Thursday, February 6, 2014

Frugality Report #1 + Quilt

Finished Circle of Geese! And I must share with you a close-up of 
the quilting, which I did on my own machine ...
So fun to machine quilt a small quilt. The big ones can be grueling.

So anyway, the frugality report. Last night I sat down and did the numbers. I compared my expenditures from January 2014 to January 2013, and am happy to report that I spent $387 less this January, even though I had a hard time bringing down my grocery bill as much as I wanted.

The trick to this frugality business seems to be simple: don't spend money. Hmmm ... go figure. I think the Big Trick is to remember that you're trying not to spend money. It needs to be a habit, your default position.

So I'm practicing saying no--to the magazine, to the Target trip, to the unnecessary errand that will burn up gas. 

The good news is, I spent a ton last February. I apparently lived at Target all month long. So this February's going to look pretty good in comparison. Can I go another month without a Target run? Stay tuned to find out.


I don't have a lot to report today, but I wanted to post, just to say hi and wonder if your February has been as gloomy as ours has been so far.

Have I mentioned that I spend thirty minutes every morning in front of my S.A.D. lamp and that I would highly recommend this to you if you get the winter blues? I got my lamp last year, and I wish I'd gotten one years ago. It has made a huge difference in how I feel over the winter months.

Having said that, I will also say that yesterday's cold rain was almost more than I could bear.

And having made the heart of this post about frugality, may I also say that I believe very strongly in treats. I think in February it's important to have the following things on hand: good chocolate, good tea, a furry dog or cat, and friends to go out to coffee or lunch with. Also: good books, lots of quilts, and Pandora radio, with a station for the Pogues, one for Van Morrison and another one for Sister Rosetta Tharpe. I will leave you with this fabulous video, which would make any gloomy day better.


Jo said...

Dearest Frances, wishing you all the happy treats in the world :)
Well done on the frugal front, and I'm so glad for you that the bar is so high for February!
I am at the end of a week where I didn't buy any groceries except milk, and we ate down the fridge and pantry supplies. It feels very liberating as the fridge gets barer. It will make fridge cleaning day very much simpler too, so the silver linings multiply:)

wayside wanderer said...

A whole month without Target???? Now Frances, I don't know, that sounds a little extreme to me. But being almost 400 dollars richer is quite the accomplishment so I guess extreme measures pay off and we will be here to cheer you on in Feb. I love your quilt!!! It is perfect. And I enjoyed the video. :)

Heather said...

I know what you mean about Target. I went there today to buy a notebook and ended up spending $62. Congrats on your spending! Also, what a beautiful quilt! The quilting work is gorgeous. I usually just sew straight lines or tie the layers together with embroidery thread. Someday, maybe, I'll be as brave as you are and go whole hog.

Gumbo Lily said...

Love, love, love that spinning quilt. Your machine quilting is beautiful too.

I feel blessed that there is no Target near me. It's 2 full hours away and so I only go on rare occasions to the city. I have come to the exact same conclusion you have about frugality....just don't spend. Period. I had a great January of no-spending and it paid off well for me too $$ ka-ching! I'm considering making this my default too. It makes me really take a look at what I'm thinking about buying and being honest with myself -- Do I REALLY need this? Why?

That video!! Oh! I'm definitely making a Sister Rosetta Tharpe station on my Pandora. Thank you! (and I'm checking out the Pogues -- don't know of them)

Tracy said...

Again, such a beautiful quilt. The quilting over the white part is absolutely stunning. I want to grow up to be like you!!!

We have no need for SAD lamps here. We are sweltering through a horridly hot summer with plenty of days over 40C/104F. Tomorrow will be 40 again. Too, too hot. I would love to balance out somewhere between your weather and mine!!!!

Great job on the spending. I am about to start reading Jen Hatmaker's '7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess'. My kids are worried.

Pom Pom said...

Aw! Thanks, Frances!
I agree with you when you say the best way to be frugal is not to spend money! Ha!
Target IS dangerous.
Your quilt is so lovely! Well done!
I wish I had a kitten. Sigh.

debbie bailey said...

Fortunately for me, Target is an hour away, or I'd be in big trouble! I've been convicted lately that I need to quit spending so much money. Have you read 7 by Jen Hatmaker? I think you'd like it as she talks about waste in seven different areas of her life; thus the name. Good for you for being frugal!

The dB family said...

I have to go across the border to go to Target, but it's a real treat when we do hit one. My vice is the thrift stores. I've only gone once so far this year -- and made sure it was the half off one. I love how you say the key to saving money is simply, don't spend money. I have to confess that I have been having a lot of fun actually NOT spending money. Oh, and as far as the grocery bills go, I can not win there! We still spend almost $300 Cdn. per week. If only we didn't have to eat! ;o) Congratulations on your savings so far!