Monday, September 27, 2010

Re-do, re-use, re-purpose... resist (Four)

October, 2009

I know this picture has nothing to do with the post.  It's just that we had to put the furnace on last night and the leaves are quickly changing!  Autumn has arrived...  I took this picture (last October) of the truck my neighbor was driving at the time, it looks like it was made for the fall colors.

I loved reading your comments about the amazing stuff found at thrift stores, Goodwill, etc.  A real thread through it all seems to be having an eye for what you need or want (like the Limoges platter... wow).  One of my best thrifting buys was found at Goodwill last year when I also noticed "out the corner of my eye" a roasting pan on the bottom shelf of the aisle where cooking items are sold.

If you may remember, my Pyrex roasting pan had exploded one year while baking the Easter ham and a decision was made (after checking myself for shrapnel) that I would stay away from glass roasting pans in the future.  I bought a really cheap roasting pan that did not work well at all, so I was on the lookout when I spotted this one at Goodwill.

It was around $12.99 but it was brand new and I noticed the brand name... which led me to put it in my cart immediately.  When I arrived home, I went online to see how much it sold retail and found it to be... get this... $150.00!  I highly suspect this was a gift for someone who didn't cook much and did not realize the value.

So... what about the RESIST in the above post title?

I save money by staying at home more often, which is my best way of resisting (and I do not even look at home shopping networks).  I suppose one would say perusing Amazon's book section would get me into trouble but I only spend when I have credit (Thank You !!!).

I have also learned when I find something cheap at Goodwill or a thrift store, to ask myself if I would buy the object if I had to pay full price (you would be surprised how often that has made me put something back).

I live in a small-ish house so whatever is purchased, no matter how cheap, must have a place to put it.  I also ask myself if I would be willing to part with something else to make room for this object.

This works quite nicely with collections like teacups, for sometimes it is a pattern or style I've been wanting and I would be willing to get rid of another.  Sometimes... not so much.

Another way I have learned to resist is in the area of... food.  Now, I am a foodie who has no intention of recovery and I believe in spending good money on nice quality kitchen tools.  I'm convinced the reason some people think they are not good cooks is their poor quality cookware, knives, etc.

Having said that and knowing from whence I come... another lesson I learned during the non-income years was to make simpler meals more often.  I used to feel I had to make a big meal each and every night (my mother-in-law made three complete meals each day so my husband was spoiled).

Stephanie and I were talking about this recently, how people ate at one time... simple and inexpensive food most of the time and the big meat meal at Sunday Dinner (quite often when they also used their good china each week).

It was easy to resist the lure of the American grocery store when one had little cash on hand.  It forced me to eat lower on the food chain and finding ideas from recipe books from the Depression and other cultures... especially the wonderful Mennonite book called More-With-Less cookbook.  We can chat more about this a little later but it has made a huge difference in our family.

Resisting also means (for me), placing a "ceiling" on where any extra money goes.  I absolutely love to shop in my favorite primitive country store and I believe it is a good thing to support local businesses (many of whom are just hanging on).

I rarely can spend on any medium or big objects, anymore (sigh... just allow a little coveting here) but if I'm given a gift for birthdays or Christmas, I will take just a little money and head for my favorite store.  I know I can't spend much but I will purchase a small candle or as I do this time of year... a bag of the cute little pumpkins I put with dried autumnal items.

Just taking in the scent of the store and looking at the lovely items makes me feel good... even if I cannot spend much.  That has been a lesson learned from lack of extra money.

I resist spending unwisely by going to the Mall or other stores only when I am shopping for a specific item.  When we lived in Detroit, I would go to the mall at least a few days a week in the winter for "mall walking" exercises.  I found that walk to be quite expensive as I often saw something I wanted!

I have learned to think twice before spending money by eating out.  Mostly by choosing to fix something small here at home instead of ordering a pizza just because I am tired.  Eating out is planned for and only when it does not take money from our grocery budget.

That was a huge change from when we had a regular income.  We enjoy eating out but making that decision to have cheese and crackers when tired and letting a meal out be a true "event"... that has been a good way to save.

I have also learned to resist longing for what I don't have by sharing.  A sweet friend treated me to a Starbucks gift card and I thoroughly enjoyed  my first pumpkin spice latte of the season when my husband was at the football game with Christopher on a previous weekend.

This past Saturday, he had a disappointment and was feeling cranky so I stopped by Starbucks and used the remainder of my card for a Venti' pumpkin spice to split and two snacks... it made such a difference in both our attitudes.

One can become money obsessed and fearful when there is not enough income but if we let seasons of lack teach us to be more frugal and creative instead of bitter... that will be good for the entire family.


Donnie said...

Another thoughtful and insightful post. I hope others have discovered you through my blog. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

This post came at the perfect time for me.
I saw a lovely sofa, in a sale catalog from a popular store, and fell in love with it. It was half price! I don't have the money, even at 50 per cent off, so I will "resist" and will continue to appreciate my 1930's sofa that has a lot more charm! We bought it an an auction about 15 years ago, and it has down cushions. I will remind myself why we bought it, and why I loved it at that time.


Anonymous said...

When we were first married once a month we got one piece of kitchen ware. A big ladel, a potatoe masher, a slotted spoon...all from the same company till we had all we thought we would actually use. We still have them and they still look new..40 years later. Then we went on to buying one of the high end brand of knives every couple months if the finances were there..and a sale on them. They were very expensive. Now of course the price of them has gone up like a rocket and the quality of the newer ones gone lower. :( Yet the ones we got are at least 35 years old and going strong. The kids say they hope to inherit them!! Then we went on to looking for other things. My husband says a women should have good tools for the house just like he would want good ones for the shop. It is not the $ spent but the quality. Course he also got me a littel tool box of good tools for use in the home too! :) Sarah

Anonymous said...

The idea of having simplier meals during the week and a nicer one on Sunday made Sunday extra special. Also usually a time extra friends or family could share the meal. Just like only eating out once in a while at a resturant is special but if you did it often it would just be ordinary! :) My aunt would have her children dress special for that meal and they would practice their table manners so that when they were of dating age they would know which fork to use and be at ease. I thought that was a good idea. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Ah, what a little chocolate won't do to life the spirits too. Before diabetes caught up with us, I kept a box of brownie mix on hand at all times, once I learned how powerful it was for my unhappy husband (he truly did have a terrible job) to come home and find the just baked brownies on the counter. It took about 40 minutes or so for him to get home and when I could tell it was a bad day, I FLEW into business and got those brownies in the oven!!

Mel said...

It is difficult, to separate your wants from your needs at times.

Very inspirational post...

Thank you,

Rebecca said...

This is such a wise and helpful post! I enjoyed reading it--(probably because it is so in line with our lifestyle and my own decisions to save money by staying home more...)

The questions you suggest asking before a purchase are very insightful and valuable!

young-eclectic-encounters said...

Wonderful, thoughtful post. Just what I needed to read and remember. Thanks for sharing.
Johnina :^A