Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making every penny count: It's what I do.

It would be wonderful if my husband's income was enough to cover all our basic expenses, a decent amount of savings, and plenty of fun extras without either one of us batting an eyelash. However, like much of the rest of this great nation, our personal economy took a nosedive this past year and we are just recently beginning to slowly but surely claw our way back out of the financial Pit of Despair.

OK, so it hasn't really been a Pit of Despair kind of experience, but who doesn't love a good reference to The Princess Bride?

It's been nearly two years (wow!) since I quit my job to be a homemaker and full-time mom. I was very fortunate that when I finally decided it was time, I told Steve "it's time" and he, my Westley, said "as you wish!" and found a job that would more than make up for the loss of my income. We've weathered a lot of ups and downs since then - frankly, more of either one than should be allowed by law - but generally it has been an amazing and fulfilling shift in our lives.

In order to keep things on track and the checking account in the black, I have morphed into a bit of a frugalista. Oh, I can't run with the big dogs. I can't imagine ever going grocery shopping and picking up $300 in free groceries and coming out 17 cents ahead. But I have become fairly adept at matching sales with coupons and recognizing the sale cycles at certain stores and stocking up when prices are at their lowest. I've become one of those people who hates paying retail for anything and often if I can't find it on sale and it's something we don't need right away, I'll simply put off buying it.

What's really cool is this is my job! And I love it! I'm the boss. I get to choose the hours I work (sort of, barring a sick child or a snow day from school) and where I work (sort of, because the laptop gets a little hot when I try to snuggle in bed with it) and what I wear while I'm working (though the yoga pants need to be washed more than once a week). I love providing a cozy home for our children to grow up in and home-cooked meals to nourish their bodies. I appreciate and adore my husband for working so hard to provide for us and for always recognizing that the work I do here at home isn't always a cakewalk.

In future posts I'll delve deeper into some specifics about how we scrimp and save and still manage to live a pretty abundant life. Just know that when you see this Buttercup lounging on the sofa eating bon-bons, those chocolatey balls of goodness were probably on clearance AND I had a coupon. For someone like me, a really awesome deal makes a treat like that taste so much sweeter.


  1. Haha! Please do divulge how to save money! I married a frugalista (frugalisto?) and Im sure he would love it if I could turn into one too!

  2. Oh how I hear you! We went to having only 1 car so I could stay home. There are days when I want to pull my hair out and I get tired of agonizing over every penny, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. :-)

  3. One can never have enough frugal tips or Princess Bride references... :0)

  4. Have you started following my blog yet? That's what I'm devoted to over there!
    S. Jehnzen

  5. Oh, and have you considered writing a blog for money? I love reading your posts and can tell you where to start with advertising.....

  6. Sarah, I do appreciate your FB group - it looks like your blog keeps you quite busy! I've toyed with the idea of doing some advertising, but not sure I want to go there yet. I'm just having fun right now. I'll keep it in mind, though.

    Camille, I'm impressed that you have only one car! One of the buggers of living way out in the boonies is that we really do need two vehicles. But I have plenty of room for a big garden! :)

  7. Well done. :) I remember when you made the Big Decision and I'm proud of you.