Thursday, 16 April 2015

Thriving Through Thrift Thursday - April 2015

"In the end, thrift is really about self-control: making conscious, thoughtful decisions about how to apportion your energy. Not only will it make you feel powerful to practice it with even the most minor purchases in your life, but you'll actually end up more successful than people who don't. "

~ Zac Bisonette.





The quote above made me pause, reflect, and ask myself the following questions. Can practicing thrift really make me more successful than people who don't practice thrift? And, how am I apportioning my energy? 

In general I think most of us apportion our energy according to our habits without giving it much thought. This allows our habits to rule us and to map out the course of our lives. Perhaps that is why Socrates said the life which is unexamined is not worth living.  Elbert Hubbard wrote "for time rightly used is the thing which, when it co-operates with love and labor, produces wealth and all the things necessary to life and well-being. "

 2015 is turning out for me  to be a very different year from last year. This has provided me with the perfect opportunity to make some "thoughtful decisions" about how I am apportioning my energy with regard to home caring routines, writing, study and other activities. My new routine is worked out over a three week period, and each of the three weeks is a little different. If it turns out that this is not the right routine for me I will head back to the drawing board. 





The quote mentioned at the outset says that persons exercising thrift will be more successful. So are thrifty people more successful than those who are not?  Well how would you know if a thrifty person was successful? Because thrift is the wise management of one's resources, thrifty people are living below their means. This article points out that the millionaires in our suburbs are driving second hand cars and don't live in McMansions. They are not suffering from the 'big hat, no cattle' syndrome, they have not mistaken the difference between consumption and wealth.
  
Elbert Hubbard said "When you are earning more than you spend, when you produce more than you consume, your life is a success, and you are filled with courage, animation, ambition, good-will."  He also wrote "Loving labor and thrift go hand in hand. He who is not thrifty is a slave to circumstance. Fate says, 'Do this or starve,' and if you have no surplus saved up you are the plaything of chance, the pawn of circumstance, the slave of some one's caprice, a leaf in a storm. …..The surplus gives you the power to dictate terms, but most of all it gives you an inward consciousness that you are sufficient unto yourself."

  I think this is the point at which I would like to arrive -earning more than I spend, and producing more than I consume. That to me would feel like a success.

What I have done lately to thrive through thrift.

Industry


  Part of my new routine is to have one day every three weeks as a designated baking day. I remember my grade 3 teacher Mrs O'Halloran saying "Saturday is my baking day."  Half her luck to be able to do baking every Saturday, perhaps when my life is simpler, I too can bake weekly. So far on my first baking day I made two batches of chocolate slice and one weet-bix slice. Yes I am staying with the easy baking recipes.  Due to the Easter public holidays I decided to do some additional baking. (I can't help it  I am a baker's daughter after all.)  I made a matrimonial slice, a zucchini slice and a muesli slice.





I have started knitting another scarf. I am hoping to improve my knitting skills as time goes on, so I can actually knit some clothes,  but for now I will have to be content with garter stitch scarf's until I can break my habit of sporadic stitch increases. I know the problem is that when starting a row, I have often mistaken the first stitch as two stitches thus accidentally knitting into the first stitch twice. Sounds complicated doesn't it? Well that's me - I can make a simple garter stitch scarf complicated.

Our supermarket junk mail has become quite sporadic, so I have started looking for the catalogue specials on-line. It is a lot more time consuming than going through the junk mail catalogues. It takes me around an hour to compare the supermarket specials on-line. However it has been saving us money and making our grocery budget go further. I am also building a stockpile by buying extra quantities of items that are on sale at half price or cheaper.

 I have commenced  bringing out cool weather clothes and packing away warm weather clothes. I will do this over a number of weeks as our cooler weather is mostly early and late in the day with the middle of the day lovely and warm but not hot.




Don created two raised garden beds from a blue food grade  barrel. He did this by cutting the barrel in half with a cut off disc. Next he drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage and then he reinforced the sides with some aluminium strips. 

Conservation


I am wasting less food. I have made bread crumbs from stale bread using my food processor. I have added grated carrot, semi-sundried tomato and left over sweet chilli cream cheese to my zucchini slice. I had half a tub of guacamole that was not being eaten and some cashews that were nearing their best before date. I put these in the food processor with some Greek yoghurt, olive oil and parmesan cheese to make a pasta sauce.  We really enjoyed the pasta sauce, though next time I will add a little more olive oil.





New Practices


My new routine mentioned earlier, is a new practice and it will take a while to become a habit. If I can get it down pat it will help things run much more smoothly.

14 comments:

  1. I hope your new routine works for you Sherri. I find I achieve much more if I stick to a routine but it has been a challenge lately with a newly retired husband in the house! Like you, I think a revised routine is in order. I have also done the changeover of summer to winter clothes. Due to the humidity some of the winter things seemed musty and I felt the need to wash and iron them all. A big job but satisfying in the end.

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    1. Hutchy my husband works part time and the days he is at home I find it so hard to get myself organised. I am not sure why this is, it could be partly because I have someone to talk to, so I am distracted, and partly because I don't want to start something and then find we are in each others way, because he does a lot around the house too. For example I might go to mop the kitchen floor and he is already in the kitchen cleaning out the fridge, so I put off mopping the floor - just that sort of thing.

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  2. Would you share your new routine? Thank you, Angela

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    1. Angela I would love to share my routine. And I will - just as soon as I can work out a way to explain it so that is not a jumble. I will try to post it next month. Thank you so much for commenting.

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  3. Sherri, I have two men in the house a lot of the time. If I could only get hubby to go out and feed his pigeons early in the day so I could do the housework that would be helpful.

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    1. Chel you are definitely outnumbered with two men in the house! My husband likes to take his time reading the newspaper in the mornings on the days he is not working. Once he starts working though he keeps at it all day even through the worst of the summer heat. Which I think is amazing and I wish I could do that too. I am more stop and start and work on more than one thing at a time unless I am baking.

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  4. Hi Sherri, so interesting to read your words about thrift. I make weetbix slice too! It's great for using up all the crumbs. I also scour the catalogues for the specials. I bought ten packets of cadbury choc chips the other day because they were half price. All added to the stockpile.

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    1. I am so enjoying building up my stockpile Stephanie. Stockpiling is a new hobby for me and I am learning so much from other blogs and peoples comments. I know most people would think it is a strange hobby, or strange to call creating a stockpile a hobby, but for me it is, I enjoy it and it gives me a feeling of satisfaction knowing I am building up my home.

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  5. This post ended waaaay too soon, I could have kept reading for ever. Definitely waiting to hear about the actual routine.

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, what a lovely thing to write. At the moment I am so fascinated by the old fashioned values; thrift, prudence and forehandedness. And when I can I dig into late 19th century and early 20th century literature - both fiction and non-fiction - for inspiration and motivation.

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  6. I am quite impressed. You must have so much more personal discipline than I do.

    I'm not good at routines... in fact I totally suck at them. Perhaps it's a lack of discipline or maybe I'm just ADHD or something, but try as I might, I just can't seem to stick to one. People always say that routines are magic because they become automatic, but that's the part that never seems to happen for me. Seriously, I can't count the number of nights that I'm crawling into bed and then I remember that I forgot to brush my teeth or some other mundane task that really ought to be routine. Sigh.

    Anyhow, CatMan always says that money in the bank is freedom because it means you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. I am inclined to agree! :-)

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    1. Personal discipline? Only in some things. For example I can easily discipline myself to eat lots of chocolate but I can't seem to discipline myself to abstain from chocolate. I am really hoping my routine does become automatic so that I am more organised and don't forget things or let them slip. Yep I think CatMan got it right about money in the bank.

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  7. Sherri,
    I look forward to seeing how your routine works out. I'm pretty rubbish at anything to do with routine mostly because like everyone I have to work around everyone else. Mostly I stick to doing what I can when I can and that seems to work for me. I've always been pretty thrifty but don't know if that is successful or not. Also my mum was saying a few times how the junk mail has become less too.
    -Shiralee.

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    1. Not everyone needs to establish a routine in order to get things done - they just do them! I wish I was one of those people, but I need a bit more structure to help me focus.

      In my opinion anyone who exercises thrift is successful on many levels. Just for starters they are productive, definitely more creative than the average Joe, and are living in a way that is not using up so many of the planets resources.

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