Lately I’ve been asking myself if I’m cheap rather than frugal. I’ve always tried to save money and cut corners, as well as recycle and reuse anything I could.
For example, when I was teaching, I used to cut the corners off of envelopes that I got in the mail. The little corners would go in a box in my classroom and when the kids needed a book marker, they used a corner from the box. An added bonus for the kids is that they could earn a chance to spend ten minutes decorating the corners if they did certain things on time. They loved putting stickers on the corners or drawing pictures on them or stamping a picture on them. It cost me nothing. The envelopes were scrap paper. The stickers were usually freebies. The rubber stamps were from my collection. Win-win.
Last week, I made limoncello for the first time. I used 11 lemons at 6/$1. After I peeled them and set the peels to soak in the vodka, I cut the lemons in half and juiced them so I could freeze the juice for later use. After the whole thing had been strained and I was left with the peels, I took them to my daughter’s where they were put in the food dehydrator so they can be used later as garnish or in recipes. We didn’t waste anything. And by the way, the limoncello is delicious and very fresh for this heatwave we’re experiencing. Now to find more cheap lemons!
But then today, it hit me that I might just be cheap. I drink a lot of coffee and I brew it in a single cup cone brewer with a filter. I usually put too much water in the cone so when I get enough coffee in the cup, I move the whole filter and cone to a glass jar that I have just for that. The rest of the coffee drains in there. Usually I brew the coffee this way anywhere from three to five times a day, each time collecting the excess coffee. Then I use it later but it is usually not good reheated so I stick it in the fridge and use if for iced coffee. Today, as I was filling a quart sized plastic container with the excess coffee and creamer and sweetener so it would be ready to just pour over ice, I had to laugh at myself and ask if I am taking the whole frugal thing to a ridiculous level. I actually don’t know the answer. I’m so used to doing that with the coffee, that I’m not sure I can stop. Hhmmm. What do you think?