A Work In Progress

Reflections Of A Mommy & Homemaker

A Little Lesson In Self Control (and frugality) March 9, 2008

Filed under: Stewardship,Uncategorized — briem @ 11:28 pm

Today, I took a little trip to our neighborhood grocery store to well…umm…buy groceries. I had a very tight budget because my husband got really sick and missed close to a week of work (right now he is working a temp job, and when you get sick, you don’t get paid). I had to get some food to last us until his next payday. So I frugally went around trying by best to get nutritious (and dirt cheap!) food. Everything was going good until I approached the bakery section. And let me tell you, I LOVE ME SOME BAKERY! Especially at our neighborhood grocery store. They have these homeade (or should I say storemade) cookies that litteraly melt in your mouth. I love them. They also tempt you buy giving you a whole cookie as a sample. Let me tell you that their marketing works, because I took a whole box that they sell which was priced at $4.00. I was so happy! I had been craving something this sweet and good for like a few days.

Well, as I carried along with my grocery shopping, all the while trying to be the frugal shopper, I realized that, considering my budget, I may have not been making the best decision with my cookie purchase. I realized that those cookies costs almost the same amount as the whole chicken I put in my cart that would last us at least a couple days. But then I thought, “I need these!!! Gosh, they are sooo good! I can’t wait to go home and eat like…ALL OF THEM! (You may ask if I really had this conversation in my head. I did, no lie.) But after some conviction set in (and many minutes of debating) I decided that with this particular shopping trip, I was not being wise with my money.

So, I went home cookieless, having learn a lesson in self control. Was it hard? Yes…I love those cookies! But I did leave that store holding my head up high proud that I resisted my temptation…and no cookie can beat that 🙂


My Love Of Thrift Stores March 7, 2008

Filed under: Stewardship — briem @ 12:43 am

I am sure you guys know this, but thrift stores are the best place to buy kids clothes!!! I started shopping at thrift stores for both of my son’s clothes way before they were even born. The reason why it is so economical to go “thrift” with the kids clothes is because kids only wear their clothes for such a short time, then it either goes in storage or to your friendly neighborhood thrift store 😉

Some thrift stores are definetly better than others, and some tend to carry a wider selection of kids clothes. You may need to do some looking around at various thrift stores in your area to find out where the best stores are at for your specific needs.

Here are some tips:

1. Most thrift stores have sales on certain days. Many times they label each item of clothing with a colored tag, then on certain days in the week they will have a sale for specific colored tags. For example, “Friendly Thrift” is having a 50% off sale on all green tagged items. You pick up a green tagged shirt that is $3.00. At checkout, your shirt will be $1.50! Whohoo! Try your best to go on sale days to get the best deal!

2. Thoroughly check your items. Look carefully at the clothing and check for any noticable stains, tears & holes. Even though this can be more time consuming, it will ensure that you purchase good quality clothing with your hard earned money.

3. Remember that the clothes have most likely been worn and washed before. Therefore, you may possibly have to make size adjustments. For example, if you are shopping for your 6 month old, depending on the kind of fabric, you may want to go up a size…especially if the item is cotton. However, some fabric blends stay true to the size no matter how many times you wash it.

4. Shop in advance. When I used to live in California, I found the best thrift store in the world for childrens clothing. One time in particular, I found a whole bunch of adorable 18 month clothing that was dirt cheap. I felt like it would be forever before my then 6 month old son would be able to wear it, so I debated whether I should buy the clothes. Well, I decided to buy the items in the end and boy was I glad I did! Those months flew by so fast he was in them before I knew it.  * I do suggest that you have a strict budget before you go into the store, especially if you plan to shop ahead. Even though the clothes are cheap, it can quickly add up if you are not paying attention!

5. After your finish with the clothes, neatly pack them away for your next little one, donate them to charity, or if you need some extra cash, post the used clothes on craigslist (www.craigslist.com). I have actually made all my money back on items by posting them on craigslist. Now that’s a way to be super frugal!

By the way, if you think that by shopping at a thrift store your child will be dressed in dingy looking clothes, I actually believe the opposite is quite true. Most of the time, I found good quality, name brand clothing for my boys. And, most of the time they looked brand new! Tommorrow I will try and post some pics of my children wearing cute thrift store finds. Many times people complemented my on my children’s clothes and I had only spent like $2.00 on the whole outfit!