Friday, September 24, 2010

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

I'm still feeling on the queasy side, experiencing chills, and napped for three hours today (count them, THREE)... otherwise I am better.  Except my thinking, which is known to be challenged, anyway.  Stephanie says I was never right again after the baby came.  That being Christopher who will soon turn twenty-one.  Sigh...

All that to say, I want to write what is going through my mind and we will see if the words come together in some sort of readable fashion.  If nothing makes sense, blame the flu symptoms... that sounds good.  To make it simple (for me, not for you), I'm breaking what I wanted to share into more posts... today writing about spending money to save money in the long run.

While I have long known at times it can take a little spending to save, I was inspired by a Nigella episode, you may have seen it recently, where she made very simple cupcakes but placed purchased sugar roses and daisies on each little cake... amazingly beautiful.

Now, one could spend money to learn to make sugar roses and that would be a very good thing.  Not exactly in my future of trying to keep blood sugars level.  However, I checked the price of such sugar flowers and while on the expensive side... combining them with inexpensive cupcakes (or a cake) would be much, much cheaper than buying a bakery cake for a special occasion.

While I make many cakes from scratch, I have also found my family sees the cake part as only the vehicle in which to ingest my homemade butter cream frosting.  Thus, there are times I make cupcakes with an 88 cent box of (you will not believe this)... boxed cake mix.

It's kind of like the day I saw the Pillsbury pie crust box in my mother-in-law's refrigerator.  Hallelujah and Praise the Lord (not out loud because she was a Lutheran and not used to such outbursts of emotion).  My husband's mother was famous for her pies and in her 70s had come to realize she can get by with a really good Pillsbury crust, especially when she is not entering a County Fair contest.  But I digress... as usual...

As you know, I like to buy things as cheap as possible because I have extremely limited funds in which to work.  But sometimes it does pay to... pay.  Especially if the expenditure is for supplies or knowledge or both... which will come together to make it possible for us to make our own at another time... whether that is a dress, a sweater, a meal, a dessert, a garden, or any other infinite number of items we need for our day to day existence.

I was thinking of this last night when I made a late trip to the grocery... to buy Diet Sierra Mist... and I passed the deli section where packages containing deviled eggs were being sold... $5.99 for a dozen deviled eggs... that being $5.99 for six eggs and a combo of mayo and vinegar and a dollop of mustard.  That was the cheapest package of deviled eggs, too.

I thought of the food magazines I had just passed, having stopped to peruse a few dozen since the Holiday Issues are now making their way to the shelves.  If I remember, the most expensive magazine was $7.95 for one of the glitzy issues containing lots of beautiful pictures of the recipes... showing them as they should appear after making or baking or mixing.

The conversation going on in my mind was this... would I rather pay $4.95 to $7.95 for a magazine which will give me at least one recipe to use all year or... $5.99 for six eggs and some condiments (of course, I was there only for my much needed Sierra Mist so neither was purchased).

You see, the magazine is not cheap but it gives one lots of ideas and options to make something for dinner or tea time or to serve before a football game.  Knowledge is a good thing to spend money on and every person who makes a home (single or married, male or female) needs a good reference library which they can peruse when an idea is needed.

If one purchases deviled eggs for a minimum of $5.99, there is nothing to show for that expenditure.  However, if one were to purchase a cookbook or magazine which teaches them how to make deviled eggs... how much will they save over a lifetime of pot lucks?

I know this is but one way of looking at money but when one is rather dizzy, one tries to make it quick and simple so here is my humble opinion...

Budgeting for how-to idea books and magazines and cooking classes and sewing classes and sewing machines and good quality cookware and a chef's knife and yarn and carpenter's tools and gardener's supplies and any other stuff which invests in our doing instead of buying... it is all an investment and not throwing money away.  That is what frugal is all about.

12 comments:

Donnie said...

Wonder how this post would've been if you had been feeling better...lol...You really have got me thinking and, for myself, I'm going to turn back my mental clock to 1973. I had 2 children and a husband in the military and very limited funds and we lived well. I'm going back to the basics. I may detour every now and then but I want the peace I felt. Your blog helps me attempt that. Hope you're recuperating.

Pam@FarmtoCottagetoShore.blogspot.com said...

Brenda, I loved this post. I totally agree with your premise and I belive that being frugal is different for everyone. My frugal purchase may seem like an unnecessary or frivolous purchase to others. Books and magazines are one of the things that I do spend money on, many times my fiction comes from the library, but I much prefer to own my "reference books".

Anonymous said...

I feel it's cheaper in the end to pay extra for quality cookware and tools rather than having to replace things.
My parents gave us a good set of cookware when we were married and 34 years later, I'm still using it.
Hope you're feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

I like your way of thinking! Sometimes I feel guilty for buying a magazine on home decorating (they are so expensive!)but I am putting the knowledge to good use. We re-did our kitchen and two bathrooms this year and I am very pleased with the results.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

Your explanation and thinking seem perfectly clear to me here! I agree!!
Elizabeth

Tracy said...

A wonderful post, Brenda! I am enjoying this series. :)

Valrie said...

I love your way of explaining frugality! My dear mom raised us girls to be thrifty and we can stretch a dollar farther than mosT! Awesome post and hope you feel better soon! Have any ideas on making lots of cookies inexpensively? I started a charity benefit call ed Cans FOr Cookies US Troops, and many women and churches as well as other community organizations have joined the effort and we want to get the most bang for our bucks! Let me know and stop over for a visit! I found you through DONNIE from our Pink Saturday posts!

Valrie

http:..cansforcookiesustroops.blogspto.com

Jennifer said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree there are things well worth paying more for. Cookware like anonymous at 8:11 said is sure one of them...and good knives. The iron skillets we bought over 40 years ago sure were worth it too!You can find the good cookware on sale or at Marshalls and such if you look carefully and know what you want. Yet it takes time. I like getting pieces not the sets as I know from so many years of cooking just the sizes and types I will actually use. That alone is a money saver. I got my basic Betty Crocker cookbook for $1 used and it's been priceless!! :) Learn by looking and studying the better cookware, clothes or whatever and you will notice the difference. Read up about the types of metal used and the construction. You will learn which is best. In clothes learn to know the better cloths and construction methods and what should be lined etc.That is one way you can pick out the best things even used. Especially at thrift shops {like new or new}when you can find them! :)Good post Brenda...got me to thinkin like always!! :) Sarah

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hello dear Brenda! I'm so happy you are (apparently :) feeling better. Don't I know that there is nothing like those surprising bugs and the like to set us back from our best laid plans! I do want to tell you how much I'm enjoying these "Re..." posts!!! Truly a joy to read and so informative and helpful at the same time. You do inspire action and creative thoughts! The generator on our refrigerator decided to stop working last week...the repairman ordered another but won't have it 'til Tuesday. Meanwhile Mike and I are off to refill our ice chest so the milk, eggs and other perishables can stay cold! Hope you're perfectly healthy and happy this lovely Sunday.
Love and good thoughts from
Tracey.
x0x
P.S. I have to say I LOVED your link on Kale chips! Katie has made these and they are truly delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm hoping to grow some as a winter vegetable out here. :)

TheNormalMiddle said...

I'm still in shock that people actually pay for pre-made deviled eggs!?!?

carla said...

As I think on your comment about the magazine at the grocery store, it came to my mind that I've often found 1 month old magazines at the antique mall for $1.00. Surely they must be a subscription copies of her own, that the booth owner decided to sell. Browsing the antique mall is one of my favorite things to do in life and what a bonus to find that $1.00 almost-new-magazine. On the other hand, the library often has almost new and old magazines (as well as used books) available for a donation. I donate garage sale prices.