RHYS BOWEN: Earlier this week we discussed what luxury meant to us. Today I'm extracting confessions concerning the other side. Those secret and completely unnecessary economies that we can't seem to give up.
My husband grew up in WW2 and in those austere post war years. His mother was the queen of economies. I suppose she had to be during the war, but she never gave them up. She'd save butter wrappers to use to grease pans when she was baking. She washed out and kept every glass jar to put leftovers in. And speaking of leftovers--nothing got thrown away, it was always recycled as a new food the next day. Unfortunately John has inherited some of these quirks. When he was going through his parents home after his father died his sister phoned me to say "John is currently filling a container with large glass jars to bring back to America. Do you really want them or do you want me to quietly lose them for you? We lost them.
My own silly economy? I use toilet paper to take off my make-up, instead of tissues. Not so silly economy--I recycle padded mailers. I figure I'm saving the planet with that one.
And the one I've inherited from my grandmother? I cut the buttons off worn out clothing, just in case I'll need buttons in the future. My grandmother had a big box of buttons which became my main toys in my early years. I played families and schools and hospitals with those buttons, giving them each a personality and a voice. Good training for a future writer.
So how about you? In what ways do you economize?
So how about you? Come on Reds. Confession time....
HALLIE EPHRON: Oh, buttons! When my mother-in-law died, my daughters (then about 22 and 17) found jars and jars of buttons. We spent hours sorting them out on the floor in rows and column by size and color. Then they each took a share.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: OH, I have SO MANY paper bags! The grocery store ones, sure, and also a MILLION glossy paper ones, the ones that are too pretty to throw. It's ridiculous, I will NEVER use them.
I have a million buttons, too, the ones that come with new clothes, in case you lose one? I rarely lose one, (oops, knock on wood) but I sure do have all the replacements.
And I refill water bottles. Even though that's supposed to be dangerous, bacteria wise. I am SUCH a risk taker!
LUCY BURDETTE: So funny Hank:). I am more green than cheap...we compost everything vegetable, including coffee grounds, and then John digs it all into the garden. (Except in Key West--I haven't figured that one out yet.) But I do have this lingering feeling that I shouldn't buy any clothes that aren't on sale. Which is a perfectly good idea, unless you end up buying things that don't fit or you won't wear. Then it's a seriously false economy. (And yes, I have a few things in my closet with price tags still on them because I made that mistake...)
ROSEMARY HARRIS: I was just talking with Jan about composting! I want to be the person that composts - but I can't bring myself to leave a pile of rotting food anywhere near the house.
Like Hank, I do save the "nice" shopping bags. But I don't think that's weird. Buttons...oooh...I buy the old ones at flea markets.
You want weird? I save the thick blue or green rubber bands that come on the mail - or on bunches of broccoli. I always seem to need rubber bands, and..um...I like the colorful ones. For some reason when I buy them I only buy the boring beige ones.
RHYS: Oh Ro--John does that too. Especially the ones that come on asparagus. Speaking of which he'll cheerfully pay a fortune to eat asparagus all year then drive to the dollar store to get a can of tomato soup twenty cents cheaper. No logic.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Rhys, so funny about jars. My mother and grandmother did that, so I did, too. When we remodeled our kitchen, I made a vow that I would never again save a yogurt or cottage cheese container. That, I've stuck to, but I do keep a few small glass jars. But only a few!
And Hallie, when we moved my parents out of their home, my mom had squirreled so many boxes of paper clips and rubber bands that we're still using them, thirteen years later.
I do save padded mailers, absolutely! Have you priced them at the office supply???? I do not print on both sides of paper, though. That drives me crazy. And I don't compost because we have an issue with, um, RODENTS in our old neighborhood, and hubby thinks compost would attract them.
My own silly economy? I use Glad plastic containers for most leftovers, but when I do have to use plastic bags I use gallon freezer ziplocks and save the used ones for cleaning out the litter box. (I'm sure everyone wanted to know that...)
RHYS: So fess up everyone. Have you stranger economy quirks than us?