Wednesday, July 8, 2009


When her friend, Miss Georgia Sugar (pictured below), asked The Frugal Hostess for help treating a dread disease, TFH knew she had to jump in. The disease is childrenitus frugalitation preventionistis, and there is at least one related strain: worktoomuchia frugalitation preventionistis. Both are interchangeably known by the street name Frugallazy. This scourge typically first strikes women in their 20s or 30s and most men at birth and/or puberty.

Symptoms include:
- Genetic replication resulting in one or more offspring.
- Constant and repeated compulsive need to cash pay checks, resulting in related repetitive appearances at a job.
- Exhaustion related to one of the above symptoms.
- Extreme over-consumption of shelter publications such as Elle Decor, Home and Garden, and Architectural Digest. (May also manifest as watching the same episode of any show on HGTV more than 12 times.)
- Irrational loathing of at least one Food Network personality.
- Unrealistic belief that Sundays contain enough hours to complete all of the projects the sufferer has in mind.

Sound familiar? Well, turn that frown upside-down, because The Frugal Hostess has the cure. Try one of these starter projects and see if your Frugallazy doesn't clear itself up in a flash!

Problem: I need to make cookies from scratch for my kid's class, but I have Frugallazy.
Solution: Don't! Wow, don't you feel better already? Or, you can employ a strategy TFH read about in a great book (title? fleeting...memory...gone....). The protagonist was too busy to make homemade baked goods for her child's class, so she bought some cookies and "distressed" them - broke some, jacked up the frosting, etc. to make them look homemade. Or, you can buy a bag of Chips Ahoy and a tub of chocolate icing. Spread the icing on the cookies and make little sandwiches. Half-assed, yes, but still pretty rad.

Problem: I want to have a party but my Frugallazy makes me not willing/able to be all theme-tastic.
Solution: Have the easiest party in the world. Here's the menu/shopping list: one can of mixed nuts; one jar of country olives; three hunks of cheese; and one box of crackers (TFH recommends the most delicious cracker in all the land - Triscuits. TFH does not recommend grody old Wheat Thins. Just sayin'). If you're feeling ambitious, add one package of pate; one container of cherry tomatoes; one bunch of grapes; and 12 miniature chocolate cupcakes. Invite eight friends to each bring a bottle of wine from a different country, and call it a wine-tasting party. OMG, The Frugal Hostess is starving.

Problem: I have to buy a baby gift for this girl at work but my Frugallazy is flaring up.
Solution: If the gift is given pre-birth of baby, throw together a pampering gift for the mom. Put sugar, almond or canola oil (an oil that smells good or doesn't smell at all), and vanilla extract or a good-smelling essential oil into a small jar (rub off the salsa label, lazy). Shake it up, and you have all-natural, non-toxic body scrub! If the gift is post-birth, partner with her partner to plan a night on the town, wherein the partner pays, and you babysit! Or, fill your small jar with pureed organic carrots, and call it baby food!

Problem: I need a hostess gift for this dinner thing, and my Frugallazy is getting in the way.
Solution: Bring the hostess three books you have already read, with a ribbon tied around them if you can muster up the strength. While this isn't exactly a gift, its bounty will distract, and it will be appreciated. Also vehemently compliment every dish and every thing in her house, which will make up for the ribbon that you were, after all, too slack to tie around the three books.

Look. You're cured!

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