About a month ago I realized that my freezer buildup—which frighteningly resembles a small ice age—would completely engulf my freezer if I did not chip away and discover, and use, the food contents therein. I hit on the idea of Shop at Home—instead of buying the usual groceries every week, we’d buy only the fresh stuff and then “shop” our cupboards, freezer, and fridge, to save not only money, but time.
The results were amazing. I saved over $300 and we didn’t drastically change what we ate! I just used what we had in the home first.
Why didn’t I do this sooner?
No idea, but I can tell you what I’m doing this month as well. And it’s begun a sort of Shop at Home obsession. Last week we prepared for the enchanting little ritual of back-to-school shopping—with six children. All at once. But the night before, I had them turn out their closets to pick through what fit and what could be cute enough to” hand me down” with minimal trauma.
I used my best happy voice and mother maneuvering (Daughter: “I don’t want hand-me-downs”. Mother: “You’re so right, I don’t think you’re old enough to wear this style.” Daughter: “How old does it make me look? Maybe I’ll just try it on.”) My younger girls were tickled to be “mature” dressers (same style as I would have bought for them).
And my older boys embarked on the Clothing Allowance, being given X amount for their fall/winter wardrobe and my best Indiana Jones’ Last Crusade advice: “Choose wisely.”
As soon as they knew whatever they saved was theirs (with minimal purchase of 5 shirts, 5 pants, underwear, socks, and a Sunday outfit) they engaged in frugal frivolity. My 15-year-old decided the backpack could do another year, and chose designer clothes at the outlet prices. My girls had to pick between favorite dresses because “it was over their budget” and learned the best rules of no-remorse shopping—pay cash, and you have to love it to buy it.
My favorite part was that we finished in three hours—including travel time—and everyone was happy. Afterwards we enjoyed a fashion show of the “goodies” which were then immediately folded and put in a large tub with a TOUCH IT AND YOU PAY sign until the first day of school.
If you’re game, this month try shopping at home. From groceries to clothes to hand tools (you know you have them somewhere), you’ll find a treasure trove of great stuff right before your very frugal eyes.
Enjoy the savings!