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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Don't Knock the Little Stuff!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

One of the problems that we may have with thrift is that we discount the little savings, even though we know that over time they can add up!  My husband noted that we only saved about $2 from the fast food special - but I reminded him that $2 is $2!! If one saved that much daily, in a week it would be $14 - and $56 a month!

I also remember that he gave me a hard time about saving pennies until one time I put them all in a cash machine to buy us some chicken for dinner!  (I wait until I want something at the supermarket, because the machines around here are all inside markets, and they give coupons to redeem at the register...)

And I find myself going back to Amazon's Mechanical Turk (cyber piece work at to make a little pin $.  (Go to the back and you will find the higher valued hits valued.) And similarly with my Paypal account.  I get enough there to buy a book online or something else every once in a while.

It's the same with all the freebies.  Some people pay $1+ for sample sizes for travel, whereas I just get them from freebie sites &all it takes is my labor! So I figure I have earned $1 in some sense!  It depends up on where you are, too.  When I worked close to major department stores, I would always take advantage of the freebies and specials in the paper for which I had to show up in person.  But now that I am working out of my house, it's too much trouble....

I ALWAYS accept free stuff.  If I can't use it, I can pass it on or give it as a gift. And my husband's students love little things as rewards.

If I were terribly mathematical, I would calculate all the dollars - and sometimes I do mentally - just to make myself feel a little less broke!  It is nice to have spending money when everything is going to the bills.  I even count change when the coffers are low - to see how much I have got & it usually adds up to a few dollars, which is a small cushion until payday.  

It's all about added value, I think.  I inherited some lovely ribbon from a friend who was moving & I immediately think of how that will spruce up a coming birthday present!  It's fun to calculate that no one will know that your thrift shop card wasn't $4! Or that you got that bracelet for a steal at a craft faire, whereas in a boutique it would cost over a $100!

I actually like cable TV - especially for the movies - because I end up watching and liking movies I wouldn't think of renting, for example! So it's always stimulating and a surprise.  And I do think about the savings in gas and popcorn and tix....

And, as I have mentioned - sort of - it's also invisible income!  I look back what I made in my single years and wonder how I lived on that - but I know that I was enhancing my income with all sorts of deals and freebies - Free classes - free performances - free workshops - I used to say that my third job after a day job and my acting was living on my income!

So we are tightening our belts again - and I feel reassured that with some ingenuity and keeping an eye open,  I will be able to get my husband and me through this OK.  Gas prices or no.  Because of all those little savings.


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