I certainly know how to splurge. I have a knack for finding the most expensive item on a rack. The non-sale items beckon me. I am an infrequent shopper, so when I shop I will often just buy what I want. But I can be thrifty, too. I love a good bargain. I love garage sales and church bazaars. I like “antique” shops, which is to say…second hand knick knack shops. They are a treasure trove of old linens, hand embroidered napkins, carnival glass and tea cups. I also like to be frugal. I try to get through a whole weekend without spending any money except on groceries or the collection plate. It harkens to the Orthodox Jews who did not make money transactions on the Sabbath. I do it partly to live mindfully….and partially to see if I can function without wasting $40 on nothing. There are enough DVD’s to watch if TV stinks (which it usually does).

When I was a child, my mother was also very frugal. She would buy a gallon of milk and then split it half and mix it with powdered milk. I wore lots of hand-me-downs. My mom did sew alot of our clothes, but I think that by the time I was of age, she had realized she HATED sewing clothes.

The news if full of people on hard times. The floods in Iowa. The “world food crisis”. The price of gas at $4.26.

So, how do I stretch a dollar? How do I stretch it and still make it fun? I make home made cookies and skip the store boughts. I don’t throw out my cold coffee, but make iced coffees at night instead of drinking Diet Coke. I make PB&J…actually PB&H (honey). I will iron the shirts and clothes and NOT dry clean. We use real cloth napkins instead of paper. They launder easily. I make new playlists on my iPod with iTunes instead of downloading more new disks. Rearrange them and make it seem new. I had an credit, so I downloaded an audiobook. Instead of buying new plants at the nursery, I transplant from within my own yard.

There are these consciouness movements. One is a challenge to go a whole year without buying anything new. Second hand, recycled and thrift items are ok. Other than food…nothing NEW. WOW! Is that possible? It is worth trying baby sets: a weekend, a month, etc. Another is to eat LOCAL. Now, it would be impossible since there is no local source of coffe or chocolate within 100miles. Probably no wheat, either….but interesting. Eating locally would have prevented the salmonella tomato outbreak or at least contained it.

When so much of society endorses extravagance and abundance. When bling matters and its all about the crib and the ride…..I feel like a subversive. What a rebel.

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