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One Frugal Momma!

Alright, so check it out.

 

Image from mothering.com

Image from mothering.com

I am by far not the most frugal person in the world, but I like to save money, who doesn’t. So I try to look for things that will save me money. I’m not a crazy coupon-er that goes into a store and buys something just because I can get it for cheap, free, or because I have a coupon. I have to see a need and a use for it. I was not always this way. Over time (becoming older, That’s Wonderful!) and being married to a frugal husband has shown me the error of my ways. With six children, who range in age from teen to infant, my husband, and myself, need quit a few ‘things’. House clutter, if you know what I’m say’n. Sure, I use coupons, when I have them, and I like to use store discounts, when I can find them. The best is when you can find a source where uou can obtain your merchandise, without having to stress about either one of those other two options, if you can help it. I do not want my life to be all about money. I don’t want to have to live pay check to pay check, worrying all the time if we can pay the bills, or being house broke so we never have the option to go do anything outside the house.

Food: Like I’ve said before, I love organic. If I can get organic without breaking the bank, I will. I tend to steer clear of the non essential organics like cookies and things, though I do look for NON-GMO in those, if I can find them for a decent price. I always go for the fruits and veggies, if I can find them. I get soups and sauces, as well as condiments and such in organic as well. I get ALL of our babies’ baby food, organic. Alright so we have gone over some foods, let’s get to the where’s. I get a lot of stuff from Amazon Subscribe and Save. Recently, they just lowered the discount from 20% to 15%, but it still saves you some Benjamin’s. I shop at Costco and Sams’s when I can get there. We live two hours one way from one. Bummer! Costco has a HUGE assortment of organics. LOVE IT! Downside, you never know which ones they will have and if they will have the brands you really enjoy. Sam’s has some organics, but they have a lot of other items you can get if you like to buy in bulk.

Meat and Eggs: Living where we live, farm country, we have amazing avenues for farm fresh eggs and meats. Thank you farmers! We know a couple, especially one family, that is our go to people in this department. They do not treat with hormones, feed them how they should be feed, and are very humane to their animals. They taste unbelievable! And the price?, the price fits right into our budget. A little higher then say Walmart, but the quality is so much higher, so it’s worth that extra couple of bucks.

Clothes, Shoes, Toys, House hold items, Ect: I buy used whenever I can. Yes, it’s super awesome to have new, but not necessary. My kid’s aren’t going to die, if they don’t have the newest new pair of shoes or jeans that cost a hundred dollars a pair. I just wait and within a month people turn around and sell those for 80% off of what they paid. That also goes for electronics, games, toys, appliances, tools, yard items, kitchen items, you name it. Our family does a lot of garage sailing. In the summer we go as a family. It helps the kid’s to see first hand how much they can actually save and how there really is no difference when you buy used. The bonus comes in when they are actually looking for an item and they find it for a fraction of the price. They get so excited. I also buy the majority of the clothes for myself used. I don’t mind for a second. You do have to be wise and look carefully at what you are buying. Asking LOTS of questions so you will have very few, if any, surprises when you get home.

Non Used Clothes and Items: When I can’t find used, I either trade or go clearance. We also look to trade as much as we can. What? What are you talking about? We have pizza and Tony runs a computer business, so when we can, we look to trade. If I’m looking to buy used clothes or toys for the kid’s or am looking to purchase something used I opt for that option when it’s available. Saves me and it saves the other party because I give them a discount. Either the pizza or the computer repair. As far as clearance goes, I look for a percentage off coupon and then hit the racks that are $5 and under. Yep, I said $5. If I can not find any, then we wait. I look seasons in advice. There again, that is why I may look like a hoarder, when in actuality, I am saving money by buying ahead, and saving for the next little one to grow into that size. GO ME!!

Out To Eat and Entertainment: We choose not to go out to eat much at all for two reasons. One, it’s expensive and Two, it’s really unhealthy and not organic. We also do not do much in the form of going out entertainment. We will do the “buy one get one free movie” at the movie theater a couple of times a year, and we will rent from red box when I find a coupon for a free rental and if we find a decent movie, goodness sakes. Other then that, we we purchase digital movie downloads, as well as our Net flicks account. Cable: We also do not have cable and have opted instead for a ROKU. Yes, it is an up front cost, but it saves so much money in the long run. We do not have the most up to date shows, but over time you never notice anyways and you start to realize how much time you were actually wasting in front of that stupid thing anyways. Phone: We have an internet phone. It is called OOMA. It works great for our family and saves us big time. Because we own our own business, our cell phones are used mainly for that, and our company pays for that.

Cars and Trucks: We own ALL of our three cars outright. They’re not the prettiest things, but they are ours. We are not slaves to any lenders for these babies. If you are looking to purchase a vehicle, again, buy used. Have a mechanic that you know and trust inspect it, thoroughly looking it over. That inspection will be worth the money you shell out ahead of time, and it will save you so much money in the long run.

House: Our house. Let me start by saying we owe a debt on our house, unfortunately. That Sucks Big Time! Bright side! We pay a decent amount extra, every month, so we can pay it down faster. I’m hoping for winning the lottery, but because I don’t buy a ticket, I think my odds just went way down. When we were looking to buy a house, we first had to qualify with “the bank”, money suckers. Just kidding. It’s our own fault we had to get a loan. After we got qualified and found out how much we qualified for, we sat down together and decided we were not going to go anywhere close to the top of that qualification number. We wanted to be at the lowest end that we could, with the amenities that we wanted. Now the search was on. We found one just a hair above the bottom qualifying number. AMEN! Was it our dream house? Nope, but it met what we needed and we were ok with that, because we did not want to be house broke. What do I recommend? Don’t look at something you can’t or choose not to afford. Stay away from those king size candy bars, if you can only afford the normal sized, or snack sized one, my grandma always says. Great advice, Grandma! It will just leave you longing for more. Disappointed with what you have, covetous, jealous, bitter, and just plan unhappy. As they sing, “Let It Go”, or at least my daughter does!

Diapering and Infant Feeding: I already touched on this on another post, so I will be quick. Yes, I cloth diaper. I purchased them from retailer in New York who was willing to give me a once in a lifetime discount. Just that once and just for me, for brand new ones. It would end up being cheaper then buying used. Again, GO ME! I talked it over with Tony and we invested. To this day we have saved big time not only on money, but on the chemicals that would have been soaking into our babies skin from the disposable diapers. Yuck! We also make our own wipes and I breastfed and am still breastfeeding our youngest to this day. All of these are HUGE money savers. If you can, this will save you oodles.

Beauty and Cleaning Items: As much as we can, we make our own natural products. With kid’s getting into everything we were tired of the dangers that store bought chemicals brought to our kid’s, so we went natural. It’s Amazing! We Love It! No more disgusting man made crap seeping into our kid’s or us. Praise GOD! On the downside, I have not found any natural makeup I like, rather that my extremely sensitive skin likes. UGH! I break out if I even look at anything oily. That’s So, Ghetto! I hate it, but this is the hand GOD dealt me. Yeah I know my parents had a thing or two to do with it, and that environmental things come into play as well, so I need to make the best of it and deal. Thanks mom and dad! Just kidding. Though, I would have loved to do without the acne. That being said, I use the natural soap we make on my face, body, and hair. You can find our online store at, purewhiteside.com. We currently have many varieties available, including shampoo bars, and our fantastic acne bar. I purchase store bought items for make-up and hair care products. I look around finding ones that best suit my needs and then I hone in on the price. I research on-line, in store, ect, until I find a price I am willing to pay.

Companies you purchase from: Companies are out for money. We all know that and that is why it’s extremely important that you be your own advocate. Just like at the doctor, you need to stand up and voice your concerns and praises. If you are overjoyed with a product, let them know. If their product sucks, let them know. Research, research, research, before you buy. We work very hard for our money and we will not spend our money on something that is a piece of crap, especially if they are claiming the opposite, and we will not allow a company to intimidate us or not be held accountable for their products. You need to take responsibility for purchasing the item as well though. Pick your battles. Look at it logically and analyze whether it is worth it to you, to fight that battle.

With all this money that I am saving what will I do with it? My father in-law is all about the stock market. Invest, Invest, Invest, for your retirement so that when you are 65 you do not have to worry about working as a greeter at Walmart, he always says. Smart Man! I totally agree. If I would just be able to figure out how to do that. Tony’s dad is patient and shows us how and where are the right places to invest. Thank You, Big D! Sorry, It’s a Whiteside Secret! I’m not at liberty to disclose the deep intel on the Whiteside stock investment plan, but I can tell you that it has taken his dad a whole lot of time, effort and loss for this to be put together for us, and we appreciate it. Also, that it’s important for all of us to think about investing. We also believe strongly in the Dave Ramsey program. We have an emergency fund and a six month savings fund for the “Just In Case”, “Oh No” kind of things. YIKES, I hate those! But, they happen so my advice as well, be prepared so that when, not if, when they come, your ready.

There is so much more that I could cover, but possibly in another post. Bottom line. No one likes being poor, working to only pay the bills, or having no money at all. POINT: No one is going to watch over, and take care of your money like you do. So, you need to do it! Allowing companies to take care of YOUR money can and will cost you big time. GOD gave you resources, use them wisely, with wisdom, knowledge and understand. It’s not about being tightfisted, or open handed. It’s about having the wisdom to know the balance. Happy Saving!

Mandy

2 Comments:

  1. Wow, nice write up on the Whiteside investment plan. I didn’t think anyone would write about it, great job!
    Big D

  2. You’re a good steward of the funds God has entrusted you with

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