Monday, October 19, 2015

The Frugal Life: Lazy Brunch and Other Benefits of Taking Your Time

Tucked into the door of the fridge was a jar of Spanish pears, purchased from Trader Joe's and rejected by our five year old.  Why?  Who knows.  But saved this past Sunday as I tossed together fruits, cheese, and crackers for a brunch with friends.  Type "baked pears" into Google and you'll find an endless list of recipes. Working off of the top result, I emptied the jar into a baking dish, drizzled maple syrup over the top, dropped some butter on them, and sprinkled brown sugar over the top.  Baked for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, and they were a tasty treat.  One even our 17.5 year old cat enjoyed on the sly, sigh.

Lazy approach to brunch, or you can call it working with what you have.  My go-with-the punches approach to life has had two positive yields recently.  First, after obtaining an estimate for tree work I tucked it aside and thought "I'll get to that, eventually.....damn trees are expensive!"  And then this week I came home to find a note from our power company, the bothersome mulberry tree is in the way of the power line. The very one I was considering paying to have removed.  Delayed action, and now the power company is chopping it down for us -- no charge!

We've also been dragging our feet on home upgrades, etc.  As I piled dishes into the dishwasher after brunch my husband and I discussed the growing list of items the house needs.  After being here five years and doing little to nothing, we might have to make some progress.  And then with a push of the button the dishwasher died, sigh.  The dread of spending all that time and money on house repairs sank in.......only to receive a boost in today's mail.  Congrats, your neighborhood is now on the national historic neighborhoods list.  I could really care less, but then read on, federal tax credits! Yes, for painting (the wood rather than opting for vinyl siding), a new furnace (ours is beyond life expectancy) and weatherizing original doors (we simply could not pay $2,000 to have a basement exterior door upgraded once we saw the quote) -- most of the work on our growing list.  You are safe to wager a bet that my frugal husband and I will be reading the federal guidelines, making highlighted notes, and speaking with the noted contact at the historical society.  Upgrades delayed, but federal tax credits await.  Too good to be true?  Time will tell.

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