Refuse to be Passive

Living Thrifty

In Food, Life in General on April 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I’m currently reading Thrifty: Living the Frugal Life with Style by Marjorie Harris. While I embrace many of the things written within the pages already, there are some things I need to get back to. For example, I haven’t hit up the Goodwill for clothes in a long time. I know they don’t ever carry pants that fit me, but why I shouldn’t I find my shirts there? Also, I really do need to start using that water saving feature on my showerhead. Even if my water bill is included in utilities, that’s no reason to waste it.

Part of the book is about creating a thrifty home– not cheap, but somewhere that isn’t full of stuff, only what you need to enjoy your life. If you’re going to buy, buy well, and if you can get a deal on it, all the better. But there was one line that really stood out, and for the life of me I can’t find the page it was on, so I will paraphrase. When giving someone a gift, only give things that can be eaten, drank, or used up in some way. The only time this rule can be ignored is when you know what you are giving to the person is something they will want to take ownership of. That concept is brilliant. For the most part, I already follow that rule, but how many people get stuff at Christmas or birthdays and think, “Oh goody. What am I supposed to do with this?” I once bought a friend a bamboo cutting board as a hostess gift, as she had no cutting board. Considering that it still sits proudly in her kitchen three years later, I’m guessing it was a good buy. But I would rather receive a bottle of wine (remember, good and expensive are not the same), than a journal or candles. While touching, I have four journals that still have to be used up, and candles tend to collect dust. My friend, when I invited her over for Easter, brought me roses. How brilliant! It brightened up the table, but we weren’t loaded down with an extra desert we really didn’t need (although the pecan pie we had was divine), and, when the flowers faded, the compost heap was most grateful. So I think I might adopt as my mantra, that if I’m not sure what they’d want to keep, I’ll get them something they don’t have to keep. To some extent I already do this. I’m more likely to bring a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies than anything else. But it’s something to keep in mind. Quite brilliant.

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