Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frugalista Checks In

So it's been a little over a month since I vowed to forego any clothing purchases for six months.  Of course I was helped a little (okay, a lot) by a broken ankle, and a bulky walking cast that made it hard to get down the hall to the photocopier, never mind cruising the mall.

But the cast's been off for a while now, and I'm quite mobile again.  And I'm pleased to report that I continue to keep my promise to myself.  Yes, I hate all my pants, and no, I don't seem have quite the right top to wear half the time, and my pajamas are literally turning transparent in spots.

But whatever. I'm clean and comfortable (most of the time), and I haven't offended anyone with my wardrobe choices.  There have been times over the last five or so weeks that I've felt less than pulled-together, but I'm learning to live with that.  I always took so much care to not look like I was trying, so it's doubtful anyone's even noticed that I'm not wearing exactly perfect shoes, or that my purse doesn't match anything else I'm wearing... only me.  And I'm learning to live with the imperfection.

But meanwhile....I've had to start fighting (hard!) the urge to buy toiletries and housewares, or stock up on what's on sale at the grocery store.  Because clearly the object of this exercise wasn't to replace one vice with another - and oh how easy THAT is to do (says the woman who "accidentally" bought five tubes of toothpaste two weekends ago...)  So now my new thing is to really and truly use things up before buying more.  And that includes all the tiny hotel bottles and sample packets and 1/4 full jugs of whatever it was I lost interest in last year. And encouraging the menfolk to do the same.

And can we just stop for a moment and discuss shower gel?  From time to time I get a hankering to buy a bottle.  And my mother-in-law (Avon and Yves Rocher addict) always brings a bunch in her suitcase when she visits. (By "a bunch", I mean usually three or more bottles - and, no, the teenage boys aren't interested in lathering up with "Mandarin Mango Medley" or "Pomegranate and Peach Passion."  And then JTM and the lads brought me back the equivalent of a gallon from a recent trip to Portland (I sent a Bath & Bodyworks wish list with them, but forgot to write "or" between the various items - so I scored bottle after bottle of the good stuff...).

Now, I am a large woman, but I'm generally quite clean and I don't like to spend a lot of time hosing off, so I don't use a lot of product when I'm in the shower.  I probably go through one bottle of shower gel for every four that everyone else in the household uses.  I expect I will be completely through menopause before I need to replenish the lady-wash supply.

But, sidebar over. Back to the "not replacing things till you run out" thing. If you are trying this at home, please note that toilet paper should be an exception: it was more than a little awkward explaining to last Friday's ten dinner guests that, if they needed to wipe anything, they should use the "purse pack" of Kleenex on the bathroom window sill....

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