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.