Fifteen Stupid Frugalities

adellabedella_usaMay 30, 2008

I've been reading blogs. This one cracked me up. It's about frugalities the author has made that go a little beyond the normal.

I can relate to a couple. I have a pair of pants with a hole in the butt that I wear for painting because I don't want to mess up my good clothes. I have other pants that are out of style that would work as a great substitute, but NO. I wear the one with skin showing instead.

I have learned to donate a lot of what I don't want. I can relate to the saving screws and toilet paper rolls. I save containers like coffee cans and tin cans because they are too neat to throw away.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Here is a link that might be useful: 15 stupid frugalities

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All storage bins in my greenhouse and basement are full of paper towel, tp tubes, old yogurt containers ect! I SO can relate to that one!

I also tend to wear the crappiest clothes around. I have been drawing the line on pants in which have holes in the crotch. Holes that are anywhere else are ok though.

My husband saves all metal screws ect. Oddly enough I throw them out when he isn't looking and steal the jar they were in for my greenhouse or basement collection.

I have the bad habit of tormenting myself about every purchase also. I once found a pair of pants I liked and my husband had to convince me to buy them because I wouldn't (they were full price!!!!). He convinced me because he said "really how often do you find pants that fit well?" I happen to be very short. So I said "ya! I never splurge on myself" and bought them.

Well a week later I ripped them at work (gahhhh!) Karma I guess. I was able to exchange them though.

All our wood is saved for burning. My old undies are turned into rags because I dont' think anyone would want them either!

Also the AC. I refuse to get one in the house and I feel so terrible when my husband uses it in the car although I hear it improves gas mileage, so it could be a trade off. I like to eat lunch inside at work so I can actually use the building AC (because someone has to use it and appreciate it)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:28PM
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I'm a coffee can saver, and especially ice cream pails, although I don't buy big containers of ice cream anymore. But those pails are so handy for so many things! I always use both sides of the paper whenever I can. For scratch paper, I use the paper from the work order documentation I get from work. They usually only print on one side and I get a lot of paperwork. Notes, grocery lists etc are always handy.

I've never saved egg cartons and don't know why I would. But my sister does. She has probably 15 years of egg cartons stacked up! I asked her why and it was well, someone might want them. I did save some many years back when I was going to make firestarters and stuff in them but I got to where I didn't go camping anymore so out they went.

Good solid boxes are hard to toss. I reuse bags so I never have a big supply of them but don't toss 'em. The soap slivers are why I use liquid soap, but when I used bar soap, I'd wet em and fasten them to the new bar and use up what I could of the old one. For a while I was getting a soap that had an indentation on the one side made to hold the old piece. Interesting concept.

LOL and just before clicking on this, I trimmed off a piece of the collar on my t-shirt. The coller is pulling away from the shirt so I cut off the little piece that was hanging. I'll use t-shirts until they're rags.

I will admit that after getting the animals I tend to keep the heat and a/c at slightly more comfortable levels.

I've always preferred showers over baths. And I take rather quick ones so there's unintentional savings.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 7:51PM
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Some of them sound rather reasonable, to me.

Since most of the stuff that we buy isn't deductible for income tax, saving a buck on stuff not bought (or bought used instead of new) is like getting a raise of $1.25, if one is in 20% tax bracket.

I've had trouble with moths that love nuts, cookies, etc., which are medium brown with a beige flash across the wings ... I've heard them called Indian grain moths. Their larva love to dig holes in nuts, cookies, etc., leaving webbing (plus other residue) behind.

I saved those carboard tubes that frozen juice comes in, that I used to fill with nuts, then drop an individual yogurt cup into the top to foil the moths - when I had teeth. When I had one sitting by the computer, it was easy to lift out the yogurt cup and pour some of the nuts directly into my mouth.

Two or three TP rolls flattened and taped together make a good scabbard for a sharp knife: prolonging the knife's sharpness in the cutlery drawer, and forestallng bloody fingers. Bonus.

TP rolls are great to hold the folded electric line of the portable radio when carrying it around. Mine has an integrated handle on top, and the TP roll will slip in there snugly enough that it usually carries without flopping out.

Works for short extension cords, as well, as does paper towel tubes (but I usually use rags for clean-ups instead of the towels - a roll sits in my dispenser for months).

I'm planting garden, and using spray nozzle on hose just after planting tiny seeds 1/4" under soil isn't so great. Drill a number of small holes in the top of the screw-on cap of a gallon jug that cider came in, fill with water: great watering can to provide gentle spray! A nail will work, as well, but maybe the holes are a bit too large for gently watering freshly-planted seeds. Of course, it makes sense to pour some water into the bottom of the trench just before droppng seeds in.

I tried pouring some water into the trench just after dropping peas in ... not a good move: the peas floated and changed space ... so I may have to move some if they come up some too close, with some bare spaces.

Hi scryn,

When you pinch those storage bottles, take some scrap paper of which one side has been used, and cut a piece to cover the front of a small soup can, taping it on.

Then tape a copy of each of the items in the can to the front of the can.

Maybe label with marking pen.

After all fair's fair.

But ... it is with regret that I inform you that using air conditioning in the car plays havoc with gas mileage!

old cynner,

When you travel in the country, carry some of sis's surplus egg cartons, as you'll probably see a sign, "Fresh eggs for sale" and if you offer some of those surplus cartons, they'll almost always be received with thanks - even if they aren't fresh.

As for a quick shower - it's warm in MN for at least part of the summer ... and it rains occasionally. A nice, warm rain.

Free ... but less than attractive in spring for critters unrelated to polar bears!

Enjoy this beautiful spring weekend, everyone - just had a nice shower: rain, that is.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I heard there were seeds found in a grave of a Pharoah over in Egypt. Even after 2,000 years, some of the seeds still germinated. I have seeds going back about 15 years, some of them are folded up in dried up wads of paper towels.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:43PM
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For those egg cartons, you could offer some to schools or daycare centers for kids' crafty projects.

My DD loves to make/decorate those egg carton caterpillars.

Seed starting projects.

Paint trays.

You get the idea.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 7:56AM
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Hi Jannie,

I found some asparagus seeds this spring, and I've thought for a while that I'd like to plant some. Told to plant one foot apart, so I filled quite a lot of staked out garden space. And have quite a few seeds left over.

This morning at church a long-term market gardner, now retired, told me that I have a lot more work to do - that I need to transplant them. Next year, after they're started, dig a trench about 8 - 10" deep, put manure in there, then some dirt, then transplant the started asparagus.

However ... I also found some strawberry seeds, and after discussion with landlord, decided to plant them in a small rather segregated area of garden ... that I've already planted with other stuff: corn, beans, peas, radishes, lettuce, beets.

I hope that non-current seeds will work reasonably well: I figured that I'd just let the strawberry seeds sit till next year, and hope that most of them may be still viable.

Then I wondered whether to plant them in among the current plantings, letting them grow together - the current stuff will be gone by fall.

The market gardener said that they always bought strawberry seedlings. So I guess I can plant the strawberries somewhere else this year, then transplant them next year, as he would have with stuff that he'd got from the nursery. I don't know how many of them there are ... and how much space they'll take.

I have eight long rows ... and eight short rows ... am I going to run out of space??

Late deadline here for planting is pretty well May 24 ... and rumour has it that that date has passed. I'd hoped to get more done yesterday ... but we got heavy rain, so ground will still be wet till tomorrow, at least.

Too bad the seeds aren't in ground now - they'd love that rain.

I'm hoping that the blight that hurt the cucumbers, and to a lesser extent, melons, last year, won't cause trouble this year.

I hope that you're having a great weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 7:06PM
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Yeah, my planting deadline passed May 31. I have tried startting seeds later,they always die. I never have much luck with seeds, they get damp off mold or too much or too little water, or the sun's too hot, or, you get it. I do better with seedlings in pots. This year we have 8 heirloom tomato plants growing, everything from purple to yrllow to orange to green stripe tomatoes. Hey, I thought I was on Garden Web. . .

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

There is a local food pantry ,that collects food all year, and fresh veggies when they are in season, and then distributes then to those in need. Someone advertised on Freecycle wanting egg cartons...seems the pantry had farmers who would donate eggs, but the cartons were needed.

I enjoyed the blog...and many replies...thanks all for the free entertainment.

Years ago, I was helping an elderly frugal neighbor with something or another. For some reason I asked if she had a rag handy....after a little thought her reply was (in jest)"No, I'm still wearing them." She and I always looked like a couple of ragamuffins.

She sometimes fed my dog when I was away from home for several days at a time. She would help me take the doghouse down to her house. We could be seen wheeling the doghouse down the road on a two wheeled cart. I imagine the neighbors got a good laugh out of us.

So besides cords and a knife sheath, just what else are TB tubes good for?

I have a few saved, and thought I would stand them up in a container, and fill them with soil, and tuck soil around them...and then plant different varieties of different things in them...think that might work? I had in mind to start several different cosmos, poppies, morning glories, and zinnias.

Once again this season I started my tomatoes from seed. This years cold frame consisted of the bottom half only of a plastic doghouse, with a piece of wood covering the entry hole, and an old window on top....I raised several nice tomatoes in it...some in small peat pots, and others in 2 liter pop bottles.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:05AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Well, I'll admit, that there are some products I like just because of the packaging. Simply Orange O.J. has a great bottle for storing dry goods in, like sea salt making it easier to dump into my other containers for measuring, etc. Alas, DH prefers Florida natural OJ. Dh gets the evil eye when he throws out a container that he knows I would like. Part of the problem on this front is that I don't buy many things that have containers to be saved. I may need to put out a notice to other family members.

I do try to keep some things in balance. There are things I don't save because I don't have enough use for them to warrant storing it. Egg cartons go in the recycling bin but once the farmer's market starts up, I may ask if they can use them. I don't like much clutter.

Some of my other frugalities that others would deem stupid but I know are probably understood here:

1. Double ovens. When we built this house, I wanted double ovens. I bake a lot and thus thought it was justified. I have used the second oven 4 times in the last year and a half. I have become so accustomes to planning my baking that it literally pains me to have to preheat the second oven and waste all that electricity.

2. Soaking tub. Again, when building we put in a jetted, heated soaking tube. Being conservation minded, we got the narrowest one we could so that it is deep but uses less water than a wider model. Even at my young age, I am having problems with my joints and soaking in a very hot bath is very therapeutic. Alas, I have limited myself to a once a month soak just because I know that tub uses a lot of water and I hate to waste it. My mother thinks I am nuts but there it is.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 1:02AM
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Chemocurl, that is exactly what I use TP tubes for. I put soil in them and stand them all up tight in a container and they are great seed starting containers. When I plant the seedlings I just unwrap the TP from the soil and pop the plant in the ground.

If you water them too much they can get a little white mold on the outsides but no biggie really. I try to let them dry out a little between waterings and this helps keep the mold/mildew down and the tubes last longer.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:45AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Thanks Scryn...Do you have soil (soiless mix) in between them also? Are they in a container with a solid bottom, that they can be watered from the bottom (assuming you left a blank 'spot' at the corner of the container).

I know some things do not transplant well (poppies comes to mind). I suppose they could even be planted with the roll left in place, if it was still holding together a little.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 11:26AM
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i did end up having soil in-between them, only because i was messy when I filled them up. They were very close together and not much soil could fit in-between them. I watered them from the top mainly although they were in a solid bottom container.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Do you planters cut the tube in two, to get double the mileage, or would that not allow enough soil for the plant to get a good start? Most of those plastic trays with individual pots don't have them deeper than that.

This would become doubly important if you can arrange to make most of your deposits when away from home. This might be more important for males living alone... who only need paper part of the time.

For me, especially important about three years ago, when I re-used toilet paper for upwards of five months, that had its first use at our family picnic (to wrap people in a team game).

Remember the funny stories that developed out of that frugally "Reusing toilet paper ..." thread?

I think that someone said after that, that she'd had the best laugh all week?

o j

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 3:14PM
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    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 3:07PM
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