Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What A Day, What A Day

What a day! I love how as the kids get older I can actually accomplish more than just one thing (diaper changes) with my day. I got so many things done today, I'm feeling great this evening. I used to think that I could never stay home and not work, but if all days gave me the sense of accomplishment today did, I could certainly do it.

The Tightwad Gazette book I recently got has so many interesting things to ponder. One of them is the idea of calculating how much money you save by making things from scratch (cakes, bread, pizzas, even yogurt). I'm kind of a from-scratch girl, anyway, so I'm eager to do it when someone gives me the excuse that might get me motivated enough. In that book they recommend calculating the per-hour wage you're getting on the savings you make off of a task you do instead of paying someone else to do it. So, I whipped out my trusty little calculator and figured out a few things today.

First, I can make some really tasty yogurt (about 14 little store-bought cups' worth) in about a half an hour including clean-up (maybe slightly more, but if you did it all the time you'd take less time doing it). Calculating the difference in price for the ingredients needed to make my own and the price of the store-bought kind, I figured I'm making about 10 euros an hour making my own. Not bad, and the annual savings is about 160 euros. We could actually do something with that much money. So, of course, I got right to work on making some yogurt.

Then, I have been plotting and planning a lot lately on ways to cheaply organize the mess around here. The organizing book I recently got has lists of places where you can get all sorts of handy-dandy organizers, but I'm not exactly rolling in the kind of dough those places charge, so I've got other ideas. One of them came to fruition this afternoon, and I'm so happy with it (as is Lambchop #1, who immediately filled it with tons of shoes - not exactly its intended purpose).

The object I'm referring to is the one in the photo there. The fabric is some stuff I got a truckload of for cheap (don't recall how much now) quite a while ago. It's not exactly my style, but it's not bad, and it matches the curtain that's already under the kitchen sink. Oh, and please ignore the pink door. Someone else apparently found that pretty, and we never got around to painting over it.

These sorts of organizers often cost at least 25 euros for something really junky. It took me about 3-3 1/2 hours from start to finish, and though I can't recall the cost of the material, I didn't even come close to using it all (and knowing me, I wouldn't have paid much for it - I tend to have a mental limit of 20 bucks on individual items I purchase, though, oddly, I could buy 20 items at once, so no money is saved). So, I probably made about 8 euros per hour in savings on this project, not to mention that I enjoy sewing in the first place. And, best of all, there is now a specific spot for all the junk we tend to walk in with and drop somewhere in the kitchen. Yay!

Oh, and I'm in the process of making some yummy bread (from scratch). I don't know the prices of the individual ingredients, so I can't give you a run-down of the savings there, but you'd probably be ready to click on out of here if I did, anyway.

Alright, now to finish that bread and get in some knitting time.