Let me just start by saying that what you are about to read is not even remotely what I had planned for tonight. I had this grand vision of going over all the magical ways that I’m “thrifty” when I planned my month out a couple of weeks back. Then it all came crashing down when I asked my husband “how are we thrifty?” the other day. He said “I’m not even sure what that means. Are you planning on going to the thrift store to see what you can get with five bucks or something like that?” While that might be a fun blog later, it wasn’t the blog I had in mind for tonight.
Then later I asked my mom what I did that was thrifty. She asked me what being thrifty meant to me and I said “you know, when you do stuff to save money. Like, make something, or re-use it somehow.” Eloquent and wise, I know. As she started pointing out things around my house that she thought fit that, I found a reason that each one wasn’t. “I bought that from the store,” or “that’s not thrifty, it seems pretentious.” (For all of you curious readers, I had repainted spoons to use as a decoration because I had too many when I received them as a gift.)
I was nearing a meltdown. How can I possibly not be thrifty?!
So, I sat and I thought. I decided that I actually am thrifty, just not in big showy ways.
– I use anything and everything as a bookmark (gum wrappers, receipts, random bits of paper) instead of buying them.
– I save and reuse my plastic bags from the store. They are great for wrapping fragile things when you move or want to send something to a friend, cleaning trash out of the car, taking stuff to work and school for lunch or even just snack breaks, they are great for holding a change of clothes. Etc.
– With the exception of most of our bookshelves (any we bought new were inexpensive) almost all of our furniture is second-hand.Seriously, our couches, our coffee tables, our kitchen table . . . very few pieces are things we didn’t get second-hand.
– I designed our bed and my husband and I built it. I’ve really wanted a new bed lately, and the other evening I decided to dismantle ours and reassemble it. I love it. I’m thinking about adding a coat of paint, it would completely transform it.
– We use shoe boxes for storage purposes. We even have some that I wrapped in wrapping paper after we were first married. I wanted cute storage bins but we didn’t have the money. I bought a roll of paper at the dollar store and wrapped the boxes and lids separately so that we could use them instead. We also have storage bins now, but there are a couple of original shoe boxes mixed in.
– I hoard stuff I think I may be able to re-use. Not a great quality, I understand, but thrifty none the less.
– I save jars. I know, how 1930s of me. I store craft supplies in them, the occasional bacon grease, and I use them to create memory jars (more on that another day) and other crafts.
I wondered if maybe I was thriftier than I thought, but just had the wrong definition in mind.
Merriam-Webster defines thrifty as “1: thriving by industry and frugality, 2: growing vigorously, 3: given to or marked by economy and good management.” I wasn’t particularly keen on this definition. They also state that “thrifty” is in the bottom 40% of words in terms of popularity, while “frugal” is in the top 20%!
Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “Showing a careful use of money, especially by avoiding waste.” This definition, I love! I can relate to it, I can see it in myself, everything about it screams thrifty means to me.
– I have reusable lunch containers, and several reusable shopping bags.
– I buy veggies that I know I can use multiple ways throughout the week. I have had spinach at least once daily all week, chopped into soups and pasta dishes, fresh on sandwiches, even just a leaf at a time in place of chips. My dogs love spinach too, so they get first dibs on wilted leaves. We finished our bag of spinach for the week! Same for my pound of carrots. No waste!
– We eat leftovers.
– We use a dry erase calendar and shopping list instead of wasting paper. I take a picture of our shopping list with my phone and then I have it on hand at the store.
– We use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
There are all kinds of things that we do that fall under Cambridge Dictionary definition, but I want to grow our thriftiness this year to include things under my definition. I want to re-purpose things, I want to find multi-uses for items that don’t get much use, I want to save money by making the most of what we already have. If anyone has any thrifty ideas or recommendations on way to increase my thriftiness, please leave a comment!
I’m sorry this blog wasn’t very exciting. Honestly, it gave me some new personal goals and possibly a new motto.
Self reflection can be hard, and falling short of the image that you held of yourself can be even harder. I’m looking forward to growing back into the thrifty person that I once was over the course of the year.
To everyone starting a new financial journey this year, thank you for joining me! For any of you that are getting paid tomorrow, chin up! Stay strong and stick to your budget!
Fur-baby Friday is coming at you live tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by!