Although I haven't posted about any financial/frugal ideas lately it doesn't mean they haven't been on my mind. With the house paid off, now my main focus is building up our liquid savings and saving for our mythical retirement. Since my husband and I enjoy our current occupations so much, I have a feeling that retirement will not be our choice, but something forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control, but we'll see. In any case, someday either one or both of us will be officially retired, at least partially. I guess one could say I've been semi-retired for 10 years now, since I began working part-time, but the difference is I have not considered myself retired. I have come to realize retirement is a state of mind, not just a financial one.
In Spanish, we say a retired person is "jubilado" which technically means "freed" or "released" rather than "retired." I have felt released and freed most of my life, so in that sense I've been retired all along! "Jubilación" sounds a lot like "jubilation" in English, which of course means great joy and elation, so I guess the term is a more positive-sounding one than "retirement" which sounds like you're retreating from life.
Anyway, in the effort to save for retirement I try to keep frivolous, impulsive purchases on a tight rein but I also like to keep track of low-cost purchases that deliver high satisfaction and make life more pleasant.
This year my frugal winners are:
A Cool Gear thermos on sale at Tuesday Morning that keeps my iced tea cold for 24 hours. (The first one we got for free but its top eventually broke so I needed a new one--I now use the old one at home but I needed one with a tightly sealed top for work) Cost: $10 (normally this type of thermos goes for $25-30 at the supermarket).
A cushioned zero-gravity chair for Jim--the removable cushion alone was worth the price I paid for both the chair and cushion. It's a sueded material that makes the chair look much more living-room-worthy. Cost: $80
A Hamilton Beach room odor eliminator Cost $25. Wow, this has really helped cat-related odors in my room and doubles as a personal fan and gray noise generator as well!