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Thankful for Frugal Luxuries in Winter

January 16th, 2015 at 04:05 am

I woke up to no power this morning. I fretted I'd have to go outside, but remembered that I have matches and a gas range and instant coffee powder.

Having just replenished the pantry on Saturday, I am not participating in any pantry challenges this month. But I am using up some Japanese instant soups whose best before date was two weeks ago. They're darling, compact 4cm x 4cm packages of starch, seaweed, tofu, and miso packet. Scrape miso packet contents into a mug, crack open the starch package and let all confetti-like ingredients fall into the mug, then add boiling water and stir.

I paid $4.30 principal into the car loan. Although I did post my interest in paying off the car loan, my contrariness made me look at the larger, higher-interest loan, and I considered if I'd be really happy paying some of that principal to bring the balance owing under five digits. $4.30 is a piddling amount, but applied every two weeks will reduce my term by at least one month. $25 goes to a CD tomorrow, $100 goes to a HELOC payment. I could probably poke the spouse to go stop the $25 CD monthly addition for next month and beyond.

My payoff car loan date looks like January 2016 right now. I'm sure you empathize with the antsiness of wanting a huge debt eradicated. I'm not going to moan, no, I'm going to make a list of frugal luxuries. Bubble baths, deep conditioning treatments, classical music on Swiss radio, pens and inks and papers. Maybe some of you have at times felt robbed off too much, perceived too wide the distance between where you are and what you want, and feel the divide ever expanding. Maybe your winter rain or snow has been with you for so long your bones feel wet. And maybe too many things are beyond your control. That is when the frugal luxuries list is helpful. Smell of toasting walnuts? Herbal fruit tea in a warm blanket? Juiced vegetables? Rereading of Wodehouse or Hiassen or Fforde or Adams or whatever floats your boat? Homemade sweet potato or yam chips with chipotle mayo? Steaming your face over a bowl of very hot water? A salt or sugar scrub with five minutes massaging the feet?

I used some barley from a glass jar to make a stew with leftover roast beef and some stewed tomatoes. I didn't want to go outside to buy a can of diced tomatoes. For a desperation dinner it was terrific on a wet wintry day. Plus I have leftovers.

About juicing: I have an old but reliable juicer. The filter collects fibres and piths from ginger, fruits. I read DoctorYourself.com's tip about soaking the filter in bleach, and gave it a try. Well, in five hours black residue coated the filter, and ebonized the bleach. With a toothbrush I could scrape the residue off the filter, then put the filter in the dishwasher. I feel like Heloise with a hint now.

4 Responses to “Thankful for Frugal Luxuries in Winter”

  1. Carol Says:

    Nice post. Thanks for the reminders of frugal luxuries.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I enjoyed this post, too! I'm going to make my own list of frugal luxuries!

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I totally agree, there are many wonderful things out there that aren't expensive and it has kept me sane in hard times. (For me, coffee, doing my nails, spending time with loved ones and our animals). Oh, and reading about people who are having a worse day/life than me puts it into perspective also (thank you news websites!)

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Good job, Heloise!
    We need to remember the blessings we have when things tend to overwhelm us. Good list of frugal luxuries.

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