Friday, September 12, 2008

Frugal Friday

Well those of you who read my blog know we are financially strapped. We are working hard to meet our monthly obligations and decrease our debt. I am happy to say we've cut this month's discretionary spending in half (i.e. food, merchandise, etc). So far this month we've only spent $13.95 at restaurants. Hip, hip hooray! We've two more days in the credit card cycle and I'm trying to avoid spending additional money so I can pay the balance in full. This means getting creative with food.

I scoured the cupboards and found half an onion, fresh garlic, black beans, azuki beans, tomato paste, beer, soy sauce and spices. Put it all together and you have...bum ba da da dum! Vegetarian chili! Tonight will be our third night with this lovely concoction.

I also found yeast, flour, butter, baking soda, oil, an egg and salt. What does that spell? Homemade Pretzels! You can find the pretzel recipe here. They were a huge hit and didn't last long. I may just make another batch today.

Last week I also baked a loaf of wheat bread, two loaves of zucchini bread and a batch of homemade pitas. I've had the weekdays off work (thus time to bake). I must admit I'm loving it. I sincerely wish I could retire but don't see that in my near future.

And since I want to retire sooner than later (if you count 15 to 20 years as sooner) I'm looking for other creative ways to save money. I briefly toyed with the idea of not shaving but the hub quickly put the kabosh on that. Apparently he has no interest in being married to Sasquatch. So to appease my husband I searched the web for ways to save money on razors and found this site. According to the Chicago Tribune razors wear out from micro rust buildup and not from cutting hair. This rust can be massively decreased by keeping the razor dry. As such I started blow drying my razor after each use. I'll let you know how long the razor lasts. And on a side note I also blow dried my hair. Shockingly hair looks better when styled. Go figure.

Next I found the Diva Cup - a reusable replacement for tampons and maxi pads. Essentially it is a collection cup that you place up your hoo. This cup has gotten great reviews on the net (and this hilarious one over at Motherhood Uncensored). I am going to give it a go. Hopefully it will arrive before my next cycle. I must admit I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing but as the reviewers state - if a baby can fit through there then Diva Cup will fit just fine. Let's hope so.

I'm also trying to get an early start on Christmas and have been knitting up a storm. I bought all the necessary supplies with Ebay proceeds. My PayPal account is diminishing, however, so I put a few more things up for sale - some ties and Timbuk2 bags. If you are in the market for stylish ties and/or hip urban bags check out my auction here.

And finally we've been using the library. I've been diligent about due dates and returning things in a timely manner. I checked out an entire Spanish course and am going to load it onto my ipod. Learning a foreign language is one of those things on my life list and free lessons from the library sure beats $550.00 for Rosetta Stone.

The thing about frugality is ... more care goes into the things I do. My family gets fresh homemade food. Christmas gifts will not be purchased - my love will be knit into the yarn. My kids and I spend quality-time together walking to the library. Voluntary simplicity really is “Living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich.” *

*Quote from Duane Elgin

Tee hee hee! I put a google ad up on my blog just to see what happened. Well this thing is pretty smart and it pulls key words from the blog to target an appropriate audience. Now it's running toilet ads. Anyone want to buy a toilet? Tee hee. :o)


Bridge said...

We've been using the library a lot too, for movies especially since we have no TV reception at all without cable.
good work mama! its hard, especially when you are busy but so worth it.
p.s. that quote is wonderful.

Blogging Molly said...

love all your tips! i read the one about the razors in the tightwad gazette (a great source of tips btw). haven't tried it, but think i should - hubby has been complaining about how fast he is going through razors these days. talk about sasquatch :)

i'd love to hear how your google ads work out too!

mommyknows said...

Wow! Sound like hard (but rewarding) work. Great tips too! I have just sold my business and I am staying home. I need to tighten the strings as well. We can't spend $ like we used to.

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, yes. The Diva Cup is amazing. A, awkward to use the first few times, but I got used to it quickly once I mastered folding it, and it is SO nice not to be spending so much money on/cluttering up landfills with sanitary products!

Angry Asian said...

i'm the same boat, being more responsible with my spending and budgetting. it's daunting but at the end of the week when i think about all i've saved, it helps. i crochet so alot of my presents this year will be made of yarn! :)