I enjoy a bargain. I’m the kind of person who, when given a compliment on something I’m wearing, will flash a silly grin and tell you the low price I paid for it. Frugality is becoming more valued as we deal with the changing times, but having a child also makes you learn how to do more with less.
Grocery shopping is a great place to save money. It’s important to our family that we buy organic produce as much as possible, and it has been for a long time. It’s gratifying to see studies come out showing that children who eat organic foods have less pesticide residues in their bodies. I’ve also acknowledged that eating seasonally is healthy, eco and saves money. We end up eating a variety of foods overall. In summer, we ate bushelfuls of blueberries, and now we are moving on to apples.
Cutting down on clothes shopping is another way we save. I love the hand-me-downs I’ve been given for Ben and I have passed his outgrown clothes down to the children of friends. It’s heartwarming to see another child wearing Ben’s pajamas—it reminds me of his younger self. I buy a lot of his clothes at thrift shops. Coats, jeans and shirts barely worn—the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra at work.
I’ve taken to reading magazines at the public library instead of buying them, and we checkout DVDs and books on whatever topic Ben is interested in, whether it’s mummies or how an acorn grows into a tree. You can even check out free passes for museums in New York City that also include 10 percent off your meal!
I call my favorite companies and ask for coupons, which they are happy to send to me. I use a tube wringer, which you can find at art supply stores, to get every drop of product out of my Weleda tubes (see picture). I use our Calendula Baby Care on myself—it has a lower price point, but I do it also for the nostalgia factor. The scent of the Calendula Baby Oil reminds me of Ben as a baby, and now that he is in kindergarten, I am having a hard time accepting that he is growing up! I am not sure that all of this is catching on with Ben. He has about five wish lists of toys he wants, and now he wants to use the Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash for his bath! He really is growing up fast.