Living on the cheap isn’t about being poor or not having nice things. For me it is about making the choice to consume less and to live more simply. When I need something I turn to the local classifieds, thrift stores and my friends first before I venture out to the store. Likely the OCD memory serves me well because if I do stock pile anything I have a photographic recollection of where it is.
I haven’t bought an article of clothing new, in a department store, for a long long time. I do buy ‘new’ things now and then mostly from artists and people who design the clothes they make. For the most part I shop in thrift stores. When I travel to a new city one of the first things I do is locate the museums, library and thrift stores (among a few other local landmarks). So much is said about a city by it’s thrift sellers. How much support there is for the local hospital, pro-life, salvation army, even the Value Village has a voice.
Being thrifty is in large part about being patient. It’s about making do or going without until you find that thing you’ve been looking for. Last summer I thrifted a pair of Chaco sandals for $7; they fit me perfectly and I love them, they were exactly what I had been looking for for a couple years. This summer I was at a clothing swap and in the pile of leftovers I found a black skirt that was exactly what I had been looking for high and low in thrift stores in the previous couple months. Could I have bought those things new? Yes of course I could. And I could have paid over $100 for those two things combined but instead I paid less than $10 simply because I was patient.
Currently I’m on the lookout for a food processor. We killed our last one about a year ago and I haven’t yet found another to replace it. It means we don’t get to enjoy one of my favorite treats, raw date cookies but it also doesn’t hurt us not having one. I can bide my time and when that perfect item shows up oh how glorious it will be because I waited!