I really am cheap & frugal*

*she says as she hides her $82.34 Starbucks receipt (those cups!).

Seriously, I  am. My husband John Pitts would point to our dear friends the UPS & FedEx drivers–they send us Christmas cards!–as evidence to the contrary, and maybe I do have trouble leaving T.J. Maxx without a Rae Dunn mug. (I’m looking for the yellow “Hello Spring” right now & although I KNOW I can find it on Amazon or Mercari, I am NOT paying $30 for a $6 mug, thank you very much. See? Told you I was cheap.)

Despite my platinum status with several credit cards, (just kidding, John Pitts! I’m exaggerating for literary affect!!) frugality is how I was raised — because that’s how my parents were raised. My maternal grandmother never met a piece of burned toast she couldn’t scrape to some level of eat-ability. A little bit of mold never fazed my mother. “Just take it off or eat around it,” she would say, frowning. “It won’t hurt you.” Until she stopped cooking a few years ago & caregivers brought order to the house, her refrigerators & freezers were full of leftover spoonfuls of this & extra little bits of that — all stored in, of course, plastic margarine tubs. So. Many. Margarine. Tubs.

It took years of (retail) therapy to overcome the teachings of my youth. Thankfully, although I burn a lot of toast, I’m able to throw it out instead of attempting resuscitation. I may err too much on the side of “Ick! Get rid of that moldy mess!” when perhaps a little scraping would save a piece of cheese. And I never compromise on quality when buying the important stuff: toilet paper, Wheat Thins & coffee. I don’t care that the store brands are 75% less.

But in the depths of my soul, I’m cheap.  I will absolutely make every dime I spend on household & personal stuff work as hard as possible. And I have discovered a few tricks I’m happy to share because so many people admire my penny-pinching ways so we can all spend more money on Rae Dunn mugs. Just step away from the yellow one.

Tiny type on the back of this detergent box offers measurement directions that do NOT involve filling the scoop to the top, although that’s what most of us do.

For example –and this is obvious but I have to remind myself all the time–read the directions! I bet that when you’re doing laundry, you simply fill the cup or scoop or whatever to the top & dump it in. Right? Isn’t that what we all do? Well, stop doing that! Laundry detergent packaging always has suggested measurements based on laundry-load size — and they’re not “fill up the scoop with as much detergent as possible.” Quite the opposite, in fact. Of course, those instructions are difficult to find. And the accompanying measuring devices rarely are clearly marked “THIS LINE IS WHERE YOU STOP PUTTING IN DETERGENT.” Now, I’m not suggesting that the manufacturers make it difficult for us to find these measurements on purpose. I’m not saying that they WANT us to give in to our natural impulse of filling the scoop to the top & dumping it in. I am in NO WAY intimating that they are encouraging us to race through our boxes of Tide much faster than necessary so WE’LL GO OUT & BUY MORE. But … check for yourself. Go to the laundry room right now & pick up your detergent & see how long it takes you to find the directions & see how clearly the measurements are marked to make following those directions easy. Am I right? Yes, I’m right.

The best part of this read-the-directions technique is that it not only saves you money but it also reduces waste AND gives you the satisfaction of not falling for the old fill-it-up-and-go-buy-more trick.

Ready to save more more & reduce more waste? Come back soon & we’ll tackle those amazingly designed beauty product containers & FORCE them to give up that last bit of $50 moisturizer. Not that I personally myself have ever bought $50 moisturizer* …

she says as she sips from her new $30 Starbucks cup. Priorities, people. Priorities.

1 thought on “I really am cheap & frugal*

  1. …and that is why the majority of programs on my computer are open source! I am cheap! Not going to spend the money, one reason why my computers run Linux instead of Windows or IOS.

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