I can feel quite generous sharing a coupon with a friend. A $10 off coupon, even after tax and tips, has saved each of us $5.00 when we split the bill. Connoisseur of bargains that I am, if my meal partner orders a $10 entrée and I was going to be thrifty with an $8
meal, I now feel totally fine going up a notch to a $10 meal, since the same price or cheaper meal is free. (I'm squirming a bit here about potential judgment).
3) Be as open to using found objects as you are to appreciating Nature's bounty. I am intrigued about the maze of intricacies that go through my mind on the subject of saving money, reusing resources, reducing waste. I learned thrifty habits on a farm, where my parents, with a houseful of nine kids, reused plastic bread bags, served leftovers till they weren’t, made towels from cloth flour bags, and didn’t think twice about hand-me-downs. Perhaps I have raised it to an art form. For example, though I haven’t read it in the three years since I bought it at Bookfest, I had to buy the book about living from dumpsters. I admire a family, though with some distaste at the thought of it, that gets its food, clothes, furniture, and more from dumpster diving. The few times I’ve checked dumpsters out of curiosity, I’ve been appalled at what has been thrown away, and delighted at what I salvaged. (I'm squirming again).
When a housemate pulled unopened boxes of 8 X 11 envelopes and stationery from a dumpster where the company was moving, she and I gave some to preschools and held on to more because “we might need them some day”—a definite 2-fer, maybe 3-fer, since the schools and the environment and we all gained. When a housemate no longer wanted his 24-cubbyhole paper-storage unit, I found a place in my office. When fruit got brown spots or softened, he no longer wanted them. Boy, do I relish the juicy fruit after I’ve removed the brown bits. I’ve trained housemates to put their “enough of this” items in my fridge, and I can grin with the pleasure of a person holding a metal detector that suddenly clicks that he’s found a quarter.