Choose Your Own Adventure
As everyone knows that has read this blog for any amount of time, I am a bit of a frugal fanatic. I have a very good reason to be one, you might say, it is a matter of life or death for someone very dear to me. But that is a tale for another day. What I've noticed is that people tend to apologize to me whenever they spend money! I guess they think I'm making a judgement on them. I am not! I'm glad there are people out there spending money on expensive clothes, or else I wouldn't have any to buy when I go thrifting. I'm happy for those that take expensive vacations, my son worked in the hospitality industry for several years, there's people counting on them. If you have the money and no reason to save, I say go for it! I happen to have a very important reason for saving money. Everyone has to choose their own adventure in life, wouldn't it be boring if we were all on the same path? Trust me when I say, I really am not envious of your big houses, new clothes or cable TV, I love my life just as it is, and my heart is glad for those of you that have those sort of things if they make you happy.
I love living within the constraints of a strict budget. I find it fun and challenging to figure out meals for a month on $150. Sort of like doing real-life Sudoku. I find it rewarding to take an old wreck of a house and making it into a home that people stop and take pictures of because it's so cute. I enjoy designing a flower garden from others cast off plants. I find it adventuresome to create my own unique style from thrift store clothes. I guess what I really love about my thrifty lifestyle is the creativity of it. I never feel deprived by it. In short, I love my life and would say it is pretty darn perfect, for me.
Conversely, there's always the thrifty ones that seem to need to apologize for their lifestyle. This past month,I've been watching a lot of YouTubers on their thrifty lives. And it seems like they are forever feeling the need to explain themselves. There's one very sweet gal, that always starts her videos with "this is what works for me and my family". And isn't that really what matters in life? For me and my family it's more important to save the money than it is to be concerned with how ethically the chicken I eat was raised. To my family, buying from Goodwill and saving money is more important than being concerned with how much the CEO earns, or that they don't pay their employees a good wage. Isn't it just supposed to be a starting position anyhow, so that you can gain experience to move on to other jobs? They can always find a different job if they don't think they are being treated fairly. I can't be concerned with WalMart's policies either, if it's the only store for miles around and it would mean traveling 140 miles to do my weekly grocery shopping otherwise. We all have to make decisions in life in how we choose to spend our money and time. what we value and don't. In other words, we have to choose our own adventures in life, what works for one person, might not be a fit for another. So don't let anyone make you feel guilty for the choices you make!
Last week. I wrote about Ran fixing our refrigerator's crisper drawers that were beginning to crack. The manufacture stopped making this model, so there weren't any replacements so Ran made some pulls out of wood
He glued the crack with crazy glue, then attached the pulls to the top of the drawers, thus stabilizing them and keeping them from wracking, so the cracks won't get any bigger.
We've been eating a lot of cabbage this week. It stores well and is one of the cheapest things you can buy, 29 cents/lb., here. Plus it's good for you. This week we had it in eggrolls, coleslaw, another batch of the cabbage rolls I wrote about in last week's post,and these Korean street sandwiches, that Ran discovered on YouTube. Sorry I lost the link to the video, but here's how they're made.
Korean Street Sandwiches
Toast 6 pieces of bread. Butter them. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Set aside. Shred about 3-4 cups of cabbage to make 3 large sandwiches. Shred some carrots. Just like a making coleslaw, or use that coleslaw mix you can buy in the store. Chop 1 small onion finely. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine all with 2 eggs.
Heat a skillet with enough oil to coat the bottom of pan over medium heat. Spread mixture into skillet. Cook, compressing mixture with a spatula, while cooking. Once one side is brown, flip mixture over and brown the other side. Remove from heat and cut into sandwich-sized pieces. Place onto the toast and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Spread with a mixture of mayo and ketchup. Add a slice of cheese, top with the other piece of toast and enjoy!
Nothing cheaper than cabbage, carrots and bread! And it was surprisingly tasty!
AN UNUSUAL PLACE TO FIND BARGAINS
As a washed my little green and cream enamel pan that I use on almost a daily basis, I was reminded to write about the one spot most people don't think about when shopping on the cheap - the antique stores! A lot of today's antique stores are just glorified thrift stores, most of the stuff sold in them are not true antiques, They are a great place to buy inexpensive reading material, magazines usual sell for a dollar or two and I find the older issues of Victoria and Country Living much nicer than the newer ones, the current issues are almost all advertising and pretty lightweight on the content, in my opinion. Books are also priced pretty inexpensively, and the bindings on some of the older ones are works of art. I always try to replace paperback editions of books I love with prettily bound editions when I can find them for a few dollars. Things like enameled pans usually are cheaper than those you can find in the stores, and they seem sturdier. I bought a wonderful cast-iron griddle for a few dollars at one, that is a mainstay in my kitchen. If you enjoy sewing things like vintage aprons, you can find yardage there for a lot less than the fabric store prices. Jewelry is another thing you buy inexpensively at antique stores. I've purchased turquoise earrings for as little as five dollars. And I'll never understand why anyone would buy new imitations of vintage china, when you can buy the real McCoy for the same price or less. Oh well! To each, their own, I guess!
THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Most of our thrift has been passive this week, as we haven't gone anywhere, thus not spending money.
I did spend around $20 on groceries; buying milk, bread, bananas, coffee creamer, yogurt, a head of cabbage and lettuce, and some decaf K-cups that were on the reduced-for-quick-sale at $3/12. And a few other items I can't recall off hand (and were probably unnecessary).
Started another wool quilt, like the one I made here. My dear friend Mary, brings me the woolen fabric sample from an upholstery shop. They are all Ralph Lauren and Brunschweig and Fils. Should be pretty la-dee-da!
Last week I happened upon some great deals at the thrift store. They had skeins of handspun and hand-dyed wool for a few dollars each. The original price on them was over $20. However I spent several hours one day just untangling and rolling up one skein. After that, I lost interest in knitting for a while!
We've been eating a lot out of our freezer, as we try to clean it out. Makes for some interesting meals.
In the evening we like to use our kerosene lamps and the many candles we purchase at garage sales, it creates a cozy ambience and saves on electricity.
We collected fallen branches in our neighborhood for firewood.
Picked up several free pallets for firewood.
I discovered a new-to-me classic movie on YouTube. It's called Seventh Heaven and it stars Jimmy Stewart and Simone Simon. I love discovering these old gems, reminds me of when I was a kid and they had a Sunday afternoon matinee on the the television. You never knew when you'd find an golden oldie.
Well that's it for another week at the old Zempel boarding house! I hope that you all have fun on your own adventures this week. Until next!