I am a single mother of three and a teacher at Head Start. We don't make much money (think fast food restaurants) and we get laid off for the summer so I must live frugally throughout the year. I haven't bought clothes at full price in two years. When I did, it was because I had an income tax refund. I receive clothing from friends and family and I "shop" at a free church in town. No one even imagines that I get my wardrobe for free!
I had a baby four months ago and while I was pregnant, I took classes at a pregnancy intervention center. They gave me mommy money in exchange for a class about parenting one hour each week. With the money, I bought a baby bouncy seat, clothes, a baby gate, maternity clothes, nursing clothes, bottles, and much more. When I finished the program, they gave me a brand new bassinet.
I only buy baby products at Kroger because I get "points" for each dollar I spend on baby items. I use my WIC (Women, Infants and Children - http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/) there and get points for that. Kroger brand items count double so I buy them as often as possible. Also, with coupons, I can buy some name brand items cheaper than the generic.
I receive food stamps and try to be as frugal as possible with them. I shop at Kroger for my regular groceries and Winn-Dixie for my meat because they always have meat buy 1 get 1 free. I also buy food from Angel Food Ministries. I can get a weeks worth of groceries for a family of four for $25. Visit http://www.angelfoodministries.com for more info.
I have a $20/month telephone and I am accidentally paying AOL for internet (I forgot to cancel my free trial in time). We NEVER rent movies. For the price of rentals, I buy DVDs at WalMart and secondhand stores. I bought some great kids movies at Wal Mart for $1 each. For entertainment, we go to the library, park, a track near our hospital has Canada Geese around all the time so we go there to feed the geese. I also look for free events in our town.
I always look for something free with items I buy. I once got a free Dragon Tales DVD with a box of training pants, WIC honors BOGO, so I can get 2 lb. of cheese if it's on sale BOGO, I buy the WIC cereal with free toys inside for the kids. I check out any sale bin, etc., that I pass.
I only live frugally enough that I don't owe any bills to anyone. I never want to be without electricity or a home. I do want my kids to look nice and clean and we always dress as nice as possible. We always have food around and I try to help others as much as they help me. I have recently found even more ways to save money through bartering with other moms, freecycle, and paperback swapping. I hope to have fun with these new "techniques". I love to save money, it gives me a high, LOL.
Scruggle from Dublin, GA
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Have you ever heard of Aldi's? It is a small grocery store..you can get a loaf of white bread, a pack of hamburger buns or hot dog buns for about .69, cans of soup for .39, some very good prices, not a huge selection, but you can get creative. I spend $25 or so a week, and it does last more than a week, but if you are frugal, you can spend $75 a month for a family of four and still not be hungry.
I need help putting my 7 year old daughter on a healthy eating plan - i am desperate - i cant think of meals and snacks that will help her be healthy and will keep her not wants snacks/
I looked online for an Aldi's and the closest one to my house is 80 miles. I do shop at a local store that has the dented cans, etc and save money there. I also found that they offer fresh homegrown vegetables cheaper than the mass-produced ones at the supermarket. I am now beginning to make my own baby food. Wish me luck....
Can I just say... Mom's (& Dad's) who can raise a family with just the necessities and still have a fun and fruitful unity are the hero's and what make up the 'back bone' of my Country! I honor you and all who are out there not cushioning the pockets of the of the designers and 'BIG' business's.
I have always been 'frugal' and to some of my family members... 'A Tight Wad' <smile> but my house & cars are paid off and I owe no one except the soldiers of this country my gratitude in the service they provide for me and my family.
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