Saturday, October 29, 2011

Frugal Retirement Living: Musings for The Week (Frugal and Otherwise)

I'm reminded again how good the library is-from a general and frugal perspective.  Any library, anywhere is good.  My library, and the other library I belong to, have reached out to a new level. My local library has incorporated a "teen Lounge" and has leased space to a coffee and snack shop in the outer lobby.  Meeting at the library has new meaning.  This week, I carried home many books on canning, Texas gardening, landscaping and small business.  Even if I end up xeroxing a lot of pages (which I will), it won't come close to the cost of even a used book. I also left with both fiction reading and a book on CD for when I sew.  Someday I may be done singing the  advantages of libraries as a frugal gal, but I'm not there yet.

This week was my church youth group's garage sale. They receive piles of contributions, almost all of it good stuff, some of it great stuff. On Thursday, I spent the day pricing the good stuff using my good sense and eBay app on my smart phones (hundred dollar cameras, china tea cups from occupied Japan, sterling silver and so on). It took a full day. At the end of the day, workers got a preview-and a chance to buy. I purchased this sewing box for $25.00 (I did not price it), as well as a really good real leather office chair for my son for an amount I am ashamed to disclose it was so cheap. Today I returned to assist with the clean up and the hauling away (the parish hall had to be ready for tomorrow). I left with a solid wooden shelf, five office boxes of vintage sewing patterns, a four foot tabletop Christmas tree and a few other sundry items. All for somewhere around ten dollars. I regularly help the church in more than one capacity (inreach chair, cookie exchange chair..........) and made this commitment without thinking. The fact that they had good stuff, when I could use it, at a really cheap price was simply serendipity.



One of my retirement "aha" moments comes each morning as I slowly move out of bed at nine (sometimes eight thirty in the summer).  I'm a night owl. Tis eleven at night as I speak and If I go to bed before midnight, it will only be because I got up at six am to assist with the aforementioned yard sale. Pre-retirement, between work, kids and life, keeping this schedule would have been impossible.  As would the winter day when I jump out of bed, kick up the heat, and jump back in bed with my morning beverage and laptop for an other half hour or so.

As the elder stateswoman in most of my classes, I'm doing even better than I had thought-even as a lazy studier.  Especially in my physical anthropology class.  While I won't say that I'm a hundred per cent in the groove, I am getting there. That said, spring semester I'm going to take whatever sounds interesting even if it adds a couple courses to the total. If they meet requirements great, but I'm not aiming for that. And I'll adjust my schedule for more free time-I'm retired, after all!  I also need to decide if I'm going to school for fun (nothing wrong with that), to increase my volunteer management abilities (certificate in non profit management), or to get a "real, translator" job (German degree)

It's been a painful couple of days, sportswise.  Although my football heart is still in DC, I've decided my baseball heart can handle both the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles (yes, I'm from DC and an Orioles fan-perhaps that explains why the Nationals do so poorly-the Orioles were already there). Unfortunately, the Rangers let me down on Thursday and just sealed the coffin on Saturday. Time to get a bigger bullpen.

It's gotten cold earlier than normal here in Dallas.  Normally the kids wear shorts and tanks to trick or treat in.  While it's between sixty seven and eighty most days, the nights have gotten down as low as forty.  This means at least a little bit of heat some nights. Thankfully it's nothing close to air conditioning in terms of price or the amount of time it's needed.  Days are still warm enough to open windows, and the sun warms the house as soon as it comes up.

My grocery shopping this month has been extremely low, and that's a good thing.  Although my upright freezer does not need to be defrosted, I decided it was time to use up what was there and do a little organizing before putting away for fall.  While it is true that said freezer will have to be refilled, it will be done at my leisure, as always at loss leader prices-and yes, as a semi single gal I really do use my upright freezer.  The frozen made in advance Christmas cookies will take up one shelf alone.

My last thought is that I'm reminded how small routines and habits can make us or break us, frugally or otherwise.  Packing a lunch on the day I have three to four classes takes me all of ten minutes.  Since I have an hour and forty five minutes between some of my classes, this is a time to sit in my car and relax with a lunch that cost much less than anything available. Not only that, but my tuna on whole wheat with v8 and fruit (and occasionally chips) and my single coke of the day is much healthier. This is true even with the coke.  One day last week, I had a meeting before school and forgot to pack something in the morning. I ended up driving to "burger row" where I had a Whataburger. Not only did the cost make me sit up, after not having had fast food burger in awhile, the salt was a real shock to my system!

10 comments:

  1. It sounds like you make a lot of contributions to your church and others contributed some really good items to the sale. If you don't want to keep all of those vintage patterns you might want to sell them on etsy. I've seen quite a number of them for sale there for quite a lot of money depending upon what it is.

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  2. sounds like a great sale! I haven't been to a good church sale in years - seems when I'm in the mood all the sales church and otherwise seem to have nothing. :-(

    I love how you have a freezer - I've been considering an upright freezer off and on but being single and living in hurricane area I'm leary - coupled with how i tend to stock too much then forget what I have - not a good combo for me I don't think but I do get tired of not being able to fill my freezer with both good priced meats,etc and precooked meals ready to eat.
    I wish I could be back to school full-time - I remember taking stuff with me to eat on campus - we had lots of places to eat - sometimes I'd find a spot outside when the weather was nice.

    Susanna

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  3. oops meant to say I LOL'd at the whataburger comment - I ate there after doing a lot of cooking at home where I dont' use much salt and my first couple of bites I thought the same thing about the salt - even took off the patty and wiped it off but did no good. every time I've passed by I remember how salty it was and how I couldn't eat it all! good $saver!
    susanna

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  4. Juhli, I pla to sell every single one of those patterns.......I gave up sewing clothing long ago. My aim is to make a least a little bit of profit......

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  5. Susanah while I really love my freezer for sale items i love it most for extras on foods I cook. so many recipies are for four, six and more, and when you are one or two there are always extras. I would say it depends on you. The freezer can last a couple days. If it failed, you'd probably have to ahve a party on the grill.......

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  6. that's true - I'd probably find a lot of friends with a party on the patio LOL! hmm..may do some pricing. my dad has one and I don't think he's all that big on using it - not sure how I'd get it down to Houston though (4 hr trip and I have a civic!) might could buy one and have it delivered cheaper! I do want an upright if I get one - I'm already too old to be leaning over a deep freezer digging through layers of stuff - my mom had one like that they bought used then when it started having problems she got an upright.
    Susanna

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  7. yowza - just priced a few freezers and those suckers arent cheap!
    still tempting though...

    Susanna

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  8. Susannah, they are cheaper tha refridgerators as a rule and will save you so much money-sometimes we have to spend to save. Mine was somewhere between two hundred and three hundred ad similar to this.

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_04629702000P?blockNo=9&blockType=G9&prdNo=9&i_cntr=1320019390375

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  9. reminds me I'd better start saving for a fridge and washer/dryer - just in case! my w/d are about 20 yrs old and fridge 11- no problems yet but you never know! I'd forgotten how expensive major appliances can be!

    Susanna

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