Tennesseetransitions


Frugal Friday: March 7, 2014

I’ve had lots of opportunities to save money lately. Some by sheer luck, some because of diligence on my part. I’ve learned that normally though, the best way to ‘save money’ is to not spend it to begin with, and that’s always my first line of thinking. I’ve also found it to be true that if I will wait a day or two before buying something, I often realize I didn’t need it after all. Or, if I wait LONG ENOUGH, often the very thing I need comes my way anyway. From a swatch of turquoise fabric to repair a pillow sham to  an electric heater that I needed in my cellar to keep pipes from freezing, planning ahead and being patient always pays off. Of course, sometimes opportunity knocks in the most unexpected ways and places and I have to ‘listen’ to hear that knock when it occurs.

Monday: Got my teeth cleaned at the local dental hygienist school. My dental insurance only pays for two cleanings a year. Because I have a tendency towards gum problems, I’ve found that if I have mine cleaned 3-4x a year, that really keeps the problems minimized. The dental clinic at the school will clean them twice a year, and for seniors, it’s free. They’ll also take x rays for free, then make copies for me to take to my regular dentist for $20. To top off that sweet deal, they always send me home with a ‘goodie bag’ that has a new toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and a box of floss in it. Sometimes there are samples of mouthwash, specialty brushes or coupons for toothpaste too in the bag as well. Because I’ve been getting my teeth cleaned so regularly for years now, (even though I begrudge having to go) I haven’t had to have any other work done at all. Prevention is the best medicine, that’s for sure. If you live near a university, check out the services they offer. I’m able to ride my bike to the college, and my dentist is so close I don’t bother, I just walk there. Savings: Good Dental Health?=Priceless!

Tuesday: Speaking of the local university: Michael and I volunteer for the School of the Arts in order to earn free tickets to the event of our choice each spring and fall. We like to deliver the posters for those events because many of them are close enough by that they can be delivered while on our daily walks to the nearby businesses. Sometimes we’ll usher too, allowing us to see a show that way. Many of these events are followed by a free buffet of fruits, veggies and hors d’ oeuvres (did I spell that right?) that we’re invited to enjoy. Savings: Most tickets to these events are $15-$20 each. Date Night of Music/Film/Presentations and food=Priceless!

Wednesday:  I’m cooking multiple things together more and more often, to save time and energy. This week I again filled my clay cooker with recently-harvested carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts, along with some leftover cubed chicken, and tossed it all with about a quarter cup of needs-to-be-used Italian dressing and some fresh sprigs of rosemary. Cooking the dish at the same time Michael’s home-made bread baked saved an hour of electrical usage, and provided us with two delicious meals! 

clay cooker    bread

 

Thursday: My favorite nearby farm and garden store held a ‘moving sale’ recently, and just like with ‘moving’ yard sales, things were marked down to rock-bottom prices. We snagged bags of organic soil amendments for 75% off!. Savings: Home-grown organic food-You guessed it-Priceless!

Friday: My nearby IGA grocery store closed last Friday, but I’ll use this example for today. I went in on the last day they were open, searching for a bargain, on foot. I ended up calling Michael to come pick me up and to bring some of my cloth tote bags because I got many many bags of food at 75% off! I spent $35 so that same stuff would’ve cost about $140. Savings: $105! I’m not happy about this though-I’d lots rather have this small hometown grocery open and within a 6 minute walk of my back door. The closing of this store leaves me and everyone living within a 4 mile radius living in a food desert now, forcing US to drive to the nearest store, or to catch a bus. I could go on and on about the issues this raises, but this post is not about that so I won’t go there-for now.

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

Elise Boulding  from the blog http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/

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5 Comments so far
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You had another excellent week! I know what you mean about the store closing. We used to have a Food Lion, my favorite store, within walking distance. I walked there quite a bit. Such good bargains they have! In small town America and a lousy economy, nothing replaced it and it sits empty. I can’t walk to any of the other stores here, too far. But, I drive to the next little town once a week to visit my mother in the nursing home, and there’s another Food Lion on the way, yesss. They also recycle paper, which our boro doesn’t do, so I keep all my paper in a reusable bag and take it along to dump off there. The store sells that and makes money from it, but that’s ok with me, cos I still get to feel good about not putting it in the landfill. Have a good weekend, and better weather!

Comment by sarasinart

Thanks for sharing your food desert story with me. I believe the desert is huge and far flung across America and we shouldn’t have to live in mega cities to have access to good food. I’m thinking the answer is food co-ops and if folks could get a good glimpse of what successful ones look and feel like, they’d participate. Will you move to my town and help me start one? Have a good weekend yourself. Today is definitely a spring day, warm and sunny. Lots of gardening going on here today I hope.

Comment by simpleintn

I’m pretty well rooted here, but it would be so neat to be your neighbor! We have 55-60 degrees coming for a couple days, and more cold after that, cos this is just a tease, but soon! In the meantime, we’ll take whatever warm we can get. Enjoy your digging in the dirt.

Comment by sarasinart

“…they always send me home with a ‘goodie bag’ that has a new toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and a box of floss in it.”

The school is probably turning out great dental hygienists, but lousy business people. If it was me, I would have put a tin of peanut brittle in there, too.

Comment by Daniel Sandoval

Daniel, I don’t care what Teri says about you, I think you’re funny 😉

Comment by simpleintn




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