Skip to main content

Frugally Extravagant

My parents were here for A's baptism last weekend. Sunday morning we sat down for breakfast and my mom blurted out "You are a lot like Grandma P." Now, my grandmother is a wonderful woman, but she has a few character flaws that are the first things family members think of when they think of Grandma P. So, I had to pry, "How am I like Grandma?" My mom kept on saying to forget it. She must have forgotten I was stubborn. Finally, she said "You're frugal." I laughed . . . that's it???? That is not bad at all (and necessary when you live in the metro DC area, have three children, I stay home and my husband works for the Church).

Now, you must know. I have expensive taste. I love nice things!! But we are on a tight budget and do not have money to spend on extravagant things. So, if there is something we want or need, I do a bunch of research and try to get it for as cheap as possible.

Here are just some examples of my frugality. Again, it is not a bad thing. Most of the items I got at a discount, or free, are "designer items" or items we could easily do with out.

- Our minivan . . . did tons of research and paid thousands less for ours than any other we had seen with same mileage, year and equipment (we have had it for two years now, so we know it was not a lemon!!)
- Double jogging stroller ($500 new) . . . got new at a discount store for $150
- My sons motorized Jeep that he can ride in . . . freecycle
- Great new kitchen table . . . . freecycle
- Baby sling that everyone says is beautiful and costs $80 . . . $20 from diaperswappers
- Phil and Ted Double Stroller ($600 new) . . . craigslist for $110
- Mamas and Papas Pliko stroller in like new condition ($300 new) . . . $6.99 at a thrift store
- Nursing Cover, just like a $40 Hooter Hider . . . made it myself!!

These are just some examples. But, I rarely buy big items new unless we have to. Right now I am searching for an entertainment center on Craigslist. We get a bunch of free clothing from friends for the boys and we get clothes for ourselves at the thrift store. It is amazing what good things you can find there! I do buy new clothes occasionally, but only when it is on sale.

I will often sell things too . . . you know I do it a lot, when my 5 year old sees me with something and asks me if I am going to sell it. Old furniture we do not use; sell it. Old books; sell them (sometimes donate them). Any item I think someone else may pay money for and it is just around cluttering our house; sell it (J is afraid I am going to sell his toys . . . I am not that bad!!). Doing this has allowed me to buy a curriculum to home school my son with (all cheaply on ebay!), cloth diapers for K and A (used ones of course), and it has allowed me to splurge on grocery items like organic eggs, organic milk, and organic fruits and veggies, that would normally be too extravagant for our budget.

I guess being like Grandma is not a bad thing after all!!!


Popular posts from this blog

The Gift (Our NFP story) Part 2

(You can read  Part 1 here

     So, by the time Andrew was 18 months old, we knew God was saying no to having more children at the time.  And, as mentioned before, He provided so much peace about it, that we knew we had discerned correctly.  Yet, even with that peace, I had to mourn the fact the we might not ever have any more children.  Yes, we were still open to life, of course, but from the time after Andrew’s birth, until today, we practiced NFP faithfully to avoid pregnancy.  And it took time to accept that we might not have any more children.  There were times when I would hold a friend’s new born baby and then go home and cry because I knew I might not ever know the joy of holding my own baby again.  We live in a community where life is celebrated and families are large.  Usually more than one friend is pregnant at a time.  In those early days, each pregnancy announcement was met with great joy for the friend, but often left me with an empty feeling.  I understood, in many way…

The Gift (Our NFP story) Part I

(I started writing this post months ago, but have not had time to refine it and finish it.  I have felt the need to hit "publish" lately though.  Maybe it is because Hope is too quickly approaching 12 months old and my desire to share it's sentiments would be lost soon. Or maybe it is because this week is the March for Life and the sacredness of life is before me in a precious little girl and I want to remember that, in words, here.  But whatever the reason, here is our story of seeking God's will and and being open to life.)

Shortlyafter we announced that we wereexpectingbaby Hope, I felt that I needed to share ourNFPstory.  Partially, it was because we had so many people say thingslike, "What a miracle!" or share stories of how people they knew were infertile, adopted and then had a baby of their own, thatI feltthat many people probably got the wrong idea about why we had three boys, waited a while and adopted and then found out we were expecting a baby wh…

Yonanas and a yummy protein chocolate peanut butter ice cream

I have to admit, I have a sweet tooth.  A big sweet tooth.  I blame it on genetics.  My dad loves sweets and I think my grandmother, his mother, subsisted only on foods that contained sugar.  But, when you are working on eating healthy and bringing the whole family along with you, things like ice cream, cookies and cakes have to replaced by something better.

So, when Lena from JOYfilled family posted about the Yonanas she got, I wanted to try it!  Yonanas makes "ice cream" from frozen bananas.  I have heard of making "ice cream" this way before and I have tried it in our blended, but it usually came out quite liquidy.  So, when we got a gift card for Amazon, I knew exactly what I wanted to buy.

I have used the Yonanas several times and I love it!!  The consistency of the "ice cream" is very smooth, light and creamy.  My 4 year old, who is a very picky eater, loves his new "ice cream."  Now, my older boys could not be fooled . . . they immediatel…