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!