Monday, March 10, 2014

How am I Frugal?: The List

I'm not certain how I am wanting to keep track of a list to remind me that I am technically frugal. I don't know if I want to make a big entry for every time I do something frugal or just keep a master list entry that I add more notes to. Either way, I'll figure it out. But for now, here is a quick list of ways that I am frugal for me to look back upon when I get frustrated and need a reminder.

1.) I get my hair cut at the Aveda Training School instead of a salon.

2.) I have a flip style mobile phone, instead of a smart phone. I can make and receive phone calls. I can make and receive texts.

3.) Make majority of meals at home.

4.) Check out books, movies and music compact discs from the library.

5.) Don't have cable television.

5a.) Watch television programs on free sites such as Hulu or Crunchyroll

5b.) I also derive entertainment from watching the many enjoyable Youtube channels on Youtube.

6.) I have taken a vow to knit and crochet through my yarn stash before buying new yarn. My goal is to no longer have a yarn stash and only purchase yarn when I need it for a project.

7. I workout by using the local parks and going for walks in addition to checking out workout videos from the library, instead of paying for a gym membership.

8.) I keep a wish list on Amazon of items I would like to purchase. Instead of impulse shopping, I add the item I want to the list and let it set there for a while. Odds tend to be good that even a time frame as short as 24 hours will allow me to cool down and decide I either don't really want the item or can wait quite a while before purchasing.

9.) I do a large majority of my clothes shopping at thrift stores.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How am I frugal?

Sometimes, I forget I am technically frugal. I blame TLC for bombarding me with shows about couponing and extreme cheapskates for raising the bar on what it means to be frugal.

Then I decide I need to be frugal, check out websites with helpful articles about becoming frugal and leave frustrated because I am already doing everything they suggest.

In order to remind myself that I am frugal, I decided to keep track of moments that remind me I am indeed frugal. I thought about keeping a physical journal, but decided it would be easier to just make occasional entries here that are tagged frugal.

Yesterday I was in Target. When I was ready to check out, I chose one of two available lanes. I went for the one that had the fewest people with the least amount of items. Unfortunately, this did not mean it would be the fastest lane. While waiting for my turn, I noticed a woman checking out at the other lane with a shopping cart full of throw pillows in various sizes. I thought she had perhaps recently moved to town and needed pillows.

She was in conversation with the cashier when I noticed her.

Cashier: I know what you mean, sometimes you just need a change.

Customer: Yeah, I was just looking at my living room and was sick of the colour. I needed to get new pillows now!

Her words bounced around my mind while I continued to wait to check out. I was a bit baffled by this action. You don't like your living rooms colour scheme so you just go buy items to change the colour scheme?  I continued to listen, being bored of waiting and nosy, and learned she has a different colour scheme for each season in her house. So it wasn't even the case of having the same colour scheme for years. She regularly changes the colour scheme in her house based on the season and decided she didn't like the colour scheme she normally had for spring time.

This was a moment when I realized I was frugal in this department.  It is probably a normal habit to change out the colour scheme of your various rooms based on the season. I do recall that my mother in law has a different bed comforter and rug set for at least two seasons.

And why shouldn't people change their houses rooms linens and decorating based on the season? It would be a little odd to have winter colours bombarding the eye during the summer.

Still, that isn't how I roll. I have the same throw pillows no matter the season. I never really thought it was an option to just go out and buy a bunch of throw pillows and rugs and curtain at full retail price because I was bored of a colour scheme.

I'm not certain what it would take to make me change the colour scheme for our living room. Even if something happened to the couch, and we had to replace the couch, this wouldn't encourage me to replace the other chairs and blankets and rugs and curtains.

So, just a reminder to myself when I wonder how I am frugal. I am frugal because I don't just rush out and drop a few hundred dollars on throw pillows because I am bored with the colour scheme in my house.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Books of 2013

(At the beginning of 2013, I decided it might be interesting to create a poem where each line is the first line of each book I read during the course of 2013.)

I am the head cookie bitch and this is my party.
From the moments babies are born,these tiny human beings start communicating with the world around them.
The motto “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is one lesson you likely learn at a very young age.
I thought it would be easy.
I was still hands shaking.
I want to get one thing straight from the start: I am not a natural-born jock.
I certainly didn't realize how easy it was to calm crying babies when I began my pediatric studies in the 1970s.
You're invited to a marvelous soiree, a wellness revolution to be exact.
School's out fo-evah!
This is where we live.
Prelude to a ballad.
Taking the plunge and quitting your job is a scary step.
When I was a little girl, I lived in an apartment house in New York City, with Mama and Papa and my little brother Harry.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
This might as well come out up front, first paragraph.
In the early 1900s,Maria Montessori,practicing physician, and professor of anthropology at the University of Rome,presented a startling idea to the academic world.
Off with their – legs.
Whether your child is an infant or a toddler, performing puppet shows at preschool or using your belly as a trampoline, we know how hard it can be to pry your eyes off your little one.
When the Jews came out of Egypt, that was enough to make us happy.
It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer.
If you haven't been to a mosh pit, you've probably seen one in movies.
By God!
It was a midsummer afternoon on Long Island,and the mosquitoes, like the girls who get dolled up at evening time, would not be seen flitting for hours yet.
I turned 31 on December 29,2009.
I climbed aboard the Little No. 5 as I did every morning on my way to work.
Most people get flowers when they give birth – I got a two pound baby and a failing liver.
When the Fabulous Flying Fandinis moved in the neighbors said they were strange.
The bedroom is strange.
Slow simmered, shredded chicken, vegetable, and three bean soup.
Sloth's house was a terrible mess.
One morning, as the Keeper of the Zoo was about to unlock the gate, he noticed something on the steps.
We were headed for the Verrazano Bridge, caught in traffic.
I have never been what you'd call a crying man.
How do you remember things?
I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth of the tea has long since leeched into the frozen air.
It isn't even noon and I've already had sex with fourteen women.
My name is Molly Pink and I'm a yarnaholic, I announce to my crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers , as I put my stash on the table.
Get it together,Abraham.
I'm watching an internet series about pregnancy.
I used to live in a small apartment in Chicago, where the radiator hummed noisily while I drew comics.
The New Orleans businessman,whose grey hair put him in his fifties,was accompanied by his much younger and much taller bodyguard/chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter.
Naps take only a few hours of time, but they shape all twenty four hours of your child's day.
When I was in high school all the coolest punk rockers hung out in the shopping mall parking lot across the street from campus.
I had a car but on most days in that fall of 1973 I walked to Joyland from Mrs. Shoplaw's Beachside Accommodations in the town of Heaven's Bay.
In the tower of the nameless necromancer it is always cold.
The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
The subinspector works the last breath out of a waning cigarette and flicks it out the window.
Once your baby is born,you'll find that life takes on a new momentum as you grapple with all the first time experiences that caring for a growing baby involves.
We found the monster on a rocky ledge high above the lake.
His first memory is an execution.
What do you cook?
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my head ever since.
The fault line running through my bones, through my every breath, may be the day of the accident: on June 23,1993, I became paralyzed.
They say women are blessed with the ability to forget the pain of childbirth so they will be able to have more children later on.
It is Sunday in Venice.
Shh, quiet Scout, go to sleep, you'll wake Johnny and Mom.
I am a jackass living in America and living surprisingly well.
On the second day in December in a year when a Georgia peanut farmer was doing business in the White House, one of Colorado's great resort hotels burned to the ground.
You probably have no memory of what your life was like between the ages of twelve and twenty four months.
Twenty years ago...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for 2014

1.) Use up an entire tube of chapstick. 2.) Take up yoga. And actually, you know, get decent at it to the point of enjoying it. 3.) Knit and crochet one item every two to three weeks. 4.) Play the violin at least once a week for at least half an hour. 5.) Write one short story or a poem or a chapter of my silly little novel, approximately ten pages, a week. 6.) Complete the Eowyn Challenge 7.) Learn how to juggle.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sometimes, you just need a place to shout into the ether that is the internet.