I am in awe sometimes how much it ‘all’ depends on one’s own attitude.
Positive spirit attracts positive things, peaceful demeanor makes your colleague adjust her voice to reflect yours, the frugal mindset will literally make it ‘rain’ with opportunities to save money or get things for free.
It surely does take a little effort but not as much as you think.
Open yourself to receiving:
1. Don’t be afraid / ashamed / embarrassed to be perceived as ‘frugal’
Come out of the frugal closet.
Yes, I will happily pack all the leftovers after work lunch. Hand me downs for my nieces; anyone? I will take them! Kitchen towels and half used toilet bowl cleaner that you won’t take to your new apartment? I will use take them too.
See what I’m saying? Make it known to everyone that you graciously accept things. Once you do, free goodies will just keep coming to you with minimal effort.
2. Never say ‘no’ to things that you know will land in trash if you don’t take them
If they are in good shape, that is.
If you don’t need then, you can regift them to a friend in need, resell for a small profit, donate, or, as the last resort, just leave them in front of your door with a note ‘take, it’s free’. It won’t be there by the next morning. The benefits are tri-fold: reusing, sharing love and putting fewer things in the landfill.
3. Always be on a lookout and stay aware
Can I use it? Return it? Resell it, Regift it? Is it even up for grabs?
Let’s take these past couple of weeks as an example.
T. and I were lazily walking around Williamsburg yesterday, where you basically stumble upon a box of free stuff every block or two. I remember the PG Girl mentioned that she had a record player in her new Warsaw apartment but no records. Ha! See what we stumbled upon on Franklin Street?
The other day my colleague Jenny and I were catching up first thing after getting to the office. Jenny has 3 children and I shared with her that my sister has 3 little girls and having a baby boy in February. If she ever has any hand me downs to give away, I will happily and gratefully accept them.
Voilà! Look what I found underneath my desk today. Jenny says there is more to come.
Last but not least, T. and I cleaned our closets and instead of just packing things that we no longer wear away, we took them to resell at Crossroads. Sure the line was long but after 45 minutes we were able to walk out with a $112 store credit. Now we can get a few nice pieces of what we will actually wear. Small effort – big payout. Frugal and smart.
Additional words of wisdom to encourage frugality:
- Keeping an empty container, a few zip lock baggies and a small canvas bag in my work desk’s drawer never hurt me (yet) :). Very useful when you need to take home that leftover pizza and salad.
- If somebody else has their eyes ‘on the prize’ and wants to grab the same goodie, I let them. I am happy it is not going to waste and I know more free things to take are just around the corner.
- Happiness, frugality and gratitude go very much hand in hand.