There’s so much in the mainstream media about frugality now. Just off the top of my head, there was Jane Brody in the New York Times on frugal food (cabbage, beans, and so forth); then there was something on CNN about frugality as the new fashion. And there’s a lot more. I’m not even going to link to these frugal-come-latelies because, honestly, you can get just as good if not better material on-line or in the library from those who have been walking the frugal path for a while.
Also, and this is strange, I find a lot of these articles boring, even though in the past, I hungrily devoured everything I could find on the topic. Perhaps it’s because frugality is only fun when it’s by choice. Reading about the newly-unemployed and how they must downsize, budget, find health insurance, etc. is a depressing exercise. Unless, of course, these are the unemployed of Lehman Brothers, at whose woes we can, if we desire, smirk. One former Lehman fellow has a column in the Wall Street Journal; the most recent post trumpets his new discovery that money isn’t everything. As one commenter noted, the formerly very wealthy are not in the pickle of the formerly middle class or working class or working poor. And no, I’m not linking to this guy either.
So what’s on the frugal menu here today? Just a little jeu d’esprit: the frugal-go-round. I was thinking about the little frugal things we share at my workplace. I realized an economist could probably quantify the money saved as our frugal practices circulate through our little economy.
SO: I have a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, which I don’t much like. The magazines are given to a very nice student who works in the Writing Center.
I don’t have a freezer, but some of our extra frozen garden produce is safe and sound in the freezer in the Writing Center!
We bring five or maybe more colleagues greens and lemons from our garden.
I just read the Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which was lent to me by Dr. Z. I’m done and the book was passed on to another colleague.
All the teachers donate books to the English Club Book Sale. Proceeds help support a yearly trip to a conference.
My colleague who teaches Italian lent my son a $150.00 textbook. Ditto for a French textbook.
My colleague George and I love grocery bargains, but realize that it is NOT frugal to make a trip for one item. So George brought me a bag of grapefruit ($2.00 for 5 pounds) from Albertsons. He also gave me some bacon he found on sale. I’m going to bring him coffee when my local store has its monthly coffee sale ($1.99 for a bag).
Last year, I requested the ham bone from the holiday party. I made some great soup with it.
I could go on, of course.
Dear readers: are you in a frugal-go-round? What is circulating in your community?