Saturday, May 23, 2015


I must be a true prepper because, when I did an Amazon splurge, it was to buy two retractable clotheslines and a clothespin bag.

Yes, I could have been thrifty and done a clothesline from scratch for a few dollars less and whah whah whah.

Amazon makes wish fulfillment its mission.

I had a wish.

My wish was fulfilled.

The funny thing about the retractable clothesline—and 100% the reason why I bought two of them—is that the Chinese knock-offs remind me of the retractable clotheslines of the houses in Balboa, California my grandparents rented for our vacations.

They have a delightful, flimsy, sagginess to them that reminds me of happy moments of my boyhood.

I can hear the  rambopreppers saying that such emotions are how we overspend.

I’m OK with overspending by five dollars—I did the calculation of the AmazonPrime splurge versus building from scratch—because I will save 100 dollars or more this summer on NOT using electricity.

So, I squandered five dollars to save more than twenty times that splurge.

PS: the Chinese knock offs aren’t too shabby for quality.

One of the splurges was a clothespin bag.

I hear the howls. Yes, I could have taken a t-shirt, hemmed the bottom, put an hanger at the top, and called it good, but Amazon is as Amazon does.

The clothespin bag reminds me—very much—of the one my grandmother made from scratch. How did the Chinese know that?

The point is this. 

Yes, I spent a bit more than I needed to, but I saved the time of making the clothesline and the clothespin bag and I am unapologetic about that.

My massive clothespin stash did not come from AmazonPrime.


The stash of 180 clothespins came from China via the Dollar Tree store and there I saved four dollars per each set of 36 clothespins.

The clothespins are of sufficient quality.

I don’t need to buy the best, “gourmet” clothespins from AmazonPrime because they are just clothespins and literally looked like the same product.

The clothesline extravaganza is not yet installed and I am OK with that.

I have a week of finals ahead of me with students and I look forward to my clothesline as a summer project.

I also want to take a stab at the do-it-yourself-from-scratch-or-die brigade.

I do not value doing everything from scratch for the sake of doing it from scratch because that is idiocy.

Although I know how to make my own pasta from scratch, I buy cheap boxed noodles because (1) they are cheaper and (2) they save me loads of time.

Be smart about prepping.

Do it yourself when there is an obvious advantage.

Buy when the advantage is negligible—as was the case with my clothesline project—or where DIY is a disadvantage.

Get a clothesline.

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