Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Frugality; Not Just Penny-Pinching

My iPad defines frugal as "sparing or economical with money or food" or "simple and plain and costing little".

A Goodwill find - at half off day, no less

I don't know about you, but to me being frugal is about more than just money. Don't get me wrong here, I do like getting good value for my dollar, but it's more than that. For me, It is about maximizing all of my resources, and that includes time, energy, and even health (which is really the most important resource of all). I also think it is important to do this without the feeling of deprivation. Of course that makes everything just a little more complicated, doesn't it?

I impact my health and my wallet in a positive when I do get it together to cook at home.  When I work in my yard I save money that I am not paying a maintenance company, plus I get a workout.  But this is also something that I enjoy, so it is time well spent.  I also go to Jazzercise (like Ann), and I appreciate that it is a good value; lots of class options for a reasonable monthly fee.  Plus, maintaining my health in this way is likely to keep my health care costs lower overall.
Thrift store dresser I painted, stained & added hardware to create my buffet
I think that being creative is the key to living frugally without feeling deprived. I don't necessarily embrace the "plain" aspect of frugality. I like a little glitz here and there. I don't like paying a lot for it, however, unless it is something I am sure to love for a long time. I love my diamond stud earrings (a gift from my husband); wear them almost every day. To me this is simple and a reasonable expenditure because I wear them so much. I like them equally well with jeans or the ever popular little black dress. I am not willing to pay a lot for trendy clothes, but will occasionally add something inexpensive and trendy to my wardrobe.
Classic white shirt, gold silk sweater, my one good watch with thrift store belt and inexpensive trendy necklace

I apply the same principles to items in my home. I purchased a quality sofa and love seat in a neutral color that I plan to have for a very long time. I look for colorful and sometimes quirky accessories like throws, pillows and so on to add some seasonal color and personality.  I also love to find cool stuff at Goodwill, or even better; on the street as a discard, that I can work into my home or garden in a fun, fresh way.
Stained glass I found at a salvage store; my brother framed them for me and I hung them as art!
These cool finds give me a thrill from several vantage points.  I like that I have saved money.  I like finding something and "up-cycling" it, when it might otherwise have been thrown away.  I like tapping into my creativity to take something I like and re-creating it, or re-imagining its function or potential.  And I like funky one-of-a-kind things.  I know from other blogs and Pinterest that I am not alone.  I love seeing the things that you are doing to bring creativity, function and beauty into your life - on the cheap!
Update on previous post(s): 
My thanks to so many of you that sent kind words my way regarding the death of my dear friend Tami from cancer.  The weeks and months leading up to this time have been difficult, and I know that many of you have had similar experiences and have expressed your sincere sympathy.  For that I thank you. Also thanks to my dear friend Ann for her willingness to come over and get her hands dirty helping me prepare for the memorial, and bringing her delicious chicken salad (see yesterday's recipe), Cathy who also offered her helping hands and heart and especially my Mom, who helped me get through everything, as always.
I also received some great suggestions and ideas regarding my post on Cooking At Home.  Needless to say, that fell apart in light of this recent tragedy, but I am planning to get back on track, and will occasionally update you, as promised.  Once again, thank you for your kind words and encouragement!
By Sheila 

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