Sarah and I featured Kristen of The Frugal Girl on the Best of Both Worlds podcast this week. One of her most popular, long-running blog features is “Five Frugal Things.” She, and her readers, share their small frugal victories for the week.
To be sure, in the grand scheme of things, most people will do best by making a few big frugal choices, and then the rest doesn’t matter so much. Buy less house (and car) than you can theoretically afford and you can buy the name brand detergent for the rest of your life guilt-free. If people have been able to avoid or minimize student loans, and have access to employer-provided health insurance, those also dwarf mending a sock; if those things can’t happen, no amount of sock-mending will make up the gap.
That said, it can be fun to celebrate the little things precisely because no one else is going to. My life is very much Not Frugal in many ways (hello, Paris!) but I did a few frugal things this week that I want to pat myself on the back for. Hence this blog post!
I hung the toddler’s curtains. So, we bought custom privacy shades for all the bedroom + bathroom windows in the house (see Not Frugal) but somewhere in the decorating process I decided I just couldn’t do all custom window treatments (e.g. curtains) before we’d been here and I figured out what I really wanted. So I canceled that order, but unfortunately, the toddler’s black-out shades had been on that order, and so his windows have been bare to the world. Fine for winter. Not so fine as we march toward the summer solstice. I will eventually do something nicer, but as a temporary please-let-me-sleep-past-6-a.m. solution, I bought two tension rods and dark light-blocking curtains for incredibly reasonable prices off Amazon. I installed them today. As you can see, or I guess not see since Word Press truncates rectangular photos, this isn’t perfect, as the standard curtain sizes are too short (one of the reasons we were going to have to do custom window treatments…). But will it block most of the light? Yes.
I made myself a kitchen-sink stir fry. By Friday the leftovers tend to be piling up in the fridge. One of our Sunbasket meal kits this week featured a curry sauce and some pickled shredded carrots. After I ate that meal for leftovers one lunch earlier this week, I still had a little carrots and curry left. I thought about throwing them out, but I did not. Instead, I stewarded them away for today, and then I cooked some rice, and stir fried that with the carrots, curry, some rapidly-wilting spinach we had in the veggie drawer, plus leftover Easter ham. It was filling and pretty good.
I repaired a mug. Somehow one of our “nicer” coffee mugs had the handle break in the dishwasher. Rather than throwing it out, I repaired the handle with super glue. It is entirely possible that it will break again, but hey! I still have a lot of super glue.
I cleaned my own carpet. We have a “no food or drinks in the playroom” rule. One of the children blatantly violated this with a strawberry acai refresher from Starbucks, which I will admit is tasty, but is also bright red in color. Sure enough, said child spilled said drink on the light beige carpet. I tackled the mess quickly with paper towels and some dish soap (and with said child’s assistance), and then sent my husband to the store to get spray carpet cleaner. I treated the spot with that and it actually looks pretty decent, no professional carpet cleaning required.
(We are now on a Starbucks hiatus for a while as a result, so I guess that is my fifth additional Frugal Thing.)
Did you do anything cheaply this week?