A Frugal Cleanse

Hi y’all, I’m back 🙂 I wasn’t sure if I was going to write today, after the EPIC trip yesterday (I’ve never been on a plane ride that long, I don’t think — a full 8 hours. I know this is nothing to people that have been to/from Australia, say, but really I don’t think I’ve ever done more than 6 before personally.)

However, making my morning to-do list just now — laundry, grocery shopping, all the post-trip stuff — I realized that what I want more than anything else for the next couple of weeks is to get back to basics on frugality. It was a good trip, but I feel a little out of whack. For one thing, my employer covered most costs, so I stayed at a hotel much more luxurious than I usually do (actually, I rarely stay in hotels at all overseas; either hostels, or AirBnBs.) The food was way more than I usually eat too; croissants every morning in the breakfast basket, restaurant meals every night. It was fun, but I feel a little bloated, spiritually and physically. Second, I didn’t go totally crazy, but I did spend a lot more of my own money on entertainment and stuff than I usually do these days. I went to the theater twice, to an art museum (that I had to pay for) once, bought gifts for both my parents and for a couple of friends. Je ne regrette rien, but now that I’m home I feel an urge to simplicity in both food and general life stuff.

So! I’m going on a frugal cleanse for the next week or two. Get myself back to my baseline state.

1) Instead of spending time looking for ways to spend money on more stuff (clothes shopping) I’m going to focus on mending and repairing and generally taking care of what I already have. My car needs both a mechanical checkup, and to have everything cleared out of it and be vacuumed and etc etc. I have some clothing that needs mending and/or dry cleaning that’s been piling up. My boots need to be cared for with leather conditioning cream. My office needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sorted. I want to check over and reorganize my kitchen shelves. I actually got going on this a little on the plane home — I spent some time sorting unsorted files into the correct structure on my computer and it felt GOOD.

2) I’m going to take care of my body! Eat lots and lots of vegetables (and NO CROISSANTS, hee); exfoliate and moisturize the heck out of everything; get a haircut, which might not be frugal, but will make me feel light and unfettered, which is the important part here.

3) I’m going to read the books that have been piling up on my bedside table instead of either adding more, or spending all extra time on the internet 🙂

4) I’m going to finally start my summer biking routine, taking the bike for all local trips except groceries and to/from work.

Any other things y’all do when you’re feeling a little bloated from overspending and overeating?

26 thoughts on “A Frugal Cleanse

  1. Alicia says:

    I have one of those feelings going on, and I didn’t go to France (I assume by the French, croissants, and the length of flight). I just called to book a hair cut for some evening this week. I have plans to clean out the car, vaccuum, and make the dash all shiny… just cause it’s 9 years old doesn’t mean it needs to look dirty. 🙂 I also need to get my winter tires off, and get a couple rust patches fixed. My to-do list just keeps growing, and since we only have one car it’s a hassle to do a lot of the car repair things without wreaking havoc on my work schedule.

    I’ve been jump-starting my mornings with loads of macro-nutrients, and I feel much better because of it. Call it placebo effect if you will, but man do I feel more alert in the mornings 🙂 I also have another garbage bag going to the donation bin… and it doesn’t look like I’ve taken anything out. Again. What motivation to keep at it.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hee, actually it was England — you’re right, though, all my clues look like Paris, don’t they? Go you with all your spring cleaning though! What have you been eating for — wait a minute, you just did a post about that, didn’t you? I’m behind on reading because of the trip but I saw the headline on twitter. Will go check it out 🙂

  2. ha ha! I always get that way when I get back from my trip…like hitting the reset button. For me especially in the food dept. When food is on someone else’s dime I always eat more!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hee, I know, when my employer is paying I’m like “BRING ON THE STEAK AND SEAFOOD” (OK, not quite, but I definitely stop worrying about every little last thing.) And right now all I want to do is bring my life down to baseline!

  3. This past weekend was our graduation, so even though we didn’t travel, others traveled to us, having a similar effect. Too many restaurant meals and sugary meals at home, too much discretionary spending, too little work accomplished! I’m honestly looking forward to eating normally again. I think our first frugal measure – to take a page out of your book – is to make sure none of the unusual extra food we have goes to waste. I’m going to hold off grocery shopping as long as I can so we are forced to eat down what we already have. Other than that I’m just trying to get back into my routine with respect to my time and get some work done and some workouts in!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it, how stuff that is fun in itself (special meals etc) becomes too much so quickly? I guess it’s a good thing because otherwise I’d be broke and weigh 400 lbs but still 🙂 I hope you enjoyed graduation! I had a lot of fun at mine.

  4. Hmmm . . . I just want to travel and get bloated after reading this. Were you in France? Chanceuse!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I know, I know, right? 🙂 I was in England, actually, but close enough for decent croissants apparently….

  5. An expense paid trip to England?!

    OK, SingleDollar, I’m +1 officially jealous!
    Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good job to me.

    The farthest I travel in my job is from my cubicle to the copy machine… 🙂

    Glad you had a great time on your trip and got to stuff yourself with fancy and free food. Nice!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      If my job were going to last more than the next academic year, I’d be totally into it! I’m trying not to enjoy the perks too much because it’s so temporary 🙂 But yes, when they hired me they were like “so, we have this conference in England and you’ll have to go” and I was like, “where do I sign?!”

  6. Jason says:

    You will have to provide us some updates because I think I will have to do the same thing after I get back from a work trip to China. I don’t plan on going crazy and most of my expenses are paid for, but I have never been to China and certainly want to see the sites and experience a lot of the culture (I may never get back again). Hope your trip was excellent.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Wow, I mean, if you’re going to China, you definitely should make the most of it! Congratulations!

  7. Mmm, croissants! But, yes, I can see how even those lovely, airy pastries would weigh one down, eventually…

    You’ve already sort of touched on this, but I find housework/cleaning to be a great way to get a little activity, along with a fresh start. Happy cleansing!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m already underway — dropped my car off at the mechanics this morning 🙂 Now to focus on cleaning the bathroom….

  8. Hannah says:

    I’m feeling the vacation bloat (and I think my son is as well). My parents visited last weekend, and they happily paid for us to eat out a few times, so I am feeling a bit heavier. My son pretty much ate two-three times his regular junk food because Nonny and Pop Pop spoiled him (and read him about 600 books at bedtime, so we have some new standards around here).

    On the financial front, I bought too much when my mom let me use her Sam’s Club membership (I swear those chocolate covered pomegranate seeds just jumped into my cart) and when we went shopping for curtains (somehow I managed to buy beach towels too).

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Man, faced with chocolate covered pomegranate seeds I’m not sure I would have resisted temptation 🙂 Funny thing about adulthood, isn’t it, when being spoiled isn’t necessarily so fun!

  9. Chonce says:

    Sounds like you had a nice trip, but I understand you wanting to get back to your norm. I feel the same way when I spend a few days away from home and splurge a little bit. But the need for a frugal cleanse always gets me back on track and it just proves that my lifestyle is not just for show, it’s natural and I enjoy living simply and being frugal. Anywho, I would just clean, get organized, stock your cabinets back up with healthy food, and just relax. Everything else will fall into place.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I already went out and bought kale yesterday 🙂 I think you’re totally right that if I just chill out and settle down, I’ll be back to normal in no time 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    I just got back from a road trip where I ate super unhealthy, so I know how you feel! I plan on eating super healthy this week, but I leave next Monday for another 9 days so this will just be an unhealthy month.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Road trips are just killer in the food department. I try, but evidently not hard enough 🙂

  11. Jessica says:

    I totally understand the feeling of wanting to get back to normal after a trip. I love the chance to hit the reset button and get on the right track. I think it also helps you to really enjoy the special treats when you don’t let yourself get used to it. I really need some time to go through my life and start decluttering and refocusing. I should try to schedule that in…

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m thinking of scheduling a “declutter hour” 🙂

  12. I´m with you! I THOUGHT I had a handle on long flights until we went to China last August. Man! It was like, you watch a movie, then another, and another, then you sleep for 8 hours, you wake up, and you´re still not there! Haha… now I feel like I can handle anything!
    I´m glad you´re back! Sounds like you´re off to a refreshing start! For me, a good cleanse is often about minimizing electronics. I don´t think I could do no-electronics completely, but it´s often nice to spend my spare time reading, or outdoors, or exercising instead of browsing fbook or Instragram. Sometimes even driving with the radio off feels extra-relaxing.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Great point about the electronics 🙂 I’m definitely going for a long walk this afternoon without my phone.

  13. I guess I go review the Netflix and Hulu listings to remind myself just how much entertainment I already have. Look at my clothes to realize how much doesn’t even get worn, etc.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, those are good things to do — I’ve been concentrating the last couple of days on taking care of what I own, including sorting out my closet.

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