Friday, March 13, 2015

Frugal mom or cheap mom

I prefer the term "frugal" but more often of late, my husband and one or two friends have called me cheap. And not in the endearing "cheap date" kind of way either. I just laugh, because maybe, just maybe, I am cheap. 

Case in point - recently we had an amazing day at the zoo with a friend. I packed all our snacks and made us to-go coffees before we left. I insisted we leave the zoo before lunch because I refuse to buy the overpriced concession meals. This is the case whenever we go to an attraction - the zoo, aquarium, fun fair, wherever. I do not like to spend money on food when we are out somewhere. That day I caved and bought a small bag of chips because we were all starting to get a case of the hangry's. My husband always berates me for my refusal to buy concession food - but I just can't do it!!

However this inevitably leads to a hungry mom and dad, and when I am hungry I cannot even think straight. The hunger is as loud as a locomotive rushing through my head chugging "feed me, feed me, feed me." When travelling through Europe with my stepsister in our 20's the rule of trip, we learned two days in, was keep her warm and me fed. When I am hungry I often snap at whoever is around, so trips to the zoo and aquarium don't always end on good note. One would think this would cause me to change my ways. But I am also stubborn.

This is a small example of the big picture of how I live as a mom. Not on sale? Not buying it! Can I find it used? If not, maybe I will wait. Clearing out your summer stock for 80% off. Perfect for next year's wardrobe. Don't get me started on Baby Macaroni, who I recently bought what may have been her first brand new item from me, ever. I buy most of The Babe's clothes at swap meets, because the stuff there is a fraction of the price and she is growing so fast. The result tends to be mismatching patterns and winter prints in spring, but hey, no judgments okay? Reindeer become moose, elves become gnomes and snowflakes..well those are just snowflakes. I buy her the cheaper runners from Superstore, because childrens Nike and New Balance runners fit for a millisecond but are bloody expensive. I do not think I am alone on this, am I? 

When my mom used to take me to the movies she would sneak in homemade popcorn in brown paper bags. It was light on butter but heavy on salt. I would beg for movie theatre popcorn but she rarely caved. I used to think she was cheap. Now I can not only understand, I do the same thing with the sweet treats! I have become my mother in all her frugalness. It's just that life has become so darn expensive; I try to find savings wherever I can. I don't see this changing anytime soon, so my kids will just have to learn to like it. Or starve. Or go naked. 

Oh my. I really have become my mother.

~ H

PS - in search of savings, I tried to make my own dish soap. Lesson learned? Buy Dawn on sale. Save yourself the time and the very disappointing results.

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