Weekly Woot & Grumble: Of Parents & Dry Cleaners
Inspired by other intrepid folk who publish around a weekly theme (such as Mr. 1500’s Thursday Rants, which are an especial favorite of mine), I decided to try out a weekly column myself. It is called Woot and Grumble and I will talk about one (or more) of each, every week…unless I get bored of doing it, run out of woots and/or grumbles, or nobody likes reading them.
So, for this inaugural week I give you….
Mr. Frugalwoods and I have so many wonderful things to celebrate and give thanks for! This week, I am particularly grateful for our families. We had the joy of hosting my parents for a visit this week and I loved spending time with them. Something we reflected on together is how fortunate we are to be set up for financial success by our parents–not because they gave us loads of money, but because they instilled good saving habits in us.
I call my parents the original frugalers. They didn’t retire early, but they’re financially savvy savers and investors, which ensured a comfortable life for my brother, sister, and me. We had a great childhood where material goods were never a focus. We went camping for vacations, shopped at garage sales, played board games and had frozen pizza on fun family nights, and went out to dinner 5 times a year (once for each person’s birthday). While my parents are blissfully retired and not exactly frugal anymore, they instilled these values in me early on and I’m eternally grateful. Mr. Frugalwoods echos these sentiments about his parents. However, he was the oldest of three whereas I’m the youngest of three, so he never had the joy of endless hand-me-down clothes, toys, furniture… I learned the delight of “new to me” as a wee tot.
Baring my fangs this week because I had to dry clean the fancy clothes Mr. Frugalwoods and I wore to our friends’ glorious wedding. I have a 10% discount through my employer and I used a coupon I found online, but it still totaled $51.46 for three lady dresses and one man suit. GRUMBLE. We never dry clean, except in instances where the clothing would degrade if we didn’t. Since we wear our clothes (esp. the fancy ones) for years and years, it makes sense to take care of them. However, I think I’ve now spent more to dry clean those dresses than I paid for them from the thrift store in the first place! ARrrrRGGG! Mr. Frugalwoods only owns the one suit, so it behooves us to care for it well.
I was able to perform needed stitching repairs myself–we’re pretty epic on the dance floor and so incurred a few, ahem, rips–fortunately I’m handy with a needle and thread. While I’m quite frustrated by this expense (clearly enough to write about it), Mr. Frugalwoods reminded me that the last time we dry cleaned something was in September 2013. And it was these same fancy outfits after the last friends’ glorious wedding. What really shocked me about my dry cleaning experience were the number of regular, everyday clothes people were dropping off. I guess some folks dry clean every month? Every week?!? That has got to add up!
I hereby conclude this week’s Woot & Grumble.
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