Monday, October 27, 2008

Money Monday

I have absolutely no use for this clock anymore.
It used to be the only one I looked at- the one in that prominent place above the kitchen sink, that faithfully let me know how late I was for ______.
But then, when this happened, we made some little changes. It actually went really well. We ate well, but I only bought groceries as I needed them. Our house ran as usual, but I only bought things when they ran out, and we stuck mostly to essentials. As for the non-essentials, those either got put off altogether, or they were used sparingly and stretched.
My makeup? When it was clearly running out, I still scraped my liquid powder foundation off the sides of it's little compact, long after I would have thrown it out. It added about 3 minutes to my routine, but it did work. When it really was gone, then I got a new one. When one of the light bulbs in the bathroom burned out, I let that go and waited to replace it until after we had income again. No big deal. And I think I'll scrape again next time, even if I don't have to. It really wasn't that bad.
Oh, and my point- batteries. If we didn't need it, I certainly wasn't going to give any of our precious funds to Duracell. When that clock stopped ticking, it was a huge nuisance. I mean huge. It annoyed me several times a day, and Jim was frustrated by it too. I never realized how many times I glanced at it until it didn't work anymore.
After a few days of this, and it really did frustrate me, I had to start re-training myself. "Oooh, honey! Look at that! We have two other clocks in the kitchen!! There's one on the microwave, and one on the stove, and wait!!! There's even one on the coffee machine!! Where did those come from?!?"
And you know what? It was just as easy to use those as the other faithful ticker. I just needed to notice them, and train myself to look their way as I passed by.
I did eventually get that AA in place and now there are four pieces of time in my kitchen to tell me how late I am for _____. And I always forget to look at Old Faithful. Sometimes I do just for old times' sake, but I have to make a point to look. Because my eyes have gotten hooked on the one on the stove- and it's actually easier to see anyway- none of that looking up business.
That dead battery taught me a good lesson.
What are the things I swear I can't live without? That I'd say are essential? That I'd miss terribly and life would cease to function if they weren't here?
Maybe some of them aren't as essential as I think. Maybe I just need to look around me, notice what's right in front of my face, and make a different choice.
It might be hard at first, it might drive me crazy or make me twinge. But after a little while, I bet I wouldn't even miss them anymore.
And I might just find that there's an easier, less expensive, or more convenient option right under my nose.


d.a.r. said...

I just wanted to remind you how much I love your blog. I don't think I've told you lately :)

Oh and, you are a huge inspiration to me! I am working on cutting back our budget, again, and yall are just totally inspiring!

Anne Elizabeth said...

Loved this post! Last year we learned all about what we could live without.I don't really have essentials anymore. I can't remember the last time I was able to stock my pantry.

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

It's amazing what we can live without when the need calls for it! I don't have a kitchen clock anymore either; too many moves, too many batteries. I found that I look at the stove one just like you all. :)

I told Daniel yesterday that I am going to take some time this week and see what I can make myself - I made yogurt yesterday. It was the easiest thing ever - a total "duh" moment for me! I have tortillas on my list to make for the first time, perhaps today or tomorrow; at three dollars for a package of 6 I KNOW I can do better!

We shall see! :)

Love Money Mondays!!


Lisa said...

you are wise beyond your years, my dear.

A Crafty Mom said...

Great points, Megan, totally right on the nose. Good for you for doing what so many don't - or won't - make the effort to do. In economic times like these we should all be doing what we can to save here and there.

My very favourite hand-crafted clock in our kitchen broke and I never got around to getting it fixed - didn't want to pay someone to fix it and I hated the battery thing too. Now I'm so used to looking at the stove, I go nuts when the power flickers off and I lose my stove clock, lol. Batteries are a huge cost for us here too, and I try, try, try as I might to make sure no battery-operated toys make it into the house. A few have snuck in, but I'm on the look out ;-)

The Mrs. said...

If the commissary was closer I would be all about buying only what I need. But its 45 mins away and considerably cheaper so i pick up a lot of the staples there. But your right I think you do cut back a lot doing it your way.