Every now and then, there's a story about how frugality--specifically do-it-yourself--doesn't pay. These are the tales of home repair that necessitate a call to the professional, plumbing efforts that lead to a flood followed by a ceiling collapse, falls and broken limbs caused by efforts to catch dropped items, and so on. These stories are exceedingly silly, because--of COURSE--some efforts at frugality fail, but in a lifetime of (prudent) choices, you save more with DIY than with not-DIY.
Today though MR FS--a DIYer to a sometimes ludicrous degree--came gasping into the house. He explained: "I put some soap and bleach in a bucket to wash the canvas window blinds. A weird film formed. Then I felt I couldn't breathe."
Somehow, I bet, Mr. FS created chlorine gas. There was no ammonia in the soap blend, so we don't see how this could be, but still...He donned a gas mask (!) and got rid of the offensive blend.
But those buckets! They are a sore point with me. I know I shouldn't complain, because Mr. FS cleans a lot more than I do, but...If Mr. FS had his way, we would have buckets in every room, with some article or other soaking in them. These would seldom be emptied, because the soap was still good and could be used for another item. YUCK! I frequently have to insist that a bucket be emptied and removed from wherever it has taken seemingly permanent residence.
OK. I've gotten my hatred of buckets off my chest. Aside from the fact that Mr. FS almost killed himself, this story is revealing in another way.
Both Mr. FS and I have moments of too-frugal mania. With Mr. FS this is his bucket obsession and his use of items beyond the "expiration" date. Those ancient blinds--which were in the house and then in the back building Mr. FS has fixed up as a study--were past the expiration date. i will not divulge my own maniacal moments at this time.
After making sure he was OK, I chided, "You should never have washed those blinds! I TOLD you I got replacements at Habitat last year and that when the blinds got dirty, you should get rid of them."
And indeed, last year at Habitat I acquired a set of never-opened roman shades from JC Penney's for $3.00 each.
So here we have the collision of two styles of frugality. MR. FS the DIYer and washer and Ms. FS the thrift shopper. Together we have frugal synergy. Usually. As today, we have frugal conflict, bickering, and even, near-disaster.
Go ahead and share your near-disaster tales. Also, are you a bucket person or not?