The Art of Frugality

"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance...thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste...if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare." 

~ G. K. Chesterton


Being a long-time reader and admirer of blogs such as Blue House Journal Coffee Tea Books and Me and The Prudent Homemaker ... I am inspired to contribute my own frugal-accountability-list to their ongoing, knowledge-rich and generous offerings.  Many, many times I've been inspired and encouraged by the posts and comments found in their (and others) consistent offerings.  After partaking in silence for far too long, it's now time for me to give back a bit and contribute my small voice to this idea choir.
This is how I practiced the art of frugality this week.

~ We stopped by our favorite farm stand down at my dad's house and bought a flat of strawberries for $6:00.  Marked half-price, they were considered seconds due to being a bit misshapen ... what I refer to as "charmingly imperfect" ... haha!  I froze about one third of the flat and then we mostly enjoyed them plain ... we also added them to smoothies ... and made our own version of strawberry shortcake (using cubed pound cake from the freezer in lieu of shortcake). We also found huge bunches of kale and parsley for $2 and .50 respectively for juicing and some misshapen (but yummy) Roma tomatoes at 4 for $1 each to dice up in our daily salads.

~ Transformed a few orphaned hot dog buns into garlic breadsticks by trimming off the rounded tops and edges using a serrated knife...buttering...and adding garlic salt and a sprinkle of dried basil.  After popping them into the toaster oven they were a perfect, crunchy aside for Mike's favorite pasta meal.

~ Canceled our Netflix account as we never really watch much from it.  I thought we might as we cut the satellite cord about a year ago...saving at least one hundred dollars per month. We use Apple TV,  Roku or our computers to watch any shows we miss or for Mike's sports. I thought we would have an adjustment period but I can sincerely tell you I have not regretted it once. I tend to listen to podcasts as I putter around the house...or watch old mysteries and the like should I be in the mood to sit and watch something specific.

~ Sliced and dehydrated oranges from my dad's trees. They had been in the produce bin of the refrigerator for a while and needed to be processed. I use these in several ways...ground up in the food processor they add vitamin C to a smoothie...they are also pretty when used to decorate cupcakes and cakes...and of course they offer a rustic look to garlands and other homespun decorations for various holidays.

~ After stumbling upon a charming juice bar (tucked inside a pretty little flower shop) down the road, I became inspired to pull out our neglected juicer. I've been making our own juices of parsley, kale, cucumber, lemon, ginger and apples. We stocked up on organic lemons, apples, cucumbers and ginger for very reasonable prices when doing a much needed Costco run.  I haven't done the math yet nearly $7 for a similar (16 ounce) juice at the juice bar...I know we are definitely coming out ahead! My hopes are that ... by reviving my juicing habit ... I will still be fitting into the dress I fell in love with (and bought) for Rosie's wedding this summer, haha!

How did you practice the art of frugality this week?


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog. At almost 83 I am still learning. This month (March) I've been cooking from my freezer (about the size of two shoe boxes.) and two cupboards that serve as my pantry. Lest you think I've always done this let me assure you I haven't. I find it challenging as I gather up bits and pieces of vegies, some sausage, etc and turn it into delicious soup to make four meals for myself. This and that make muffins.

I look forward to reading more from you. Have a lovely week. Shirley near Seattle

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Thank you Shirley! Your month of cooking from the freezer and pantry has obviously inspired your creativity...that soup sounds delicious! You're successfully illustrating the accuracy of Chesterton..."thrift is poetic because it is creative "!
I've always felt it kind of miraculous when small "bits and pieces" combine to create delicious nourishment. Thank you for adding your voice and reminding us by example that learning never ends...or at least it shouldn't...where would be the fun in that?!

MartiDIY said...

I don't feel especially frugal this week. I happened across your blog again because we have been considering an alternative to Dish Network for my mother-in-law. I haven't heard of Apple TV and am off to research it now. Thank you!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Good luck Marti! Apple is similar to the Roku in that it uses your internet connection to download your shows. It is definitely different than the Dish or Direct and it does have a learning curve. In my opinion, it's more like old school television in that you don't channel surf for something to turn it on knowing what you want to watch in advance. I did a lot of research to be sure I understood what we were getting into before we made the leap. Once we had a good grasp of it, we are very happy with the new setup!
Thank you for stopping by!

Donna said...

Dear Tracey~
I am so glad to see you back :) Your books, along with the Tightwad Gazette were my springboards into simplicity and frugality. Amy taught me how to save, but you taught me how to simplify with joy! This week I'm planting lettuces, herbs and a little catnip for the fur children. Spring cleaning in the house and garden is in my future. Ready for warmer weather and lower heating bills!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Dear Donna,
Thank you for that warm welcome back from hibernation and the lovely compliment!
You've inspired me to take a closer look at our tiniest of gardens and try my hand at lettuces again! The past couple of seasons we've had a discouraging problem with praying mantis' eating most of our greens (barring the basil, chives and onions)! They even devoured my mint! I'm hoping, with a few tweaks, we'll have better luck this season! Thanks again for the nice comments and for visiting!

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

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