Disclosure: I am grammatically challenged. While I did indeed take a college English composition class, I tend to unleash my inner Emily Dickenson online. I despise punctuation and adore run on sentences. I insert parentheses everywhere (my brain is frequently acts like that college streaker that zigzags across the field screaming, "Go Cavs!") If you are a member of the grammar police I offer my apologies in advance.
I struggled with where to start my postings on frugality. I decided it was best to start with where I began. After my husband and I left the military in 1999 my family was homeless. We lived in a motel. We struggled from week to week spending most of our income keeping a roof over our children's heads and paying for a rental unit which housed all of our belongings. We had no stove. Five of us lived in one room with 2 beds. I was pregnant with our fourth child (Cue the Responsibility police with admonishments of people having children they can't afford. Nevermind that my husband and I were veterans with over 20 years of service between the 2 of us. Nevermind our original plans were to stay housed with my brother in law and it wasn't until we got here that he decided to tell us that we would not be able to stay where we had planned for months. Why in the world should those little things matter?) I say this out loud because I think it's important for people to understand that anyone can have a string of events that spiral and leave you vulnerable. Anyone.
That being said this year my family finished paying off our little singlewide pulling our housing costs down. We finish paying off our car this year. We have absolutely no credit cards. My oldest has half of his first year of college socked away. So just as anyone can find themselves in unfortunate circumstances, people can also with some luck, a helping hand, and ALOT of hard work dig themselves out.
Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you some of the resources I utilize. One of the sites I love is Recyclebank. Why? The site gives me points that I can utilize to buy coupons for healthier products (Yes they also have junk like Coca Cola). For example, right now, Recyclebank has coupons available for $2 off a Kashi product or coupons for $2 off 2 Earthbound Farms products. With a coupon Kashi can be purchased for less than a dollar here. I can feed my family a cereal that has fiber and protein rather than just sugar and junk. (Kroger this week) The Earthbound Farms coupon can net me FREE carrots (2 pounds) or carrots and celery for less than a dollar or carrots and broccolli for under $2 (Walmart.)
Honey Roasted Carrots
(from the Cook This Not That Cookbook)
8 medium carrots
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp thyme
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Toss carrots in the rest of the ingredients. Cook for around 35 minutes.
110 calories and Vitamin A
I believe Recyclebank has a referral program. If so it would be great to see someone like RedQueen get the points. So if you are struggling feel free to post in the comments a referral link.
Random shoutout to to AMERICAN apparel producer Carol Rose (found at Ross.) Apparently they never got the message that Americans cost too much to employ. Oh and suck it because the shirt was only $8.99, less than its Guatemalan counterpart at Old Navy.