So, I really like The Dollar Stretcher site: http://www.stretcher.com/. I'm on the chat forums but not in my own name, obviously.
At the beginning of each week there are a new assortment of articles on frugality...like the HuffPo for the CheaPo. One link this week was this one: http://www.stretcher.com/stories/09/09apr06c.cfm
"How Tightfisted Are You?"
Well, I'm more tight fisted than the quiz allows.
On question 1: I buy in bulk and have re-used the same container for years. I actually have 2 containers and I switch back and forth so I'm never out. I'm also considering using soap nuts...will keep you posted. My annual cost is about 10$, I think.
Question 2: I didn't have kids so no kid clothes to worry about...SCORE!
Question 3: All of the above AND I put them in an egg for breakfast or lunch. For example, today's lunch was last night's cup of left over sausage, onion and cabbage (all on super sale except the onion...I can't seem to make it through a day without chopping an onion) with an added grated carrot (5lbs of organic carrots for $4.99...a dollar a pound is an unmissable deal so eating lots of carrots this week) with 2 eggs mixed in (I tried one egg but it just wouldn't make it through the whole mess of food...it was quite a bit). On the side: An orange (on sale, organic, for $0.99/lb). I kept the peel to scrub the tub with, after that it goes in the compost. Will be using the microplane Diana gave me (Hi Diana) to take the orange peel off on the other oranges before I eat them. I can dry that and use in teas rice puddings and whatnot. Also on the side was muffins made with whole wheat flour (because that is what I had), left over squash from the freezer (November...time to eat it), molasses...didn't remember buying it so using it up, failed pancake batter from breakfast (note to self: coconut flour is NOT a 1:1 substitution with regular wheat flour...it got heavy and thick and I was going for more of a crepe. Rather than eat a crappy pancake, I put this mix in the fridge to use late in the day in muffins, and started over with the pancake batter using regular flour), and homemade apple butter. Using up winter stores. There was more but I'll stop now.
Question 4: Not my finest hour here. I do sometimes break down and get the plastic bag even though they are so polluting. I almost always remember my own bags when I go to the food co-op in Moscow, and they have loaner bags and reusable paper bags. Sometimes I forget to put a bag in the car and shop in other towns or here in Plummer at lunch time (no car...ergo no bag) and forget to ask for the paper bag. Paper bags get reused for recycling containers, and other things, then end up shredded for the worms or in the regular compost. The plastic bags get reused and reused and reused as well and end their lives as trash bags. Here is a link to an excellent "documentary" about the life of a plastic bag by Rahim Bahrani and narrated by Werner Herzog:
Question 5: Mostly gifts. I bought the couch (and hope to give it away soon) with gambling winnings. I was at the casino with a friend and won about 400$ so I bought a couch...after a few months of looking. It has served me well for many years, but time for it to move on. The rest of the furniture is hand me downs, inherited, given. A bit of the art is purchased on trips to Santa Fe and a few local artists I like to support. One nice print from a thrift store. So, all of the above AND gifts, handmedowns, etc.
Question 6: For the most part those options are in play right now. I suppose the sprouts are home grown. CSA provided some of the rest. The apple butter is from bulk purchase at the farmers market (then I made the apples into butter), same with some of the dried fruit. Much of it right now is purchased at the Moscow Food Co-op, a mix of local and organic as the main priorities along with that Dollar a Pound thing mentioned above.
Question 7: I drink home brewed coffee, self-brewed tea (remember when it was ASSUMED that if you had tea you had made it and NOT bought it in a jar or can?), water and about once a week a Zevia ginger ale from a case purchase at the co-op last fall. Still have 6 left! WOOHOO! That stock up worked really well. When I'm in a restaurant I do often order a hot tea. It would be more frugal just to stick with the tap water.
Question 8: No sweetie so no one tells me what to do! BURN. If I do feel the need to cut back, I just do that. I turn in my rolled coins, eat more of what's already in the pantry, and generally carry on like always. I haven't had a financial crisis in years so this is hard to answer right now. I guess we'll see what I do when the next one hits.
Question 9: All of those...except I would NEVER pay for tupperware or similar items at a yard sale. I have more food storage containers than I need and I reuse those I get from bulk purchases at the co-op (some items are already packaged in these plastic tubs (they are the best plastic they can find) but I bring my own jars and reused plastic containers and metal tins as much as possible). A friend, Diana again, gives me her old yogurt tubs when she gives me back my jars. Diana is the best. I also have a Cuppow drink lid and bento-thingy to use with wide mouth jars. Those are mostly for transport but also storage. And I have jars of all sorts of sizes. Canning jars and jars that food came in. I'm actually more likely to buy a product, if it must have packaging, in reusable packaging for food storage and bulk buying.
Question 10: Again: no kids so no problem. When I did have a kid around the system was he could do what he wanted with his money and obviously he knew that I really didn't care what everyone else had. Neither did he. So this didn't come up.