Sarah, over at Walk Slowly Live Wildly recently shared a list of interesting statistics related to Americans addiction to clutter, throwing away shoes, using plastic grocery bags, and our recycling efforts. Check out the list.
My teenage daughter decided to donate 10+ inches of her hair to Locks of Love. I decided that everybody who can ought to donate their hair at least once in their life, so I followed suit. We both ended up losing about 12 inches after all was said and done. And we both had a crying spell over the loss of our tresses. Here we were crying that we have shoulder length hair, when there are girls and women in the world who have none. Shame on us.
After a day of getting used to our new "do's" we both have accepted our new look. For me the cutting was timely as my 5 month old keeps grabbing my hair. Before he would get tangled up in all those long strands, now his chubby fingers slip through easily.
I would encourage you to consider donating your own hair. Visit the Locks of Love website to understand the need for such donations. For me, I had extra motivation as a friend of my mother has a daughter who was badly burned in a fire when she was an infant. A portable heater caught fire to her crib blanket and half of her hair was lost. I knew that she was able to get wigs made from real hair for free when she was a child. It must have been Locks of Love that provided the wigs.
I will be posting before and after photos of my daughter soon!
I have learned over the years that living within our means definitely requires patience and some ingenuity at times. For example, I love flowers. But buying them is very costly, particularly when buying perennials, which return year after year.
I would very much like to have flowers planted all over the yard as well as to decorate the porch with hanging baskets. Of course, my natural inclination is to accomplish this in one season. Alas, patience is required.
Assisting me in my goal of flowers galore, last year a friend gifted me with 4 empty hanging baskets. I was very pleased and filled them with inexpensive annuals. (White alyssum and petunias cascade beautifully from baskets once they mature.) I felt very satisfied that I was able to beautify our porch for less than $5 vs. buying the baskets new for $17 a piece at the local store. Unfortunately, (thanks to the children) each of the baskets met their doom one way or the other by the time fall rolled around so I was left with no baskets to hang this year.
This spring while driving about I admired the bright blankets of perennial phlox in bloom and many a hanging basket and I longed for some of my own. I could have went out and spent the money to buy some phlox and more baskets (or used the credit card) but I restrained myself as such things are a want not a need. (Since we recently moved and are establishing a new business we are focused on necessities.). Though it is a little late in the season, I was recently blessed with both.
First, at the local thrift shop I found two baskets that were in poor shape. This is where ingenuity came to play. I took home the baskets and asked my son to scrape the old white chipped paint, then spray paint them black. (I picked up a can of spray paint for $1.) I then filled them with dirt and sand (which I had recently gotten free*) as well as with annuals that I bought on clearance for thirty-eight cents.
A week later the local store marked down their flowers, including hanging baskets, even more! The price was just 5 cents! Yahoo! I filled a cart full of 2 hanging baskets, 2 other containers and many perennials and annual geraniums (which can winter over in doors) for a total of maybe $3.
Now I have about 15 perennials to plant as well as an equal amount of annuals, many of which I will bring in doors in the fall. Additionally, while I was buying the flowers for 5 cents, I struck up a conversation with an elder woman. When I mentioned that we are fixing up our old farmhouse, she stated that she needs to thin many plants from her garden in the spring, (including black berries) and that she would like to share them with me!
So next year I will call her when the time comes and I will also wait patiently for the summer clearance once again. Soon I will have beautiful blooming flowers all over the yard and all it will have cost me is some change, ingenuity, elbow grease and patience.
Money saving principles discussed in this post:
* Have patience and wait for sales.
* Be on the look out for items that can be brought back to life with a coat of paint.
* Buy perennials whenever possible as they return year after year.
* Practice long term gratification vs. instant gratification by looking ahead to the bigger picture and don't focus on the here and now.
* Don't be afraid to speak to strangers, especially those who share your interests. You may make a new friend. And since most gardeners enjoy sharing their plants with others you may be able to benefit someone with starter plants or you may be the beneficiary.