Thursday, July 17, 2008

Freezer Cooking and Frugal Living Part 2

Now let's talk about frugal living.

I learned how to be frugal from my mom. She made me shop K-mart’s blue light specials when I was a kid! But I’m over that now :o) Whenever I wanted something, she would always ask “do you really need that?” Or, she would say,” how does it feel to want?”. Oh, that would just kill me as a kid. I would try to come up with some way of making it seem like I did NEED it. But it never worked. And yes, now I do that to my own kids :o)
She instilled in me that I only had to buy the things I needed. And now before I buy almost anything I have to be able to completely justify the purchase. It drives me crazy sometimes but I know in the end it does our checking account and I a lot of good.

When I go shopping at stores (not grocery stores, but all the other ones, like T*rget, W*alm*art, etc...) I only shop sales and clearance racks, but mostly just the clearance racks. And I am not talking about the 15% off racks. I only do the 50% off or more racks. When I walk into a store, no matter what store, I go straight to the clearance racks. I have learned to spot them a mile away! I don’t even look at the rest of the stuff. Why would I even want to tempt myself that way?

I also have limits on what I will spend on certain items. For instance, I will not spend more than $7 on shirts for myself. If it’s more than that than it stays on the rack. I will not spend more than $20 on pants, and this includes all my jeans that I buy at Gap (that’s the only place where they make them to fit me). Shorts and skirts will not be bought unless they are under $10. I have set these limits for myself because I know I can find clothes at these prices at the places I shop. They are not unreasonable for me or for our budget. This is just for me I know that other people can budget more for clothing or need to spend more and that is fine. Remember this is just how I do it.

OK, so this just happened to me the other day. I was at Target, surprise surprise, and I was going through the clearance racks in the girls section looking for birthday presents for my nieces. They all love clothes and I can always find great stuff at Target. Anyways, I came upon the cutest shirt that was in Gillian’s size. I knew it would look great with a pair of shorts that she has. Now let me say that Gillian is the only kid I have to buy clothes for. Emma gets all hand me downs and loves it! The problem was that the shirt was $6.50. I put it in my cart thinking I could just splurge this once because it was a cute shirt and then I tried to justify it by saying that since it was sleeveless baby doll type shirt it would keep her nice and cool during thee hot days and it’s important for her to stay cool because if she gets to hot she could have a seizure. Yeah, nice way of trying to rationalize that one! But I kept feeling that nudge to put it back. The kid really did not need a new shirt no matter how cute it was and especially at that price. So I finally put it back. And I did find 2 other great dresses for my nieces and each one was under $5!!
OK, so fast forward a week and I find myself at Target again. A different Target :o) I went to the girls clearance rack again looking for all the 4th of July clothes I knew would be 50% off. Can I just stop here and say that the after holiday sales at Target rock! I always find the greatest things. And if you wait until 6 days past the holiday the stuff goes to 75% off and eventually 90% off! Even their seasonal stuff! OK, back to my story….So I am going through the racks again and what do I spot? Yep, that same shirt and it’s in Gilly’s size again. I was dying. So I looked at the price tag and what did it say? $3.24!!! Half the price of the original marked down price! So I bought it because I knew God was blessing me for being a good steward of my money.

I always say that if God wants me to have it it will still be there when it’s cheaper :o)

I do have one little problem though, I love bargains. I mean love bargains. Finding something that is marked down 90% that will look good in my life is awesome! But this can be a bad thing, because I would buy all the stuff I liked that was marked down. You know how excited you are when you find a great deal and you’re telling everyone about it and you ‘re like I just saved $10 on this thing I bought! Well, my father in law would say, “You would have saved $10 more if you hadn’t bought it all!” Ya, I guess that is true. So Now I have trained myself to think, “Just because it is a great deal does not mean I have to buy it”. Really think about your purchase before you make it. No matter how little it cost, you still need to be able to justify the purchase as a need.

Tomorrow I will get into couponing!! So Stay tuned :o)


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