New frugal mamas thread? - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > New frugal mamas thread?
girlndocs's Avatar girlndocs 02:55 AM 08-29-2004
Anybody up for it?

Actually I just needed an excuse to brag about my find o'the freaking decade: an opera-length strand of vintage faux pearls. They're glass, so heavy! and the luster is just gorgeous. I keep running them through my fingers to watch the light play on them Guess how much I paid? A DOLLAR. I am so jazzed! Now I just need an excuse to wear them! They'd look gorgeous with the black velvet dress from Goodwill I've never worn either ... :LOL

But we found more practical things this weekend too: a glass pitcher (to replace the plastic one we kept our OJ in), some good cheap CDs, a Rodale Press Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies, lots of textured, cream-colored fabric to cover my nursing chair with, a pair of comfy boots that should fit ds just right by cold weather. Our friend Jim took home a wooden filing cabinet the seller said *he* bought from the Milwaukee Railroad Co. Total wad blown, about $20.

Anybody else finding good stuff this weekend?

ja mama's Avatar ja mama 03:27 AM 08-29-2004
Last weekend I found some Lodge brand cast iron skillets, an 8" and a 10" for 5$ at a garage sale. I am totally excited by that. And a nightstand for ds's room for three dollars. We sanded and painted it and dh made a drawer for it, and it looks great!!!
root*children's Avatar root*children 07:44 PM 08-29-2004
Thanks for starting a new one. I was thinking of doing the same for the new season
We had kinda a dissappointing yardsaling day. A couple neat kids books, a kid bike that needs some elbow grease, blah, blah. I just get so bummed when I drive the stinkin 45 min. just to get into town (which means getting the kids dressed and fed at very early hours) and there's nothing great. One YS did have lots of great HC Waldorf-ish kid's books but she wanted too much for YS books, so after trying to talk her down for a few minutes, I just scowled and left. darn! Hopefully I can find what thrift she donates them to!

Well, I'm trying to stay motivated today to can pears. I've done 6 jars, and sorted out all the other ripe ones that can be put up today. OT: I just went to the bitty-wee grocery near us to buy vinegar to help the pears not darken, and the didn't have it! WTH? What kind of farm-town country grocery store doesn't carry vinegar! :

BTW~ I'll go plug this thread on the older Frugal mamas thread
Indigo73's Avatar Indigo73 08:16 PM 08-29-2004
No yard saling today, but through freecycle this weekend, I have a twin bed for my ds, (just need to find a twin futon mattress and sheets), a microwave for my dh's job so he can bring warm ups to work and not spend 5-7 bucks a day on mall food and my best "find" - 3 awesome kitchen chairs that I am so in love with. My next kitchen table needs to work with them not the other way around. LOL.

I am in the middle of an afgan I am crocheting for a wedding present. Most of the yarn is from yard sales and the orphan bin at the local yarn shop. This wool and mohair jobby could have cost me me more than $200 bucks in materials, is costing less than $50. Now I just need to keep at it despite the heat and hopefully not break my heart when I give it up. It's just gorgeous. It needs to be done on the 11th so back to work.
welove2farm's Avatar welove2farm 12:03 AM 08-30-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by dready*mama

Well, I'm trying to stay motivated today to can pears. I've done 6 jars, and sorted out all the other ripe ones that can be put up today. OT: I just went to the bitty-wee grocery near us to buy vinegar to help the pears not darken, and the didn't have it! WTH? What kind of farm-town country grocery store doesn't carry vinegar! :

BTW~ I'll go plug this thread on the older Frugal mamas thread
I learned this trick from my mom. To prevent fruit from darkening crush 6 tablets of 500mg. of vit. C per gallon of water or, of course, you can use fresh lemon or lemon juice concentrate.
root*children's Avatar root*children 01:30 AM 08-30-2004
yeah, I went ahead and bought the little bottle of ascorbic acid to prevent darkening (this at the store that doesn't carry vinegar! - can you tell I'm having issues with this?). When I brought it home, I also realized that I could have probably just crushed up some vitamin C's! Oh well, maybe next time.

Does anyone know what to do when you've processed something and one or two of the lids don't seal? Is there a fix-it or should I just stick it in the fridge and use it up?
welove2farm's Avatar welove2farm 01:53 AM 08-30-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by dready*mama
Does anyone know what to do when you've processed something and one or two of the lids don't seal? Is there a fix-it or should I just stick it in the fridge and use it up?
If you're cold-packing then you can try processing again. Might want to take off the lid and wipe clean and then tighten or even replace the sealed lid. I've had good luck with this. If you're hot packing then it's recommended that you take everything out of the jar, reheat jar, lid and contents and process again. That's not worth it to me so I pop it in the fridge and save for next little mouth that's hungry.

Enjoy!
Throkmorton's Avatar Throkmorton 01:59 AM 08-30-2004
No vinegar? Whaaaa? Maybe vinegar is more common here, but even 7-11 carries it.
My frugal move of the week is a literal one. We are moving back home where houses are cheaper, rent is cheaper and the people are nice. Yay!
mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 11:34 AM 08-30-2004
no ys here this past weekend
hipumpkins's Avatar hipumpkins 06:14 PM 08-30-2004
Ooooo!! I love this thread!!
Over the weekend I got a safety first booster chair for free. It is actually the 2nd free one I now own b/c I guess they don't sell at garage sales and people put them out for trash the next morning. Both are in good condition.
meowee's Avatar meowee 06:22 PM 08-30-2004
hi frugal mamas

I can't remember if I joined the last thread, but I try to spend as little money as possible. One thing I have been working on this summer is cutting down on the AC use. We have an old one that is less energy efficient than newer modles. In fact I'm going to go turn it off now :LOL

My most recent cheapskate discovery is bathing the kids like this: have them stand up in the tub (with no water), fill the sink with water, and use that to bathe them buy pouring it over them. I was able to wash my 2 year old with two (small) sink fulls of water and my 5 year old with 3 sink fulls, and my baby with 1 sinkful. Together this is less water than I used to use on a single bath for one of them.
Alkenny's Avatar Alkenny 12:10 PM 08-31-2004
Thanks for pointing me here, Dreadymama.
My latest "good deal" was the living room suit my mom got at an estate sale/auction over the weekend for $35. (It's grown more and more on me for those who know my woes over the color!) I have my eyes open for some different throw pillows now is all.
root*children's Avatar root*children 02:39 PM 08-31-2004
Glad you found us!
Meowee~ Good thoughts for the bathing! Although my kids are so into water right now, they absolutely adore tons of water in the bath. But what we've started doing recently is for me to take a shower with the boys in there, too. I point the shower head nearly straight down, put the pressure on minimal, so it's just kind of dribbling out, and put the stopper in. It helps me take much shorter showers, and the boys are cleaner than ever (not that I'm proud of it, but before we started doing this, they were only getting bathed - at most - once a week). And it solves my 1yo screaming every time I take a shower b/c he wants to always be with me.

Alright, he's a question for everyone to ponder. What kind of (frugal, of course) gift do you give a 21yo college girl? This is my SIL. Last year we sent her a box with homemade cupcakes, a store-bought (on sale, of course ) tub of frosting, a plastic knife, a little baggie of sprinkles, and a candle; for a do-it-yourself b-day cake sort of thing. She seemed to get a kick out of it. But this year, I don't know. We made a card, and now I just have to figure out the present part! HELP!
Indigo73's Avatar Indigo73 02:59 PM 08-31-2004
As a college student, I always looked forward to my folks' monthly-ish care packages. They used real popcorn in baggies to pack stuff. My floor-mates would swarm on my room for the popcorn, cookies, twinkies and whatever else my parents saw while grocery shopping. I bet something along the line of the cupcakes would be great...
Kleine Hexe's Avatar Kleine Hexe 03:02 PM 08-31-2004
Ha! Dready Mama, I need the same thing for my sis who turns 21 next week.

My mom's neighbor moved and my mom bought a bunch of kid stuff from her for my DS. We got

a little tykes pinic table

a child table with 2 chairs from IKEA

2 more little plastic garden chairs

a wooden bead toy from IKEA

a twin mattress from IKEA

three storage dressers for toys

a scooter

a kiddie pool

I also got some hand me down clothes from my new SIL for my DS. It was a good weekend

On the bad side I did something dumb and not so frugal. I bought The Tightwad Gazette twice! I bought it from buy.com and later the same day I won it on ebay. Well, my friend said she'd buy a copy from me. That's good, but annoying that I did that. I still loose the money I pay for shipping. :
mermommy's Avatar mermommy 07:42 PM 08-31-2004
I haven't been to a yard sale in a while - we should really have one of our own . . .
I did get a free little tikes climber for my DD from Craigslist. Every time I check the local freecycles it's all spam or wanted postings

Oh yeah and I got a great deal on some Mother ease cloth diapers on ebay.
srain's Avatar srain 11:29 PM 08-31-2004
Hey now- why are y'all talking about buying things?

In The Circle of Simplicity, Cecile Andrews recommends that we ask ourselves a series of questions before making a purchase. Here is a Universal Shopping List, drawn in large part from Dr. Andrews’ work, to help consider purchasing decisions:
Do I really need this? Is there anything I can use instead?
Will this item bring enjoyment and beauty into my life?
Will it benefit others?
Will this item help me to engage in life more fully?
Is the cost of the item worth the time it takes to earn the money to buy it?
Could I buy it used? Borrow it? Rent it? Share the purchase with someone else?
How will this purchase affect the environment?

I'm sure many of your new possessions meet these criteria, but remember- buying stuff for cheaper is still buying stuff!
root*children's Avatar root*children 12:09 AM 09-01-2004
I think most all of our purchases meet those criteria. We're talking about buying things b/c this thread is set up to help mamas make the most of their money. Alot of these things are free or practicly free, so I don't see any problem with acquiring them. I like to live comfortably and not be in want, kwim?

Mermommy~ What's craigslist?
mermommy's Avatar mermommy 02:15 AM 09-01-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by dready*mama
I think most all of our purchases meet those criteria. We're talking about buying things b/c this thread is set up to help mamas make the most of their money. Alot of these things are free or practicly free, so I don't see any problem with acquiring them. I like to live comfortably and not be in want, kwim?

Mermommy~ What's craigslist?
I agree with your response to the previous poster. While I'm sure we can all aspire to be non-consumers I didn't think that was what this thread was about. Many of the listings are about people reusing items that others are throwing away - this helps just about everybody in the equation.
The list could be handy for limiting purchases and may in fact be used by some of the others posting here but it seems that it was meant to be more of an admonishment then a helpful idea and honestly that was uncalled for.

Craigslist is a free classifieds list - it's set up for various large cities so it isn't available everywhere. craigslist.org is the main site ( for san francisco) the other cities are linked on the right.
( just a note - I have no affiliation with the site I just read the local posts.)
Kleine Hexe's Avatar Kleine Hexe 10:14 AM 09-01-2004
I don't think srain was trying to be rude in any way. I can see what she is trying to say. With risk of making someone mad I will say that when I started reading this list I was a bit confused and disappointed. It seemed to be the only thing posted was how everybody went to YS every weekend and bought stuff for really cheap. I thought great you can find stuff for cheap but it's still shopping and spending money. I read it to be kind of like a contest of who could get the most for cheapest. Now that can be a pretty cool contest and we all love getting deals, but I felt a bit out of place because I don't even have the money to spend at YS. I can't go YSing every weekend, heck I can't even find the money to go YSing once in six months. I know someone who will buy something just because it's on sale or a great deal but they don't need it or have use for it. Until I lurked on the list longer did I see that posting about great deals is a part of the list but not the whole list and that the mamas here are resourceful and not wasteful.

I just posted about all the cool stuff I got from my mom this past weekend because I didn't spend a dime and I wanted to express my joy with everybody. Now I know that's why people post about their good finds. It's just about sharing our excitment.

I love to hear about others frugal ideas and I see those posted as well. I guess when I first found this list it was mostly about YS because and that just happened to work out that way. Now I know that's not all this thread is about and I love coming here for cool ideas.
root*children's Avatar root*children 11:24 AM 09-01-2004
I agree that srain's post was probably not meant to be rude, but srain's post seems to be strange b/c this is the frugal mamas thread, not the diapering or such thread (sheesh, they make me nauseaus over there ). I mean, what's been talked about here, so far? A couple yardsale finds, home canning, bathing children with less water, freecycling, homemade gift-giving, cloth diapering, etc. Hardly anything seems wasteful.
Kleine~ I'm sorry you got a neg. vibe from first coming over here. It is truly an excitement, not a contest. It's the same thing IRL for me, how my frugal-living friends will purposely call/email to let someone else know when something (essential) goes on sale, if a thrift is having a blow-out sale, if they know a good fruit tree with ripe fruits, if they saw something we might use in the Free section of the paper, free/cheap activities for the family, etc. I my friends! It's been so helpful to me to have almost all frugal living or frugal-aspiring friends.
OTOH~ Admittedly, I do buy more than a lot of mamas, b/c I resell a good portion of it.

Alright, moving on... WeLove2Farm emailed me this morning letting me know that Walmart matches any other store's weekly sales. Did anyone else know that? Do you do it? I've never heard of it. Although when I was in the Omaha WM, I was confused as to why they had the other stores' sale fliers up!

More to write, but this post is quite long already, so I'll write later
srain's Avatar srain 01:35 PM 09-01-2004
I'm sorry; I didn't mean to rain on your parade! This is a support thread, and I in no way want to challenge/ debate you. I briefly ran a "help people save money/ get out of debt" business and found that a lot of people, especially those just beginning to realize that they needed to/ wanted to spend less money, started out by jumping on sales/ used stuff/ free stuff. In the long run, this made it harder for them to de-attach themselves from "consumer mode," which was a goal most of them had. [It may or may not be any of yours.] After six months or so, they realized that they had usually spent about the same amount of money, but acquired many more "things" than they would have in their "old" lifestyle. So they were definitely learning to use their dollars more efficiently, but had a lot of things they didn't really need. Some of them were happy with this, and continued to use their newfound skills to get the things they saw on TV for much less; more power to them. More of them, however, wanted to make more dramatic changes in their lives, and eventually lost the need to buy virtually anything other than consumables. (And that's when they started to REALLY save money!)

So, I'm sorry if I pissed you off, but I do think the questions I posted are good ones- even if what you're getting is free!
mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 02:32 PM 09-01-2004
making your own : popcorn
SpiralChrissy's Avatar SpiralChrissy 03:12 PM 09-01-2004
Hi, y'all. I'm joining. I posted to the previous thread this morning. I really need help cutting back since DH will be laid off in 2 weeks time. I'm getting my first freecycle today when I go pick up some clothes for myself. And tomorrow I'm getting a free bag of clothes for my DS. I'm also trying to limit spending all together. I hope I can draw some great tips from y'all.
Thanks!
rowantree's Avatar rowantree 03:22 PM 09-01-2004
Just adding myself in here. Im very bad at frugal, so Im on babysteps. I made my own coffe for the 3rd day in a row, no more $2 lattes for me. yeah
SpiralChrissy's Avatar SpiralChrissy 03:28 PM 09-01-2004
I think that's great!! Coffee is one of my greatest weaknesses. I'm forever running out for more. So, I can totally relate. You can do it!!
Rhonwyn's Avatar Rhonwyn 03:42 PM 09-01-2004
[QUOTE=srainMore of them, however, wanted to make more dramatic changes in their lives, and eventually lost the need to buy virtually anything other than consumables. (And that's when they started to REALLY save money!)[/QUOTE]

I joined this thread because of this. We have too much stuff and I want to tread more lightly upon the earth. How do you lose the consumerism addiction? I have a really hard time passing up sales. I am also a terrible pack rat. Some is buying in bulk to save money but I do find myself buying a lot of stuff I really don't need.
girlndocs's Avatar girlndocs 04:14 PM 09-01-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by srain
they realized that they had usually spent about the same amount of money, but acquired many more "things" than they would have in their "old" lifestyle. So they were definitely learning to use their dollars more efficiently, but had a lot of things they didn't really need.


DH & I definitely went through that stage. We kinda thought, it was cheap, so why not pick it up even if it wasn't that needed/wanted/great? Until we realized how full our house was of crap that no-one was really appreciating or using (and how fast those small sums of money added up!

Now I ask myself questions like srain's before I buy something and as soon as I started that, the number of items coming home with me dropped dramatically. It used to be that I felt obligated to buy something, for example, if I stopped at a ys. Now DH & I can go to 4 or 5 and only buy at maybe 1.

For the most part, we only bring home things we've consciously decided to go out & look for (like the cds in my first post, ones I've been looking for for literally months!) Impulse purchases like the pearls are things that a) delight me utterly and b) don't represent a big financial splurge, damage the environment or otherwise spend my $ on something I don't want to support.

Of course sometimes I'm better at it than other times. Sometimes I get home & say "What was I thinking?!" Good thing I can keep my husband in tow so we can help balance each other out!
mermommy's Avatar mermommy 04:18 PM 09-01-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by srain
I'm sorry; I didn't mean to rain on your parade! This is a support thread, and I in no way want to challenge/ debate you. I briefly ran a "help people save money/ get out of debt" business and found that a lot of people, especially those just beginning to realize that they needed to/ wanted to spend less money, started out by jumping on sales/ used stuff/ free stuff. In the long run, this made it harder for them to de-attach themselves from "consumer mode," which was a goal most of them had. [It may or may not be any of yours.] After six months or so, they realized that they had usually spent about the same amount of money, but acquired many more "things" than they would have in their "old" lifestyle. So they were definitely learning to use their dollars more efficiently, but had a lot of things they didn't really need. Some of them were happy with this, and continued to use their newfound skills to get the things they saw on TV for much less; more power to them. More of them, however, wanted to make more dramatic changes in their lives, and eventually lost the need to buy virtually anything other than consumables. (And that's when they started to REALLY save money!)

So, I'm sorry if I pissed you off, but I do think the questions I posted are good ones- even if what you're getting is free!

I appreciate that you are trying to help I think what got to me is the way it was worded. - The hey why are you all buying bit - I agree that your list is helpful and can be applied even to free items. It sounded , to me , like you were jumping on everyone who posted that they aquired something - and that's not fair. Unless you know the circumstances of every post you can't imply that they are wrong. I do tend to take things personally so I know it might have bothered me more than others - I'm not " pissed off" just annoyed that it seemed everyone was being looked down on.

I'm not trying to put words or feelings into your post just trying to explain how it got to me.
girlndocs's Avatar girlndocs 04:23 PM 09-01-2004
Oh, and in light of srain's questions, I think it would be interesting to discuss what people have NOT had to buy recently. What did you find a nonconsumer substitute for? I used to keep a "Things I Did Not Buy This Week" journal, when I was first trying to simplify, & it was really motivating!

I'll go first:

We haven't bought any pears this whole winter/spring/summer, because we canned the ones from our tree. Ditto for jam; I made wild-blackberry jam. We still have to use up the last of what we have before it's time to can more!

We didn't buy the set of hair clippers from last week's church rummage sale because we've decided everyone in the family will grow their hair out.

(I feel pathetic now. I used to be able to list what I did not buy on a weekly basis and that's all I can come up with now? : I need to get my butt in gear.)
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