I’m Frugal When it Comes To……

{Image from Green Mom}

I had dinner with my mama friends Saturday night and we started talking about saving money on food each week. One of my girlfriends is a coupon queen, I just can’t get into the whole couponing thing, more power to her!! And let’s face it, I’ve never been what anyone would call frugal but since most of our marriage has been a one income household (either me working or Cary working) I have had to learn the hard way how to be frugal…….at least somewhat. This changed drastically after having a child. It is amazing how much something that only weighs around 10 lbs. can cost!!!

I thought I would compile a list of ways I do try to cut corners and ask for some help from my readers of ways they cut corners as well!

1. Children: I wrote a post earlier this year on saving money with children and one of the main ways we save is cloth diapering. I said in my post how much we save a month especially in those early months when you seem to change diapers every 5 minutes. The up front cost for brand new cloth diapers was around $350 for us. That was a big chunk of our baby budget but the money we have saved not buying disposable diapers each month has totally paid for the up front cost, it really paid for itself in about 4-5 months. True, our water bill and electric went up slightly because we wash them every night but not nearly as much as you would think. Also in my post I talked a little about making all of Hoke’s food, never buying jarred baby food, this saved a ton! Now Hoke only eats what we eat. That brings me to my next “frugal” point…..

2. Food: Cary and I watched Food Inc. about 3 years ago and drastically changed the way we eat. Granted, having a child does leave more room for “convenience foods” that have crept back into our diets but for the most part we try to only eat whole, natural foods. This is much more expensive then the normal Western diet. I love all thing Michael Pollan and if you don’t know who he is please google him and start reading. One thing Michael suggests is shopping the periphery of the store instead of the inner isles. The inner isles are where most of the coupons are used though…..so you have to be very careful in your planning and stick to your list! That is the main way I keep our budget down.

3. Decorating: I can’t say I can do everything in this blog post, but I love her tip on decorating with what you have. She mentions hanging hats by the door that you use regularly but are also fun, instant art! Yes this may sound cheesy but really if you think about it it’s kind of genius! I try to do a lot of decorating with things we already have. We also never buy something to fill up space. Cary and I have very particular tastes, some may think our house looks a bit strange but it’s exactly what we like and we have collected things over the years that we love and want to keep. We have antiques that we looked around for months for, we have higher priced items we saved for but we also have simple items like Hoke’s crib we purchased from IKEA for under $100. Hoke’s nursery post is here. We did his entire nursery for under $500 and It is my favorite room in the house!

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4. Clothes: Oh clothes, dear sweet, beautiful clothes…..do you remember me? We once had such good times together, I would spend unspeakable amounts of money on you and you would in turn make me feel like a million dollars…..yes that was before I realized, peanut butter will destroy silk and sequins don’t hold up at the park! Yep, expensive clothes are no longer important when you stay home with a child so where does 90% (ok let’s be honest 110%) of my wardrobe come from…..Target….and Target sales I might add. Oh and Forever 21. Did you know you can get a tank top at Forever 21 for $1.80??? Come on….Hoke can cover it in peanut butter after I wear it 5 minutes, who cares it was $2!!! Most of our clothing budget is spent on him now and I like to ask for clothes as gifts for the most part since he enjoys boxes more than expensive toys right now anyway. And I still have all those expensive clothes…..we just only hang out about once every 2 months.

So there are 4 small areas I try to save money, as you can see I could use some help and ANY and ALL advise is welcome! How do you stay frugal when you love love LOVE expensive things???

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