Wednesday, June 01, 2005
A Tightwad's Guide to Frugal Living
In yesterday's newspaper there was an article about a woman who lives cheaply. Maybe frugal is the correct word, or maybe, just maybe, tightwad is more accurate.
She's a recycling Nazi, which I can accept. We should all be careful with the planet's resources. But this woman takes a bucket into the shower with her, collects water in it that would just go down the drain, and uses that to flush her toilet. OOOOkay, that's a good idea in a real drought. But I'm afraid that I envision a toilet that isn't flushed often enough to suit me. I mean, are we talking saving stuff until you have enough stuff to flush? Ugh.
This woman sleeps not on a bed, but on "several layers of sleeping bags and blankets found in the trash or thrift shops." Okay again. It's her house and her sleeping. (BTW, she's not homeless. She lives in a chic part of town actually.) She says, "I want to write a book called '100 Uses For a Bandanna.'" She uses them as paper towels, hankies, napkins, and wrappers. She once brought leftover pizza home in her bandanna because she refuses to use a take-out container. (This bandanna had been in use on her head up until then.) She even saves the bibs from dentist visits.
Then the current Reader's Digest has an article called Cheaper Than Thou, written by Mary Roach. She says that each night "I remove my eyeliner with the end of a Q-tip and then set it aside to use the other end the following night." Hoo boy.
Listen to some Hints from Heloise:
1. Instead of throwing out used coffee grounds, leave half in the filter, then add half of the freshly ground coffee for a second pot. (Give me a break! Bet that tastes great.)
2. To make an inexpensive whiskbroom, roll a section of the newspaper lengthwise, then cut across one end a few times and spread out the fringe. Use to brush away cobwebs or crumbs, then toss it out. (What next? Tell your kid that Santa Claus died, save big on presents?)
3. Instead of facial tissues, use toilet paper, which costs less. Remove the cardboard core from a roll and throw away. Then place the roll inside an empty square tissue box and pull from the center of the roll through the opening. (We've all used TP instead of Kleenex, but only because we were OUT of the real thing.)
4. Instead of replacing my travel-size tube of toothpaste, I refill it from my regular tube: I simply hold the nozzle of the big tube against the small one and slowly squeeze. (Oh sure she does...NOT. Heloise has gotta be rich by now.)
Okay, so I confess that I save old pantyhose to use to tie tomato plants to a garden stake. And the hubby figured out that it was cheaper to buy the biggest sizes of French fries at McDonald's and then split them up among the kiddies, rather than buy each one of them their own individual fries. The man actually COUNTED the damn fries! This went on until the rebellion of 1975, when our son staged a coup and declared that he and his sisters would all get their own, individual, small-sized fries. (Note to daughters: I now have to share fries with your father again. It's not worth the fight.)
How do YOU save money? Big or small. (It's usually SMALL.)