Jen over at Sprite's Keeper asked to Spin out some frugal advice. So how do I save money? The biggest thing for me is to not buy anything in a box or jar that I can make myself. Like mashed potatoes or spaghetti sauce – I know how to do it and do it well, so why would I buy these things? But I found myself feeling justified in opening a jar of sauce when I’m walking in the door at 6:15 pm and had left at the same time that morning, so I had to make the time to do the prep work the night before and I had to INSIST that my husband do the dishes each and every night. The only exception has been brownies – I just cannot make good brownies! Pasta Fagioli al Forno? No problem! Amaretto Cheesecake? Snap! But my brownies are nasty. Anyone have a good recipe?
I also religiously follow Mir over at Want Not. She has converted me to an Amazon Addict. I have her feeding my RSS habit on my Google homepage - not only does she find me fabulous internet deals, she also has great give-aways and always tells me how pretty I am.
Another big chunk of my shopping philosophy (you know, 20 years ago, if you would have told me the words "shopping philosophy" were going to come out of my mouth, I would have snorted hard enough to make my shot of Yukon blow right out my nose. Seriously.) is that I follow the same doctrine as Pseudonymous High School Teacher – I refuse to shop at Walmart. I will only buy meat from my local butcher (MacDonald’s Meats) and shop locally whenever possible, like buying my spices and such from Grammy’s in Girard, but I am forced to do the majority of my shopping at Giant Eagle. Just last week, my rare stop at the deli counter made me feel so isolated: I asked the girl if they carried pancetta and, as she looked at me with total distain, she said “Ummmm, you have to go to the meat department for, like, internal organs.” *sigh*
Another great way I could save money would be to not buy so many books. But I can’t. Crack ain’t got nothin’ on the crackly sound a brand new book makes when you crease the spine for the first time. To lose myself in the newest murder in Duluth, Minnesota, or the latest house of horrors in Bangor, Maine, or travel through time and know that Clare always waits, or … I could go on and on (take a look at my Shelfari (which only shows a fraction of the books I own) to the left and you'll see what I mean), but to immerse myself in these other stories is something I simply love to do. I ain't givin it up.
Update: While this really isn't a money-saving technique per se, it could be. Giveaways! For example, The Secret is in the Sauce Bedroom Bliss Giveaway. Apparently, the majority of the free world is aware of the fabulous girls, but I just found them (thank you, PHST). Any girl with a leopard blog is a girl I want to know!
I also found ANOTHER giveaway on The Sweet Jelly Bean! But hurry - the contest ends 10 February.
There is also a Shona stone give away on Mozi Esme.