know a few people have mentioned that problem to me, so hopefully this helps!  I'd really love to hear your ideas.  =)

Hope to see you there!


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