I didn't have a plan (as I often don't) and I also didn't have $350. But the first opportunity presented itself quickly enough. At my local Coles supermarket there is a lovely lady who works at the self serve counter who is ALWAYS smiling and chatting to customers. Every time I come through she chats to Emma and Harry, makes sure they don't run out of the store (as they are prone to) and is generally nice to be around. So as I left, I handed a little box of chocolates in at the front desk, asking the staff member to give it to her when I had left, and included a little note that wished her a great day and thanked her for her kindness.
I can't tell you how good that felt. I didn't wait for acknowledgement or thank you, but just knowing that it would make her smile made me feel on top of the world. So that was Monday. Tuesday I made some cookies and anonymously left a plate of them at Emma's Preschool for the teachers to share. This was a hard one, because people are always coming and going, and unfortunately they caught me out at the end of the day and I had to admit it was me who left the cookies. Not quite what I imagined, but nice to show them I appreciate what they do. Wednesday was a little harder because I wanted to do something again for someone that I didn't know.
I printed off a bunch of inspirational quotes (these are free printables you can find here; extraordinary, rain , sunshine) on photo paper and stuck them in envelopes and into letter boxes. Some were people I knew, some were people I didn't. I love mail and I thought it was nice for people to open an envelope to find it wasn't a bill or marketing stuff but something to make them smile. The one friend (hello if you're reading this Sally) who I tried this out on was so curious about who left it for her that I admitted it was me. For the others, we drove round looking for houses that looked like kids lived there. Emma and Harry would be staring out their car windows and suddenly yell out 'Ball!" or 'Swings' and I would pull over and drop the envelope in their letterbox.
Thursday we left $2 on a couple of the ride ons outside my local Kmart. I can't tell you how often I get to these, having promised Emma and Harry they could have a ride, only to find I didn't have any coins. So, I left some behind. The family that used one were riding while we had our lunch - I could hear their oldest girl saying 'This is amazing!' and 'I can't believe it's free!!!'.
And Friday we bagged up books and clothes that I'd been planning to sell on Gumtree or eBay and took them to a shelter in Gosford. Some were new things we'd never used or read, others were used but in great condition. What the shelter didn't take we took to a local op shop.
And you know what? I felt better. Sure the things that were on my mind at the beginning of the week are still there, but I feel better. I'm not sharing for applause, I'm sharing cause it was fun and it might be something you could do to. And Emma and I had a great conversation about giving to people who don't have all the 'things' we have, and about doing things for people without needing something in return.
So no real Thrifty Thursday today, just something that's been going on with me that I wanted to share. Hope it makes you smile...
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