When our kids were little, we lived on a pretty tight budget so that I didn't have to work full-time.
I pinched every penny. Canning and freezing veggies from the garden, baking bread, making yogurt. I faithfully went to garage sales and made cost comparisons: using cloth napkins versus paper, buying the store brand instead of using a coupon with a brand name. (Cloth beat out the paper and buying generic was usually less than using coupons.) I washed and reused just about anything--sandwich baggies and aluminum foil.
I was a hard core tightwad.
But as passionate as I was about being thrifty, I had my limits. Some tightwad tips were just too nasty to consider--whether they saved a buck or not:
- Reusing tissues from a crate of peaches for toilet paper. I had an aunt who did this. She stuffed them in an empty coffee can for company to use. My guess is it took a whole peach crate for just one visit to the john.
- Using a menstrual cup. When a friend told me about this, I was horrified there was such a thing. She claimed it saved a ton of money and was good for the environment. I don't know how it works, nor do I want to. All I picture is schlepping around some public restroom rinsing out the cup. Uggghhh. Sorry, but there are a few advantages of living in this century. Feminine products and toilet paper are at the top of my list.
- Making pudding pops with empty deoderant sticks. No kidding. I don't know how many people have actually tried this, but it was one of the tips from The Tightwad Gazette. "Hey, kids, you want a push-up? We got Secret, Dial or No Spice in the freezer."
I'm no longer an extreme tightwad. I work full-time now. I can say I don't have the time, but truth is, I've just gotten lazy. I have to say, we had more money when we had a meager income and I washed out sandwich bags.
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