The posts until Saturday, January 9, will be in response to Mary Jaksch's questions on Goodlife Zen, 11 Questions that lead to Gratitude. Please visit the site and subscribe for daily inspiration.
5. What triggered your creativity?
Living on one income has sparked my creativity more than anything else this past year.
I have learned to scour the internet for freebies and frugal ideas. Just last week I saw an adorable idea for January birthdays or “just because” gifts. Since candy canes can be had for about 44 cents a box right now, buy several boxes. Buy a canister or box of hot cocoa packets. Go to the “victim’s” house and hang candy canes from their bushes and trees. Put the cocoa on their front porch along with a note that says “ Remember to stir your hot cocoa with a candy cane for a minty treat. Too bad candy canes don’t grow on trees. Or do they?” Ring the doorbell and run!
I shop more creatively, looking for sales to combine with coupons for the best savings. Recently I found crescent rolls on sale for 2/$3.00. There was also a coupon in the newspaper for $2 off, but only if you bought 4 packages. I bought 4 packages for $6.00, then got the $2.00 off coupon, dropping each package to $1.00. Then when we got to the store, each package had a 55-cent coupon on it, making each package only 45 cents! That was great when I got invited to a dinner and was asked to bring dinner rolls. I made two packages of rolls for 90 cents!
Ever think of having an indoor garden? I have a south facing window in a spare bedroom that has become home to my tomato plants. They flourish since they’re right under the heater vent and get lots of sun each day. I had a home grown tomato in my omelet yesterday, right in the middle of winter.
As I mentioned in my sidebar last week, I spend a few dollars each year after Christmas to buy Christmas wrap in generic colors. For example, last year I bought a metallic blue striped roll and a red plaid roll and wrapped birthday and wedding gifts all year. This year I found a gold wrap and a blue wrap with multi-colored stars and circles. I also bought matching tissue papers, bows, and gift bags. Between them all, we spent less than $10. If you wait to buy the skimpy rolls of birthday wrap every time you have a birthday throughout the year, you will spend way more than ten bucks.
As I mentioned in a previous post on frugality, the local newspaper is a great source of free activities for your family to do. Just by reading the paper, we have signed up Weston for a local history class ($2) where he made a dream catcher, learned how to frame a hide, and found out where all the state parks are in our state. Earlier in the year he went to a class on bug life ($2.) We saw a night time lighted Christmas parade (free.) We welcomed the cows home from the mountain and heard rousing country music at 7:00 a.m. (free.) During a summer parade Weston scored a free t-shirt, a jug of milk, some pens and candy (free.) We attended an outdoor community concert of Celtic music (free.) On a June night we watched an outdoor historical/religious pageant (free.) We went to a patriotic event at a local stadium that had music, fireworks and a Patrick Henry reading (free.) A local author visited our school and gave a presentation (free) after we saw in the paper that he had done so for other schools. So as you can see, our family is very active for very little cost. People might assume that we spend lots of money because of all that we do. 75 cents a week to our local newspaper publisher covers it.
What triggered YOUR creativity this year?