Friday, October 24, 2008

Frugal Friday

I made an unplanned stop at a garage sale this morning after dropping my kids off at school. They had loads of stuff and she promised several times that there was more that she would put out tomorrow and next week. I found several items that I can (hopefully) put to good use.

Four first reader books for Pinkerbelle, (.10 and .25), a desk lamp for Skippy ($1.50), two unopened packages of icicle lights (.50/ea), the top only of one of those old-fashioned chicken basket thingys (.25), and the twin to the basket I have hanging on my front door , already painted black ($1)!

Two more plastic garden urns, $1/ea. These will eventually be painted.

Lastly, this cute little shelf for $1.50! It's in my powder room right now, but may or may not stay there. My powder room is really builder white as we haven't painted it yet, so it's just bad lighting that's making it look so yellow.

The little chicken is from one these vintage (maybe?) things. I don't know how old it is, or if it's worth anything, but it's nostalgic for me as both my mom and grandma had at least one of these.

It's a cute little addition to my collection of white dishes that is currently in my corner cupboard, although this is only part of my collection...just the stuff I've purchased since we moved into this house. The rest is still packed away somewhere. And, just so you know, this is not a thought-out display. I've just tossed stuff in there as I've brought them home. I wouldn't want you to think that I think this looks good, you know? I'm also contemplating a make-over for the corner cupboard, so I won't show the whole thing here.

So, that was my haul for the day, pretty cheap, but maybe not technically thrifty, since I could have survived without any of these purchases. But fun.

Now, last Friday I did a post on my frugal heritage, with the intention of discussing some ways that I can get back to doing more things to save money. I wouldn't say I'm extravagant by any means, but in the last 5 years or so, as our financial situation has become a little better than it was previously, I have become less careful. Here's one example that has for some reason burned itself in my brain: about 8 years ago, when things were extremely tight, I remember standing in the toothbrush aisle at Walmart. I wanted the $3 toothbrush, but decided I couldn't spend that much when right next to it was the Wally brand toothbrush for $1. I guess that was a pretty low point in my life for several reasons, but 'having' to buy that cheap toothbrush made me feel really deprived. These days, I don't even think about it, I just grab the $3 toothbrush if I want it.

For the most part, I still am a careful spender. I do a lot of my shopping at Aldi (although less and less lately the more I get looking into nutrition), I have no problem buying clothes for myself and my family at Goodwill, and 8 times out of 10 I do purchase the store brand. But I wonder, how much less could I be spending if my mentality was more like it was 8 years ago, when Handsome was making half of what he is now? (Not the feeling deprived part, though.) Or if I was even more strict about it, like my mother?

So, I'm going to try a little series, Frugal Friday, and see how it goes. Hopefully it will encourage me to try new things every week, instead of just thinking about it. Then I'll share it with you here. They won't be huge steps, but little steps put together create a journey.

This post is already very long, so for today I'll just quickly list two things I did this week.
1) I bought inexpensive reusable containers for the kids to pack their sandwiches in, instead of using a zipper-top sandwich bag every day. In the long run, this will save money, as I won't have to buy so many sandwich bags. As an added bonus, it's also environmentally friendly.
2) I roasted a whole chicken instead of using boneless skinless chicken breasts. It was only 3lbs, so I didn't have as much left over as I thought I might, but there's still plenty to make a meaty chicken soup out of, so that will be 2 meals for a family of 5. Let's just say, however, that I need to work on my roasting and carving technique!

What tips do you have for saving money? Leave a comment, and I'll see you back here next Friday for more!


dixie said...

Can I come garage saling with you? The garage sales out there are amazing!! You get the best stuff. I'm jealous, really, I am. More urns? Love the little chicken thing and I was thinking you should make it into a tassel. What do you think?

Trina said...

I haven't gone garage selling in years. I like sleeping in too much on Saturdays LOL You got some great finds though!

Tracey Roberts said...

Holly...i love the are so smart and creative...the hamper turned out precious! And I can't believe that cute rack was only $1.50! You rock!