As soon as a baby enters our world everything changes. We no longer have the extra funds to eat out, nor do we have the energy. After all, isn’t just finding time to take a shower a feat that makes us smile from ear to ear?
I don’t find it necessary to be an extreme couponer to be frugal. While I would truly love the idea of being able to dedicate the kind of time, focus, and dedication it requires to take couponing to that level of success that makes you post a picture on Facebook of your stash and the fact that it only cost you 27 cents. I just don’t have it it me. My motivations lie elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very organized person…in fact, a little tidbit about me since it’s my first post, I am OCD…truly, I’ve been diagnosed as having OCD. What do I do about it you ask? Nothing. I am not a fan of medicating, and I’m not one of those all-natural homeopathic types either. I just believe in the healthiest living possible, and for me, that means riding out sickness, the quirks (which is what I consider my OCD), or the pain. I’m not over-the-top OCD where I have to check and recheck our window locks before bedtime, but I do like my towels straight, and things orderly. That is certainly not to say my house is never a mess. I have a four and a five year old, AND a husband…which is an even bigger issue than the preschoolers, as I was not the one who trained the husband. Believe me…I have spent the last 13-1/2 years trying. He is not trainable. The damage was done long ago and cannot be fixed.
I digress. For me, finding my frugal side has consisted of several key things. I’ll cover five today, and hopefully they will inspire you to find your frugal side.
1) Never dine out or order in during the week. Not ever. It may seem easy but it’s costly and far less healthy to swing by a drive-through. Cook yourself…they don’t always have to be gourmet meals, but prepare all three meals yourself.
2) Launder and iron your own clothes; savings can be monumental by eliminating dry cleaning services.
3) Seek out produce outlets and farm markets for your fruits, vegetables, and even some dairy products. They will likely be organic, or if not, then much closer to it than you will find at your local grocer. These types of fresh produce outlets are typically around one quarter of the cost of supermarket produce sections.
4) Dining out once in a while is okay, but sometimes it’s even more special to have a special meal right at home. Set up candles on the deck and make a meal together with your husband or kids. Or sit back and let them prepare one for you. Memories made. Very rarely is one of your fondest memories a night out at a restaurant, but a special night in just may be…and it will save you money!
5) Kids Consignment!! Shopping for kids’ clothes on consignment is a fabulous way to save as much as 50-90% off retail. If you can find a reputable semi-annual kids consignment sale in your area, you will be able to shop each season for what you need. Most seasonal consignment sales are held once in the spring/summer and once in the fall/winter. For me, this has been the greatest blessing! I began shopping these sales, then I started consigning my kids’ outgrown gently used items at these sales. Wow! It was amazing. I was basically trading up for the next season’s wardrobe by selling what the kids had outgrown and buying what they needed. It was a win-win! The last sale I consigned at, I sold $1,200 worth of stuff at the standard 60% consignor rate that was a whopping $720 cash in hand. Granted I spent $500…but still.
If you are in the Northern New Jersey, Northeastern PA, or Orange County, NY Areas, check out this new sale coming to your area in fall 2012: Tiny Treasures Kids Consignment Sale.
Thank you so much for reading! Please bookmark my page and follow along as I chronicle the life of a domestic diva and her two tiny treasures.