Monday, July 26, 2010

Frugal, not cheap

I'm trying to train myself to think of myself as "frugal" not "cheap." Somehow, "cheap" carries more negative connotations, and "frugal" indicates a certain level of intelligence that accompanies my thrifty ways. Do you agree, or am I splitting hairs? To-may-to, to-mah-to.


Anyway, do you remember when my sewing machine broke down back in April? And how I've been borrowing machines ever since because I don't think I have enough money to afford a new one? I've decided, sewing is an important enough part of my life that I should go ahead and invest. Of course, I still couldn't find it in myself to invest in something EXPENSIVE, but I did impress myself by not pulling the absolute cheapest machine off the shelf - I actually picked one with feed-dogs that can drop - maybe I can try some machine quilting!


I brought it home last night, and haven't had much time to play with it yet, but I am already tickled beyond belief. Guess what? It doesn't thump and nearly shimmy itself off the table when you are winding the bobbin! It just makes a lovely purring sound, music to my ears after all the clunking and growling and whining my old machine did. And the stitches are so even and lovely! And it does more than just sew a straight stitch! I've been denying myself for way too long!


But, in order to justify the expense, you know I'll be denying myself in other ways. For example, I love sending cards to people, good old-fashioned postal carrier delivered mail. But, gosh, aren't greeting cards expensive! So I've been buying my cards at the thrift store; the selection isn't that great, but the price can't be beat. Or so I thought. My latest epiphany is that I receive LOTS of cards at work from prospective students that I have interviewed. Many of them are absolutely gorgeous! It turns out, most folks just write on one flap on the inside of a card, the flap that doesn't have the beautiful photo or design on the front. So last week, I started cutting the cards apart, saving the front and its pristine backside, and throwing away (well, recycling) the part that has been written on (after I've acknowleged its receipt, of course). Then, I can send the beautiful card front, and write on the back. I tried this for the first time yesterday when I mailed an orphan block to V at BumbleBeans. Tell me V, is it tacky, or am I onto something to satisfy my frugal soul?

And remember when I painted my bathroom with that mis-tinted blue that Lowe's was selling for $5.00? I submitted my receipt for the $5 rebate, and lo and behold, it was honored! The check arrived this weekend, so the paint was actually free! Yay, me!

11 comments:

Judi said...

What, where is a picture of your machine? What have you named it (or the boys)? Tell Jason I LOVED his quilt in the show. Details lady details.

Becky said...

Honey, you deserve a sewing machine! You actually enjoy sewing and that is the most important reason to get one!
You'll have that thing smokin' in no time!!! lol And there's nothing wrong with frugal....my husband is a pro at it....without him being frugal we wouldn't have a thing!! Keep on keepin' on!

Cheryl Willis said...

we've been doing the card thing at church for years. One gal enjoys cutting them apart and use to even make new cards by glueing stuff over the original signature-lol.

cozy quilter said...

I use last year's Christmas card fronts as gift tags and have done this for over 25 years. I have never bought tags for Christmas gifts. I also reuse home-made gift bags which I made from Christmas fabrics. I use the paper reusable gift bags for gifts that go outside the house. I have had the gift bags for 21 years. I add a few new ones once in a while to add some variety. Good for you for reusing your cards!

quiltfool said...

I have not recycled cards yet, but my neighbor used the fronts of the cards as gift tags last year and we're going to do that as I have hundreds...no, really, hundreds of saved holiday cards. Why? I'd rather have a sewing machine than an oven. So, enjoy your new purchase. No guilt. If you needed a car, you'd buy one, right? Maybe not a Mercedes, but a good functioning car that was safe for you and the family. Take care. Lane

kwiltmakr said...

Glad you finally got a sewing machine but where is the photo of it, what kind is it etc. Nothing wrong with being frugal, I think there is a big difference in "frugal" and CHEAP.

Barb H said...

Good for you, Erin, for getting a new machine for yourself. When I got mine after years of cussing at the old thing I had, my husband was in the same room as me one day while I was stitching and after a bit he said, "It's so nice to watch you sewing without swearing all the time." So it was a benefit for the entire family! You call your card idea frugal, I'd call it recycling/repurposing/saving the earth and definitely something to be proud of.

Trish said...

Frugal is just being careful with your money. Cheap, well, cheap is wanting something for nothing and even think saying it's "too much". You truly deserve to have a sewing machine! Your quilts are beatiful!!!

Rhoda said...

I agree that there is a difference in cheap and frugal. I, too, am frugal. Buying a new machine was not an extravagance!! It was a needed thing. I'm glad you did it. Now enjoy, and I want to see your fmq.

Janet said...

It's not only frugal but it's saving on the world's resources. Good for you. Much better to spend money on a sewing machine, good sturdy tool that you'll use for years.

Quilter said...

Good for you on getting that sewing machine. I can imagine your excitment about having a new machine that doesn't display all those 'characteristics' your old machine had :-) I'm really looking forward to seeing what you make with it!

Impressed they sent you that cheque, even more so now that means the paint job was free. I loved the colour xox