Sunday, July 15, 2007

Frugal and Creative

I'm discovering that these two concepts go hand in hand. To be truly frugal does not mean being too cheap, but rather make the best use of what you've been blessed with. In "the church" we call this good stewardship...No, not tithing, but still within a similar context. Dr. Harvey talked on the parable of the talents and being frugal is one of the ways that I take the fishes and loaves and make them feed more than they seemingly should. This could get really heady and philosophical quickly, so I'm going to stop there and just show you some of what I've been up to in the last few days (and one pic from VBS that I wanted to share).

For (VBS) Summer Spectacular, I teamed up with fellow friend and blogger in the K-5 Music and Missions room. The last day we were playing Dr. related games because we were discussing a missionary who was a pediatrician. I went out and priced toy Dr. Kits and similar things and couldn't bring myself to buy one even if it would end up being a toy for my daughter. So I really had to be creative and "make" a toy stethascope from items I already had. I usually shower at night to make getting ready quicker in the A.M. As I was in the shower I noticed a fairly large suction cup that kept the shower organizer in place. It had a slit in it so that it could be removed and relocated if necessary, so I just removed it. I attached it to the plug in portion of my headphones and voila! Just for aesthetics, I covered the suction cup with foil to give it the silver look. For K-5 this worked perfectly. No additional cost, no wasting money, no cluttering my daughters room with more toys she will likely not play with, and recycling/repurposing materials I already have. Good stewardship.

I am almost out of baby wipes. I don't like the particular ones that I am given off and on simply because they smell strongly of vinegar, but they are freely given and so we use them (good stewardship). I remember reading on how to make your own baby wipes a while ago and kept those various items on hand after the baby showers in the event that I would indeed try this recipe. Today I had my chance. I cut part of the roll of Viva paper towels so it would fit in the container I had saved after the Q-tips were used up. I got out the baby oil that I recieved at a shower but never used (I'd saved it for just this purpose). And took out the baby soap. I read the recipe and used my TBSP measurement and a big ziploc bag and basically marinated my babywipes. The remaining portion of the paper towels are plenty big enough for everyday use, so I just put them back on the holder. Now, in this case I didn't waste or get rid of the baby oil I was given so it would help me later (I'm not advocating saving things just in case you need them later...simplicity is better, but I knew what purpose it would serve before saving it). I reused a container that would have simply gotten thrown away. And saved money and time by not having to make a store run just for wipes. And as a bonus, they smell great!

Lastly, but certainly not least, my friend told me about a "sidewalk sale" that happens once a month at the Sav More in this area. It is the way I like to shop. Some portions of my stockpile have been running low and I had started a list so this came at the most opportune time. Sav More makes rows of boxes on the ground in the parking lot of dented cans/boxes, out of season (valentines, christmas, etc) decorations and such, and expired or nearly expired items. You arrive early for the sale to get a place near an item that you spot, and get a box. When the rules are given and the fellow says, "go"...everyone goes and quickly. Here's the best only (no tax) $6 a box...anything you can fit in it. I filled 2 boxes this Saturday, my brother filled 3, and my friend filled one. You've got to know where an expiration date is/is not that important, and the concept of the outer packaging being open or in disarray, but the inner packaging completely in tact. I racked up. Brother estimated saving at least $150.00, and I estimated saving about $120.00! The list would be too long, so I'll show you a pic. If I get any requests for the list, I'll post it next.

(including the magnetic letters for the fridge which M opened immediately)

Being a Good Steward is being frugal and creative. Use what you have. Don't waste money and/or resources you may already have that aren't being used. Spend a little time instead of money. Then you are using your brain as well.


Lu said...

That is so awesome! I came over from Like Merchant Ships!

Stephanie said...

Great finds.

For baby wipes we just use baby wash clothes which I was give in abundance and water. We use cloth diapers though I guess it wouldn't be as convenient if you use disposables.

And I totally agree frugality goes hand in hand with creativity!

Way to go!

Nico said...

Wow great finds at the box sale. I really enjoyed reading about making your own baby wipes too. I'm always running out of baby wipes around here (2 in diapers), and I have often wondered about making my own wipes. Thanks for sharing the tips.

Rebecca said...

I came to your blog from Like Merchant Ships. I loved this post! It is crazy amazing how much food you got for so little!! Talk about loaves & fishes! Also, you've motivated me to try making my own baby wipes as well. Thanks for the ideas ;>)

beth said...

GIRL Iam soo proud of you! You are a true testimony to how to make it all work! Love seeing you up there singing on Sunday mornings it warms my heart!

It's a Mom Thing said...

Saw the stethascope in is cool!

And you know you're supposed to tell me about those special sales! I can't do the coupon thing, like you, but I can hit a sale. Tell me next time you go. I want to share the savings, too. :)

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

M @ itsamomthing...totally will tell you next time! This was one of those last minute, kinda check it out sales. Now that I know, you are all in on the secret! I will keep my eyes peeled for the next one and spread the word. Once a month. Remember. Also, I totally agree that being featured on LikeMerchantShips is the best prize EVER! That's literally my fave blog!


Carrien said...

I only make my own baby wipes now. I like them way better. I use a lavender glycerin soap and I love the smell. ANyway, save that other portion of paper towels to make the next batch of baby wipes. I figure it works out to $0.50 every two or three weeks for wipes using the Viva towels bought on sale.