Friday, April 18, 2008

A thin line between responsible and ridiculous.

With all of the financial woes we are experiencing and anticipating, I have been researching various methods to 'stretch the dollar'. Here are some of the decisions I have made, some sounding so absurd you would be sure I have made them up. I have not. All of these are documented tricks of the trade of proud tightwads.

What I am willing to do:

-Shop around for deals
-Watch for sales
-Compare grocery store circulars for the best prices before making a menu plan and grocery list
-Shopping at various stores to acquire the best price
-Use generic brands
-Go without
-Make it from scratch
-Buy end of season or clearance clothes for my kids
-Buy good-condition used clothing
-Receive hand-me-downs in many forms
-Get by with less
-Shop at thrift stores, yard sales, and Craig's List

What I am not willing to do:*

-Save leftover birthday cake, freeze, then reuse for a later birthday by scraping off the icing and adding a new name to the iced birthday greeting.
-Scavenge used dryer sheets from a neighbor's trash to reuse for myself.
-Paint a discarded milk jug black, fill with water, and collect 'free hot water' on the deck.
- Use junk mail and saran wrap as gift-wrap.
-Use any dumpster-derived food, be it canned or otherwise.
-Reuse tin foil.
-Live in a cheaper place (the ghetto-) only to sacrifice safety and well-being
-Separate my two-ply toilet paper
-Have or host a pot-luck wedding reception
-Use discarded tires, or better yet, children's potties, for planters
-Collect bills from neighbors and save on postage by sending them all in one envelope
-Make 'Refrigerator Casserole/Stew' from various leftovers in my fridge

*much, but not all of this information has been obtained from a book called 'The Complete Tightwad Gazette.' As I have only skimmed the nearly 1,000 page volume, I am sure to come up with many more fantastic ideas. I will share them as I uncover them.

More to come on aforementioned financial woes, it being one of the primary reasons I have not posted sooner. The information is whiny and boring, but I may finally have a good story or two to humorously accompany my strife.


RoRo said...

We are totally in the same boat girl, and I agree with your list of doing and not doing (what are they thinking?) some things I just cannot do!

michelle said...

Oh, this is good! The birthday cake killed me. What are you going to do, just serve one slice with a candle to the birthday person? And I am glad you are ruling out dumpster-diving for any reason.

Jill said...

I'm horrified by the second list and am appalled that people would consider doing those things.

Financial woes suck beyond belief. It is so hard to deal with the constant struggle of it and to have no end in sight. There has got to be a better way for you guys to get by. I'll let you know when I come up with whatever that is, ha.

Anne said...

Oh my gosh, that list is so ridiculous it's awesome. Do people actually do that stuff?!

I just went to a financial planning class at work and we got an article about ways to 66 ways to save. I haven't looked at it yet but if it's got good information I'll see if I can't get another copy for you.

kim said...

I think what I like best about this post is the label: "Poverty." At least you can find some humor in it!
I buy ALL of my kids clothes (and a lot of my own) at the thrift store. You'd be surprised at all the cute, name brand stuff you'll find in GREAT shape. Mitch is currently wearing a brand new looking pair of New Balance tennis shoes: $2.
I agree that the suggestions in the second list are a bit ridiculous.

Robin said...

so I'm reading through the "first list" and thinking, "what the crap...none of these sound made up or ridiculous - all sound reasonable.

THEN I got to the second list, and realized these are the absurdities you speak of.

For some reason, first thought that crossed my mind in reading this list was the "Red Neck Olympics" folk across the street. Which then makes me think..."Do I live in the ghetto?"

And I Provo standards, yes...we kinda dude. I mean, I have seen someone arrested in our driveway, and had a random dude break into Mark's car to you know, sit there.

In all seriousness, I hope you guys are able to get through these tough times, and I am definitely thinking of you. :)

Anonymous said...

So there is thinking outside the box, and apparently those who would think outside the box, use it as a bassinet for their newborn, and then cut it up as some form of decoration for their 8 year olds party.

We pinch pennies around here with the best of them- but it feels good to know we aren't in a place where I would even consider to scavenge dryer sheets from my neighbor.

Hope the stress lifts a little and you guys find a way to be creative- like the first list!

Mom said...

I guess you can hear my schreeking voice through the net!!

I'm a firm believer in the tithing principal. And, one of Grandma's favorite quotes," enough is as good as a feast"!!!

None of that second list, please!!

charlotte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
charlotte said...

I don't see the problem with reusing birthday cake, seriously. Ha! That is quite the list Jess--the separating 2-ply toilet paper doesn't seem too practical either.

patsy said...

I just HAVE to comment on this...
that second list, oh no!

Wow -a left over birthday cake- flour, sugar & eggs haven't gotten that expensive?- the pot luck wedding reception--- seriously tacky.

You're first list is a great one~ what about increasing your etsy shop??
You're gonna do great- it's all in your attitude & I can tell you've got a good one.

rmt said...

Oh my goodness, that second list was hilarious, but I hope that you never get desperate enough to use it!
Hooray to you for finding humor in your (not so fun) situation. I'll pray for you!

Denise said...

This is too funny, because Mark and I were just having the poverty conversation this afternoon, talking about ways to cut down, boost income, etc. Emily said I had to come read your suggestions and we've been laughing ever since about the scavenged dryer sheets. It puts penny-pinching in a whole new light!

Diana said...

I agree with everyone thank goodness none of us are in such desperate needs that we need to delve into that 2nd list.
I am a firm believer that things will get better for you and Timm. (and well me and Lou) Timm is a hard worker, you do your best with what you have and you pay tithing, let the Lord do the rest. Maybe we'll never be as comfortable as our parents or in-laws but we will some how live more comfortably than we do now.

Tasha said...

The thought of refrigerator or casserole stew makes me want to puke! Some of those good ideas are good, but the bad ones are bad, eh? Keep passing them along! I love to save money.

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