Frugality is a mindset, made up of many little actions. I'm sure there are more thrifty things that we did this week, but here are the ones that stand out.
1.) I made up a huge bowl of pasta salad for dinner from a few leftover vegetables and meat in the fridge. I used the pickle jar vinegar as an ingredient in the dressing.
2.) I got sick of laying my paperbacks and night-time lotion on the floor on my side of the bed. After a brief survey of the box collection in the shed (yes, we seem to hoard good cardboard boxes), I was able to find a box that fit perfectly in that corner, and covered with a pretty sheet, it has been transformed into a corner table that pleases me greatly.
3.) We repurposed a copper bowl from an old water fountain. The fountain, a long ago gift, had to be plugged in to be used outside, and we have never had an outside outlet, so it had taken space in storage for years. We took out the basin and used it to make an lovely birdbath.
4.) I bought a black velvet evening gown for $3.00 at Goodwill. Originally the price tag said $5.99, which thrilled me beyond belief. When the salesgirl rang it up and said it was yellow tagged at half price, I was over the moon. Cinderella is going to the party in style!
(And yes, I actually need this for an upcoming event.)
5.) We did do some buying this week. Despite the fact that everyone who knows me knows that coming to my house always involves having a cup of tea, I must confess I have never in my adult life had a real tea kettle. (I have always used a pot for boiling water.) We found this one for 25 cents at a garage sale. It even matches the red accents in kitchen. I am feeling quite fancy.
5.) We had some leftover sweet and sour pork and leftover rice that was still okay to eat but hadn't been very tasty the night it was made. I added some Korean sauce hubby always keeps on hand and took the hard not-completely cooked rice, added a little water and re-steamed it to fluffy goodness in the microwave. It turned into a passable dinner, and even a bit for lunch. I am so glad that I didn't throw it away.
6.) I ran out of liquid hand soap, but didn't want to buy some until pay day came around again. I poured some Dollar Store lavender body wash into the bottle, shook it with some water (about half and half) and the soap is every bit as nice as 'proper' hand soap. As Marla Cilley of Flylady fame says, "Soap is soap."
7.) We hosted a wedding renewal service at our home this week. I made a homemade-from-
scratch yellow bundt cake, frosted it with homemade white buttercream, and put a nosegay of white silk roses in the center. The cake simply cost me butter, sugar, and flour. The glasses were bought many years ago, and tied with discount ribbon from the Dollar Store. I made a potato salad, arranged some cold cuts on a plate, cubed up a huge watermelon, and put out some potato chips and potato rolls. Elegant, refreshing, and simple. We arranged our tiny table in the parlor, and kept the kitchen open for a buffet. It was a lovely night, and proved that a special event can be celebrated with humble means.
It seems to me that thrift and gratitude are inextricably intertwined. I don't believe whatsoever in the prosperity gospel, or what New Agers call 'manifesting' or the 'law of attraction', but I do know from personal experience that you only have more when you are deeply thankful for what you already have, right now. This kind of gratitude makes it possible to stretch things or make them special, because deep down inside you already feel like you have enough. Some people believe that God only cares about lofty, intangible things. But, I have experienced over and over how much He cares that life is abundant and even luxurious for His children, on over the tiniest of details and the tiniest of incomes. I think wonderful things can come our way for pennies if we remember deep down, that if God wants us to have something, He will put it in front of us and make a way, no matter how much is in the wallet.
It's our goal to live a life so far from keeping up with the Joneses that they begin to wonder what we are up to. May you find a multitude of simple frugal joys today, and every day.