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I've been very surprised how much I enjoy buying avon purses and jewelry for myself, not just to demo for customers but for ME! :) The more I sell of course the more I discount myself. hehe
By todays standards my wedding? was cheap! It's amazing what you can do for very little.


I cannot be cheap on food even though I have 4 HUNGRY ALL THE TIME boys. One of my boys has major health issues and needs quality food and a lot of it to just live. Even more to just gain weight. If I want his blood sugars to remain in the suggested normal range for him, he needs his food. OR we pay dearly for hospital stays in more ways than just money. It affects our entire family, which I am not willing to sacrifice. So I work to keep him healthy and full.

Gas; I can go down to the cheap place and I will end up filling my tank 3 or 4 times in a week...several hundred dollars as I have a van. I go to the expensive place and only fill up ONCE a week! Saving hundreds of $$. The quality of gas is important to making it last longer.

Shoes: Gotta have nice shoes or my right leg pays for it. I love sketchers and haven't had back or leg problems since switching to them 18 months ago. I can wear other shoes for short spurts now.

I think it is all about how we treat and take care of our things. I was taught to value and take care of my things. My husband not so. Spend a lot of $$, but not take care of it to the point it is worth nothing. OR it is too late to fix.

Health. My husband was taught to shun doctors...imagine his shock when he has this little boy needing doctors to live and have kept him alive for almost 13 years. Many of my husband's health issues could be resolved if he valued himself and wasn't taught to shun doctors. As sad as this may sound, I know there will be a day I will get a call that he has died. He just doesn't get it. My FIL has nearly died because he took too long to decide what to do about his cancers...he has like 3 different kinds. Instead of a possible cure, he now has about 2 years to live IF he does what he should.

My wedding was cheap. I am not into fancy or frilly stuff. Simple and understated. My MIL was the opposite with the reception in California. My mom nearly killed her when she was sent the bill.


Education - I went to private school because our public schools sucked! My kids go to public school because the ones by us are awesome. I wasn't impressed with the private schools I saw here.
Clothes - I love expensive clothes but can't afford them. But I avoid the WalMart clothes because they're usually just crap.
Kids clothes - They don't even wear them long enough to wear out. My daughter gets hand me downs from her cousin's cousins. The rest of their clothes come from Target.
Weddings - If you can afford it, I suppose spending a ton of money for your dream is fine. We couldn't and it wasn't what I was into. I wanted to elope to Hawaii. We ended up getting married in the park because our family wanted to be there.
Purses - I used to buy lots of cheap purses because I changed them often. I found a Coach purse at a garage sale for $3! I LOVE it!!! I'm almost at the point where I need a new purse and I can't justify paying for a new Coach.
Jewelry - I just wear my wedding and engagement rings.
Paper/Notebooks - I have a Moleskein and I pet it lovingly. I write in cheaper notebooks from Target.


1. Disney Land or Disney World. I'd rather take the 5 to 10K that it would cost to take my family of six on a cruise or a cross country driving adventure, or a short trip to Europe or Scandinavia. I'd rather go to a real place, with real food and real stuff to see. I know plenty of people who go to Disney every other year for vacation and won't consider anywhere else. I just don't get it.


-->I don't think regular pedicures/manicures are worth the money.
However, I will get my feet done before I go on both vacations this year because it's a treat.


Agree with you on most of the above. I do love stationary though. Hehe but I don't write much these days so a simple notebook works. In the past though, I have paid for Crane's note cards and moleskin pads.

They say in marketing: people don't buy things because they need them. It's because it makes them feel good. Hence paying for a $300 Coach vs. $30 bag from Target. It's also what gets us in debt!

Loved both these posts.


I think you're doing a great job---I agreed with everything yesterday and today, even down to Claire's ring which is totally gorgeous!

I especially love clothes that are good labels, from the thrift store, and that I wear to death! Those are my favorites.

Education---I'm getting there on the public/private thing. I'm tired of paying top dollar for schools and teachers that annoy me when I can have that much cheaper and for less driving. Especially where college is concerned, I'm so not into the whole 4year deal. It costs way too much even in-state, on scholarship, and in terms of partying. I've yet to see one of mine go the CC route, though.


I agree with you on most of these. I especially don't understand why people buy expensive clothes for kids. I see adorable kids' clothes every time I go in Old Navy and Target. I've seen pictures of kids in incredibly expensive clothes and didn't think they looked any better than the cheap stuff. What's the point? The one exception I could see is if you spent more to buy clothes made primarily in the U.S. rather than China or India. I definitely respect that.

Not sure about education. I went to the same public system your kid is in and thought it served me well. On the other hand, my parents argue community college classes are just not as good as what you get in the same class at a four-year school, because of a perceived lack of interest/effort among much of the student body.

On the other hand, tuition at my alma mater, Virginia Tech, has basically tripled in the 10 years since I started there. As a result, young adults are often starting their careers with $500 monthly student loan payments. Is a possible slight increase in education quality really worth that?


I agree with all of the above... I do not like to spend money going out to eat... Once in a blue moon... Because I have learned the good food and veggies and fruit cost so much, even w coupons. I would rather spend the money on the pantry. I do spend too much on a haircut, gotta trust who cuts my hair, so I only go once a year if that... The upcoming purchase of a generator will likely b too much, tho I do not like to b without power for a week during hurricane season. Tires and cars are the worst things to shop for when u r trying to stay in these 3 catagories frugal.cheap.value...


I like expensive purses but I take good care of them and either keep them forever or sell them when I'm tired of them. I used to buy less expensive bags but got frustrated when they would wear out so quickly. And I don't do Coach anymore because their quality has gone downhill, IMO. I also think they've become something you carry so other people can easily identify the brand & that means something to some people. My bags are heavy leather with limited to no branding that only one person in my city, a young fashion student, could identify on sight so far. I like that. I also don't have kids so it's not like someone's going without braces because momma needs a new bag. :) yes, it's frivolous but there are a lot of things I don't spend on (mani, pedi, hair color, brow waxing, to name a few) so it comes out in the wash.


Ditto on the private schools, weddings, and purses, but I harbor no grudges against those who think differently. I would also like to add the following:

1. school pictures ($35, REALLY!?)

2. going to the movies (even though I just saw Hunger Games, and it was SO worth it),

3. greeting cards ($5 for something that will end up in the trash)

4. Pandora bracelets

I believe community/junior colleges are an EXCELLENT way to gain college credit. You can always transfer to a 4-year school later and earn a diploma with a "big school" name.


Gas! But perhaps that's because I live in a place where I can bike/walk easily...

I have to say that I'm not with you on purses, having just recently changed my tune ... I'd so much rather have one nice purse than a handful of cheap ones. I troll Nordstrom Rack adding to my small "collection" and have not regretted a single purchase ... and something about having a nice bag makes me want to look nicer overall, and to keep it organized well instead of trashed with receipts and wrappers. It's kind of the one nice thing I do for myself, and I excuse it by noting the amount of gift cards/cash I've been given myself that I've ended up using on kids.


I have enjoyed these posts tremendously. I am in agreement with you on this one. Weddings - why? Save your money for the down payment on a house! Education as well! Our community college is excellent.


I spend money on:

1. Computers. I will spend more for a faster computer, more RAM, and more HD space. I want a machine that lasts for several years with heavy use.
2.Skin care. I use Philosophy products and my face has never looked better.
3. Crafting tools/supplies. I knit and I will spend more for quality yarn/needles. I want to have an enjoyable process and a beautiful finished project.
4. Music. No illegal downloads here, I pay for what I have. I've known a few musicians and they deserve to be paid for their hard work.

I agree completely on weddings. My husband and I just went to the courthouse, and took the money we would have spent and put a downpayment on a house instead.


We did a $5000 wedding - including food, dress, venue, rings, etc. We wanted the marriage not the wedding.

The one thing I cannot, for the life of me, buy expensive is furniture right now. We have four kids until six. While we're making an effort to teach them to respect our belongings I am not going to work on those lessons on expensive furniture. I'm pretty sure all of it came from Craigslist or Ikea and I'm happy with that.


Tonight I was at pet store and this article popped into my head as I perused all the overpriced dog chews and toys. $22 for a large rawhide stick?? I don't think so. $9 for a throw toy? I love my pets, but not that much. lololol


Greeting cards....yes! When my kids first started getting invited to birthday parties, I started the trend of having them make cards. More personal, well-received, and less pricey. Even my oldest son, who is a self-proclaimed non-artsy-craftsy person, makes cards suited to his friends...maybe a maze, or a video game theme. On clothes; anything I really would like is way out of my price range, so it's on the cheap for basics like tanks and tees, and vintage or re-sale stores for the interesting stuff. Just got a great blouse that retails for over $70 for $2.99. My vintage winter coats have gotten many a compliment, and I think the most I paid for one is $30. Makes for less of a worry for if/when things get stained or torn, too. A friend and I have a once every 4 months or so outing we take to a nearby area that is chock-full of such stores, and it's so exciting when we make a "find." One recent one; I've wanted cowboy boots for over a decade but couldn't justify the cost, and after a few years I found a great pair in my size for $35. Can't beat that!

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.