Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 9 - Getting creative, Looking for more Ideas

First, I was listening to radio station WTOP in the DC area this morning, when I caught the tail end of some frugal living news story. I checked out their website, and they have some good stories to read at http://www.wtop.com/?nid=765&sid=1418799. I'll be checking those out as I have more time this week.

The Washington Post also had an interesting article in the Heath/Wellness section today. Free ways to work out... Apparently Lululemon, a clothing store, offers free yoga classes. Cool! www.lululemon.com. I know there's one at Tyson's Corner mall; if I could ever get out for a long enough period of time without kids in tow, I might give it a go! And there's a woman's-only walk/run group that gives you a free shirt if you attend 4 times before Christmas, and all kinds of extra goodies - www.potomacriverrunning.com. I might just go check that out some evening. There's another place in DC that offers free yoga classes to give back to the community. Sounds good to me! Karma. What goes around comes around, eventually! I think that's the way our friends, family, and neighborhood work as well.

Now we are running out of some items and need to figure out what we'll do. Sugar is getting low, which I need for making my homemade bread, which is a current necessity with my special diet. But I could probably substitute honey, so I think we can make do a bit longer. Or we could try one of my impulse purchases a few months ago - agave nectar - which I had read is a good sweetener subsititute for sugar. So I guess we're ok there.

Olive oil! We don't have much left. This is a crucial staple in our household. We make our fried eggs (and my boring 3-egg white omelettes) in it, we use it in our daily vinaigrettes, we sautee veggies in it. This is our liquid gold. Because I can't eat any dairy or soy now, I'm even drizzling olive oil on my homemade bread. I don't think drizzling canola oil would have the same effect! But we do have other oils on hand, so I tried a peanut oil for my vinaigrette, and it was different, but tasty. I think we can survive this one, but it will be tough!

Gas. My husband and I traded cars on Monday, so he could use my Toyota for his longer commutes, leaving me with the nearly-empty Beetle. This morning, the empty warning light came on. It's a long uphill walk to my son's pre-school, a walk which would probably take well over an hour with a little guy. He rides his scooter and two-wheeler well, but the hill is very long and steep. It would be dangerous in either direction. We can probably do one more roundtrip in the car, but I'm not really sure we should try to eke out many more miles than that. I probably have 1/2 gallon in the shed for the lawn mower, but that does sound a bit extreme. We will have to ponder this dilemma. We may have to give in to buying a gallon or two of gas to make it through to the end of the 2 weeks.

But... I am actually looking around the house for things to sell, so we can justify the purchase of gas or anything else that comes up. I found a few things that we could put on Craig's List - one is a great Le Creuset Square Grill Pan that retails at $150. I'm sure I didn't pay that much for it, but I think I can still sell it at a bargain for someone else, and still make some good money. I love the piece, but the only purpose it serves us is taking up room in the cupboard. We much prefer to use the grill outside or broil in the oven, so it's something we have only used once. Wish me luck!

As I look for items to sell on Craig's List, I am also gathering various Senegalese products I have on hand that a friend of mine plans to sell in her shop. Together, we'll donate the proceeds to my struggling friend in Dakar who is trying to save money to open her own shop in Senegal. I might try to get a picture up on the blog so you all can see what's we're working on.

I guess that's about all for now. I found some free coupons for our local frozen custard shop, so the kids and I are going to walk over so they can indulge in a kiddie cone. Then we'll head over to the library to drop off last week's borrowed videos, so we don't get any late fees! That's the last thing we need now!


Anonymous said...

Katy, just remember that the gas in the shed probably isn't diesel! Don't put it in the car, LOL!! MOM

Rachel M. said...

Thanks to Aus for posting a link on Facebook. A great opportunity to bring consciousness to your spending.

With a paycheck for the first time in three years, I am somehow in the reverse situation. I've splurged on winter housing (3BRs!), bringing things out of storage, a BB with unlimited minutes (work expense, but nice personally), and Bombay Sapphire.

It feels strange to spend money more freely, but I think (hope) that I appreciate it in a way that I didn't three years ago.

I especially love the kids' experience ('no tap water unless we're really, really thirsty'... priceless).

Looking forward to the rest of your experiment!