The last time we were at Grocery Outlet, I spotted this cloth grocery bag I just had to have. I keep cloth bags in my car trunk and wherever I go, whether it's grocery shopping or a Saturday morning yard sale spree, I have them.
This bag says it all for me.
"Call me frugal, canny, careful, conserving, discreet, metilulous, economically sound, penny-wise, preserving, provident, prudent, smart, super shopper, saver, skimper, sparing, thrifty, not wasteful, abstinent, ascetic, austere, content, moderate, restrained, the master of the deal, temperate, sustaining or bargain minded. But don't call me cheap."
I was talking with a friend on the phone last night about budgeting and living a different life-style when it comes to money. It was an awesome conversation and I got to share with her my own thought processes on the topic along with an example of it from over the weekend.
Gene and I did a little yard sale-ing on Saturday. When we can't think of anything else to do while the weather is iffy, we end up wandering around our neighborhoods looking for treasures. I found a really pretty wind chime for $1. I've been dying to have a wind chime but I do exhibit restraint when it comes to buying some things brand new. I knew eventually one would appear and this one makes beautiful sounds. The fact that I held out and didn't buy a new one makes it even more beautiful to me. Any spend-thrift reading this will not understand what I mean. I also picked up a set of queen sized sheets at the same sale. They were neatly bundled with care and tied with a pretty yellow ribbon with a note on the tag that said "good condition". I normally don't buy such things at yard sales but a quick judgment call told me this was a nice lady and it wouldn't be money wasted. I brought them home and washed them and have slept better than ever on those $2 sheets. Have you priced sheets lately?
So, on Sunday, while we were doing the taxes, I was thinking maybe I'd like to go to the movies afterwards. If I go to a movie theater twice a year, that's a lot. I usually go on my birthday. It's a real treat but there has be to something showing that I really must see on the big screen. I was thinking that it would just be a nice reward for having spent a good part of the day doing something I don't like doing. By the time we got done doing taxes, I had changed my mind about going to the movies. First, there's nothing playing that's worth the outlay of cash, and secondly, when I can run down to Redbox and rent a film for $1, it's hard for me to justify spending at the very, very least $15 getting in the doors of the theater. On the other hand, we ended up in the car with Missy, taking a road trip out to Prosser, which cost us about $10 in gas. In retrospect, if given a choice, I'll always choose a road trip over just about anything else. When we combine a road trip with yard sale-ing, i.e. travel to another town 20 or 30 miles away, that's like a cherry on top of it all.
I have a lot of thoughts on living a frugal life-style. I haven't always been this way but I don't mind saying that it has been a lot easier living through this recession, having already tightened our belts a long time ago. Having the conversation with my friend last night just reminded me that there are still ways I could tighten my belt up more. I love the challenge of finding good deals and ways of making my dollars stretch.