Tuesday, January 6, 2015
My sister-in-law Debbie is a frugal maven. She loves a great deal, and rarely lets things go to waste. She has always reused last year's Christmas cards as gift tags for the following year.
This year she gave out thank you notes from her and the kids using the old cards. She just cut off the portion that had writing on it and wrote on the back as you would a post card. I thought this was a fantastic use of resources.
I did a little searching online and found this Better Homes and Gardens article that has some wonderfully creative ways to use those cards that are about to head to the recycling bin. If you are seriously constrained by budget, use these tips next Christmas, or as Debbie did, say thank you with this easy money saving project!
I think you could make some beautiful letter banners with old cards too!
Monday, January 5, 2015
|See ya, 2014!|
I don't do New Year's resolutions - it is too reminiscent of punishment or some sense of unworthiness to me. I liken the feeling to that I had in confession as a child - the focus on how "bad" we are does not inspire change, but rather sets us up for failure.
This year I will be doing something different. I will be choosing 12 experiences I'd like to have. It's so easy for me to get caught up in the "shoulds" of life. As a single parent I tend to focus more on responsibility rather than fun. We get to create so much of our lives - and most of us have an abundant supply of choices even within certain restrictions (whether they be financial, physical or emotional). So this year, I will be making a list of things I'd like to add to my human experience. Some are small and easily accomplished. Others will require slightly more effort. All are intended to create memories, celebrate, connect or simply to enjoy.
My list of 12 "Things," in no particularly order, for 2015:
- Ride a horse.
- Visit the Olympus Day Spa, also known as naked town (no, no it's not).
- Follow an actual sewing pattern.
- Take my daughter to the Oregon Coast.
- Host a random White Elephant party.
- Host a charity curry night to raise funds for a yet named charity.
- Establish a neighborhood Food Program where spring and summer garden abundance is delivered to the food bank weekly.
- Read the Marilyn Monroe Biography I've had on my list for years. It's not higher learning, but her life is fascinating. Most of the books I read tend to be learning oriented, so something just for pleasure needs to happen!
- Host a sushi night.
- Sign up for a pottery class.
- Sign up for a belly dance or tap class, or some other movement class sure to make me look a fool.
- Wild card! That's right, I'm open to suggestions!
Some of these may not seem like the most frugal activities, but frugality as I see it, is not about deprivation, but rather putting your money where it gives you the the most value. Money is meant to provide necessities, yes, but quality and value with vary from person to person. Focusing on experiences, rather than stuff is my goal. It is so easy to put your mental energy towards "getting the best deal" and while that certainly CAN be a part of the frugal and simple life, it can also play into consumerism in a big way.
Who's with me for the 12 in 2015? Please share in the comments some of your 12!