Monday, July 12, 2010

Levels of Cheapness

This morning I've been busy putting a coat of varnish on my beautiful Adirondack chairs that my Dad made for me a few years ago.  I'm not sure if it's because of accidental paint fume inhalation, or hours of quietness spent on the back porch while painting, but as I threw away my used paintbrush, I started thinking..... there are DEFINITELY different levels of cheapness.  I for one, would rather throw away a paintbrush, than have to clean it in a jar of paint cleaner.  It's not worth the hassle....but if it can be washed with the hose, I'll keep it for decades.  I'm frugal, but not THAT frugal.  I'm a big money saver, but even I have my limits.  So in order to define my level of cheapness, I've created a list of things I will or will not do to save money.

Things I'm willing to do to save money
1. Clip coupons, always....end of story.
2. Never pay full price for anything.
3. Make my own cleaners
4. Watch to see if the Diamondbacks scored 7 runs so I can take advantage of Taco Bell's D- Backs special $1.79 for 3 tacos and a large drink. (You can't even make them that cheap, people.)
5. Grow a garden
6. Reuse old socks as dusting rags
7. Save jars, and coffee cans
8. Go around the house as the "light Nazi" flipping off lights and asking who left them on.
9. Sew my own curtains, linens, and bedding
10. Make my own Cinnamon Sugar, and put it into an old spice jar
11. Save taco sauce packets from Taco Bell
12. Use toilet paper to blow my nose so I can save the Kleenex for the "guests"
13. Recycle gift sacks and tissue paper (Thanks, Gina for reminding me of this one!)

Things I won't do to save money
(If things got real bad, then all bets are off, but for now, these are my limits.)
1. I will not wash and reuse plastic baggies, or plastic plates.
2. I will not save cool whip containers.
3. I will not save dryer sheets to dust with.
4. I will not save dryer lint to stuff a pillow with.
5. I will not buy cheap toilet paper. It must be Charmin....always.
6. I will not use baking soda to bathe with or brush my teeth.
7. I will not make my own ice in trays. (The stuff in the bag tastes waaaayyyy better.)
8. I will not buy generic cheese puffs.
9. I will not use dish washing soap "sparingly". (I like a proper amount of suds in my water.)
10. I will not pay to have someone wash my truck, spray for bugs, clean my carpets, or paint my house. I do it myself.
11. I will not wash and re-use straws. (Thanks, Krystle for reminding me of this one!)

Everyone has their limits.  Those are mine. What about you? What are your limits of frugality? Do you go to extreme measures to save money, or will your pride not allow you to save a ketchup packet for later?


  1. I didn't know about the Diamondbacks/Taco Bell thing! That is so cool!
    I DO use dryer sheets more than once. Once I cut all of my dryer sheets into fourths and it worked pretty well. I decided I liked them in thirds better, but instead of cutting them, I re-use them until it is clear there is nothing left in them to give. ;)

    I would love to make my own bedding but I am scared to death. ;)

    Never buy generic Oreos. the real thing!
    I also don't re-use ziplocs, styrofoam plates and other things my great-grandma did/does. But I have been known to reuse plastic ware and I am obsessed with gift bags and tissue...I re-use them over and over and over...
    I don't save ketchup packets, but I do save horsey sauce from Arby's if I can!

    What do you do with your saved coffee cans?

  2. Your list of will nots is sort of funny to me... as I'm sure my list would be to anyone else.

    I save glass jars but not plastic and will save metal coffee cans but not the others. I spent the ten dollars on a set of knobby dryer balls about five years and haven't had a dryer sheet in my house since. I clean all sorts of stuff with baking soda... including my teeth (I put a couple drops of peroxide on the brush with it for added whitening.) I replaced most all of our lightbulbs with those really low watt spiral ones and have not been too worried about lights left on since then. I buy groceries only when they are on clearance and are things that we NEED and will use. I do make my own ice in trays, but I use it for making ice cream. (I don't usually put ice in drinks or anything else.) Oh... and the cheese balls that Family Dollar sells are actually my favorite cheese puff things ever... regardless of brand (not that I buy them more than twice a year.) And, like Gina, I have always saved giftwrap... bags, tissue paper, pretty bows... I've even made my own out of non-traditional materials. It's really quite fun and certainly can cut the cost of gift-giving considerably. I refuse, under any imagineable circumstances, to pay more for a card and wrapping than I did for the gift they are accompanying.

    Lastly, I am proud to be one of those people who can say no... I don't care if it's free (or SEVERELY under-priced)... that doesn't mean I need it. I'm a great fan of coupons and such, but most of the junk they encourage people to buy is not stuff they need. You can be really proud of saving $$$ on something, but if you wouldn't have bought it without the discount, then you really didn't save anything... you spent.

  3. haha....I LOVE to save money, but only when it's really saving me money. And I don't use much of anything that is disposable :-) The only thing I really use are ziplocks but I have been researching washables for a while :-) I will NEVER wash straws :-) The only containers I will save are mason jars! Everything else goes in the trash (I would recycle if it were available!) I don't clip's a waste of my time. I don't save packets of anything cause they never get used! I make my own hot chocolate, pizza, biscuits. I would love to be fully self sufficient but don't have the resources available! I guess the main ways that I like to save money are by doing things myself or making things myself. Homemade is always cheaper :-)And reusable everything.

  4. I particularly enjoyed number four on the second list. What? you don't use your dryer lint to make pillows? My goodness. *big smile* Have a great day enjoying the blessings all around you. sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

  5. Ditto on the tp instead of kleenex. Can't do cloth diapers, but ok w/ reuseable swim diapers. Except for food;) almost everything I buy is used or clearanced. Amazon and Hopeful Treasures and Scottsdale goodwill are my money-saving friends:)

  6. On the subject of dryer lint... I have to admit that I have saved it to make homemade paper.... It really was a fun craft project, but no pillows (yet).