My mom says I can ‘pinch a penny ’til it squeals,’ and I think she’s right. In reality, I’m probably considered by most to be a cheap person. I almost always buy things on sale, I’ll go without rather than paying full price and the only place I really splurge is to buy healthful foods, and I justify this by assuming that, in the long run, we will all have fewer health problems and save money on the flip side.
That being said, I thought it was time to create my own post to share with you the most frugal, the most money saving moment of my life! Can most folks even claim that they have a “moment” documented in their history as being the most frugal? Here’s the tale…
It was 15 years ago, we were poor. I mean poor. Health insurance was a luxury, so we didn’t have any, and the only reason we had car insurance was because they just passed a law that said we had to carry liability. We drove an old junker Datsun that leaked oil into the passenger side foot area so the seat was unusable and my husband and I took turns chauffeuring each other around in the back seat. And don’t think for a moment that our friends let this go unnoticed, it was quite the point of hilarity to most of them. We lived on dry beans, potatoes and lettuce and turning the heater on meant sitting closer to each other on the couch.
We had 2 cats. I know, poor folks really can’t afford 2 cats, which is why we were perfectly content letting them outside to do their, eh hem, business and barely feeding them so that they would go and find critters to eat. The downside of this is that they bring critters home to eat under the dining table or on the foot of your bed while your slumbering but we all take chances. Another downside of course, is the risk of injury to the cat. Anything could happen right? They could be hit by a car, attacked by a dog, taken home by a stranger who rightly assumes they are neglected and thinks they can provide a better home. . . OR they could drag their wounded butts back into the tiny apartment with a broken tail that’s just dangling there like limp spaghetti. Guess which one happened to us? Now guess whose job it was to figure out what to do? You are a good guesser.
I did toy with the idea of taking the cat out into the parking lot and killing it with a shovel, but I liked the cat and I would have had to borrow a shovel. So I had to move to plan B. Plan B was to call my neighbor who worked as an assistant in a vet’s office and ask her what they do for a broken tail and how much it costs to do it. She said, and I quote, “we charge $600 minimum. If I were you I would just let it fall off. It should happen in the next few days.” Well, I certainly wasn’t going to pay more than our rent to fix the cat, and if it was going to work out by itself, I was willing to wait. The poor cat may have felt differently, but I was the one with thumbs. So we waited. . . and waited. . . and I kept nursing the cat’s tail, keeping the cut clean and petting and comforting this poor creature for three days, then 4, then I realized that there was just enough bone still attached that this tail was not going to just fall off. Time for a Plan C.
Plan C: Go to kitchen, retrieve bone cutting scissors received as wedding gift, find cat. Pin cat down to floor by laying on top of said cat. Gently clamp scissors to tail above break, pray, apologize to cat and swiftly hammer fist on open scissors ensuring complete amputation of tail. Watch cat run around apartment screaming for 3 minutes, retrieve partially severed tail (as it will have flown across the apartment in the opposite direction of the cat).
The cat survived, he actually thanked me with purrs and rubs all day because the injury was now treatable and clean. He walked around with a bandaid and neosporin on the end of his tail for a week or so, and had a little jellybean looking scarred tip to his new stubby tail but he was happy, I saved money and I heard 60,000 pennies squealing with delight. Best frugal day ever!