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living frugally in an official capacity

I talk often–maybe too much?–about how I try to live as frugally and sustainably as possible. Frugal living is important to me both because of our OITK household (“One Income Two Kids,” my own adaptation of DINK, but something tells me it might not catch on) and because, well, I was raised that way. I can think of so many examples from my childhood from which to pull. Let’s see, there’s…

  • The oft-repeated story of my grandmother standing up at my dad’s wedding rehearsal dinner to announce “I LOVE a bargain!,” apropos to nothing [might be a good post for another day] 
  • The other oft-repeated [spoiler: gross!] story of my great grandmother sopping up the remnants of a ketchup bottle with her bread and coffee at the breakfast table 
  • Or, how about the fact that my dad polishes furniture with his old whitey-tighties!

My mom would probably want the record to show that all those stories came from “the other side,” but I’ve got some I could pull from her side too…in a good way! Check out Exhibit A, the creative use of stereo speaker, napkins, and basket to give the appearance of furniture where there is none:
imageExhibit A. Circa 1983.

P.S. How thrilled am I to be wearing bunny ears?

Anyway, let’s just say frugality is in my blood. Tomorrow I start the 23-Day Frugal Living Challenge posed by Andrea at Frugally Sustainable. Her timing is impeccable. With the economy in such bad shape, IMHO it’s high time people start figuring out how to live within their means. What’s your take?

Frugality is in the air, and not just via this challenge. Did you catch Design Mom’s recent post with pics of the textile designer from Denmark’s home? When asked how to maintain your style in the midst of life’s challenges, the designer gave this advice:

Save your money and wait to buy the things you really love and want.

I couldn’t have said it better; in fact, I’d like someone to needlepoint that sentence onto a pillow for me. Maybe a little pillow I could keep in my purse. Or I suppose I could just write it on the back of a business card and put it in my wallet. But I like my idea of the tiny pillow!

With the new year comes an evaluation of what really matters to us. Rev. David Bryce, of my Unitarian Universalist Church of Belmont, sent an email to our congregation this week that read:

I do not make New Year’s resolutions as such, but I do like to take some time in the period leading up to New Year’s Day to review the past year and think about any changes I might make in my life.

I think it is good to do this, to review our lives periodically and think about what is most important. Among the “sub-questions” about what is most important are: What are the things that are really indispensable? What are the things that are nice but not necessary? What are the things that once were useful but no longer are? What are the things that have not been and that would feed or nourish me or others?

I am looking forward to sharing the lessons I learn from this challenge, and I hope you’ll share your ideas with me too. Here’s to a month filled with provident thinking and ascetic spending.


Author’s Note: This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday