Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Family Re-frugal-union

I am on the road with family, back among my own, both literally and in the miser sense.

First, here is a picture of the splurge for this trip.
 It's a rented 15-passenger van to transport the 5 or 6 people from my own branch of this clan, plus their luggage, plus 5 bikes.  I suppose we could have made due with something smaller, but we really did manage to fill this baby up.  (Speaking of filling up, the tank took $100 of gas.  Wow!)

The bikes are for riding around through the Vermont hills.  We're also swimming in nearby lakes -- fab!
Eating with my large family is tons of fun.  Here's the front hallway of the home we're staying in.
Restaurants are right out, of course.  Note that we brought crock pots, cloth grocery bags full of food, several coolers.   We supplement what we brought with trips to nearby grocery stores.

We take turns cooking for one another.  My favorite meal so far was when my daughter and step-daughter pulled off a flawless taco dinner last night.  But right now I smell the bacon on the grill, under the capable hands of my frugal dad.  Mmm . . . memories!
Even with all the home cooking (or home-away-from home cooking), we're a fairly low-waste family.  We know we've come to the right spot when we see the family napkins . . .
 . . . embroidered with our names, so we can reuse them with minimal washing.

Several years ago, my sister bought a "memory book", and every year different people from the family fill in bits and pieces.  We've got stories of the 1940's from my dad and mom, we've got cute little pictures from my young nieces.
The prompt above says "My hairstyle(s) and hair colors during these years was . . . " and the response from one of my sisters is, "This is a family that cuts and colors their own or each others' hair. Dad has not paid for a haircut in more than 54 years . . . "

 We did head out to the local town one day so my step-daughter and husband could do some shopping and get fancy coffee.  I needed some colored pencils; the wonderful-yet-pricey bookstore sold some for $12.99/dozen.  Yoicks!  So I walked a half-mile (past waterfalls and parks) to a grocery store where I picked up a good set for $3.  phew!
And finally, here's a picture of some frugal gifting and re-gifting.  Here is what's left of my earrings; I've finally decided to go earring-less, so the family gets to split them up.

And what do I get in return?  A giant bag of torn jeans that I'll be able to tear up and make into a new denim rug.
Fresh air, family, good food, exercise, colored pencils, and a bag of denim.  What more could I ever need to make me happy?


  1. What a wonderful reunion! How fun that the whole crew is frugal; that isn't the case with the family I grew up in. I felt like a leper among the sisters-in-law. Also, as usual I got an idea to expand on what I use--names embroidered on the napkins, fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

    1. My sister read this post and said, "Huh! I didn't think of this as being frugal; I just think of this as the way it is, or maybe as being environmental." It certainly does make it easier to save money when everyone around you figures it's stupid to spend it!

      I started the napkin tradition many years ago -- it was a gift to my mom. When she started losing her memory, my sister took charge of the napkins, and she's added new names as we've had new members join the family. It's a nice way to signal that, "now you belong!" -MM