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The Thrill of Thrift

September 18th, 2022 at 09:01 pm

There's just something immensely gratifying about saving money and having some cash in reserve. I can't imagine anyone on this site disagreeing with that!

Overall, our life is pretty darn good considering we both worked in the public sector and didn't make the salaries a lot of folks made working elsewhere. We have decent pensions. We have some investments (we won't talk about the Dow lately), and our house is paid for. There isn't a whole lot that we need that we don't already have. So, shopping isn't a recreational sport for me. 

Growing up poor I think made me consider ways to squeeze a nickel or dime or quarter as much as I could. And I still do. I don't have to look for stuff on sale, but why would I want to buy something for full price?

We watched some series on Netflix that was called "Dirty Money" and it had an episode on plastics and how the Zero Waste Movement is trying to get away from using them. So, I did some reading on this movement because I wondered about it since I had heard mention of it before. I think many of us do some of the things already because we are frugal. We use stuff. We recycle. We buy used. We do it to save money and in the long run it also helps the environment because we aren't buying a lot of new stuff and throwing away the old. 

I look at my jars of stuff I've canned. It gives me incredible pleasure. It means we'll eat well this winter as I use it. It also means I have some Christmas gifts for people since I made some different jellies. My pantry is stocked and I have put most of my grains and pastas into glass jars and recycled the boxes and paper bags. We don't have a bulk food store where you can take your own bags and jars sad to say. 

I did have to break down and buy a new Crockpot. One of mine that I used a lot died a few months ago. But I wasn't going to pay full price. I knew as soon as the holidays approach, many stores start putting them on sale. So, I scored a 6 quart Crockpot for $39.99 and tax...$20 off that store's retail price and more at another store. But, I put that new baby to work. I cook a chicken in it yesterday and used the broth to cook some noodles to go with it. Then, I put the carcass back in with some vegetables and herbs and water and let it cook down over night to make more broth which I will can and have for soups and flavorings for rice and noodles. Could I buy a box or can of broth at the grocery? Yes, but at least I know what's in my broth and I'm using what I already had. Cooking the whole chicken means at least 3 meals for us plus the benefit of the broth. So, dividing the price of the chicken by 3, then adding what it cost me buying noodles in bulk, and what it cost for the carrot seeds, and then a little bit of spices and add ons, I think our meal last night cost around $8 for the two of us. To me, that is thrilling! That wasn't adding the cost of the Crockpot in of course, but I'm glad it worked and I look for it to get quite the work out!

Our grocery had apples on sale. I took my own cloth bag for them (we use them at the grocery stores) and bought some and made more apple juice and applesauce. Fortunately I have a lot of jars and lids and rings. I also made tomato juice and canned that and diced tomatoes for the pantry. I also have been picking, washing, and drying herbs. Why buy the stuff in the store when we have it here and I can dry it? I don't put in the oven or a dehydrator; I wash and towel dry them and then set them in our sun room and let them dry naturally. I then run them through a food processor and crunch them up and put them in jars. It sure is nice seeing those knowing they are relatively fresh. 

We go once a week to the local thrift shops. That's our activity. I normally have a small list of things I'm looking for. I scored some beautiful Hallmark and Day Spring birthday cards, sympathy,  and thank you cards last week. I bought around 36 cards for a little over $8 and that included tax. As expensive as postage is and cards themselves have gone up, I was pleased with my good deal. I have scored some name brand clothing a few times and why pay full price when I can get an item for less than a third? I'm not buying junk or worn out stuff. Plus, I guess I'm helping by buying used according to the Zero Waste folks.

The hubster still pays with cash and over the past couple of years has amassed quite a few coins. I talked him into letting me have all the pennies and he said he'd give up some of the "silver" coins as well. We have about $73 to put in a savings account. It's not a lot of money, but it is far easier than trying to save big bunches at once. We have a Christmas Club account I want to put it into. We use that to buy Christmas presents as well as for Christmas tips and all that so come January, we owe nothing as far as Christmas. And the credit card company doesn't get any interest from us as well. 

I won't say I don't buy new things because I do. The Crockpot is a prime example. But honestly, if the economy depended on my shopping, it would be in worse shape than it already is. 

Do you find being thrifty thrilling? What are some of your best examples?

5 Responses to “The Thrill of Thrift”

  1. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Yes saving $1000 on a flute that only I know about makes me thrilled. I tried to explain to friends but they don't get it. I know it's $1000 and it means nothing to others but to me that's an airline ticket this christmas. Or half a ticket for cancun. I think for minimal amount of work that I really saved a lot of money.

  2. Lots of ideas Says:

    I too need very little at this point in my life so mostly I purchase food, household, and personal items.

    I make excellent use of CVS deals. I spend $48 for a Carepass membership. For it, iI get 20% off their brands, free shipping on online orders, plus $10 to spend every month. I also usually get a 20-25% off or $5 off $25 or $30 coupon every week. They credit 2% of what I spend, plus I get 1% cash back on my credit card. Sometimes my card includes their online site in a bonus shopping plan.

    They have coupons every week, plus specials. I have certain things I buy there, and I watch for sales and chances to stack savings. Last week, kleenex was $2 per box with a $5 rebate if you spent $20. Vitamins were buy one, get one 50% off, plus a $5.00 rebate. I combined the 2 deals, which got my total over $30 so I used my $5 off $30 coupon - I don’t always spend enough to use it.

    I have vitamins for a year and I don’t know how long the kleenex will last, but they never go bad!

    CVS is my best source of deals…

  3. CB in the City Says:

    The two things that make me feel good are shopping at Aldi, and then stretching my food as far as it can go, with creative repurposed leftovers.

    And outfitting myself from Goodwill. I buy all my clothing there except for shoes, underwear, and coats. For some reason I never find a suitable coat. And like you, I have a nice wardrobe of name-brand clothing, in great shape and in style. It's amazing what people give away!

  4. Wink Says:

    You all know I am a CVS deal shopper! I have saved so much $$ there utilizing all the things that Lots of Ideas mentioned. I also "shop my closet" before I buy any clothing. I was very tempted to go out and buy some new things for my vacation trip, but found that I had plenty of t-shirts and capris to wear.

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I’m actually starting to get my savings groove back after it lying dormant for a while! After a pretty ruinous few months where money has left our savings accounts at super high speed I’m starting to find joy in rebuilding the bank accounts. Today I got $10 in shopping rewards so sent it over to savings, for example. I guess I get a thrill out of saving but it’s in cycles not constantly.

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