Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday

"Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character." ~ Calvin Coolidge

It has been forever since I've done a frugal post and since I'm couch-bound much of the time, I figured I might as well make use of my time and write one.  I've gotten distracted lately, and there are days when it feels like we are in over our heads financially with a son in college and another on her way there.

However, the other day, I gave myself a pep talk.  "Terri, you can do this!"  "You've lived with less, and you just need to refocus."  So, as a result, I'm back to my "frugal" or "thrifty" posts.  It helps keep me motivated.

As a result of my accident, and the inability to get around, I had to close down my shop.  I didn't have the money to pay rent and not have the doors open.  But I am so very thankful that frugality is ingrained in me.  There were so many times over the past few months that I was tempted to purchase some merchandise for the shop or to buy some display pieces and I kept telling myself, "No!" It made no sense to me to spend money when I could make do with what I had. The store was stocked with beautiful, handmade items from different vendors and I didn't allow myself to fall into the trap of buying manufactured merchandise.  Of course, Dan helped me with that decision from time to time too! ;-)

Now that I've dismantled everything and most of the display pieces came from my home, they just went back to their original space. A friend offered to carry my personal handcrafted items in her antique/vintage shop and so some of the display pieces went there.  So really the only thing I'm out is the last month's rent. I had to give 30 days notice and so I had to pay rent for the last month even though I wasn't open. But it could have been so much worse!

Some ways I've saved:

$ Right before I made the decision to start up again, a friend had given me a large quantity of fabric. So over the past four months I've been using that. The only time I purchased fabric was back in early January for a custom order. I worked hard last year not to buy anything new.

$ If someone offers me craft stuff, I take it! Materials are expensive. What I can't use I always pass on but I'm always so appreciative of offers of craft supplies.

$ I've been working hard at not going out to eat and we really have done a fantastic job with this over the past few months. The few times we have gone it was because we had a gift card for a restaurant. Instead, I've been making meals at home and the other nights, Emily fills in. She is becoming an excellent cook. And to be honest, since my accident, it's so hard to get around on the crutches that I don't want to go out anyway.

$ My website came up for renewal and without realizing it I had it set to auto-renew.  When I saw the charge on our credit card, I contacted them and canceled the website.  I only get a few hits a week on it, so felt it really wasn't worth the money.  Most of my sales come through my facebook page, Terri's Country Crafts & Books, as well as Etsy.  So I saved myself $179 for a 2 year plan.

$ I bought 12 large tomatoes that had a few spots on them for $2.  The farmer's market where we shop always has things like this by the front door and I always check it out.  I cut out the spots and used them right away.  I turned them into fresh tomato, garlic and basil pasta sauce.

$ A friend gave me a garbage bag full of really nice wicker baskets.  Some I've used around the house, others will be used for gift baskets and the rest I'll donate. 

$ I keep following the motto - "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without."  It helps, trust me! :-)

$ And this one has nothing to do with me being frugal, but on Sunday our treasurer handed me an envelope with money in it.  Someone had donated it anonymously for us to use when we go to our denomination's national conference.  That was such a wonderful, unexpected surprise and will help!