I’ve had a very frugal week, so I’m excited to share how I’ve been penny pinching…
1. I’ve started to set up a garden on my balcony, to start my zero waste journey, and nothing is quite so frugal as growing your own food. I borrowed some gardening tools from my family, but I did spend some money to get plants, cheap potting mix, and pots. However, while a terracotta pot was $1, the saucer for it to sit on was $2.55. What?! Instead of buying the matching saucer for each pot to sit in, we swung across the road to our local Savers…
2. …where I managed to nab saucers for all my pots for $1.99. Frugal win! I also managed to get a new backpack (my much-loved handbag had collapsed beyond repair), and while I bought it with broken shoulder straps it only took me twenty minutes and a bit of sewing ingenuity before it was all patched up and ready to wear.
3. While I have been very exciting to start my zero waste journey, I have been anxious not to spend a lot of money to get equipment that I think that I need. For example, fabric produce bags, which look cute but are quite expensive online – especially considering shipping costs. My frugal side won’t let me splurge for no good reason. Luckily, at Savers I found two cute cotton tea towels for next to nothing, and I spent today cutting and sewing them in to two produce bags and four hankies/ cloth napkins. Far less cost, and I got to practise my sewing skills! Case in point, the backpack, saucers and tea towels came to less than $7 in total.
4. Two little things that prove frugality is in every day acts: a job came up at the last minute the other night while I was lounging in bed. I threw on a coat, hopped on the tram and went and did the thing. Extra income never goes astray. The second little thing: I went for a walk to the local cafe with my housemates and a friend. Everyone ordered a takeaway coffee. I didn’t (saving money, and saving a one-use disposable cup). No one was bothered that I didn’t get a coffee, and I got to get out in the fresh air and have some social time without spending a cent.
5. One thing that both minimalism and frugality has taught me is to not buy things unless you’re absolutely certain you can’t live without them. This has been reiterated in two ways this week. Firstly, I’ve hesitated from splurging on zero waste items like glass storage containers until I’m sure I know exactly what I need – size, shape, purpose -otherwise I may end up wasting money on items that are ‘zero waste’ that don’t suit my needs. Secondly, I’ve smothered my urge to go out and shop if I feel like my groceries are running low. The reality is I have plenty of leftovers in the fridge, I have orphan items in the pantry that can be thrown together, and I always have baking items on hand so I can improvise some snacks. Usually you can put off the purchase and survive!
Featured image: Fabian Blank