I am not fantastically wealthy (By my own standards) but I can and do buy anything and everything that I desire to have and to own. I just said that I do not consider myself overly wealthy “By My Own Standards,” but I have to tell you right now that the secret to my happiness has never been gained by anybody’s “Standards” because I do not run with the herd. I am a rugged individualist, always have been, always will be and if I have anything near a standard for achieving my goals in life, it would be a standard akin to thinking outside the box, thinking according to some pretty scientifically-valid techniques of creative thinking and taking risks.
Even though I will always refuse to purchase anything that I do not consider to be the very best … or, absent that idea, then I have to consider something to give me the biggest bang for the buck before I will even consider it. In this respect, I believe that I am a very frugal person … sometimes downright stingy … but a better word would probably be “Cautious and Studied” when it comes to accumulating things.
Example: I would never consider buying a cheap cut of meat from a standard grocery store when I can always get something far better, for a little more money, at a regular butcher shop where I can order thicker cuts of meat and where I can control the quality by purchasing the desired grade …usually “Prime” but yes, when I feel like slumming, even “Choice.” Anything else is “Dog Meat” to me. My last bill total for steaks was $156.00 but that was a couple of months ago. Most of my last meat purchase is still in the freezer and I am not worried about it because beef ages very well. (In fact, I believe it gets better with age.)
It is very rare that I ever purchase anything on impulse or by whimsy. Oh, I have been known to do that from time to time …. especially with something like cologne. I change brands of cologne very regularly because I am always searching for that perfect fragrance … the fragrance that defines me. So far, the only available cologne that fits that demand is “Oud Wood” by Tom Ford. The same was true with razors for shaving and with soaps for bathing. I finally decided that a good french-milled fragrant soap (Imported of course) is best for me. But like I said, I always spend days … sometimes weeks … studying about all these items before I part with a single dollar for any of them.
I do like lavish items … who doesn’t? But I have also been known to make an entire meal out of something as simple as corn chips and bean dip. My appetite runs the gamut from chicken and dumplings (Southern Style) to inch-and-a-half filet Mignon, medium well …salads on the side … bacon and eggs for breakfast …. or eggs ramekin …. I am a very diverse eater … unless I am entertaining other people out … and then it is always the swankiest restaurant I can find! I never shortchange people when I am entertaining them. Of course, since I am something of a hermit, I rarely encounter other people anyways — a few relatives now and then. Most of my friends have long since died.
I have been known to buy suits from both Brooks Brothers and The Salvation Army and I am not afraid to admit that to anybody. The same for shoes! I do not buy automobiles because I think that leasing them is better and I never drive but am always driven wherever I go. I used to drive myself but it is such a stressful hassle that I no longer care to get behind a wheel and why should I when I can have someone maintain an automobile, do the work of keeping it clean and come and open the door for me and pick me up and take me wherever I want to go? I have allowed myself to become spoiled in the transportation department … I admit it … so sue me!
I used to think it was a good idea to use smaller plates when I eat my meals. I have been told that eating from smaller plates saves a lot of food from being wasted. I have also heard that eating from smaller plates helps to keep body weight down. But lately I have discovered that gourmet restaurants serve these very miniscule portions … I call them “Micro-Portions” and though they are incredibly (Insanely) delicious, they serve the same purpose (In my opinion as the smaller plates.
Now let us discuss a method of saving money on clothing — other than shopping at thrift stores ….Once in a while go into your closets and inspect every item being retained there. If you find something that you have not worn in a year then take that item to the nearest clothing collection bin and dump it. This not only increases available closet space, but it cuts down on dry cleaning bills … until the time you run out and buy more clothing items. I must say that my closets are a constantly moving of “Stuff in, Stuff out” that must keep a whole lot of thrift stores real happy.
Now if you happen to like wine with your dinner, let me suggest to you that no wine without a vintage date is worth your time and no wine with a vintage date later than 1956 is fit to drink. This is strictly my personal opinion based on my personal tastes. It is the same with sofas and recliners. If the sofa or the recliner is not covered in real leather, it is fit only for a trash pick up. (Red Leather — a deep burgundy color —) … my favorites. (Goes best with reddish flocked wallpaper and polished ceiling beams.)
One of the best questions to ask yourself when considering a shopping trip is this: “Do I really need what I am looking at or is it something that I only want?” Another trick is to look at an item that interests you and then automatically refrain from buying it. Later on, rethink the item and if you want it as much then as you did when you first saw it, go and buy it. You will be surprised at the ease with which you lose interest in a lot of things you once thought you could not live another day without taking home with you.