This week I took on a task I’ve been neglecting for over a year – cleaning the inside of my car. I know it’s been over a year, because the last time I cleaned it must have been some time before the contract I had prior to my Euro-trip from Hell, which was last March (2016). I only had a week between the end of the contract and my flight to Glasgow, and after I came back… well, it took over 4 months to be able to walk without an Air-cast or crutches, and 3-4 months after that to be able to walk with a normal(ish) range of motion.
So it’s been a while. I spend a lot of time in my car, and take on more road trips than most people, to get to contracts and gigs. So my poor car had gone through at least eight separate 10+ hour journey’s, with all my stuff packed into it in varying states of hurry. Plus it’d been winter / muddy for a bulk of that time, so the interior of my car was not a pretty sight.
It took about two hours to completely vacuum it, pull out the all-weather mats and rinse them, pull up all the carpeting to vacuum under, wipe down all the plastic inside with hot soapy water, tidy and condense up my ’emergency’ stash of random stuff, and wash the windows. I took it to the carwash a few days later to give it a good scrub down with a power washer (now that it’s summer, there’s a bajillion huge dead bugs plastered to the front of it; and although the rain does clean the exterior pretty well, the bugs are sort-of caked on at this point) – so I’m calling it a success!
Considering car detailing in my city would run me $100+, I consider it 2 hours well spent.
Sure, the hideously matted portion under the gas pedal that inexplicably has no carpeting or mat under it is still sort of a mess (why do they not have any covering there?!), but my car’s already significantly raggedly in general, so it doesn’t bother me.
I was also really amused to see my parents packing for a road-trip down to the coast. The past couple years they’ve been flying out for vacations – Hawaii, Mexico, cruises, and the notable Euro-trip from Hell that featured Mum, Dad, me, bro, and sisil. When you’re heading on a plane, you pack differently than when you head out in a car (at least we do). Three days before their departure, my Mum started packing up all the stuff they could take with them from the pantry, to avoid buying anything out there. All the staples to make meals at home (potatoes, cereal, pop and carbonated water), as well as vacuum-packed meat and cheese from the polish store that’ll go in a cooler. They’ll still go out and get some groceries during the week they’re there, and go out to some restaurants, but my Mum’s thinking is: if we already have it, why wouldn’t we take it and avoid buying the same things there?
I was amused, because it’s exactly the same thing I do when I go out for work. It’s a no-brainer to see where I learned that one from! I am incredibly grateful to my parents for teaching me the raggedly rich ways, and instilling frugal and thrifty sensibilities in me from a young age – seeing my parents exercising the habits they cultivated in me is really, really neat.
Notable moments of thrifty frugal saves:
- Detailing the car by myself!
- Taking the motorcycle to work 3 times this week; easier on the environment, and on gas money.
- Donated blood for the first time via Canadian Blood Services – and I didn’t have a panic attack (I’ve been needle-phobic for over 10 years, and at one point had a panic attack in a movie theatre watching Iron Man 3 because I wasn’t expecting them!). I consider this a frugal save because it didn’t cost me anything, and it doesn’t cost the person receiving the blood anything (or next to anything).
Notable moments of thrifty frugal fails:
- Bought pizza from the local family-run franchise down the street; I got the pick up special, which saves at least $5. (It’s my most favourite pizza). One day I’ll get around to getting comfortable hand-making them, but not this week!
- The day after donating blood I had a hockey game – and I, for one, can’t “return to normal activities 6-8 hours after donation”. My muscles refused to work during the game, I had no oxygen, and nearly passed out near the end of it. I had to shell out $2.50 (in .05 and .10 car coin change) for a bottle of Gatorade before I attempted to tackle the drive home. The worst part is I had a Gatorade in the pantry, from ages ago I could’ve brought from home.