Prevent Expensive Expenses

Today I put so much Icy Hot on that it took my breath away. I smell like a Mento!

Why? I failed to take care of my feet.

As a reclusive writer, I wear athletic shoes everyday. I buy two pair and alternate them. I needed to replace my shoes last November, but decided to save the money for Christmas gifts. Dumb.

Saturday we went shopping for three hours in my sad, nine month old shoes. By the last store I felt like my right knee was being pushed out and I was limping. The support was gone from the shoes. I tend to walk on the outside of my feet and the shoes were worn down there.

Stupidly, I spent the next day lying around resting from my shopping trip and generally taking it easy. The muscles that were stretched then locked up. I woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my knee, calf, hip, thigh and back. I could not get comfortable.

I forgot the number one rule of frugality – prevent expenses. I am lucky that the pain is not so severe that I need to see a doctor. That could get expensive. I did get online and order two more pair of shoes. I made a note in my DayTimer to replace them in July.

That brings me to the second rule of frugality – plan for your expenses.

Living Like the Amish – No Electricity

Today I lived like the Amish for three hours. The ice storm knocked out the electricity. We had candles and three Kerosene lamps that we used. I made oatmeal with raisins on top of the stove and we drank tea instead of coffee. I had a gallon of water that was not in the refrigerator, so I didn’t have to open the refrigerator at all.

When the power came back on I refilled the Kerosene lamps with oil. One lamp ran out. I also washed the chimneys. My husband suggested we pick up another one the next time we are out shopping. The thing I missed was my coffee. Tea just didn’t cut it! I think I would rather buy a camping coffee pot, instead of another Kerosene lamp.

I still have not opened the door to the refrigerator. I want it to cool down to its normal temperature. According to the radio, the food will stay good for up to four hours, if the door is not opened.

That’s another thing…radios. We had a battery operated radio to listen for school closings. Three of the four school buildings in our town were without power. We keep batteries in our electric clock radios. We laughed when the radio turned on in the bedroom and we realized it was our alarm.

What woke us up was a plug-in CO2 detector. I squawks when the power goes out. The power flicked four times and it let us know each time. I unplugged it before I lit a candle so my kids could keep sleeping.

Extending the Life of Jeans

When the pockets or belt loops rip away from jeans I make two small patches,  cut from an old pair of jeans. I put one on the inside and one under the pocket or belt loop. I zigzag the patches to the jeans at the same time and then sew the pocket or belt loop back down.

I try to match the patch to the shade of the jeans and I buy denim thread to make the patches blend in as much as possible.  It sure extends the life of the jeans.

I experimented with a new pair of jeans this week. I made a small patch and put it inside where the pocket is attached and just sewed around it with a straight stitch. That will give extra reinforcement for the pocket.  I hope it keeps the pocket from ripping.

Christmas Credit Card Bill Arrived

Mark 6: 38, “How many loaves do you have?” he asked, “Go and see.

All Jesus asks us is, “What do you have on hand?”

We do not have to give lavish or expensive gifts. We just need to look around and see what we have plenty of.

A friend gave me a cookie mix in a jar. I wanted to send the jar back with one of my homemade mixes in it.  I was thinking of what ingredients I needed to buy. After reading this I decided to fill it with hot chocolate mix that I already have on hand.

My credit card bill came yesterday with my Christmas shopping on it. We spent more than I thought we had planned. I am sure I am not the only one to find this.

I know I can cover this bill, but I wish I didn’t have to dip into savings. So, I am already thinking of gifts for next year. One year I had a garden and made homemade pickles. I gave a jar to each teacher.

I had a great idea of a gift I wanted to make last year, but I procrastinated and didn’t get them made. I did get two gifts finished that I thought would be done last Christmas. I am improving.

Know When to Stop Repairing

I have always tried to repair items, instead of replacing them. Yesterday, I decided I needed to stop repairing the vacuum and replace it.

I have allergies and when I used the vacuum I had a bad allergy reaction. I have repaired the hose with a vinyl patch and vinyl glue. I have also repaired the cord in several places with electrical tape.

I have to weigh the pros and cons. If I do not replace the sweeper, I will have problems every time I use it. Taking Benadryl and falling asleep is not my idea of coping with allergies.

I suggested purchasing a new sweeper to my husband. He responded by changing the bag. I believe he will have to do the sweeping from now on. I am sure after a few weeks he will be ready to purchase one!