12 - 2008

Friday wrap-up: Stainless freezer ware, dog costs, SmartFlix and how to spend

This week brings a menagerie of money and earth-saving ideas.

Stainless for the freezer

Today, Fake Plastic Fish posted about new stainless ware for freezing food. It all sounds good … although I clicked through and found the containers cost at least $13 each. Compare a one-time cost of buying stainless ware to health risks of the future. Hmm, for the time being, I’ll likely stick with glass, foil and yes, plastic … but I will keep this in mind for a longer-term investment.

Videos with know-how

As a birthday gift, partly from my husband, partly from my late grandma’s bequest, which I’m so far whittling down for hobbies, I bought a great wheel (also called a walking wheel) the other day. (That’s not me on the video, but it gives you an idea.) But I don’t really know how to use it. Someone on Ravelry suggested I look into charkha spinning for tips. I thought a video would be just the thing, but the video I found on charkha spinning costs $40 — a bit steep for something I might not refer to more than once.

Then I came across SmartFlix, where I can rent the same video for $10 (including shipping to and fro). It’s still a little pricey, but less expensive than buying, and less wasteful too. Has anyone tried it?

The cost of a dog bite

And this article on about the financial dangers — not to mention the moral obligations — of dog ownership was sobering, considering that we are thinking about adopting another dog. Fortunately, our current and prospective pets aren’t on the dangerous breeds list. And we have a large umbrella liability insurance policy, too.

After all, just having a dog is costly enough. The dog rescue organization asks whether adoptinig households can afford $1200 a year to feed and care for the new animal, and I think that estimate is about right, based on expenses for our current dog.

Spendthrift or tightwad?

And I came across this article about whether you should spend your money now or save it. I think there is a middle ground, but this question came to mind this week when I bought an expensive electronic gadget at Costco. I bought it because I’ve been contemplating one for Christmas for months, and last weekend, Little Cheap tried it out at a friend’s house and came home extremely enthusiastic. Costco had a good deal, and as I’ve been saving for Christmas since January in a special ING Direct account, I had the money to burn.

But ours is going straight into our closet for 3.5 long months. The man behind me said, “Oh, some lucky kids are having a party tonight!” and I was so surprised, thinking, “Do some people really just come home one day with a $400 gadget and go to town?” Sometimes I wonder if I’m too prudish, making everything wait for a special occasion. On the other hand, I don’t want to set the precedent of a big-ticket item being something we just rush out to buy.

Where do you stand on pricey toys or events? Save or spend?

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