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?