Turning 60

I thought it would just be another birthday for a woman who really doesn’t pay much attention to her age and who is really not afraid of aging. But in the couple of weeks before the big day, I started having flashes of gold in my vision. What the heck?

My vision is important to me and absolutely something I want to keep for awhile so I went to see the eye doctor. Turns out the gold flashes were a sign that my eyes were going through a normal aging process, vitreous detachment. Ohh-kay. Happy birthday to me. However, if the vitreous tries to take the retina with it, then I had a chance of becoming partially or completely blind. Not ok.

Then my teeth decided to celebrate my birthday, too. I went to the dentist which I do routinely because I have a goal of keeping my natural teeth all my life. The bad habits of youth resurfacing as I age- a couple of my teeth that had some pretty large and very old fillings were beginning to crack. Great. Here come the crowns, three of them for an average cost of about a thousand bucks a piece. Happy birthday to me.

I am thankful that the eye thing resolved without any further problem and that I can afford the crowns. At this time I have medical and dental insurance. But it makes me realize that, as I plan to retire early and live on as little as possible, I do need to put some cash aside to cover health care costs that insurance won’t cover.

Truthfully, I was hoping, since I have been in very good health all of my life, with both parents in their 90’s and still living, that I could just neglect getting any insurance at all. I realize now, that if I do that, I have to increase the cash savings or forgo treatment.

Blind? Toothless? Not something I want. Some things are worth spending money on.

I wonder if some of the bloggers I follow who live on very little, retiring early but are still ‘young’, ever think about what their future might hold as far as health?

 

 

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No Washing Machine

The new apartment I moved to doesn’t have a washer or dryer. I debated buying at least a washer because I could always use the balcony to line dry. (Fortunately, the balcony is on the side of the apartment, away from the ‘public’ area and strategically hidden from the apartment next door by some tall evergreen trees).

I considered my alternatives:

  1. Rent the washer. Well, this certainly is not consistent with my goal to reduce my monthly expenses.
  2. Purchase new- absolutely not considered due to the cost.
  3. Buy used from Craig’s list, etc. I nixed this idea because I get nervous about buying something that either ‘needs work’ or will soon ‘need work’. And then there is the problem of getting the washer from there to here. I would need a truck. And a dolly to get it up to my second floor apartment.
  4. Buying used from an appliance store would provide some assurance that the machine would work and it would also be delivered. However, considering I plan to move in a year, do I really want a washer to add to the moving list?

Do I even need a washing machine? That became the question. Is there something else I could use?

I could go to the laundromat. But I hate going to the laundromat. And that means more money being spent.

Then I remembered the posts I read at annienygma when Annie’s washing machine went kaput.She mulled the options she had.

What options do I have? Hand-washing is one of them. And it is a viable option, at least for me, because I work at home, I pretty much wear the same clothes a few days in a row (except the undies, of course) and I really don’t have a lot of laundry to wash.

I discussed this option with my roomies- my sister and my mom. My sister was pretty much game for anything because she has a goal very similar to mine- downsize, minimize and frugalize.

My mom, who doesn’t even do her own laundry by the way, was aghast at the thought of living without the convenience of a washer. At the age of 94, she has lived through a lot and, while she didn’t experience the beating the laundry on the rocks at the local creek era, she pretty much saw the evolution of the modern day washer and certainly, raising a large family, saw it as a necessity.

However, since she doesn’t do her own laundry, I decided to proceed with my decision to not buy a washer and come up with an alternative.

I would be fine washing my clothes by hand either in the bathroom sink or tub. But my sister wasn’t really keen on that. So, we came up with this option:

The laundry pod the-laundry-podWill let you know how it works!

 

Minimalism in the Closet

There is certainly no one way to minimize and simplify one’s life but, for me, it means simplifying whatever I can to minimize the number of decisions I need to make.

So here’s what I did to simplify my clothing- I got rid of all the clothes that were too big now that I lost 50+ lbs. (go me!).

As I replace what I wear out or size out of,  I will stick with a few basic colors. I opted to go with black, white, jeans and khaki.

I went to the local St. Vinny’s and was lucky enough to hit a day where everything in the store was half-price! I scored 4 black shirts- 3 long-sleeved and one 3/4 sleeves. I think I paid $3.50 for all of them and each top was in excellent shape.

Still in my closet after the purge are a couple of pair of jeans, a couple of khaki slacks, some black pants and some shirts. Some of these don’t fit me yet but I promise I will get into them after the Biggest Loser challenge that starts tomorrow at work.

What will I wear? I don’t even need to ask myself that anymore.

 

Dejunking the Bathroom

Since reading The Zero Waste Home I have been thinking more and more about all the STUFF I have. Stuff I have accumulated and will never, ever use. One area that has been on my mind lately is the bathroom and all the stuff I have there, especially in hair care products.

I gave up shampooing in July 2015 (with a one week relapse this past month which I will tell you about in the future). Even though I don’t use shampoo, conditioner, mousse, and sprays, I kept it all.

And, because I am not brand-loyal and have always been trying for that perfect head of hair, I have a LOT of partially used bottles in numerous brands.

Enough. I decided to get them all out of the bathroom today.

Results below.

IMAG1112
de-junking the bathroom

Fair to say it is not just hair care products but also surplus toothpaste – tubes my mother bought a case of and gave to me- stuff I don’t use.

We are planning on having a moving sale this summer before we head to NC so I am going to save these and put the partially used ones in the free box and sell the rest.

I don’t know about you, but when I get rid of clutter, I feel better.

Thrift Store Savings

THRIFT STORE RECEIPT
Great finds at the thrift store today!

Continuing the saga on my thrift store finds, here is another great find for me at the thrift store today.

The third thing on my list today were soap holders (soap dishes?) that I needed to hold the new bar soaps I just bought from Wilderness Family Naturals (not an affiliate link, just a shout out for WFN).

I’ve had dry skin for years and am always looking for something to alleviate it. My latest is using coconut oil to shower with. It works well but it is kind of awkward to use.

I saw these soap bars at Wilderness Family Naturals and thought I would give them a try. I didn’t have any soap dishes to hold them. I needed three, one for my mother’s bar, since I bought one for her, and two for me, since I bought the plain bar to use on my hair and the bar with additional coconut cream to use on my skin.

Being without the soap dishes, I used the bubble wrap that the bars came with. Did the trick to tide me over until I could find something else. I figured I would go to the Dollar Store and pick some up. Those things are a $1 a piece, right?

2015-04-01_16.35.23[1]Today was my lucky day! I found three soap dishes for 50¢ each at the thrift store.

I have the two bars of mine you can see there in the picture and the empty one was a soap case for my mom’s bar.

Not as cheap as the bubble wrap 🙂 but certainly cheaper than buying them new.

So, what did I save? Compared to the Dollar Store, I saved $1.50, assuming comparable soap dishes are about $1 each.

Looking at Amazon.com, the two piece soap box sells for $5 (seriously, who would buy it for that outrageous price??).

The soap holder at the top of the photo can be found at a hotel supply site for $1.95 but you have to buy 12 to get that price.

And the last ‘holder’ in the lower right corner isn’t actually a soap holder. It is a loofah-type facial complexion pad that Amazon sells for $6.60 for a set of 4.  But, I figured it would work as a soap holder as it is a place to hold the soap and keep it dry between uses.

Kind of hard to figure out exactly how much I saved in this awesome thrift store find but I sure didn’t pay full price for new!

Always a great feeling, isn’t it?

Ready to hear about one more find?

More Great Finds at the Thrift Store

In addition to finding the candy molds I needed for making keto fat bombs, my trip to the thrift store yielded a couple of more things on my list.

2015-04-01_16.38.35[1]

Ramekins, or something that I can use for ramekins. No one at the store even heard of ramekins. Neither did my 92 year old mother, who was tagging along today.

Anyway, I have been looking for these for a few weeks now. I plan on using them to make some of the great keto-desserts that Maria from Maria Mind Body Health has on her blog and in those amazing keto-cookbooks.

A ramekin (/ˈræmɪkɪn/, /ˈræmkɪn/; also spelled ramequin),[citation needed] is a small glazed ceramic or glass bowl used for cooking and serving various dishes.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

The ramekins I scored cost me 75¢ each and I got four of them. Just went to Amazon again to see what they would cost. Crikey!

There is a set of four Emile Henry (who?) ramekins here for $35.44!

Seriously?

Wanna see what else I got today at the thrift store?