Frugal Friday - Just Ask!
One of the things I started doing a couple of years ago was ask for things I 'needed' for occasions like Birthdays and Christmas. Things like lotion, body wash, candles, and a journal, which I use for my daily devotional time. Since I certainly don't need more 'things' it made sense to ask for things that I used regularly and were 'consumed', so to speak. This year I started something a little different in addition - talking to people about what we were going to purchase next.
In the picture you can see just some of the things we've gotten from others. Some were directly asked for, others freely given as a simple blessing.
The Hudson Bay blanket was given to us by a friend who was cleaning out her basement, is allergic to wool, and knew we were buying our kids 'big kid' beds this year. She had two single size blankets. They're now ours! They also gave us two paper shopping bags full of Disney VHS tapes and a VCR to play them on (we had had one, but it died!). The kids don't care if they're VHS tapes and I'm finding myself wondering why I ever thought VHS tapes were such a pain in the neck to use!
My SIL gave me the black sweater after I mentioned that I'd like to buy one. I was too big for her, but fits me perfectly.
The waffle iron, Missy's tights and Buddy's jeans were all Christmas gifts. Missy and Buddy certainly don't need more toys and the relative who bought the tights only has little boys at her house and the relative who bought the jeans only has girls. They were delighted to shop for clothes for the opposite gender!
I haven't had to buy lotion in about 3 years because I always receive some as gifts from family, co-workers, and even my Jazzercise instructors that I set up class for! I use a lot of lotion so that is a nice blessing. Ditto for the journals. I go through about 4 a year and they can add up. I usually get at least one for each Christmas and Birthday which cuts down that cost as well.
I've found that by just talking to people you can often meet a need in others (I gave some new shoes that didn't work for my aerobics class to my SIL who is now able to wear them to work and I was able to loan a kitchen booster seat to someone who needed it as well) or have a need met for you by others. I never would have asked around for blankets for our kids' beds, but received ones that were far nicer than I ever imagined just by talking about buying new beds. And our friends got them out of their house and know someone is using them!
We have friends who just adopted three sisters. Their bedroom furniture, car seats, and a whole host of other things were donated by friends who had outgrown the items. How cool is that? I often revel in giving our outgrown items to friends with new babies or in tough situations.
The next time you have a need or a purchase coming up in your life, mention it to someone else. If nothing else, they may have a tip for somewhere having a good sale!
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