Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It’s been a very DIY Thanksgiving here at the Frugalwoods, which I’m sure comes as a surprise to zero people. We’re hosting family and in preparation, last weekend Mr. Frugalwoods and I: cleaned the entire house, laundered all the guest bedding (and ours too for good measure), baked 4 pies and 1 pumpkin cake, did prep work on the Thanksgiving feast (made artisan bread dough, prepared fresh homemade cranberry sauce, and whipped together a compound herb butter to massage onto the turkey bird).
Plus, we cleaned and vacuumed our car (no small feat when living in the city sans a driveway), I gave Mr. FW a haircut, and as Frugal Hound shared on Monday, she was bathed (amidst much protest and general pitifulness).
If this isn’t enough, Mr. Frugalwoods finished drywalling and painting a wall in our kitchen and completely removed and replaced the shower mixer valve spindle assembly, which decided Sunday morning would be the perfect time to break.
And you know what? We had a great time doing it all. There were a few moments of poor decision-making as far as foul language is concerned and I may or may not have dropped a bottle of windex on the sidewalk as I bundled the car mats into the house for a vacuuming (seriously, the absence of a driveway yields a whole new level of car care), but, we had fun!
I talked about the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from honestly exerting yourself towards tangible goals in The Zen Of Vacuuming and I had more than a few zen-like moments amidst this flurry of work. I also nearly ruined the traditional family pie (Shoo Fly) by forgetting to add the topping before it fully baked, but Mr. FW stepped in with a genius strategy to stick ’em under the broiler, which worked.
We didn’t reflect on this until after we’d done all the work, but, we realized that the majority of people who have a dual income household would pay other people to do some (if not all) of this work for them. Most folks we know would’ve dropped their car off to be cleaned, taken their houndlet to the hound spa, gone to the barber for their haircut, called a plumber for their shower valve, purchased their pies, and brought in a drywall crew for their kitchen wall.
But by doing all of this ourselves, we not only saved hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, we learned new skills. We expanded the repertoire of things we, as humans, know how to do! That’s pretty cool when you think about it. Once we’re on the homestead, we’ll HAVE to flex these DIY muscles and figure our own stuff out, so why not start now.
For the record–the pies taste swell, the hound smells delightful, the wall is plumb and perfect, the shower works, Mr. FW’s hair is stylin’, the car is detritus free, the haus is the cleanest it’s ever been (UNDER the beds, people, I vacuumed UNDER there!), and the food is cooked.
Oh and hosting family for a week and feeding everyone? No big deal with frugal chieftain chef Mr. FW at the helm. He managed to purchase the entire retinue of foodstuffs for a cool $177.50 for the entire week (averages out to $3.22/person per meal). This total includes: the feast, the roast beast (actually a turkey), the wine, the lunches, the breakfasts, the coffee, the cranberries, and all the fixins’. Bam.
And now, we’re enjoying a delightful holiday with our family here at our home. It really is possible to be frugal in all things. You don’t need to avoid a holiday or shy away from hosting–you can make it happen thrifty-style.
I wish you all a wonderful, warm, and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading Frugalwoods. I’m glad you’re here.