Monday, September 21, 2009


As you might recall, lately we've been living the frugal life, practicing for when we might need to eat dandelions and dried up worms off the sidewalk instead of the delicious recipes I've been making with goods purchased from the commissary. Of course, the savings come in handy; someday I might really need that extra $3 I made by depriving myself of the Kettle's Salt and Pepper potato chips that make my life tolerable, but mostly we have nothing better to do.

We have been trying new money-saving techniques every week. This week, I dumped the small bits of shampoo left in six different bottles together and shook it up into a homogenous mixture. Then I bought the conditioner that was on sale at the commissary for $0.69, saving me between $8 and $20, depending on which shampoo and conditioner I would have otherwise purchased. I have also been using cheap soap instead of facial wash, and frankly, my skin and hair are just as beautiful as they've ever been. I also use the cheap soap for Weston and Shane instead of the $4 bottles of baby wash and shampoo that they just dump out into the tub. They're just as clean, and when they throw hard soap at each other in the tub the bruises are free, because no soap is lost in the process. That saves about a quarter for each bathtub fight, which adds up to about a million dollars so far.

Even my morning coffee is not exempt from our ruthless cost-cutting measures. This morning, I switched to the french press instead of the coffee maker. The french press is smaller so it takes less coffee, and we don't need a filter. Those filters cost several cents apiece, you know. The only flaw I see so far is that right now is that it's not even 9 a.m. and I'm already making my third batch. But the potential extra coffee cost is more than offset by all the cost-saving ideas that are swirling around in my head. I swear, there are more with every sip! For example, one of the best ways to save money is to use the things you already have, instead of buying new things. Weston's birthday and the holidays are coming up, so I'm trying to think of great presents that are generated from items we don't have to buy. The things we have in ample supply are beans, dryer lint and fingernail clippings; ever since I cured my nail-biting habit with tapping, those those sharp little cuttings are coming out of my ears. At first I thought we could use them for toothpicks, but they're not quite long enough, so it was back to the drawing board on that one. I haven't quite worked all the kinks out of my gift-giving plan, but I'm pretty sure I just need a little more coffee; I'll keep you posted.


Helen said...

I really thought you might be on to something until I read all the way to the end.

C Mike said...

NOW you decide to save on shampoo? Thanks a lot!

Wendy Hawksley said...

And when you go back to the states, you won't get to use those expired coupons, right? So you'll have to get used to the current ones there...

Hm, other cost-cutting ideas... Well, we're living here in Korea without cable, which is great! And we've never had a cell phone, ever.

The no cable thing is seriously odd for us, but we're dealing. Mostly it's Gavin who "suffers" from the loss of 800 channels and the ability to pause live TV with Verizon FIOS. (I admit to going through withdrawals too, but now I'm sort-of alright.)

Oh, of course you'll want to have a garden when you move, so there's another great way to cut costs. Homegrown goodies!

Your own special dandelions.