I’m always looking for a way to save money. Although I will admit hesitantly, money saved somehow seems to get spent in other areas. For example, when I look back at the fortune I used to spend on my hair shampoo and conditioner, which I now make for pennies, I am left wondering do I notice that $75+ a month that I save? I can’t really say when I look in my bank account I say oh there it is, that extra $75 this month. I also make my own body wash – mostly – and other items. Where is all that saved money gone? That’s a really good question.
For a small time frame before we bought this home 4 years ago, money was ahhh whatever. Bills were always paid and money was always there. Business was booming and everything was rich. Things change. Economy slowed down. We bought this house. Put a substantial down payment on it and did a lot of renovations before moving in. $$$$$ I have my simple country dream home, but at the cost of financial fluency. I’d do it all over without hesitation again of course, but everything really does come at a cost.
One day I am going to be disciplined and document every penny I spend. I used to be so broke that I knew every single expense down to the last roll of toilet paper (that I usually had to ‘borrow’ from work). By no means would I claim to be rich now, or ever, but I’m definitely comfortable in the sense that previously choosing between food on the table and heat was an actual ‘thing’ for me and isn’t now; Things definitely used to be rough for my daughter and myself. However, that was then, this is now.
Maybe a part of me has resorted back to being very aware of what being truly broke is. Not the broke like, I paid my rent, paid my new car payment and have a full fridge full of food and I can’t go away for the weekend and party my face off. Broke like holy shit its cold sleeping in your winter coat and mitts!
I never ever want to be that broke again. Sometimes Einstein tells me that I live in a state that is ready to be borderline homeless. It’s sometimes hard for me to even buy new clothes and I wear the heck out of everything…so much so it’s not even worth donating when I’m done with it. I see that as a good thing! Got a good bang for my buck on that sweatshirt..haha! I have to really need those clothes before I can buy them, yet I have a sewing room full of projects on the go. Go figure! Maybe some psycho-annalistic type person could have a field day in my brain and let me in on my own scrambles.
Most recently I bought a new vehicle, first one in 15 years. I didn’t even buy the one from 15 years ago. Einstein bought it because I was driving a beater and I had Flyp as my new born. Trying to get through this purchase, oh man, it was like I was planning the world’s biggest event. It was such a ridiculously stupid painful decision. After numerous trips to the car dealership, many of them sitting on the curb at the dealership where Dan lined up 3 of the potentials in front of me and I stared at them … Most tolerant sales rep ever by the way. Then I would go to a different dealer, different make. Go through the same thing. Three months later still no decision. I needed my biggest bang for my buck, one that I can drive for the next 10 years, road worthy for our winters, great gas mileage, premium safety, and not the most expensive to fix when something goes wrong and warranty comparisons etc.,
This decision process is exactly what I vision hell to be like when I am damned to there…HAHA. Then I had a thought. What if I let people in on my intent to purchase a vehicle, it could trigger, hopefully, some feedback and input. After about a further month of talking around I bought a 2015 Chev Equinox. Of course I go to the car show a few months later. I blew it! Piss me off…anyways, decision was finally made.
Didn’t purchase then what I would get today. Oh well. So it wasn’t about being cheap with my purchase, it was my biggest bang for my buck, without paying for the’name’. That was me being frugal not cheap.
Did I mention I exhaust myself? It’s a good dang thing I never plan to get married; I’d plan myself right off a cliff!!
I’m often called cheap, usually as a joke I’m sure (I hope), but it has made me question am I cheap? Too cheap? Will I take it too far the older I get? Will I be one of those old grannies that offers ½ a cookie to my grandchildren I’m being told I’ll never have? Will I shop at the dollar store for my grand childrens birthday presents? Does it matter since I am reminded almost every day I will be grandchildless?
We all know cheap people, but are we wrongly accusing them of being cheap when in reality they are frugal. I know cheap people, I mean I KNOW CHEAP people. Unfortunately Einstein is one of them, and they all typically annoy me. They complain a lot about everything if you go shopping with them (don’t do it) and oddly enough the cheapest people I know spend the most amount of money on SHIT, non-essential things. Some of these cheap people borderline on hoarding and are dollar store fanatics. That is cheap to me! Einstein is brutal for being cheap. He refuses to see the logic when paying for the same pair of shoes 4 times a year @ Wal-Mart is not cost effective when if you pay a lump sum up front then they are less than ½ of the Wal-Mart cost you incurred over the course of a year. To be cheap means you care about the cost of an item regardless of the quality. Being frugal means you care about the value of items. I like to think of myself as frugal and not cheap.
We don’t have a lot of things in our home. We have items don’t get me wrong, but our home is pretty … ummm empty compared to most. Perhaps it isn’t homey to others but to us, its simplicity is home. We don’t have clutter on top of bookshelves and tables and excessive anything. Actually, if I’m completely honest we have a LOT of movies and my book inventory is always increasing. Flyp with his peanut allergy keeps us out of movie theatres as a family. We purchased a mother of a big screen TV and crazy intense surround sound system many years ago so we could experience the movie theatre environment safely in our home, as a family. We have quality items like on our main floor TV room furniture is top notch leather furniture (fuck off PETA, I have your cat in my freezer that you killed yesterday instead of rehoming!! Assholes. PETA and I aren’t friends.) and flat screen TV’s etc., we just don’t have a lot of things. We don’t have coffee tables and very few end tables and everything has a home, except if you walk in Flyp and Einsteins rooms…Horrid hurricane aftermath disasters. Not sure how to explain our home, it’s just really simple. (yes Einstein sleeps in a different room, because he is a snor-a-holic)
So the whole reason I was brought to this topic, is tonight when the boys were working late and I had time to kill, I decided to make my capsules. I make my own herbal capsules. Cheap? Or Frugal? Frugal of course folks!! Firstly, I don’t like the thought of my herbal capsules being kept in plastic regardless of BPA or not. Every time I need more (approx. 30-60 days) I have to pay for another bottle and another sachet of beads to keep it fresh inside plastic. Solution: DIY!! It’s a whole lot cheaper, honestly, a fraction of the cost when you are purchasing ANYWHERE else. I also control the quality of the ingredients. I buy non-gmo capsules and get top notch ingredients. Tonight I needed to replenish my Psyllium Husk capsule inventory and my Astragulus. Psyllium Husk is your traditional Metamucil without GMO’s and natural flavours (chemical flavouring). Astragalus is an amazing root and should be included in everyone’s daily intake. Do yourself a favour and google Astragalus and get on it! Astragalas has been attributed to weight loss/control, energy, help with controlling type 2 diabetes, fights free radicals (cancer) and it has a long list of wonderful attributes and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Being frugal has afforded me the ability to take control of many items, such as making my own capsules, making my own hair cleaner, body wash, lip balms, using a menstrual cup, right down to homemade granola bars and the list goes on. I’m always looking for a better way to exist, which usually means reducing expenses, waste and results in living healthier. There are many more ways to be frugal and it is my intention to get to them over time. I’m always making changes and improving how I live and trying to live a simpler better life. Not everything is a hit, some are a miss, but its almost always attainable in some form.
I’m a proud frugal enthusiast in the making!!
For those of you interested in my complete disregard of PETA see the following websites. PETA kills over 90% of the companion pets they take into their care.
And if you google, there is much much more.