I will never be someone who makes her own deodorant like Matt at DIYnatural, or who composts like Mrs. Money at Ultimate Money Blog. That means I won’t even attempt to create sunscreen from scratch. And forget about growing vegetables — the flowers I planted last week are already on their last legs thanks to the heat and my distracted demeanor lately.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate frugality — I’m a fan of many frugal hacks (have you heard about my paper towel salvage project?). It’s more that I’m just not hardwired to be frugal 100% of the time. For example, when we have children, I’m pretty sure I won’t be one of the cloth diaper mommies.
I did get some (minor) flack in the comments section about my paper towel usage. While some applauded my attempt to save the saturated roll, some also asked why I was using them in the first place. And I don’t have a good answer! We don’t use them that often, but I still could probably do without them 99% of the time. I mainly use them to dust, clean mirrors and wipe down stainless steel fixtures. They also make an appearance when one of the cats decides to present us with a hairball, which has been happening a lot lately.
Perhaps I should look into phasing out the paper and using eco-friendly cloth towels — any suggestions?
Some of my faux pas
— Poor planning. Just today, I left the house to run errands without my coupons AND forgot my grocery shopping list. But I did absolutely need a few things, so I went to the store anyway. I tried to limit the damage by only using a small basket, rather than a cart, and I took the time to check if a certain brand was on sale.
— I don’t always find the best price. Rather than trek to the mall, I bought a gift at a local jeweler because I’d rather give him the business. Could I probably have gotten it cheaper elsewhere? Sure. But I did accidentally show up while he was running a 20% off sale!
— Convenience sometimes wins out. Mr. Saver is big on disposables — paper or Styrofoam plates, plastic cups, aluminum foil, and so on — which is something he picked up from his family. I have to pick my battles. I try to get him to use less of the foil, but he always rips these pieces that could cover half the state for the smallest thing. We’ll use paper plates for dinner once in a while. Plastic cups are reserved for BBQs and parties only.
Making Up For It In Other Ways
However, if there’s one thing that I am, it’s self-sufficient. I don’t need a handyman — this Saturday alone I managed to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen all by myself and repair the bathroom drop ceiling that was on the verge of collapsing.
I can change the air filter and windshield wipers on our cars, replace a toilet seat and install sheetrock. I’ve created a cat door and put in new light switches. All of these things would cost major moolah if I had to pay a professional.
I also like to thrift material things. I furnished my first apartment solely by cruising my neighborhood on bulk night (or after garage sales) and picking up pieces that were in good condition. I love to take a lonely piece of furniture that needs a home. I’ll reupholster a chair to get more use out of it.
What I’ve learned is that I can’t do everything. Some people are born frugalistas. I’m a born do-it-yourselfer — it’s just in my genetic wiring, I suppose. I try to be as frugal and thrifty as I can so I’m not wasteful, but I’m sure I can do a better job at it in the future.
Any suggestions for someone trying to be more frugal? Do you spend all of your time and energy on frugality?