Saturday, January 9, 2010

On bean soup and being frugal

Mixed beans soaking to make soup

There is a part of me that loves that the economy has made us look at our spending and reassess  how we are spending and to try and be more self sufficient.  I have always hated spending on things I knew I could get cheaper if I bought in a less trendy fashion.  I love looking for a bargain when I do need something and am just about at my most happiest when I have figured out a way to make what I have work without going to the store at all.   I love that doing this is somewhat trendy now instead of being afraid to let my more spendthrifty friends see that side of me.   What was almost an embarrassing quirk about myself is now acceptable.   I hope to pass these values on to my now 9 yr. old child.   What to value and give our life's energy to and what's a true waste of our life's energy.  Easier said then done with children sometimes.

This week we went shopping.  Some things needed to be new and were costly and to not spend money on them would end up costing us more in the long run.  Other things were determined to be unnecessary and still others were things we wanted but we were able to find a less costly way to get them.

I have for years gone to Goodwill to buy old comforters for my dogs beds.  I used them in their crates or doghouses.   I still use mats for smaller crates but all the larger ones and the dog houses get the old spreads and comforters I've collected over time at various Goodwill shops.   My dogs, especially my puppies eventually de-stuff them and new ones are needed.   This week my 9 yr. old and I stopped at a Goodwill to check for comforters and spreads (they are getting harder to find now) and while we were there she started looking at clothes.   We have for years gone to Goodwill to drop things off but never to buy clothing for her.  We ended up getting her a bunch of new- to- her, clothes, a much needed lamp for her room and a few books.

I found a vinyl swivel rocker for the kennel for both the dogs and myself and a glider with a gliding ottoman that I put in the living room.  I had always wanted one but could not make myself spend $300 -$500 for one.  I got this one for under $30.  We both joked about how we would be fighting about who would get to sit in it.
Our new glider chair and ottoman

My favorite "saying pillow"

 She commented on the way out how much she liked this going to Goodwill thing.   I wrestled with the guilt for about a minute.  The wanting for her to have the best of everything.   But letting her learn the value of money is the best thing for her. 

Later I had to stop at the grocery store.   I was looking for italian sausage for flavoring for my marina sauce and saw meat for $10 a lb.  $10 a lb!  Yikes.   And in a way I was glad it was so high.  With those prices many people truly can't afford it.   And that means less cattle for meat will be raised.  And less cattle means less havoc on the environment on a multitude of levels.   And that's a good thing.   And so is bean soup.  I still will add a bit of meat for flavoring but that pot will last a good while, was by far friendlier to the environment as well as to my wallet and makes me glad I am happy where I'm at.  Bloom where your planted and remember - inner piece comes not from getting what you want but from being happy with what you already have.

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