Do you have judgments about yourself or others who often go for bargains or freebies? Here are some new ways you can look at and feel about those behaviors.
1) Find creative ways to stretch what you have. I’ve always liked getting something for nothing, or feeling like I got double duty out of something. This morning, it felt like I won at kitchen Bingo! I was wondering what to have for breakfast and I thought of eggs, but didn’t feel like fried or boiled eggs. I’d rescued a few-days-old loaf of homemade bread from being disposed of by a more fussy housemate than I am. And, thrifty saver that I am, I’ve kept various jars of nearly empty jam, mustard, pickles, etc. that get left when roomers move on. So I got a 3-for-1 this morning. I used an egg and bread to make French toast and topped it with yogurt and the contents of the now-empty raspberry jam jar.
Now it’s true most people might’ve thrown those last tablespoons of jam out, but they didn’t get the smug satisfaction of being bodaciously resourceful or thrifty (some might call it tightfisted or pennypinching). Besides, one more glass container made it to recycling instead of being hidden in the garbage so someone could avoid cleaning it. I’ve said often enough, as a reason for my overly frugal habits, that I must have died of starvation in a former life, and am making up for it big time in this life.
2) Consider freebies a gift; say thank you! I consider a housemate’s leftovers like many would view a surprise gift. It’s not that I’m on a tight budget or can’t afford what I really want. It’s just the childlike serendipity of the unexpected. I’m sure I’m as pleased by David’s Thai food extras from his workplace as my granddaughter Kayla is by the plastic McDonald’s cup that makes a burping noise when you touch the straw. And when Bruce passes on the fresh organic spinach stems he doesn’t use (but he knows I will), I feel like I’ve done my part in saving the landfill from overflowing, or at least in not wasting a potential spinach salad and spinach soup—both of which taste quite good with (bacon) soy bits, by the way.
The ultimate in 2-for-1s is the Entertainment book I bought for $40. There are many more restaurants and theaters and recreational activities than I’ll ever be able to use, but the hundreds of coupons give me such a feeling of luxurious plenitude. And when I hand one over to a new guy I’ve met through the personals when we go out for lunch, I don’t feel any do-what’s-fair need to pull out my billfold to pay my share. It’s a fun way of discovering new places, too. I sometimes trade coupons with other book buyers, so I have duplicates for Baskin Robbins, West Seattle restaurants, Seattle Center places I use with Kayla, and more. That is, until my billfold, a repository for most-likely-to-be-used coupons along with the green stuff, showed up missing. Fortunately, I had also obsessively stuffed coupons for each section of the city in separate envelopes. It’s much less bulky to take the Capitol Hill envelope than the 1 5/8” thick book of coupons.