These are a few of my frugal things.

We are spending a pretty penny on our upcoming move, both by hiring actual movers (a first time thing for us) and by replacing some of our worn out furniture — as well as purchasing a washer and dryer.

In order to remind myself to stay focused on longer term financial goals during this time of intense spending, I’ve decided to share a weekly list of frugal things I’ve done to creatively stay under budget or to create a little extra income. (This was pretty obviously inspired by The Non-Consumer Advocate’s “Five Frugal Things” lists.)

This week I…

  1. Took a few boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, and a few old videogames to sell at Half Price Books (a local discount/used book chain). They paid us $45.00 — and they almost never pay that much!
  2. Sewed a birthday present using a pattern I’ve had for years (and have used three or four times before), leftover thread and elastic from other projects, and $13.00 worth of fabric that I only paid $7.00 for out of pocket because I used $6.00 I earned taking surveys online. $7.00 plus two and a half hours of effort is a pretty cost effective gift, IMO.
  3. Spent only $26.00 on groceries this week as we’ve been cooking from the pantry and freezer to minimize waste when we move next week.
  4. Read 6 ebooks and 1 physical book from the library — also watched a DVD from the library. The library is a holy place. And it saves me hundreds of dollars every year (no exaggeration).
  5. Used a “Star Reward” to get a free chai at Starbucks. I love loyalty programs that actually pay off.
  6. Remembered to (finally) bill a client for her quarterly bookkeeping.

I’m not a black belt level tightwad or anything like that, but I’m pretty frugal. It’s easy to throw money at a problem — in fact, it’s sometimes unavoidable — but very often a flexible mind can find a more creative, and a more cost effective, solution.

KonMari-ing as fast as I can.

After 10 years at our current address, we are moving to another apartment in early September. As if that isn’t nerve-wracking enough, I’ve also decided to complete the KonMari process I began last year (then abandoned after clothes and books because my energy took a terrible nosedive) before we go.

Needless to say, this is probably not an approved application of the KonMari process. Oh, well! I’m a rebel and I’ll never-ever be any good.

It is, however, going well — at least in a tentative way. I did a very thorough sweep through clothing and books the first time, but I did a “touch up” to get myself started again. I managed to clear most of the clothes I had in the storage unit (a few small boxes), a coat I didn’t like, and a few other odds and ends — and another small box of books and a large box of magazines — before moving on to paper…for the first time.

I really thought I had paper under control. And I probably did have a lot less than the average household. I’m mostly paperless already, but even so I had not purged old tax files in years and found a lot of miscellaneous, random paper I’d kept for…question mark? I have no idea. I found a bunch of 2011 utility bills that had somehow escaped an earlier purge, for instance. Anyway, I did it all in one day — with lots of breaks — and today we took three boxes of paper to the recycling center and two bags of paper to Office Max to be shredded. I now have one plastic file box of important papers, one plastic file box of old writing and sentimental items (collected, but not examined — I’m mostly following the rules), and one file caddy of client work that is maybe a quarter full.

Good progress.

We also started on the komono today, and went through all of the CDs and DVDs. I had an unrelated purge of CDs a couple of years ago, when I digitized most of my collection after a shelf broke on our CD storage, so there wasn’t a lot left that didn’t spark joy for me. However, Lennox got into the spirit of things and discarded a whole box full of CDs and videogames. We discarded very few DVDs, though, because almost our entire collection sparked joy. Sometimes that’s how it goes! Some categories are already pretty joyful, and require far less pruning.

We took the books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and videogames to Half Price Books to sell, and they paid us $45.00. We were pretty pleased at the unexpected cash; they rarely offer so much!

Next up for me will be sewing and knitting related items, and then kitchen komono in various subcategories. I hope I can keep up the momentum. My energy level has been pretty good lately, so the pace hasn’t been too much for me — so far.

Wish me luck.