Friday, April 3, 2009

Frugal Friday



My kitchen sponge is looking pitiful.  The green scrubby side is worn out, the yellow spongy side is changing color.  I occasionally pop it in the microwave to sterilize it but lets face it ... my sponge is not long for this world.  It needs to be replaced but I'm tired of buying disposable products.  So I knit a dishrag instead.  

The total cost?  $3.38 for two skeins of Peaches & Creme yarn. One can expect to get at least two dishrags from this amount of yarn.  It is cotton, washable, durable and inexpensive. The pattern? Ballband Dishcloth.   A very simple knit really. Total time commitment?  I don't know ... a couple of hours?  I knit in between clients, during ballet lessons (the kids lessons not mine ... I'm not that coordinated), in the car waiting to pick up kids.  Knitting keeps me sane in those moments when I have nothing better to do with my hands. If I quit knitting I might have to take up smoking.  Somehow I think knitting is healthier.   At any rate the dishrag is done and is now sitting pretty on my kitchen sink.  The only problem is the hub thinks it's too nice to use. But, as the Mason-Dixon ladies say, ... "Must. Use. The. Handknits."  This is my first frugal tip of day ... knit thyself a dishrag and use it!  It's a perfect project for beginning knitters and yet still fun for those with experience. 

My second tip of the day?  Think outside the box when gift wrapping.  Anyone who visits here regularly knows my life is inundated with babies, babies and more babies.  Well the baby fest continues and two additional gifts went out this week (hand knits of course).  I've started wrapping these gifts in plain brown paper bags.  Why?  Because I found a boatload of them at the Goodwill for $2.00.  I couldn't pass them up though I wasn't sure yet how I'd use them.  I'd also found a huge bag of ribbon and a box of letters ... dum da da dum ... gift wrapping.  

I took this present to a baby shower last week.  It sat there looking tiny in comparison to all the store bought bags and wrapping.  I started to feel cheap and small and sooo lame compared to the others.  Then the mother-to-be got to my present. People started to murmur.  They liked it.  They thought is was creative.  They told me I was Martha Stewart (which I chose to take as a complement). Whew!  I stopped sweating and proceeded to immensely enjoy my cupcake (num num num -- cream cheese frosting; another fringe benefit of knowing mothers-to-be).  I'm not cheap ... I'm frugal and innovative (and good enough and smart enough and gosh darnit people like me!)

And, finally, one last tip. As spring kicks in the garage sale season heats up.  Check out my new tablecloth here and here and here. Well, okay, it's actually an Indian bedspread but it fits my table perfectly.   One dollar.  Yup, one.   Garage and/or estate sales are typically better than thrift stores to make your dollar stretch.  

Well, that's all I have for today ...  Happy Frugal Friday!

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P.S. I googled Frugal Friday and found this site with lots of tips and ideas.  I'm adding my name to the list ... go check it out!

12 comments:

Donna said...

Thanks for all the great tips Shalet....and I agree with hubby...the dishrag is just too pretty to use!

ELK said...

i prefer a little creativity ...any one can buy store wrappings...go girl!

Gayle said...

Thank you for the link to the pattern, Shalet! Ever since I saw your photo of your dishrag I've been thinking about trying to make one.

Corrie at "Cents"able Momma said...

Love the dishcloth...I have some ugly ones that my gramma knit us, but we still use them :-).

Jen said...

Thanks for visiting my site! I used to live down in Albany...my hubby went to OSU, where it looks like you also graduated from. Great idea about the dishcloth--wish I knew how to knit!

And I love the idea with the paper bags--it turned out really cute! I'll have to remember that!

One Mom, Five Kids said...

These are all great frugal ideas! Love the idea of knitting your own dishrags and the paper bag present looked lovely! I grown when I think about buying expensive wrapping paper just so it can be ripped apart and trown away. What matters is what's on the inside, anyways, right?

sunnymama said...

I love homemade/re-used wrapping paper. I've used brown paper, old maps, magazines, paper bags, and all-sorts. It's always so much nicer than buying wrapping paper new (however pretty that may be). I haven't bought wrapping paper in nearly 20 years.

Love your dishrags too!

sunnymama said...

Oh, and I love your blog name! :)

duckyhouse said...

I understand the frustration of buying disposable products. Knitting your own product is a great solution, knitting anytime a great past time. I've spent much of the year since last fall knitting at all the kids activities. It's either that or I'd be snacking on chocolate. I love your brown paper gift bags.

Amy said...

we weirdly drink the same koolaid. i've been wrapping gifts in lunch sacks for years and have become obsessed with making washclothes from some dk sweater-gone-bad yarn i have...

i loved your frugality story. it's a challenge to raise kids to discern the difference between frugal and poor...i never got it growing up (we were frugal, i thought we were going into the poorhouse any minute - my dad's a dentist...you get the picture...)and an important distinction to make...

Joy! said...

Not much to say at the moment, but I really like this post. Coincides with a lot of my personal ideals. Gives me lots to appreciate and to think about. Thanks!

TAMI said...

We're on vacation in New Mexico right now - visiting family. One of them said to another (while I was knitting a baby cardigan), "I tried hinting around that I wanted one of her washcloths, but I've never received one." Okay - guess I missed the "hints" before, but it's loud & clear now. This is a fun new pattern to try - and ship away!

Nice to discover your blog this evening.