Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me has started a series of posts on The Underground Economy. Among other things, she says
"I've thought about this book often in the twenty-plus years since reading it (over and over). It came to mind a couple days ago as I walked through Goodwill and noticed all the beautiful clothing, shoes, household items, etc. one could purchase for pennies on the dollar from their original cost. I think of it when I am at the grocery store and see how much money is being charged for baked goods, processed items, and all pre-made foods (of course, not all being unreasonably priced)."I've had kind of the same thought on my mind since our last successful rummage sale trip, last weekend--rummage sales either haven't been as plentiful this year or they're just getting harder to find, and the thrift shops haven't had much for us lately either. Of course that might just be because we've been more in a getting-rid-of-stuff mood...but anyway, we haven't brought home a lot lately. But at last weekend's fill-a-bag sale we found a good pair of jeans for Crayons, a pair of denim shorts for her as well, five pottery mugs still with tags (we didn't have ANY pottery mugs, all our mugs are just..."mug stuff" and a lot of them have Christmas trees on them...), a Josephine Tey mystery, a Baby Snooks old radio cassette for Crayons, and a few other little things. The point of this is--for the price of a fill-a-bag, we ended up with things that we hadn't been able to find (who sells Josephine Tey books?) or hadn't thought we could afford. The pottery mugs lined up at the front of the shelf have made me very happy all week every time I open the cupboard door, and Crayons is also very happy with her fancy embroidered jeans.
I've thought of the same thing, with a bit of envy, when I think of people I know who are way more successful at tightwadding at we are, or at least manage it in different ways. I've thought of it when cool little things happen, like the guy who walked up to us in the store, handing out free cream coupons. I've thought of it when we managed one of the little leftover successes, like banana-mango cake.
We aren't necessarily living in the "underground economy"--we're just making do with what we have (and trying to adjust as financial changes come along). But sometimes making do turns out to be a pretty good thing too.