On Being A Cheapskate

My previous post about a free house tickled some fancies, so I thought I’d add some more on for the uber-saver elements.

My friends know I’m all about a bargain, in whatever form it takes. I’ll take the little bargains, too – like my daughter’s discovery of a going-out-of-business sale for the normally pricey LuLaRoe clothing line. Because of weight loss, I’d had to break down and pay retail for clothing for work a couple of times lately. It’s enough to make me hyperventilate. The most I think I’ve ever paid was for the casual LuLaRoe top and leggings, bought online. I love the colors and the comfort, but hope never to pay that much for clothing again! My daughter’s discovery got me the same products, new, for about 35% of their regular price.

As you might have guessed, I’m a cheapskate and proud of it.

Pyrex bowlBeing a cheapskate does NOT always mean spending the least money up front, nor necessarily going to extremes.

My grandmother re-used aluminum foil. I don’t re-use aluminum foil, because I virtually never use foil at all. Instead, I invested in a set of Pyrex storage bowls with lids. They cost me more up front than a box of foil, but the glass resists staining and etching from food (unlike the plastic kinds) and they last forever.

I started collecting vintage Pyrex for the nostalgia they invoked. My mom had a set of the old Primary Colors mixing bowls, and I bought my own set, piece by piece, at yard sales. Some of the bowls I own originated in the 1940’s and earlier, and they’re still both beautiful and useful.

This big pink beauty? A thrift store find. I paid more than usual for it, because I fell in love with it. I cringed at the price, but bought it anyway. I later discovered that this color is especially desirable to collectors, which salved my conscience a little. If I ever decide to sell it, I’ll recover my money, and more besides.

On top of everything else, using glass bowls is more environmentally friendly than using anything disposable. We do use some disposable items, but am trying to wean my husband off them, little by little.

Being a cheapskate the right way is a healthy thing, too. There’s an ongoing argument over the safety of aluminum and food. It’s a non-issue in my house. I’ve also discovered that food stored in sealed Pyrex lasts longer. Glass is easier to clean and disinfect than plastic, too.

castleFor those of my readers who couldn’t care less about bowls, I also figured I’d add to the “free house” mantra. How about a free castle? No, really! I couldn’t believe it either, but turns out it’s a thing. There’s an article on Business Insider about it, here. (Yes, I know. It doesn’t like popup blocker – however, I wanted to use the BI link instead of others I’ve found, because you can see it’s a legitimate thing.)

The catch with these is that if you get it, you get the renovation costs that come with bringing it up to the 21st century. I gathered you had to update without sacrificing the historic texture of the properties. It’s still a fascinating opportunity for the right person or people.

Another new twist on the “free house” is the houseĀ  raffle – sort of. More than once over the past few years, property owners have decided to get rid of farm lands and more. You pay an entry fee, and write an essay as to why you’d be the best choice to own the property. The current owner chooses a winner, then signs everything over to you. There have been some questions of legality, since it technically could be considered a lottery; however, there’s currently a flower farm in North Carolina that’s up for grabs under one of these contests. More information here.

I’ve seen a few of these. Yes, they’d require moving to wherever the property is located. But isn’t that kind of the point? And aside from the fact that these properties are being snapped up for precious little money, many of them include attached businesses. So you’re not only getting a house for next to nothing, but a potential income with it.

COF-cover-smallSince this is my author page, I should probably point out that I’m ramping up to publish my first book, The Color of Fate, in paperback and on Kindle. This is technically the second edition (the first was released 2013), but the first edition in paperback. I’m waiting now for the proof from the printers. As soon as it’s live, I’ll let you know.

For anyone who saw the original version, you’ll notice the cover’s undergone some big changes. I also tweaked the text a bit, including cleaning up little errors I discovered along the way. My self-imposed deadline for publishing is the 4th of July. With a theme of independence vs. responsibility, I thought that apropos.

Extra Sensual Perception is still with my editor. It should tentatively be out this autumn. I’m also working on the sequel to The Color of Fate, and a non-fiction book (under the pen name L D Doornbosch) on crystal readings. It’s been quite the juggling act!