If you have taken my Couponing 101 class or ever heard me speak, you know that I make a big distinction between being cheap and being frugal. To me, frugal living is spending and earning money intentionally to meet my family’s financial goals. The goal is not necessarily to spend the least amount of money but to spend every dollar with intention — planning, researching and saving to buy something that is important. Sometimes this process results in free stuff and sometimes, a load of cash.
Here’s an example of my frugal purchases for May:
Total OOP: right around $200. Not exactly cheap. To some, it’s probably down-right wasteful. For me, these purchases represent as much time planning as most of my Albertsons trips that result in a bag full of free food.
The shoes — my kids have extraordinarily wide feet. Since I buy my boys one pair of shoes at a time, I thought it was wise and frugal to get one pair of well-made, well-fitting sandals that will last until fall. I shopped at three different local stores, including the Stride Rite outlet in Woodburn before ordering the sandals on the internet. Who knew Stride Rite and Nordstrom stores would run out of summer sandals in May?
The swimming suits — my kids have also have ample… bottoms. For some insane reason, inexpensive suits for little girls at Target, Old Navy and Walmart are cut very high in the legs, leaving gals with some padding very much exposed. For my husband and me, this is not going to work for our daughter. It’s also important to us that Audrey’s suits completely cover her mid-section, again leaving us with few inexpensive options (no judgments here, just explaining our personal predicament).
I have found, after much research, that the swimming suits that meet our modesty standard for Audrey are from Land’s End, which run about $50 a suit. I’m sure there are other options out there but at some point, I just have to stop driving around and get the stinkin’ suits. Since we swim often, I purchased her two.
Cost: about $100
I share all of this for a couple of reasons:
1. I want you all to know that I spend money on stuff. It’s not all about free. It’s about being intentional with my money.
2. I want each of you to feel freedom to spend money on what’s important to your family, as long as you have the cash to do so. If I didn’t have the money for Land’s End suits, Audrey would be wearing a pair of swim shorts over a Target one-piece.
In contrast to my spending strategies for Audrey’s suits, here’s what I did for my boys:
I purchased two Old Navy suits and am having my mom hem them to ACTUALLY FIT LIKE SHORTS. Why stores design shorts to fit like pants is beyond me. I hate watching little boys waddle around in soaked, sand filled man-pris all summer long.
Cost: $16 (tailoring FREE)
I’ll post a pic of the tailored shorts once my mom gets on it (hint, hint) so we can all enjoy their squishy thighs.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.