Sorry for the long delay. My precious children are such good sharers... even when it comes to cooties. I think I'm over the cold now, though.
I have been thinking of the value of patience lately. It applies in so many ways with regard to thrift.
I'll give an example from just this past week. I've been hankering for an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator for a while now, probably a year or more. This is the one I wanted. I've looked online, seen various retail prices, scoped out Ebay, peeked on Craigslist from time to time. I've found 5-tray models. I've found lots of 9-tray models but way more expensively than I was willing to pay. Finally, about 10 days ago, I blundered across a 9-tray model (without timer) on Craigslist for $140. The not-so-squee-worthy part was that it was down in Connecticut.
Now - remember the post about asking for help when you need it? Being willing to be blessed, without concern about keeping score? The ad for the dehydrator stated that it was located in the same town in Connecticut as one of my best friends. Donna is another thrifty, creative type, and I know if she needed my help, she'd ask me. So I called her, immediately. Within 24 hours, the Excalibur was in Donna's hands, waiting for me to come get it. (I hope and trust that it has been thoroughly tested in her kitchen in the meantime)
I also think about the value of patience in the garden. Hands, now - how many of us have put out our tomatoes earlier than we should have, hoping that it'd all work out ok, and lost them to a late frost? How many of us have sown seeds that have rotted because the soil was too cold and wet? Put in our seed potatoes and had NOTHING come up, because they turned to mush in the garden? Yeah, I thought so.
A friend of mine is buying his first house, and is incredibly excited. He took his time, and found exactly what he wanted, at a price that worked for him. He was describing it to me, and we got to talking about clothes lines. He said something about how great they are, except you need a dryer for when it rains. I recall looking at him kind of oddly and saying simply, "I don't do laundry when there's rain forecast." While I do have to invest some brainpower in planning my work, honestly, it's not that hard (most of the time, barring August 2011-type weather, when we got 18 inches of rain in 6 weeks) to make my laundry chores work the way I want them to work. It can require patience, though. My children are well acquainted with being told, "No, I won't be doing laundry today; the forecast isn't good."
Patience can also apply to routine shopping. It's just not that hard to wait until Baker's chocolate goes on sale before stocking up. Most folks shop around for weeks when looking for a car or a house - why should smaller expenditures merit less care? I'm not advocating tying yourself up in knots over every little decision, just suggesting that being willing to hold out for what's important to you can really save you a lot of time, money, frustration, productivity. It's all part of living a thrifty life. Try it!