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Tightwad gazette, $500 budget

July 5th, 2017 at 06:23 pm

Gah! I lost the original version of this post! So frustrating!

Anyway. I was GOING to say, before it was all wiped away...

While I'm stuck at home recovering, I've been re-reading the Tightwad Gazette. Once you've been cheap for 20 years, there aren't a lot of ideas left to try, but I like to go through some of the classics for inspiration and maybe ideas I've missed.

Most of the TG falls into the 1. already doing it 2. not relevant or 3. not my thing categories.BUT, I am going to try the grocery price book. I've never done it, and maybe writing down what things we buy cost at different stores will come in handy.

I dug out a tiny notebook and wrote down my categories, and we'll see how it works out!

I'm also revisiting reusing plastic Ziploc bags. I prefer to put leftovers etc into reusable glass pyrex with lids, but DH still puts stuff in Ziplocs, tries to wash them but never really gets them clean.

I, seeing the dirty bag, get grossed out and throw it away,but now I'm thinking of trying harder to get them clean. I hate the idea of all that plastic waste put out into the environment. Any tips on washing and drying them effectively?

$500 home improvement

We rescued a 1970s modern lounge chair from the in-laws. It's super comfy, looks modern,and is one of DH's favorite childhood chairs. They were going to put it on the curb.

Only problem: The 80s. floral upholstery. The MIL loves to cover everything in flowers. Not my style. And, in this case, it's dirty. SO, I got an estimate for a real reu[holstery job and it came back at $500.

Cringe. But I originally planned to do it anyway. Then I thought, "geesh, my friends I used to re-cover thrift store furniture in our 20s,a nd it looked fun and lasted a long time. I bet I could do that with this chair."

I inspected the chair and I think I can make a washable slipcover that looks like new upholstery with maybe a day's work.

And, since I'm stuck at home recovering, I've noticed a long list of smallish house projects that need to be done, so I wondered how many of those I could do with that $500. I want to find out, so I'm allocating $500 to misc. house projects.

Here's a rough plan

1. $100. Reupholster chair/ottoman
2. $100. Reupholster office chair
3. $50 to $75. Scrape and re-paint my master bathroom.
4. $40. Buy all new dish and bath hand towels. Ours are awful, and at least 15 years old.
5. $25. Replace all the Japanese ceramic cereal bowls we've broken.
6. $60 plus whatever is left-- either replace the broken stereo speaker with a used set or rent a steam cleaner and clean three sofas plus the interior of my car,which is super gross from the kids.

Food for thought. I think I'm gonna do this littler experiment and see how it works.

in other news

Three more days and It'll have been three weeks since surgery. As expected, I am not back to normal. Sigh.

Yes, I can do more. Yes, I can drive. But two to three hours of activity leaves me wiped out and needing nap. (I am trying to sleep more, since that is when the body heals.)

I still can't bend over to pick things up off the floor. Since my incisions are on my torso, they limit movements until they heal 100 percent. Sigh!

This is all very frustrating for an on-the-go gal like myself. I want to be back to normal!! I hate feeling like I'm on pause!

Plus, a bit of the gravity of the 'C' word might be sinking in, and the reality of if it hadn't been for all this, I would have been dead in the next couple of years. I'm having some feels related to that. Maybe reevaluating my priorities and how I'm living my day-to-day life.

Gah! SO many feels!

8 Responses to “Tightwad gazette, $500 budget”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I reuse ziplock bags, only for non meat items. If they have ever had raw meat in them, they go to the trash. Now that said, once you wash a bag with soap and water, it is never going to be a shiny clear plastic again. It will start to look crinkled and sort of foggy to look in (if that make sense). I dry them hanging over other items we are drying on the counter. You can also dry them individually with a towel. I personally try to use reusable glass as well.

    You are healing. Be in awe and gratitude for what is, not what could have been.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm not always good about washing and reusing ziplocs these days. That said, when I do, I turn them inside out so I can give the part that touched food the most attention with the scrub brush. Then I dry them inside out too. Once the insides are dry I turn them the right way. That way, the inside doesn't stay moist and possibly get yucky.

    Ugh, I remember how frustrating it was to have stomach incisions. The giant one I had after my car accident wasn't as bad because I was wheelchair-bound, so I didn't use my ab muscles much. But the tiny one from my C-section was the worst! That panicky feeling you got sometimes when you'd wake up suddenly wondering if your newborn is OK? That feeling made me sit up suddenly in bed, which would use my stomach muscles, which would cause my incision to sting something awful. I know I keep saying this, but hang in there!

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    I think this and a c-section mark are somehwat similar. In nearly the same location. You quickly learn you need abs to do everything!

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Also, you reminded me that I should ask AS whenever she gets back if she'll make a slipcover for our armchair. The cats (well, mainly one of them) have gone to town on it, and it's got several ratty, shredded spots. But other than that it's in really great shape; it's only about 2 years old.

  5. snafu Says:

    I empathize, likewise in recovery mode with a list of restrictions plus ghastly side effects from powerful prescriptions. There are a lot of pink ribbon groups whose members have travelled the same road and are delighted to offer suggestions with the best of intentions...similar to SA although another issue.

    I spent 15 minutes earlier today reviewing my 'Thrift List' Small, Smart Easy Savings. For example, I freeze leftover coffee in an ice cube tray, store in a zip bag in fridge freezer, handy for iced coffee, frappe or to add flavour to chili or beans. We repurpose zip bags mostly for non food items

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    It's so hard when life throws you a massive curveball and dredges up the feels! I have heard of many cases where people who have scares or near death experiences completely changed their lives. Just be good to yourself, you have gone through so much xx

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    I keep a price list which I have quite a bit of time adding prices to from many different stores. The problem is, stores often change their prices or have sales, so sometimes it seems I spend more time building the price list than actually benefiting from it.

    I often reuse the plastic baggies unless there's something oily that was in it and thus hard to clean, then I toss. Most of the time, however, I no longer use plastic baggies. I have purged plastic food storage containers from my home in favor of glass Pyrex, so it stands to reason I'd rather not have my food touching plastic baggies either. If you go on Etsy and search for reusable baggies you'll get a whole bunch of different reusable cloth alternatives to plastic.

    When I was recovering from abdominal surgery, the worst things were 1. having to cough and 2. having to sit on the toilet. Both hurt. This too shall pass.

  8. rob62521 Says:

    Like you ideas on how you are going to spend that $500 you would have spent recovering the chair professionally.

    I get frustrated with washing Ziplock bags too. I try not to use them except for meat such as when I pound chicken or pork chops to tenderize them. Like you, I try to use glass Pyrex.

    I know you are impatient to be well, but I think you are smart to rest when you can.

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