Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday - Steal Vs. Splurge

Happy Tuesday, friends!  It's the first Show and Tell Tuesday linkup of 2017 and I can't wait to hear all your thoughts on spending/splurging/etc.  



To be honest, I've never really talked money on the blog (which is shocking considering the wide array of topics I've covered) mainly because I feel like it's sooooo personal and everyone's situations and priorities are so different.  Dave and I aren't coupon clippers - we tried that once but ended up spending waaaaay too much tine on it and really... does anyone need a stockpile of Lysol?  No.  I'm pretty sure I'm still using toilet bowl cleaner from 2008 ;) 

We do try to pinch pennies when and where we can (because a penny saved is a penny earned, right mom???) ;)  and here are a few of my own little tips...

We Don't Eat Out Often
We really don't eat out much.  Occasionally for sure - but on a regular basis - no.  Neither one of us grew up eating out a lot and while we enjoy eating out with our kids, we generally prefer eating at home.  Even when we travel we'll bring breakfast stuff with us (i.e. bagels, bananas, etc.).  We pack lunches for ourselves and the kids when we make little morning trips to the museum or other places like that the kids eat better than they would at a restaurant.

We Bought a Deep Freezer
We bought a deep freezer last year (or maybe the year before) and keep it stocked with items when we find them on sale.  We also can buy better meat in larger quantities and then break it down into smaller amounts for use whenever.  This also allows me to double recipes and freeze one so on nights when we're in a pinch I can pull that out instead of hitting up a drive through.

I Try To Shop On Tuesdays
At our local Kroger the sales run from Tuesday - Tuesday which means that on Tuesday you can actually get this weeks sales as well as next weeks.  I also will send Dave to the store with a list instead of going myself because he sticks to the list WAY better than I do.  ;)

We Like Cheap Fun
Our kids love a big outing as much as the next, but a lot of our family's favorite things to do cost little to nothing.  We like cruising around in the golf cart after dinner, visiting the library, going to Home Depot workshops, going on "adventure walks", playing games, doing puzzles and things like that.  We are members at several Dallas "attractions" (the Perot Museum, the Arboretum, etc.) and when you're a family of five and visit often those visits end up costing us about $10 each time instead of $50+.  The fringe benefit to this is that when we do end up doing something "big" our kids get REEEEALLY excited!

I Learned How To Cut Hair
When we first got married I went with Dave to get a haircut and realized how super simple it looked (I'm not saying ALL haircuts are easy... but the one he always got looked simple enough), so we bought a haircut kit (the electric razor kind) and I figured it out.  He used to get his hair cut at least once a month and it was over $20 with a tip... so about $250/year.  I've been cutting his hair for over 11 years which means that we've saved about $3000 on haircuts!  I was totally freaked out at first, but learned pretty quickly and can do a mean fade :)  My mom has always cut Luke's hair (thanks, Gibi!!!) and Mason gets his cut at a salon because I feel like his is way too easy to mess up.

Date Nights In
Dave and I love a date night - and while we totally value getting a sitter and going out - it's often hard for us because of his work schedule.  And oftentimes the thought of spending $50 on a sitter and then $40 on dinner and then $30 on movie tickets and popcorn just isn't worth it to us.  We tend to order in food after the kids go to bed, watch a movie in our PJs and play gin rummy.  We may sound lame, but it works for us - it's special time out of our normal routine (sans kids) and is way more budget (and schedule!) friendly for us.

We Invest in Reusable Items
While containers like Yum-Boxes seem like a big investment, we use them so often that we feel like we've more than gotten our money out of them in savings on food as well as the plastic bags and such that we normally would have used.  (Bonus is that we're not throwing away all those bags!)

I Buy a Season Ahead and Second Hand
All my kids have really convenient birthdays for buying ahead.  They're all pretty average sized and I know that pretty much every Spring they'll all go up a size.  So for example... Mason will be 6 this Spring so I feel confident buying him 6's for Spring and Fall knowing that, barring any crazy growth spurt, they'll fit no problem.  I'm able to take advantage of lots of good sales this way.  This may be harder if your child has a birthday mid-season, but you get the idea.  I buy as many of their uniform pieces second-hand as I can. I do buy the boys pants new, but the rest of the pieces I pick up resale and it helps A LOT.  When you're paying tuition and fees for multiple kids, I'll take a deal anywhere I can get it :)  When we're done with the uniforms we donate them to the school's resale shop who resells them and uses the money for the PTA.

Name VS. Storebrand
I'm not going to lie - I like my name brand cereal :)  Other things I can compromise on... but not cereal.

Splurge on Clothes
This seems counter-productive, but I've found that when I invest in quality kids clothing (i.e. Boden, Matilda Jane, etc.) and take good care of them that I can resell them and end up spending less than I would if I dressed my kids in Target (seriously).  And no... I don't stress about them "messing them up".  We lose an occasional item to a big ol' pizza stain or a playground tear - but for the most part I'm able to keep things looking good with Dreft stain remover and line drying.  If you're not "into" clothes this probably isn't for you (because it can be quite a bit of work to resell items), but if you like dressing your kids in nicer brands this could be a great option.  There are tons of Facebook groups for buying/selling better brand clothing as well that you can check out to see what brands tend to hold their value before you make your purchases.

When it comes to my own clothes - there are a few brands that I LOVE that I find are worth the splurge.  I adore Free People and while it can be pricey, I find that they're the pieces in my closet I reach for over and over and over.  When I buy the less expensive brands I end up not loving them as much and they just hang in my closet.  I am trying to pare my things down to just those that I LOVE and have been giving the rest away.  Knowing that it's going to help someone else out makes it that much easier to part with things.

Just Go Home ;)
This one can be a challenge for me because I love to "pop in" to Homegoods or Anthropologie and check out what's going on if I have a few extra minutes.  But I know that if I go in I'm PROBABLY going to find something I love so "just go home" is what I tell myself.  ;)

Right Off The Top
When I wrote the prompt my intention was for the "saves" part to be more about saving on daily spending, but in case you took it to be long-term saving, something that we do is have money taken "right off the top" from both of our paychecks and put into savings/investments/IRAs/Church tithe/etc.  With the money not even showing up in our other accounts we don't have the chance to even miss (or spend!) it.  We pretty much just pretend that that money doesn't exist.  I realize that this may be harder depending on your situation, but if it's at all possible it's so simple and makes it less tempting to spend.

I'm excited to read all about your tips for how you save money and what y'all feel is worth the splurge.  If you have any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments!

And just in case you missed it at the beginning of the month, here are the rest of the Show and Tell topics for 2017!



   
   

45 comments:

  1. I'm super impressed you give hair cuts!! And I LOL'd at your coupon clipping and Lysol. Tab and I were just talking about that the other day. I did it for a season as well. We always had plenty of Tabasco, Mustard, and deodorant. Haha!

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    1. Have I seriously never told you that?!?! So funny!!! I felt like the only time we EVER shopped at a drug store was when we tried to do the coupon thing. ;)

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  2. Such a fun link up! We do a lot of the same things to save money, but I'm super impressed you cut Dave's hair. I tried a few times several years ago with my husband's hair and it was disastrous! Ha!

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    1. I think it totally depends on the cut. Dave's is REALLY straight forward but I wouldn't feel comfortable attempting other styles :)

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  3. I'm excited about this years topics - thanks for being an awesome hostess! And those haircuts - GENIUS! I should learn how bc my boys spend way more on their hair than the three girls combined!

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    1. Right?!!? They need cuts so often! I really need to figure out how to do Mason's well.

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  4. I'm so excited about another year of Show & Tell Tuesdays!!!

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  5. Great tips, mama!! And, I'm super excited about another year!

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  6. Loved sharing on this topic!!! I wish buying a season ahead was easier for my kids, but somehow it never works out. Gah! I completely agree with "just go home". That random home goods stop is going to cost me $75 every single time.

    http://lettinginthelightblog.com

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    1. YES!!! At least!!! I do pop in when I'm on the hunt for something but try to avoid it when I'm not looking for something in particular.

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  7. Chris gives himself haircuts, and has for about 14 years now. I have to "clean up" the back, but he does the rest! It is quite the savings!

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  8. These are perfect!! And 100% yes to date nights in! They're our fav!!

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    1. I think in this stage of life it's just what works for us - I'm sure at some point we'll have all the time in the world for going out - but for right now we really enjoy our nights in!

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  9. Great post! I love your tips. My family follows a lot of the same spent vs. splurge ways. Saving money on not going out to eat is HUGE. We go out once a week for dinner and that's it because it gets expensive! Also, I've started doing Kroger Clicklist and have saved myself a lot of money from the impulse or "I'll just get 2 of these to stock at home" purchases. My favorite- cheap fun. You're right, kids are simple and don't need extravagant adventures all the time!

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    1. I haven't tried ClickList yet, but I need to. and YES all day to cheap fun ;)

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  10. Great topics for Show & Tell! I was nodding along at the date nights in! We do the same...Kids in bed, take out Chinese food, wine, and a movie. Sometimes we even set the clocks back an hour to get them to bed quicker! Shhhh.

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    1. I'm DYING about you setting back your clocks!!! That is greatness!

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  11. What a great post Andrea! I loved it. You are teaching your kiddos such valuable lessons without them even realizing it (yet). My parents were great about this as well. My sister and I had such a wonderful childhood, and while we did go on vacations we didn't go 2 or 3 times a year. But we did other things like museums, cookouts, swimming in the lake, library, riding bikes as a family after dinner. And it's funny, now that I'm a grown-up when I look back on my sweet childhood I remember very little about the vacations we took. It's all those wonderful "little" things we did together that I will cherish in my heart forever. You are a great Mama Andrea. Those kids are SO blessed to have a gem like you.

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    1. We did Colorado two summers ago, last summer we moved and this summer we have a plan in the works - but we really do enjoy staying around :) We definitely have a list of places we'd like to visit when they're older, but right now they're still so young I'm not sure how lasting those memories are going to be for anyone but me and Dave. Thank you SO MUCH for your sweet words and encouragement! They mean the world!

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  12. What are your favorite resale sites for kids clothes?

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    1. I do Facebook groups for the most part... MJ Addicts and Mini Boden Resale/BST. If you search by brand then you can typically request to join the group. I never really had great luck on Kidizen or anything like that.

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  13. Our favorite date nights for the last couple of years have been the date-nights in we've had. We love to cook together, so that has been our go-to date when we need a little time away from the kids.

    Can't wait to link up next month!!

    Chels @ Red Velvet Rooster

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    1. So glad we're not alone!!! ;) Although I'd much rather have someone cook for me. hahaha

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  14. We used to eat out all the time due to scheduling, but now we LOVE eating home. We are healthier and happier than ever, and our picky kiddos are eating different things now! Best decision ever

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  15. Agree 100% on the haircuts. We invested in a Flowbee an my husband and son gave themselves haircuts, I just did a bit of cleanup with clippers. I even used it when my hair was short and got rave reviews from my friends who are stylists.

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    1. So neat!!! Love that you tried it out and it worked well for y'all!

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  16. Great list! We're trying to work on eating out (and when we do go out, we eat at places where they make food "we wouldn't make at home" so it's a real treat). We also have money deducted straight from our paycheck. Every year, if we get a raise or a bonus, then we automatically have that amount increased into our savings so we truly never see it....and for me, if I don't see it, I won't spend it even though I know "it's there". We joke and say we're cheese snobs (splurge) and we always buy Tillamook brand, and we also don't mind splurging on something that will be an investment in our future (leather seats in a used car, durable flooring in a home remodel, etc.)

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    1. Love all your tips!!! We buy used cars with leather as well :) And I'm cracking up at you being cheese snobs! ;)

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  17. Do you have any tips on making Starbucks more affordable? I would go every day if I could, but it adds up!

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    1. Oh, girl! I feel your pain!!! The Kroger in our local grocery store used to have some amazing perks (you got starbucks stars AND they had their own loyalty program as well) and if you remember at Starbucks it used to be like every 9th or 10th drink was free (now it's a different process and you have to spend like $100 to get a free drink. hahaha) so when things changed and I wasn't getting every 3rd or 4th drink totally free I had to curb my habit :) I do get A TON of Starbucks cards that I use throughout the year as well. If it seems like I'm drinking a TON of Starbucks keep in mind that my cup from the morning I'll use again throughout the day at school or at home when I make my own tea (I just rinse it out and YAY to not having mugs around) and if the cup is still good the next day I make my own tea at home in it and skip the store (and it's less waste!) I only drink hot tea so it's simple to make which helps.

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  18. I so agree with you on the clothes part! We do Boden, Matilda Jane, Hanna Andersson and I find my kids can wear them multiple seasons/years, they last better, and I can resell them. Also, like you said, when I do splurge on a clothing item for myself it's always one that I grab all the time and it ends up costing pennies per wear! I agree with all of your post! Awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Casey! The value in those brands is most definitely there! So glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  19. I love that you and Dave spend your date nights in. :) My husband and I do the same, except we'll have a few drinks and play Sequence (it's super fun) after the kids are asleep. We say our one date night a year is his Christmas party for work. Ha! I'm sure we also sound lame, but we're happy and it works for us. :)

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  20. Love this link up idea! I'm so excited to participate. Thank you for hosting. :)

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  21. Thank you for sharing on an important subject for households:) Every family is different but I always find I get something out of hearing how folks handle finances with intention. "Just go home" is a fantastic mantra! And I also hold a place in my heart for families I see doing fun things regularly that cost little to nothing; much easier on the budget in the long run, good quality time together, and the kids DO lose their minds with excitement and anticipation when a special outing is planned:)

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  22. Oh and there is nothing better than Netflix and chill for couples:) Time to talk, eat, snuggle-I really do not miss "date night" out:)

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  23. What are your favorite meals to freeze? And do you have any tips, like which containers work best for freezing, how to thaw/reheat? I would love to have some meals frozen to use in a pinch but I'm intimidated!

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    1. Yes yes! Please do a post on freezer friendly meals!

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  24. We save by cutting cable to internet only. Hubby installed an antenna, 26 clear picture channels, no monthly fee. We have a freezer so I stock upbwith there are the BOGO specials on meat at the store. Cutting back on eating out is another big saver, can make many home meals for the cost of eating out once. Hubby is the family barber/stylist, he cuts my hair every 6-8 weeks and children get haircuts monthly. I figure with the cost of two haircuts at $15 each plus tip and transportation costs, that is about $50 a month I am not spending and with mine at $60 plus tip, transportation there is $80 not spent. So that is over a thousand post tax dollars that are better spent elsewhere. And it is so convenient, no scheduling a trip or making appointments! Driving back and forth and waiting your turn. I tell hubby the children need haircuts, he sets up the stool, gets out his tools and two great haircuts done in the time it would take me to drive them to the barber. It takes him longer to do my hair as he does the combing out sectioning and then trimming as he lets down each section, not just a cut straight across the back, about 45 minutes. And i get compliments on my hair, no hack jobs. We do alot of home projects ourselves, painting, carpentry, electrical, plumbing and flooring. This year we are planting a garden so I can do pickles, can fruits and vegetables and tomato sause as well as eating fresh and drying herbs. Trips to the garden are cheaper than trips to the grocery store.

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