Filed under: Frugality | Tags: cement blocks, frugal, saving money, senior discounts
I sometimes worry that my readers (that’s YOU) will become bored with the Frugal Friday theme. Some of you have been faithfully reading my blog for over two years, and I’m pretty sure you ‘get it’ by now: that is, that transitioning to a way of life that’s not based on consumerism or poor use of the Earth’s resources, but on finding creative and practical (and coincidentally) frugal ways to ‘live more on less’ is a mindset and a lifestyle that becomes natural with daily practice. I’m always, always open to suggestions from you as to what topics or subjects you’d find entertaining or helpful. But, as my band likes to tell our audience: “We get requests all the time, but we play anyway!” So, feel free to comment. If I know what the hell I’m talking about, I’ll try to cover it. But for now, know that this was a frugalastic week for me! For me, the saving money part isn’t as important as the saving resources part, and I get serious satisfaction knowing that I’ve prevented a tree, a gallon of oil or water or some other natural resource from being used, cut, mined or burned.
Monday: I took a good friend to lunch at a local eatery for her birthday. She knows me well, and didn’t bat an eye when I told her I planned to pay for the meal with my $10 gift certificate I’d been given just for attending an open house of some new downtown loft apartments. Holy Taco, the food was good!
Tuesday: At a Christmas ‘passing party’ I lucked up and got 3 TN lottery tickets, something I never, ever buy. All 3 were winners, leaving me with $10 cash and my choice of two free $1 tickets or one $2 ticket. I chose the $2 ticket since the winnings were so much higher. With that one I won $4! Is this beginner’s luck or some kind of secret operative to get people to buy more lottery tickets? Michael says lottery tickets are nothing more than a tax on the poor, since they seem to be the ones to buy the most tickets. Regardless, I’ve had fun with my tickets, and since they didn’t cost me anything, I think I’ll take my $4 winnings and buy 4 more tickets. I used the $10 towards a haircut. With the $2 coupon I printed off from the internet, the cut only cost me $3.50. Then I’m going to give my next door neighbor, who is on disability and was ahead of me in the lottery line, two of them. If I win the ‘big one’ from one of the two remaining tickets, I’ll be blogging from paradise next time. If not, I still have a nice haircut.
Wednesday: I noticed a neighbor moving out of his place over the weekend, and soon a he put up a sign out front that said “Moving. FREE Take It All!” He’d piled a bunch of stuff on his recently vacated porch, so I moseyed over. No, actually I almost ran over there, but no one saw me running, so I’ll say I moseyed, sounds better. Anyway, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the exact curtains I’d be holding out for to hang in my bedroom! The drapes were still on the wooden rods even! I brought them home, washed them, painted the rod black (with some leftover spray paint I had saved for just such a small job) and hung them proudly. We did decide to spring for a pair of black metal tiebacks, which ‘completed the look’ I’d been hoping for. Price: $8.00 for the tiebacks (on sale), but finding the perfect curtains and rod for free is priceless. I did price them at Kohl’s… the rods were $12.97 EACH and very similar drapes were $29.00 a pair!
Notice the, count ’em, FIVE black-framed calligraphy prints above the window. I’d bought three of them at a thrift store for $6 to hang in my bathroom about a year ago and told you about them then. But, lo and behold, when I visited a thrift store in another city, I found two more of the prints, for $1 a piece to add to those first three. The collection of five now hangs over the windows and ties in the furniture and black rod perfectly I think.
Thursday: Lest you think we never do anything besides garden, cook and play music, I’ll tell you that if we never did anything BUT those things, I’d be happy, but we went to the movies last night to see ‘Selma’. The real Selma, Alabama is my hometown so it was a must-see movie for me. Seeing this movie is a perfect example of how being frugal throughout the week allows us to splurge on things that really matter to us. But I’m not ashamed to admit that we were happy to get the senior discount on the tickets, saving $4.00 in the process.
Friday: From $10 bills, all the way down to 49 cent stamps, it all adds up and makes our small income feel like plenty. I received another piece of mail today with its’ stamp uncanceled. I get them pretty regularly this way, and have never had a piece of mail returned to me when I reuse them. That said, I do tend to put them on things that are NOT terribly critical, you know, just in case it didn’t make it. I bet I’ve done this 30 or 40 times, so I consider it perfectly safe. No, 49 cents sure won’t make or break me, but adding it to the savings earlier in the week, I saved approximately $59 AND 49 CENTS!
Be on the lookout for the things you need or want, and then be patient and wait for them to come into your life. My next project requires four concrete blocks. The free stuff on the ‘just moved’ porch yielded one block, which I hauled home. Now that I’ve set my intention, I’m sure the other three will manifest themselves eventually. I’ll let you know. PS Concrete blocks are VERY energy intensive to produce so I’m especially happy to find this one.
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