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Savvy Community: Life's Small Thrifty Surprises

This post comes from reader Becca84 in our Thrifty Tips group.

There are several things that make me so thankful lately. Here are a few:

  • The Library. It's amazing that people can spend so much money renting movies, buying new books and magazines. Don't get me wrong. I am a magazine addict. I love new magazines and I love cutting them up and making fantasy collages of expensive clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty products that I cannot afford. However, all of these little cut out scraps get put into a binder that I tell myself I will come back to for inspiration and, most of the time, never do. And it baffles my husband, which is understandable. My beef with subscribing to magazines is the fleeting gratification they provide. One comes every 30 days. I look at it for one hour and it gets shelved or thrown away. What a waste. Same for buying them at the store, except it's like 500% more in price. Go to the library, however, and you can check out as many magazines as you want, flip through them, take notes of anything you want and return it for someone else to love. The only downfall: magazines available for checkout tend to be 2-3 months old. This is the same with books and movies, and it's all FREE!

For more of life's sweet frugal delights, read on!

  • Cooking & Baking. To some extent, I think that women have done themselves a disservice in seeking equality because all of the things that the majority of women innately love to do — be caretakers, beautify the home and garden, read, and cook and bake — are still required, but in the few hours left between work, our kids' hobbies, exercise (if applicable) and bed. Instead of enjoying time to cooking and baking, we use books, magazines and TV shows to tell us how to make 30 minute meals using 5 ingredients, developing a muted palate in our kids rather than discovering all of the bright complexities that food can offer. I don't have children, but I already feel rushed, busy and disorganized. I cannot imagine what life will be like with kids. In fact, I am afraid. To boot, we have lost time for ourselves — to do our hair, our makeup, our nails, put together a pretty outfit — and channel all of those gorgeous, classy women we now reflect upon for inspiration today — Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly and Jackie O. Making food relaxes me. It reminds me to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Try it out, and while you're at it watch Julie & Julia and read The Baker's Apprentice.
  • Taking a Walk. I have my dog, Milly, to thank for this. In my life, I've rarely taken walks. I am a runner. So if I am going to go outside and move my feet, it's usually for a run. But we got Milly about 7 months ago, and as you know, dogs need walks. Typically, I have so many things on my mind and the walk is the last thing I want to do. I always feel bad for feeling that way, but once she and I hit the street I am thankful — every time. Time slows, and suddenly the world around me sharpens. I can think through whatever is nagging me that day. It's the perfect amount of time to call my mom or a friend and have a light chat or heart-to-heart. It's the ultimate alone time. It gets your heart pumping, and exposes you to a little sunshine, which, in turn, always brightens my day. I may not always want to walk, but I am always glad I did.

To read about or spill other thrifty revelations, post in my Thrifty Tips or How Do You Save group.

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