Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Being Frugal, Clothes, and Friends

Recession hit at our house about 2 years ago. I fell at work and it's been a spiral downward ever since. However, I have learned a few things.

One, I'm not alone and I have made friends who are having to be frugal for one reason or another. I can't tell you what having friends who can swap stories with me has done for me through this recession time at our house. I was mistaken with the belief that as a teacher that my job was pretty well recession-proof - didn't take into account that a really serious injury would occur. Oops. So, to all my lady friends out there who have become my friends through my selling on Etsy, getting on Facebook, getting on Twitter, and blogging - well, I love you guys. You brighten my days. So, to those reading, whether it's me or someone else, engage with others through your blog, tweeting, commenting on Facebook, joining Twitter Moms - no matter how you do it, making those connections will enrich your life, believe me.

Two, I've learned a lot more about Ebay and buying the wee ones clothes this way since I fell. It has been a fantastic experience (the buying his clothes - not the fall). I must say that he now wears more designer clothes than ever, but at garage sale to Walmart prices. So, in effect, he dresses better than ever for less money than ever and I don't even have to drive aka I don't have to spend gas.

Also, I'm quite spoiled as there is an Outlet Mall in Vicksburg with some great children's stores from: The Gap, Carters, Gymboree, Children's Place, and Osh Kosh. Plus, there's the Bass store and the Reebok store for buying his shoes. I'm so spoiled rotten and my wee one dresses very well. I already didn't feel the force of having to pay full retail - those who know me best know I don't do full retail. My wedding dress was even on sale at like 75% off, and it was even the one I wanted.

Then, I subscribe to many many stores' emails. So, from the Outlet stores' emails that sometimes have coupons to various retail stores around the country that have online stores, I am set up very well in taking care of my wee one without ever leaving the house, well no farther than walking to the mailbox or an occasional trip to the Outlet Mall. I don't necessarily open every single email, RU kidding?? I get a good 100 emails a day, I scan titles and open emails when it is relevant. Some I don't delete and don't read and then open them before making a trip to Vicksburg. For instance, this past weekend we had to make a vitamin run to the Outlet Mall's natural vitamin store, so I scanned my emails for the Vitamin Store's email checking for coupons. Sure enough, I got $10 off my vitamins and supplements, because I took the time to check my emails. Hubs has to dress nice for work, so guess where we stop when we make a run to the outlet mall?? Van Heusen of course. His dress pants, shirts, and ties are all Van Heusen. Why go to a regular mall and pay full retail for Van Heusen quality when we can go to the Outlet Mall. Hubs picked up a new long sleeve button up for work for $14 while I was getting my vitamins. That $14 price was lower than the regular everyday low price at Van Heusen - they were having a sale. I'll have to share some of my favorite online shops' links another day.

Three, for the time being, while I am at home searching for a job and continuing to get stronger, I am good to go in a pair jeans and a good T.

Four, there's plenty to do that doesn't require a bunch of money. I remember spending many countless hours at my grandparents' homes as a child - making mudpies, riding bikes, and finding cool rocks with fossils in the driveway could keep me amused time after time. So, as much as I would love to have my wee one's world full of museums and such right now, just being at home is ok. We tie dyed shirts on the
4th of July and he had a blast. We changed from staying at a resort for our vacation to pulling out the ole tent and packing some tomatoes for tomato sandwiches. I don't foresee us going back to just staying at the resort once a year. As long as we have an air mattress, electricity to run the fan and camping lights, and plenty of bug spray for spraying the campsite and then plenty of bug repellant to spray us, then I see us camping plenty more over the years, just not when its 100 degrees outside.

We've made some alterations to the way we do things, but even after the recession at our house is over, I'll keep doing these new frugal things that we now do. I even freeze leftovers when there's only enough for one or two people. Freeze leftovers from several meals and you have enough for a whole family's meal. A deep freezer is on the 'get asap' list. We fish and freeze the fish. When we went camping, instead of going out to eat at our typical fancy restaurants, we caught fish from the gulf to bring home. I find it absolutely fantastic to catch fresh fish from the ocean to bring home. Here's the cool part, with a little fishing gear, and a saltwater fish book, then you can have numerous fun family outings while camping for very little money. Our son already has fish stories that he won't ever forget and so do we and it's only the first summer that we've camped at the coast. We have more seashells than we know what to do with - beachcombing, yet another fun family thing to do that is free.

I think there will come a time when I've recovered from my injury, have a job again, and can look back on this time............well, perhaps one day I will be able to look back and smile knowing God taught me how to stretch a dollar to new amazing lengths of stretching. In the meantime, I am asking for prayers for those of you who pray....I need to continue to get better, hurt less, and find a job very soon - whether I get to work online from home or drive somewhere - I'm open to what God's plan may be. I know I would love to work from home, but I'm open to God's plan. I keep praying and doing my best to listen.

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