One woman's quest to save money, save the planet, and save her sanity.
One woman's quest to save money, save the planet and save my sanity
Friday, April 2, 2010
This Bunny Says "Cheap"
I'm not sure when Easter turned into the second coming of Christmas, but it is ridiculous how extravagant the store displays have gotten. Although any secular gluttony seems a bit weird to me since our standard Easter goodies were typically a bookmark that said "He Is Risen" and a package of yellow Peeps. If I haven't mentioned it before, my mom is fairly religious (Episcopalian) and we didn't "do" stuff like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We gifted and celebrated and had egg hunts, but always with the "reason for the season" in mind. I never felt jipped and although I am not nearly as dedicated to matters of faith as my mother, I try to remind my kids how these holidays came to be and that they are not merely an excuse to get stuff.
So when I am putting together Easter baskets, I am truly wearing my EcoCheapo hat and trying to assemble them using a little "new" as possible because even better than something that was made in an environmentally responsible way is something that was not "made" for this occasion at all. In the immortal words of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, "It's already out there".
Tuesday and Thursday morning are when all three kids are at school at the same time so the opportunity to be a semi leisurely thrift store shopper is savored and I did a little more than just look for baskets stuffers. For a grand total of $16.25 I got a new pair of shoes for Josie, a hooded sweatshirt, two "cool" tee-shirts plus a dressy long sleeve shirt with the tags still on it ($30 new) for Noah, 2 hardcover cookbooks (one about bread and the other by The Frugal Gourmet), an adorable pink cardigan for the girls, a white GAP t-shirt for me, a huge gardening book, and 4 soft cover parenting books that I will only read in the bathroom and then decide the author probably doesn't even have kids.
As for finding stuff to put into a ten year old boys' Easter basket, I think I did about as well as you can-
a brand new, still rolled up Red Sox poster
5 big packages of tribal looking temporary tattoos
a small desktop CD rack
a limerick book
and a Gary Paulson paperback.
Add in the cost of the Red Sox trash can that it will be going into and we are at $3.25 I will also probably throw in an iTunes gift card which, at $10, will be more than I spent on everything else for all three kids combined (not including a bit of all natural candy).
The girls are very easy to pick up trinkets for and I always have tons of stuff on hand for them. I know this will not always be the case, but for now, I relish it and so does our bank account. Their buckets have been reused for countless years and they will be very happy with their mix of stuffed animals, small puzzles, bracelets, card games, jax, Easter pencils, etc. Yes, I even get festive,
unsharpened writing implements second hand.
So wherever this Easter brings you, I hope that peace is there to greet you. No matter where your faith lies, it is a season of reflection and growth and a time to be thankful for beginnings. I hope you will be chillin with your peeps. Some of us already are.
My goal here is to turn people on to the idea that most things that are good for your wallet are also good for your world. That doing things more simply like home cooking and other trappings of domesticity aren't nearly as difficult as people believe and that sometimes we just need a little inspiration to remind us of things that used to be common cent$. I will chronicle my search for a balance between financial and ecological sustainability. More than ever, we need to tighten our wads and some of the things we would love to do to live a "greener" life are not always within our economic grasp. But we can offset the environmentally unfriendly choices that we are sometimes forced to live with by cutting cost and waste in other areas of our daily lives. So join us as we journey towards a greater understanding of our place within our environment and it's place within our budget. Any of my wisdom is purely annecdotal, and I will readily share my failures as well as successes. So what you'll get here is hopefully a bit of edutainment in the form of ideas and tales from the seedy side of our up and coming homestead.