Steph has recently taken her frugal factor to the next level, after transitioning from the working world to SAHM. She has 2 beautiful girls and shares her problem solvin’ approach to parenting and life management at Problem Solvin Mom. This post was originally published on her own blog as her entry in our Blissfully Frugal contest. Be sure to read all the entries and vote for your favorite.
Hubs and I have always been frugal – we enjoy saving where we can so we can spend on the things that really matter to us. The key to being frugal for me is knowing what matters most to me and my husband – what things really make us happy, and what are necessities… In addition, it’s important that I keep in mind the value of my time. If I spend hours to save a few dollars on something that I don’t enjoy, then I’m going to get burned out. Lastly, even in the areas where we splurge we do so wisely – even though it’s a splurge I don’t want to overpay.
What things do we like to splurge on? I’m glad you asked! 😉
- traveling, both near and far
- taking advantage of the great amusement park just 20 minutes from our house
- belonging to our local YMCA
- celebrating big and little events in our lives
What things are less important to us?
- Having a big house – for me that just means more to clean. I do enjoy decorating our home and making improvements, but we do much of the work ourselves and take on projects one at a time as we have the time and money to devote to them.
- Clothes – I love clothes, but I will never be mistaken for trendy…I try to stick with pieces I really love, that fit well, and that are going to last. I love shopping at consignment shops, and for my girls we are lucky to have an excellent supply of gently worn hand me downs.
- Having the perfect car – we know what we like, but buying new is something we try and avoid at all costs. Gently broken in is much more affordable, and allows us to get a nicer car than we might have afforded if we bought it new.
How do we make sure we’re spending wisely when we splurge? We use talk to friends and search the internet before we buy. I rely heavily on menu planning and stockpiling. I cook from scratch as much as I can without stressing myself out, and freezer cook when our favorites are on sale. I keep a price book for things I use regularly so I know when I’m getting a good deal. I also follow a few sites that are a big help, including Mommy’s Wish List, Freebies 4 Mom, Inexpensively, and BabyCheapskate. Even when it comes to necessities we stockpile when a great deal comes up – for me this includes kids clothes, holiday clearance, diapers and wipes, and presents for friends and family, as long as I know I will use them.
What are your secrets to being frugal? I’d love to hear them!