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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!!!


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