I, too, have been living very frugally. My husband and I have been married 15 years. We have 4 kids. Needless to say, some times have been rougher than others financially. I have done just about everything to make sure that my family's needs have been met.
I use freecycle both to offer and receive. I, with some hesitation, do use some of the government programs that are out there for me: WIC, food pantries, etc.
I never pay full price for anything. I find the low price grocery stores. My kids can't tell the difference between Cheerios and Toasty O's.
My kids' friends think we are rich because of all the things that we have. They just don't realize that I have not paid full price for 90% of the things in my home.
Tracyflo from Phoenix, AZ
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Oh my gosh! We must be related--long lost cousins or something. I refuse to pay full price for just about anything, especially when you know that if you wait a week, it'll go on sale. It's amazing at the bargains that can be found. I remember when my son went to a birthday party for a friend of his (a doctor's son). After opening all his presents, the boy ignored all of them except the one my son gave him--he would not put it down. Of course, it was something I bought at an after Christmas sale and put in my gift closet. The trick is to keep up with what the kids like and buy accordingly. Investing a little time can save tons of money.
I look forward to reading lots more hints from you. Maybe you can teach me something new.
That is the way to do things, whether you are frugal by necessity or not. When I was without things, it would magically show up in a garbage collection day and I would see it on the way to school. Once I didn't have any money for mittens and I found an expensive pair in good condition that way. At that time there was no Freecycle so that was the only way to find what I needed. My daughter and son in law have 4 children and I have been telling them to look for needed things from Goodwill and other thrift stores or for free. She called the other day saying that she found designer clothing at 2nd hand prices. They have no freecycle where they live. My motto is "cheap is good but free is better". This dosen't apply to purchases that demand quality, but the waste that is happening in this society it is possible to find quality goods free also. New isn't necessarily better. We are saving items from the landfills and living well at the same time without a lot of cash.
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