Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Frugal Movement...

...or as Jayme puts it, the "Pink Chicken Revolution".

It's seems like an eternity since I last posted.
I'm not promising I'm back for everyday posting,
it's never been my thing.
I've missed everyone though, 
following their blogs, commenting here and there.
This post will seem long and I apologize for that but,
here goes...

Tonight, everyone was in bed early and it was just me,
sitting on the couch with the iPod, checking email, etc.
(I've gotten quite used to that, not getting on "the" computer.  It consumes me)
when I decided to see what was happening in the world of my blog friends.

I began reading this and this.
These people in blog space remind me of why I'm here.
I read their words and they are mine.
Their passions, their troubles.
I am compelled to read their stories.

Well, this post in particular struck a nerve.
I too have become more frugal.
Ewww, something about that word has never worked for me.

Anyway, we turned our cable off back some time ago
(No, not because we couldn't afford anything, I'll explain)
and haven't really missed it since.
I have to say though, I hesitated to make the phone call. 
Even put it off for weeks! Something about it just scared the pants off of me.
Afraid I'd feel disconnected.
Now, it feels somewhat liberating.

I recently found that I am in love with thrift store finds.
Not antiques or even home decor.  Clothes.  And you're thinking, ugh!
Well, just last week, I went to a place in town and found this fabulous purple turtleneck.
I know, I know.  A turtleneck, right?  Trust me, it's a cute turtleneck.
Realize, I am a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl. Comfortable is my middle name.
It was $3.75!
 I absolutely adore it though!
It looks great with this cute little scarf I have,
I can't get enough of it!

There's just something about saving money that gets me excited!
Why pay thirty bucks for a new shirt when you can find it already broken in for six or less?!
Does this make sense to anyone but me?

The Today show recently did a segment comparing name brand products to generics.
They found that in most cases the generic brand did
the same or better than the name brand.
So, in a one income family, why not save a dollar or two
towards the summer vacation?  Or whatever you have your eye set on?

I also changed our phone plan.
No caller i.d.
No call waiting.
No voicemail.  ever heard of an answering machine?
$5 at Wal-Mart if you don't have one.
No unlimited long distance calling.
No three-way calling.
No call intercept.
Basic phone service = $20/month.
Are we nuts? 
If our cell phones had better reception here,
we'd junk the landline all together.

Let me get this straight for you all.
We have no credit cards.
I take that back, we have a few store cards - Kohl's, etc.
Paid off, every month - if anything's put on them. rare.
Our only loan is for our car.
Granted, we don't own our home.  A blessing and a curse.
We owe no one nothin'!
Do you know what that feels like?
It's freedom of the utmost high.

YES, my choice was to stay at home and raise my children.
C and I decided when K was born, it was the best thing for us.
Which at times, has also felt like a blessing and a curse.
Ended up, she was a screamer and I hated staying home.
This time around, I am finding myself.
It may have taken a good long while and a lot of uphill battles but,
I am finally becoming settled and comfortable.

I too, was afraid of what people would think of me.
Would they look at me differently because I shopped at a discount food store?
Would they think less of me for shopping at a thrift shop?
Would they cock their head when I said we don't have "real" TV.
Just 9 channels from our television, which now sports
a fantastically attractive bunny ear antenna?
Mostly PBS, which is better for the kids, I might add.

I have since gotten over these fears, of what people might think and to my surprise,
I am finding there are so many more people like me
that surround me on an everyday basis.
At school, at church, my friends and family.
I'm not alone in this boat.
Everyday people, who too, want to live debt-free.
It's liberating!  It's freedom, happiness, like you've never known.

I can't say that the first time I set foot in a thrift shop, I wasn't feeling uneasy.
Walking swiftly to the door, afraid to look around, afraid someone might see me.
Yeah, I was used to donating things but, that felt different.

Now, I have this fearless heir.  It's made me a stronger, more courageous person.
It's helped me in my walk with the Lord, to be always faithful and trusting.
Knowing that He has a plan.

"But the person who trusts in the LORD will be blessed.  The LORD will show him that he can be trusted.  He will be strong, like a tree planted near water that sends its roots by a stream.  It is not afraid when the days are hot, its leaves are always green.  It does not worry in a year when no rain comes;it always produces fruit."  Jeremiah 17:7-8

So, kudos to you, Jayme, for going against the current.
I am with you.  We're all with you!  He is with you.