Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Art of Being Cheap Miserly Frugal

In these times of financial hardship (recession) it's becoming increasingly difficult to get by-especially when you are committed to living on one income. Living on one income is not an easy task. There are times when I feel tempted to throw in the homeschooling towel, send the kids down to the (free) public school and go to work. I could definitely make enough-even with my limited earning capacity-to pay for daycare for my youngest and clear a little bit of profit. But, if I do that I will not be happy. For our family, in this time it is God's will that I stay home with my children and torture homeschool them! I truly believe this. (**Note: I do NOT believe that this is God's will for every family or that every family is supposed to homeschool--Nor do I believe at all that it is a sin for children to go to Public Schools or PRivate school!!!! Please do not think I'm saying that.)

So, I am left with the responsibility of making the money go further. That is my earning power if you will. (I "earn" money by saving it) Sometimes I don't do so well-usually when I've tried so hard for so long not to spend frivolously and then I start getting a bad case of the dt's and end up on a spending binge. Now, before you think I buy all manner of things for myself that are totally frivolous and fluff...I don't. I generally stick to the children's department-that is my drug of choice. I also stick to sale/clearance racks. So, I guess I should say that my drug of choice is children's sale racks. The only problem is that usually I save us so much money we're broke.

My husband dreads the word "clearance" like some men dread the news that their wife is having an affair. When I say "Honey. Look, this was on clearance" He gets this terrified look on his face.
At this point I've lost him. He loses all sense of how exciting the kill is. He (like most men) just does not get the thrill of the hunt. It's not that I bought something but that it was less than it originally was!

Back to frugality...There are many resources out there, such as (which goes along with a book called Miserly Moms)and Now, some of the tips in these lovely ladies' books and websites are wonderful and helpful. Others...I just can't go there. Such as making your own sanitary products. And keeping the, ahem, used ones in a bucket in the bathroom (the bucket would have vinegar and water I believe). Ummm, ewwww! I can just see me greeting guests "And if you need to use the restroom, don't mind the's my monthly time"
Not a good thing to greet your guests with.
That is just one example of the extreme(ly gross) ideas in some of the resources for saving.

Another thing that I will not do is make a list of every possible food I ever will think about buying and keeping track of the price at each store. My time is worth something, right? (Besides, who can do that with 3 kids with you in the store??)

Some that bear thinking about:
1) Taking your lunch with you rather than eating out. If you're going for an outing that you know will have you out during a meal time take a meal with you. It's also healthier.
2) Coupons combined with sale items.
3) Arranging your errands so that you don't waste gas on your trips out.
4) Budgeting of course.
5) Cooking and freezing things in advance (ie-making your own "convenience" foods)

This is just the beginning of getting back into some of these mindsets for me-and my family. We did it for a while and then got caught up in life (and honestly, a little bit of the "Keeping up with the Jones'" mentality) and let it we are seeing where that got us. I don't know how the Jones' are doing, but we do not enjoy debt.


GinaB said...

Dont bother trying to keep up with the Jones..they're broke.

-john macarther:)

mainehappymama said...

Hey Cara....we are doing all those sorts of things too (and more!) so if you come up with any other good ones let me know! We are broke...I mean sell things on Craigslist to make enough money for groceries broke, but....I wouldn't trade this time with the boys for anything. This too shall pass....right??

carebear7951 said...

Colleen-so they say! ;)

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