Monday, July 18, 2011


                           or CHEAP AND EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING


I confess:  I’m cheap.  We could sugar coat it a bit and say that I’m frugal but the truth is that I’m just plain cheap. 

The facts clearly reveal the truth.

  • I only shop from the clearance rack.  I haven’t been ahead of the trend for over 20 years….if ever.
  • I decide what we “want” to eat for the week from the local grocer’s sale flyer.
  • I won’t replace anything until it’s broken.  I mean really broken.  Can’t be fixed – broken.
  • I will convince myself that I like something based on its low price.  If it’s only $8.20: It’s perfect and exactly what I was looking for…..or close enough.  
  • I refuse to replace my 30 year old microwave even though my children are certain that we are getting excess radiation.  The darn thing still reheats yesterday’s meatloaf, doesn’t it?  Why should I dump it?

One might think with all of this glorious frugality, I would be rolling in dough.  Sadly that is not the case. This either means that I’m a complete failure at being a cheapskate or that if I weren’t so miserly with my cash, I would really be in trouble. 

I come by this trait honestly enough.  My own beloved mother, Lucy, was a real penny pincher.  The woman reused the zip lock baggies in which she lovingly placed the cookies she packed for my father’s lunch.  After several weeks of recycling, my poor daddy could no longer identify the cookie he was consuming because it was covered in a such a potpourri of crumbs from earlier offerings.  Laugh if you must but – TRUE STORY.  Pecan Sandie?  Oreo?  Chips Ahoy?  No clue.

My mother and grandmother used to scour the grocery ads in the newspaper and then drive all over the county to make sure that they didn’t pay a cent more for paper toweling than what was necessary.  Never mind the gas that was wasted as they visited every supermarket within a fifty mile radius.  

The practice that drove me (a card carrying tightwad) more than just a little over the edge was when Mother would insist that we wash “disposable” plastic plates, cups and eating utensils.  I would argue, “Isn’t the reason we’re using these items in the first place to reduce the workload and have more time to enjoy ourselves?  Just throw them away!”  Alas, Mom was always right and wash them we would.  I probably should let it go but I’m still grinding my teeth a little over that one.

I’m still using the hand mixer I received as a bridal shower gift over thirty years ago.  While I dream about the Kitchenaid hand mixer with its wire whisk magic beaters; my avocado green, Sunbeam Mixmaster just WON’T DIE!  Just to give you a true visual of how splendid this small appliance is, I would be remiss not to mention that somewhere in the move to Florida in 1980 the cord was lost or thrown out.  It was replaced with a brown cord from some other appliance that has long since bit the dust.    You have to shove a little harder than normal to get the cord in but it WILL fit.  Don’t think I haven’t tried to speed up the demise of the Mixmaster either.  I’ve accidentally dropped it once or twice or ten times.  Its housing is cracked.  Every time I think I’ll finally get that new, shiny whisky gadget, MHS manages to bring the dang thing back to life.  Sometimes I think that man hates me.

I realize that any other woman would just get the new one that she wanted and put the old one in a drawer as a back-up.  Or give it to their college age daughter.  Or put it in the yard sale pile. Or *gasp* throw it away.  Not me.  It pains me to replace something that is still in working order.  (Let us not forget, I’ve been married to the same man for over thirty years.)

I am making little break-throughs though.  My boss mentioned several times to me that our office kitchen needs a new toaster.  I kept arguing that the one we had was still working.   She claims that it was burning her toast.  Hogwash!  Adjust the setting!  Eventually, I relented.  The woman signs my paychecks after all.  I shopped for the best deal, bought the new toaster and installed it on the kitchen counter in our break room.  And then I did something that I’ve never done before.

I threw a perfectly good working toaster in the trash!  Looking back, I feel a little guilty.  I could have donated it.  But it WAS burning the toast. 


Hugs and Kisses,


PS. What have you thrown away lately?


Linda said...

Girl! You DESERVE a bran-spankin-new Kitchen Aid whisk thingy. Go get you one:)

Brian Miller said...

wow, otin does a post tonight, you doa post tonight the reunion or something...i dont have anything to wear...well really because several pair of my shorts have been thrown out this summer..seems you are not supposed to wear them until they fall from your body...

Kathy said...

OMG I love love love my Kitchen Aid mixer. I hugged the box when it arrived. I sold my hand mixer at a yard sale, which offset the cost by...oh.. about $3. lol I still have clothes from high school. A couple of sweatshirts. From 1983. Yikes. I need to throw out more stuff.

Pseudo said...

Ah, SMB, good to see you up and about!

I say,you are frugal. Not cheap. This is why (by my definition). Cheap people take advantage of the generosity of others in order to save themselves money. Frugal people are only "cheap" with themselves and their loved ones ; -)

But I agree with your daughters on the microwave.

I donated a lot of things to the Goodwill when we downsized with our move.....

Pseudo said...

Oh. And I agree with Linda. You so deserve a brand new kitchen aid ; -))))

Tessa said...

" It pains me to replace something that is still in working order. (Let us not forget, I’ve been married to the same man for over thirty years.)" For that line alone, your blog was worth the price of admission, SMB! xo

Kimberly said...

I purge twice a year...that means all clothing items, shoes go to Good Will or Mission of Hope. I resale my handbags on Ebay or privately.

Housewares - typically pictures and other what knots are semi-permanent for at least 5 years. Furniture - all wood stays for a long, long time. Couches & chairs...those go in about 5 years as well. Men have a 5 year shelf life too.

Money is made for spending my dear!

Mrsupole said...

I too was cheap and just could not justify getting a Kitchen Aid mixer. I had watched other members in the family use theirs and kept wanting one for years. I never could justify the cost. Then one year Costco had put out a coupon, I had saved enough of my Costco redemption checks to cover the cost of the remaining amount. So I bit the bullet and went and got me one.

If I could make one of those things that hold your foot and then you pull on it to kick yourself in the ass, I would have to pull it thousands of times. I am not sure how I ever survived without it. Everything that has to be mixed is now a joy to make. And all the attachments that one can buy to go with it. Oh my, is all I can say.

I also think that it should be a required gift for all newlyweds and I know it has to be a group gift, but the time that it saves when mixing is totally worth it so that the newly married couple can spend more time together. And when they have kids it is a total must have due to how busy the mom's are.

Plus for me as I have gotten older and with the arthritis, it has been what allows me to make things that I would not even try to make without it.

But then again I am a kitchen gadget collector and can never have too many.

Just trust me, if you get the Kitchen Aid mixer, you will totally fall in love with it and be joining me in pulling that rope to kick yourself in the ass for not getting it sooner.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Up until 2 years ago, I used a Sunbeam Mixmaster that was at least 25 years old. It finally died. (I got a new Mixmaster and let me tell you... BIG mistake. Go for the Kitchenaid.)

I'm super duper, buy-my-shoes-on-ebay-(but I swear they're new)-frugal.

No wonder I like you so much.

and there you are in my google reader!!


Anonymous said...

Your college age daughter probably doesn't want your avocado green mixer. Just saying...

StrandedInTexasBecauseICan'tFindMyDamnKeys said...

I'm laughing at Ash and this post because I'm exactly the same way. I'm always giving my old stuff to a kid who I'm sure throws it away the second my back is turned. As for what I've thrown away car keys, apparently. Ugh.

jeanmac said...

I donate stuff to the local thrift shops but then buy stuff there myself! I wear my clothes forever as never buy unless I really love the piece - don't need it, love it!

Speedy Lady said...

Shirley P. made us wash disposable plastic cups and cutlery for years, which irritated the heck out of me but now I kind of "get it". Even though, I dispose my disposables.

Lucy would be so proud of you!

Cute post!

Fragrant Liar said...

Well, I'm with the kids. Get a new nuker! And then cook all those "good deal" foods in it.

I have flip flops from the '90s and I get $10 cocktail dresses from Ross. I think I'm in Frugal Territory.

Good to see you blogging, my friend.

WV LeAnn said...

Glad to see you blogging again. Always have loved your stories and pictures. Missed you and hope your around more often!

Jules said...

I'm with WV LeAnn, glad you are back. I don't throw things out, try my best to re-purpose. Like old kitchen utensils become bent yard art. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

♥ Braja said...

Smarty girl!! It's been so long; looks like so many took a hiatus....nice to see you again....xoxo

tera said...

Haha! Home sick and catching up on blogs today. I am sort of the same, except I will buy the new thingy, but then I can't throw the old one away because "it still works" and "someone might need it."
Sheesh. I'm not quite a hoarder, yet, though.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I am just short of being a hoarder..and that scares me. What I have I thrown away? You know..other than some milk that finally went bad because I hate milk and don't bake much anymore..that's about it. AND I go to garage sales every single week and there is very little clothing I own other than shoes, socks and undies, that have been bought at department stores. I did splurge on a top from a place called Soft Surroundings. But I am still wrestling with the temptation of sending it back..
Shoes, purses, cute lacy bra's etc. keep me from being rich. So, guess I am a failure too! :)
I've missed you! Life happens, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a couple of friends of mine.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I'm surpressing my need to jump up and down and act like a fool. I am really glad you are back. You don't have to don't have to say anything except that you are sitting on a chair clacking away and we'll buy it. SMB..we'd buy anything you said. :)
Welcome back and hugs and kisses right back attcha!!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What have I thrown away lately? ..old bills, the newspaper, prepackaged food boxes..and my health probably. They found a huge..ok 50 to 69% blockage in my left carotid artery. Too much butter? Not good I guess.
Other than that...oh...right..the two chairs in our family room. I couldn't take it anymore. The woman across the street took them in and gave the a home. They were like old friends but worn and one had a broken arm. :)
That's it.