Monday, March 24, 2014

What Surrounds You?

What surrounds you?  Do you know?  Tucked way back in the kitchen drawer there lurks what?  What delights, or horrors, does your freezer store?  The shelves in your basement are home to how many items you cannot name?  As we start a new week, focus for a few minutes on how much clutter is in your home.  Even frugal people like me tend to have a lot, maybe more because we hold on to it thinking it will save us dollars down the road.  Yes, it might, but it also costs us dollars a day to hold on to these items.  What is the price per square foot of real estate in your hometown?  Look it up, and then ponder how much it costs to save all those gift bags, jars, old towels, baby clothes from 15 years ago etc.

Use up what is around you.  Commit to using what you have, figuring out what you have, before you spend another dollar.  My weakest area on this front in the kitchen.  There is something thrilling about buying fresh and tasty food, and whenever I pop in for a carton of eggs or gallon of milk, I end up leaving with $20 in other items I picked-up.  I am challenging myself to pause with that habit and really focus on making meals out of what is already in my freezer and cupboards.  Regular readers of this blog know that I tend to enter this phase every Spring, just before the local farmers' markets get back into the swing of things.  Meaning I'll start buying in bulk and freezing.  Before I can do that, I must empty what I have.

A renewed commitment to this practice, and a desire to extend it to other areas of my fiscal life stems from the work I have been doing to clear my mother's home. She passed away this past February -- and my job ranges from emptying her fridge to finding a way to recycle the old cans of paint to digging out meat entrenched in ice in her basement deep freeze -- seriously, the meat was so old.  Yet, as her health declined it sat there forgotten.  Now it sits at the curb, headed for a landfill, after years of energy use to run an out dated freezer.  Look around and ask what is this and why am I holding on to it?  If the reason is not rock solid, move it along to a new home.  That is the frugal path, or at least it is the one I am currently on.  Thanks for reading!

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