Custom Search

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dribs and Drabs: Packing for a Trip to Paris and Beyond

I have many big things to think about, the main one being whether I want a now-valuable vacation house when my mother is no more.  My brother does not want it. This simple little house is now worth a good bit--more than a good bit for someone like me--and I am unsure if I can handle the expenses.

Then, like many in my age group, I have to think about retirement: how, what, when, where.

I am one of those little things people. All my savings come not from making super choices in my investments or earning a lot of money but from saving a dollar here, a dollar there on the (too) many consumer goods that come into my life.

To take my mind off the big questions, which are filling me with anxiety, I am thinking about little tiny things that will make my trip to Europe (soon!) a little easier and a little more frugal.

1. One of those under-clothing pouches. We have been using these for years. They cost around $10 at LL Bean. We have been approached by scammers (fake deaf people, the fake gold ring trick) and fondled by people in crowded metros. No worries! We have our pouches! And yes, your tummy pooches out a little, but--guess what?--no one is looking at you.

2. Pantiliners. Aside from their regular uses, I just learned that you can put these in your shoes to absorb sweat! What a great idea.

3. Stick deodorant. I also learned that you can rub cheapo stick deodorant on your feet to prevent rubbing. That way you don't have to buy blister sticks (which are 99% vegetable shortening).

4. Make-Up. I am very low maintenance (i.e. lazy) in the grand scheme of womanhood. Nevertheless, I have amassed many lipsticks and foundations that are 80% used up. All the declutter experts say: throw 'em out. Frugal Me is reluctant to let even some wax and coloring die in vain, so I am putting them in my travel luggage. I will use 'em up in Europe. And, hey, if they have to die in vain, at least they will be in the Eurozone.

5. Books. Mr FS has solved his reading problem. He brings Walden every year and never reads it. I read it last time. I have amassed--thanks to the 25 cent books at the library--a bunch of classics (Austen, Graham Greene, Dickens)  in tiny formats and very bedraggled condition. These are due for re-reading. i will pass them on by stacking them on TOP of the garbage cans so others can take them--this is the Parisian way.

Do you have any tips for dribs and drabs?


Unknown said...

We are also headed to France for vacation later this summer. We are packing minimal clothes and using our LL Bean daypacks instead of suitcases. This is a first for us. My husband is skeptical, but I'm certain bringing less stuff will make the trip easier.
I discovered your blog in January and after reading a few entries, I then spent a lost weekend reading through your archives. I enjoyed myself thoroughly! Over the past year I have been thinking about how to simplify our lives and our expenses instead of spending money mindlessly just because we can. One of your posts used the phrase “frugal abundance”, which is a perfect description of my goal.
Your blog has been inspirational to me. Thank you!

tess said...

Hope your trip is wonderful! One thing I do to use up the scraps of lipstick down deep in the tube is to scrape them up and mix with lanolin or petroleum jelly in a saved tin from lip balm. Mush around and voila! lip gloss. If you save MAC lipstick cases you can trade in 6(?) empties to get 1 new one. One of my 6 looked unfamiliar to the counter person because it was before the tubes were redesigned. Save up the little bits.

Shelley said...

Have a great time! We did a week in Budapest and are now with Bill's sister and BIL in Vienna. The weather's not great, but the sights are excellent! I don't seem to have much problem with sweaty feet but agree entirely about scraps of make-up - they are there to be used up! I tend to melt my bits in the microwave into a small plastic box and use a lipstick brush - at home. The still protruding lipsticks get used in public...

Frugal Scholar said...

@Unknown: Thanks for the kind words. I am going to take a break from blogging for a bit, but your words have encouraged me to return in the fall.

@tess-I am impressed and will give it a try.

@Shelley--i am so jealous that you can go on these trips without incurring the massive expense of airfare from the US. BTW, the deodorant is not to prevent sweat, but to prevent the rubbing which causes blisters. Some people use vaseline for that purpose also.