You know how sometimes in life things just seem to "get away from you". Well that has been the case with my "frugality" lately. I've been trying to remain frugal on some of the bigger stuff (like getting multiple estimates for household repairs), but falling off the saddle horribly when it comes to the everyday, mundane things that add up to big frugality! Our goal this coming year is but an extension of what DIDN'T get done this past year...purge through the entire house, sell any unwanted items that we can, and boost our savings accounts as much as possible...all necessary and Oh So Frugal!
With that in mind, yesterday DH and I decided to start "The Household Purge". I have still not bought my dear husband any Christmas gifts, and really needed a good close look at his closet to know exactly what it is that he needs... so that I am not duplicating things he already owns (NOT frugal to duplicate by mistake!). While I sat on the edge of the bed, hubby pulled out clothing item after clothing item...trying it on if he was unsure of the fit, while I looked for stains, rips, and shiny bums. The items that fit well and still had a good amount of life in them were handed over to me to put back onto the hanger (Why is it that men don't like to hang or fold clothing? Lol) and then were put right back into his closet.
In the process we found several pairs of brand new pants that do not fit. Unfortunately, in the garment industry your size is not always your size! It all depends upon the manufacturer! As they are "new with tags" I will try to return them, or list them on Craigslist to try to sell...and pad out our savings account with the money recouped. At worst case, I will donate them to our local thrift shop and get a receipt for our taxes.
We found quite a few clothing items that were not in a condition that I would want him to wear to work. He is, after all, a professional in a large corporation and he needs to "look the part". Even though his company has gone "business casual" most days, his clothes still need to be well matched and well cared for. For now, these items are in bags on our garage floor waiting for trash day. In the "frugal" mindset I really should have pulled off all useable buttons, do-dads and zippers and torn apart clothing that could be used for my sewing and quilting projects BEFORE I put the clothing into bags, but we had neither the time, nor space, for such a diversion while purging yesterday. I will, if time allows, dive into those bags within the next four days and add some useable fabric and notions to my sewing room stash. That is how our frugal grandparents would have handled it and it is high time I harken back to their thrift and wisdom!!!
Today we will sort through DH's chest of drawers to see what "non work" clothing needs to be sold, tossed or replaced. Since there is a bit more time and space today I will try to glean the useable sewing items before I throw them into the trash bag.
Next week we will begin purging my closet, shelves and drawers! I just know there are quite a few things that should have made it to the trash bag (post deconstruction for the stash containers) years and years ago. The time has come to admit that I will never again be that thin.....not even in my dreams! And, "NO, I really don't need any new clothing, dear"...no matter how many items are purged from my room. I am sure I still have WAY more than I need, lol.
So, after a good day of purging yesterday, I woke up with "frugal" on the brain this morning. For breakfast I poured the dregs from two different boxes of cereal into my bowl. Tiny dregs each, but more than sufficient for my breakfast. I pulled the waxed bags out of the cereal boxes, emptied them good and folded them into a drawer for use when breading meat or coating potatoes. While I could/should have salvaged the boxes for use in making templates in my sewing room, I have to draw the line somewhere on what I can effectively and frugally store. Unless they are big enough to be converted into magazine holders, cereal boxes are not useful enough to warrant saving at this time. It is, after all, a balancing act between keeping what can be reused and adding to the clutter I am trying desperately to reduce!
I have been doing laundry since soon after I rolled out of bed. Our laundry is washed in cold water with half the amount of detergent recommended by the manufacturer. Stains are pretreated with Shout, or Greased Lightening if they are of an oily nature. When fighting REALLY tough stains I add a Tide Booster pillow to the wash load. Even using multiple stain fighters, salvaging stained clothing is much more frugal than replacing clothing!
Since today is laundry day we will be spending all day in the house...and I will stay in my jammies until all of the laundry is done. Then I will take a really quick shower and get dressed. My jammies and undies will be the first items in the hamper for next week. Since we are staying in all day, our meals will all be made and eaten at home. Hooray for us! Breakfast was cereal for me. I'm not quite sure what DH had. Yesterday we had our usual Saturday breakfast out and the restaurant gives such huge portions that we almost always bring home leftovers. The leftovers are my tasty lunch today. DH will be having leftover pizza that has been in the fridge for a few days and really needs to be gone soon. For dinner I am making a packaged "hamburger helper" type meal. I am making a boxed garlic beer bread to go with it. Both items were bought at Big Lots for $1 each and I am using $.98/lb ground beef. So, with extra ingredients I am figuring dinner tonight is going to cost us about $4. I really, REALLY need to get a handle on our wasting of money on take out or restaurant food! I also need to begin purging through our kitchen closet and basement pantry. I know there are items in there that are getting quite old and I don't want to waste a penny of the money spent to buy them!
Now that my belly is full from lunch I think it is time for me to work on my handmade Christmas gifts! Time is flying by and I sure don't want to be handing out IOUs on Christmas Day! Hopefully I will be checking in over the next few days to continually update my frugal activities! How about you, are you staying frugal in this holiday season?