Friday, October 29, 2010

Do you frequent thrift stores?  As you all know, I do.  I find great deals for me and my family.  I just love the thrill of the find.  I know some people have just recently joined the frugality thing.  I, however, have always had the frugality gene.  ;)  When I was a teen, I worked at a thrift store.  I used to find the coolest clothes ever!  People would pry and ask where I got things because they wanted something I had on.  Now when you are a teen and trying to fit in, most would have said they had purchased the items at some big store so as to not be embarrassed at the place they purchased them.  I didn't.  I told the truth.  Seeing the difference in facially expressions about my nifty clothes, I knew they thought less of thrift stores.  I obviously didn't care.  I was happy with the great buys I found.  The thrift store would get sooooo much stuff coming in on a constant and consistent basis.  I loved that I got a 25% employee discount on top of the incredible tag price.   I remember finding the COOLEST pants I had ever laid my eyes on, and they were only $5!  Scoring them for only $3.75 was incredible.  I would constantly come home with new to me clothes.  At that price, you couldn't beat them. 

I'll never forget hearing a classmate had begged her parents to buy some designer pants at some specialty store, and they willingly spent over $80.00 on them!  I immediately thought of how many pairs of pants and items I could buy with that amount of money at "my" thrift store.  I just couldn't believe that they happily spent that and she was bragging over her pants, which truth be told, didn't seem so different than everyone's pants.  They were blue jeans.  Nothing too special, other than some fancy "designer name brand".  Of course all sorts of girls wanted the designer pants after that and hoped they could talk their parents into buying them.  I, however, didn't even think twice about it. 

I was happy and content with my thrift store clothes.  A lot of the clothes coming in looked like they were in awesome condition.  On top of my satisfaction for the clothes I had, I didn't have the luxury of my parents offering to give me money to pay for clothes.  They established a specified amount for allowance and that was it.  The money I got from my job was my spending and food money.  Right before school started, my parents set up a certain amount of money for school shopping.  This money was to cover our clothes, supplies and the like.  I could have gone to the mall and gotten designer name brand items, but I thought carefully about my purchases.  At that time, a lot of teens wouldn't be caught dead in a thrift store.  Shopping for USED clothes?!?  Oh my goodness, how could someone even possibly think of doing such a thing  ;)  *grin. 

Now that so many people in our nation are pinching their pennies and trying to stretch a buck, things have significantly changed.  The thrift store I used to work at doesn't get as many donations I think.  The conditions of clothes are much less than they were.  People are simply making the things they have on hand work for them.  They are using things for longer than they did in the past.  Spending money on unneccessary items isn't as easy as it was before for some. 

I still enjoy thrift storing.  It is fun.  Some stores tend to be better than others.  What is your favorite thrift store and why?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I was watching Confessions of  a Shopaholic the other day, and I just love that movie.  Don't ask me why, but it is such a funny movie.  But it got me to thinking about our shopping habits.  I clearly am not a shopaholic.  Yes, I love to grab a good buy at a steal, but I don't use a credit card to do so, and I know I have boundaries.  Intead of just spending everything I have and having a roommate who rips up my rent check... not just once but twice, yes (2) times, I spend wisely and know where my money is going.  Some people have no remorse for living beyond their means, and that is their personal choice. 

How in the world she justified spending so much on a green scarf, I have no clue.  It was funny at the scene where the manican is talking to her and tells her to use some old jeans, that is what her mother would do.  I am so that mother.  I can't justify spending so much on stuff that I don't see as a smart and productive buy.  Maybe that is the reason why I have been so wishy washy about the item my daughter wants so badly for Christmas.  I just think it isn't a wise buy.  I think that she could get something cooler for a better buy, but I need to realize that this is what she REALLY wants.  Now if it was my last $20 would I buy it... I doubt it.  But if this is what she really wants from Santa, I need to let her have that magic. 

"When I was a little girl, there were real prices and mom prices.  Real prices got you *shiny, sparkly things* that lasted three weeks, and mom prices got you brown things...... that lasted *forever* ."  I was thinking about this very quote from the movie, and it reminded me of myself.  No, I am not going to buy her any little thing on the whim of her asking for it.  I am, however, going to participate in this one piece of magic while she still believes in Santa.  Who am I to ruin this for her? 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gotta Love Amazon

With the holidays fast approaching and our already stretched funds, I would love to get a little help on my Christmas shopping.  hahaha  :)  Right now Living on Love and Giveaways is giving away one hot Amazon gift card in the amount of $50.  If you haven't checked her blog out yet, you should.  What would I buy with an Amazon gift card?  Well, if I don't win a Pillow Pet on the blogs I entered for my daughter, I would snag her one.  In addition I would buy the Laura Ingal Wilder book set.  I think it would be neat to start reading those with my kids at night.  I always loved those books growing up and it made me realize how blessed we are.  I remember the Christmas book where they got something so completely common and were so thankful.  If not those, I would snag my Little Man this hot little baby:  He LOVES Batman and this seems so fun.  Anyway, check out Living on Love and Giveaway's blog :

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I really want to Win a Pillow Pet For Bug

I reeeeeeeeeally want to win a pillow pet for my daughter.  Call me crazy, but I found another great blog.  Man, do I love finding new, fun blogs.  I found
She is holding a Pillow Pet Giveaway.  I know that the pillow pets are supposed to be the big Christmas want for this year.  Check them out and let me know what you think.  What would you choose if you won one?

An Online Sweepstakes and A Winner

I finally won something online!  Yay!!!!  I checked my mail today and had a key left in my box to open the large box for something didn't fit in my box.  This is what I won:

It is a signed copy of the book by Aubrey Niffenegger.  Aubrey Niffenegger is the same author of The Time Traveler's Wife.  I look forward to reading this.  So excited to have finally won something.  :)

Toy Exchanges

A friend of mine was telling me that her daughter wanted material for sewing and such for Christmas.  I just so happened to have a bunch of fabric sitting in a box unused.  I immediately told her she could have it all.  She told me she would exchange _____ toys that her kids don't play with anymore knowing that my kids would put them to good use.  I immediately told her she didn't need to do that and could just have the fabric.  She said she would rather my kids have them.  It brought up a good idea for Christmas.  If you and your friends have kids with lots of toys that they get bored of, what about having a toy exchange for Christmas?  A toy that was previously lightly enjoyed by Bobby will be just as great as a toy from Target.  A kid shouldn't enjoy a gift any less just because it isn't brand new. 

My kids LOVE yard sales and thrift stores.  They don't know any better, because that is how they were raised.  But if I had decided to exchange some toys they didn't play with and get different toys, that would be a great idea.  No, I am not the first one to have thought this up.  Duhhh!  ;)  But if you are tight on money and don't have the means to go all out this year, think of trying a toy exchange. 

The Little Things In Life

We went to a birthday party recently where the Birthday child received lots of presents but didn't seem very happy or satisfied with anything.  The first gift was oh so cool, but they were then urged to open the next.  By the end, it was, "Where is the next gift?"  This was even after being given a brand new, cool bike.  The birthday child is a great kid.  Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say anything ill of them at all.  I love this kid to death.  It just opened my eyes to what I have also done in the past.

If any of you have read The Tightwad Gazette Books, you'll realize this scenary all too well.  Many people think they need to go all out and be extravagant for Birthdays and Christmas.  Sometimes more than other times.  By the end, our kids are sometimes left expecting much more, even after having been so excited and wanting to play with the first item instead of continuing to open the next gift. 

Today I have come to a realization.  I am not by any means saying we don't have a great Christmas.  I am just happy that my kids are excited with the little things in life.  Something as simple as a pillow excites my daughter.  I know lots of kids her age who want HUGE things like video game systems, with all the games, a new tv for their room, huge expensive toys, and everything.  How are we teaching our kids?  I am happy my kids get so excited with little things.  I really am.  It is so fun to see their faces light up with something as little as a book of stickers from the dollar store.  hahaha  I absolutely love it.  It is adorable.  This Christmas I hope we can all scale down a little and teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas, or whatever holiday you and your family celebrates. 

Instead of showering your kids with so many gifts, can you get by with giving less?  Your kids wont appreciate it any less.  At least I know mine wont.  How do you react to life?  Are you appreciative of the little things in life?  Just remember that our kids follow by our examples.  If Mommy or Daddy are excited over something simple, I am sure their kids will as well.

Pillow Pet Frenzy

I stumbled upon another great blog.  Night Owl Mama is currently having a giveaway for a Pillow Pet.  She seems to have had a great experience with a Pillow Pet friend.  Her little boy is soooo cute!  A boy and his best friend ( a dog).  What could be sweeter?  I entered this in hopes of scoring a Purple Unicorn Pillow Pet for Bug since she is so adament that that is what she wants from Santa this year.  I hope I win this for her.  Check out Night Owl Mama's blog.

Also, check out   Here's hoping I win!  Wish me luck everyone!  :)  I may need it.

She Moved!~!

I have been following an awesome blog.  It makes me feel more accountable to my finances.  It is called   She has since moved to  I look forward to continuing following her.  Take a gander at her site, and check it out.  I really have enjoyed her blog.  I highly suggest adding her.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pillow Pets

In an attempt to score my daughter the Christmas gift she so desperately wants (that purple pillow pet), I stumbled upon this blog:

Check it out and enter to score your child their desired pillow pet.  I hope we win.  Check out to see the other kinds. 

Shopping With Little Ones

After one of the birthday parties we attended this weekend, we decided to stop and walk through a strip mall nearby.  I had never been in the area and was surprised with how many businesses they had out there.  We ended up stopping in Big Lots.  Bug immediately shrieked and stopped us to inform us of something she wanted really bad.  It was a Barbie Musketeer Hot Air Baloon for Barbie.  She begged and pleaded.  Mommy's response: Sorry babe.  You don't need that and we aren't going to buy it. 
Bug: But MOM pleeeeeeease! 
Mommy: No.
Bug: Come on!
Mommy: Maybe you can ask Santa for it.
Bug: Good I am going to!
Mommy: But remember you can only ask Santa for 2 things that you really want.
Bug: But Mommy, I already picked out what I am asking Santa for.
Mommy: And what is that? 
Bug: Barbie Babies and a Unicorn Pillow Pet
Mommy: Is that what you really want? 
Bug: YESSSsssssss~ 
Mommy: Then you don't need to ask for the Hot Air Balloon. 
Bug: I could always ask him for three things or more.
Mommy: But what if Santa decides not to get you the thing that you REALLY wanted.
Bug: Uhhhhhhh fine.  I don't want the Balloon. 

Now that you know the conversation, I have a question for all of you.  If your child wants something in an extreme way, and it is something you just don't think is a wise choice, what do you do?  A while back my sister came across a Groupon special for Pillow Pets.  They are normally about $20 each.  She had a Groupon special that made them under $5.  I immediately thought they were absolutely stupid.  So I declined the need to get my kids that.  $20 for a pillow that I was sure wouldn't be fully loved? 

Lo and behold, recently Bug has been so adament about her need for a Unicorn Pillow Pet.  She wants it so badly.  I told her she could ask Santa for Christmas.  Personally, I don't think Santa should bring it to her for Christmas.  What do you guys think?  What would you do?  Just give in and let Santa deliver this? She has pillows on her bed.  There is nothing wrong with them and they are really comfy.  Not that Santa doesn't bring something a child doesn't absolutely need.  I am just curious how other people do Christmas with their kids.  Come on ladies, spill the beans. 

Photo By Michelle

This weekend was an extremely hectic weekend.  I had so much going on.  One of the fun things we did was have our family pictures taken by Photo By Michelle.  I have known "Shelly" since I was like 7 I think.  I was really young and we went to the same church.  She did our pictures on location at a fun museum that I never knew existed.  It was so fun.
My son was easily bribed by Mommy with candy.  ;)  He was tired of taking pictures.  But I think it was so fun.  I look forward to Michelle working on getting her photography business up and going.  She is a natural pro.  Look at the link and see the teaser she posted.  I can't wait to see the rest. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

My name is Sassy and I'm a .......

My name is Sassy and I don't know what to classify myself.  I'm not a hoarder, but I sure like holding onto things sometimes.  I LOVE a good sale.  It does my body good knowing that I got an incredible price on something.  I am filled with inner happiness when I come home with something awesome for a steal.  It is so fun. 

A while back I posted about how I need to be decluttering.  I have so much "stuff" and when I find something i.e., clothing for my kids, for a great deal, I surely get them.  As a result, I will have stuff all over the house.  Up until last night, my dryer has been broken.  Truth be told, it broke back in April I believe.  I have since had to hang up my laundry to dry.  Yes, there are great things about line drying. Reduced utility bills, longer life span on your clothing, etc.  But when you are a single mom, work full time and are truthfully limited on time, the delay of drying clothes has an effect on me.  I don't want to do laundry. 

I am so exctremely grateful that my dryer was fixed last night.  With the cooler weather coming, I didn't think line drying outside/in the garage would be the best alternative. 

But last night I just came to the realization that I need to stop shopping.  Unless I am looking for a specific item, I need to just cut it out.  I was so thrilled about realizing we had too much stuff/enough a few months ago.  But I have been shopping regardless.  And it isn't on big items.  It is the small things. 

With my unemployment happening at the beginning of this year, and being out of work for 6 months, I have worked out the figures and know that I will have made $26,000.00 at the end of the year.  Frankly, money is extremely tight.  I am overall an extremely frugal person, but I need to be watching our money even more.  It is scary how the little things add up.  Instead of shopping, I need to work on getting rid of more things!  I need to just get my butt in gear. 

My son will be having a birthday next month, so I need to work out a birthday budget, on already limited funds.  Some people may say just do without the party, but in our family we have a birthday party every year.  I would find it unfair to do without a party for him.  I like making my kids feel special and having a fun event just for them and our friends/family.  It is fun.  What fun birthday ideas can you guys come up with?  Something extremely frugal?  Something that will keep a 3 year old's attention?  I am glad I already found his birthday gift from me.  It takes a lot of stress off me. 

In addition to the birthday party, Christmas is around the corner.  Although I have bought some gifts throughout the year for my kids, I still have other family members to shop for and such.  The thought of the holidays is starting to stress me out.  On my side of the family, I believe we are not exchanging this year.  But that hasn't been set in stone either.  It is still up in the air.  My ex's family always includes us in their Christmas celebrations.  This year I think I might opt out for the gift exchange.  Last year there was a $50 limit.  To someone else that might sound like nothing, but on me who is already strapped for cash, that is pretty big.  And although the word "limit" is set, that typically means they expect you to spend about that on the gift.  If I drew my kids' grandma or grandpa, I could whip together a scrapbook, which I already purchased ahead of time on an extremely great deal.  I already have the supplies for scrapbooking.  I would just have to purchase pictures.  But knowing my luck, I wouldn't draw one of them.  And i would somehow have to come up with $50.00 for whoever's gift. 

I know that the holidays are supposed to be for joyous occasions, but for some reason I just am not feeling joyous about them.  No, I am not a scrooge.  I just am a little stressed and worried over it.  I usually shop Black Friday sales and get great deals on things, but this year I don't think I will be able to.  1) I believe I have to work!  :(  I have NEVER had to work on Black Friday so this will be an adjustment.  I was reading the employee handbook and the day after Thanksgiving is NOT listed as a holiday.  2)  If I chose to take the day off without pay, it still wouldn't solve the issue of my limited funds.  hahahaha  Obviously, it would contribute to me having even less funds! 

On top of all of this, my cousin texted me yesterday asking if her and her family could stay at her house during Christmas break.  Although I love her to death, I am still left with a few fears on this.  First, I have work, so I won't be able to spend a lot of time with them.  Second, while I am at work her and her family will be at my house and I wouldn't want something bad happening at the house with her kids.  Third, if they were at our house on Christmas morning and their kids got "awesome" presents from Santa, and my kids don't think they got as great of gifts, what do I do? Next, feeding 6 extra mouths on my income isn't going to be easy.  Needless to say, I am throwing that idea around in my head on top of everything else.

So now I am left debating what to do for the next couple months.  I didn't mean for this to come off as just a rant about everything.  Sorry guys.  I am just left really debating on what to do. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Finds For The Weekend

My son's birthday is coming up next month.  Instead of finding him a toy that he'll just tire of for his birthday present, I figured out something better for his present.  The other night the kids wanted to have a camp out in the living room in front of the tv.  They had so much fun.  There was only one problem- we only have two girl sleeping bags.  My son had to sleep in the Little Mermaid one.  He said he wants a boy one.  I figured it would be the perfect gift.  I looked online for a Batman one since he loves Batman so much.  No luck.  I looked in stores.  In the end, I went to Savers and found a nice blue sleeping bag that is really nice.  It was listed for $7.00.  Then I looked up at the sign and realized it was half off since the tag was green.  So for only $3.50 he will have a really nice blue sleeping bag. 

I also stopped in really quick at Goodwill and found a Transformers mask that talks and makes noise.  It was really awesome.  It was only $3.00.  Little man spotted it first.  I bought it, but I stuck it in the trunk so he has completely forgotten about it.  I never have luck at Goodwill.  From my experience, the prices are so much higher than other thrift stores.  Maybe that is just my experience.  Maybe some of you have had great experiences finding things at great prices there.  I haven't.

Prior to going out for a search for the sleeping bag, we stopped at a school yard sale.  I found my son a nice, sturdy winter jacket for only $2.00 :)  I found a pair of Carz slippers for my son for only $1.00 also.  I wish my camera was working, so I could post pictures.  We also spotted a nice children's book with great pictures.  It was only 25 cents.  Great buys if you ask me. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving Back

I am going to be completely straightforward and upfront on this post.  If you agree with me on the subject, that is fine.  If you do not, that is fine too.  This is my personal experience and I am sharing it simply as such.

I posted a while back about the subject of tithing.  Tithing is giving 10% of all you receive back to the Lord.  Different religions or beliefs clarify this as different things.  In my  belief, it is to give 10% to my church.  With those funds, the church is surely able to bless the lives of others.  Be it temples, church buildings, helping struggling families who are deeply in need, and so on. 

Other people believe it is giving 10 % of your income to those around you, not a church.  Others just put whatever they feel into a collection plate.  From what I have been told of the collection plate from a few people I know, it usually is just about $20 or so each time the collection plate goes around.  Typically not 10% of their income.  And that is completely fine!  Whatever you believe is what you should live by. 

In my personal life, I pay 10 % to our church before paying anything.  This 10 % is figured before taxes.  I have paid tithing off and on most of my life.  In the past 2 years, I have paid an honest tithe knowing that if I did, the Lord would keep his promise and provide for our needs.  I have never had an issue paying this- as I know that it is needed, until the past little while.  Lately it seems there is always something coming up and somehow, somewhere we seem to be lacking. 

I will be completely honest and tell you guys that, yes I have been a complainer on this subject recently.  "Why should I be paying x amount in tithing when we are barely getting by?  We can't afford to pay.  I can just use the money I would have paid in tithing and put it to other areas where it is really needed.  Come on, the Lord can understand this.  Can't He?"

I have been praying and pleading.  I have put my needs to Him.  The previous post I mentioned how I had a feeling I was supposed to go to that flea market.  I didn't mention to you that I have been praying for the little things lately.  Shoes for my son.  That was part of my prayers.  The pure chance that I stumbled upon brand new shoes that he really needed, when I have been so desperately praying and pleading for help?  I know it isn't chance. 

Or how about the school lunch program?  I was packing lunch for my daughter the first few weeks of school.  When your budget is already strapped and you add something as simple as lunches for her, it isn't easy.  I was informed that we would qualify for the school lunch program for her.  I applied and never heard back.  Somehow the paper work got lost.  :(  I, of course, complained and whined over it.  I had to fill it all out again.  The next few days we were informed she qualified for reduced lunches.  It was costing me $1.50 to pack and send her lunch with her.  The reduced lunch fee is 40 cents.  So a 90 cent saving a day.  When we went up to pay money on her account, the lunch lady informed us that, though she qualified for the reduced lunch, there would be no fee for her lunches.  She informed us that the school district is doing some random study on lunches and this year if anyone qualifies for reduced lunches, they will be receiving lunch for free.  Someone could easily say that this is just pure luck and it has nothing to do with spirituality or tithing.  I beg to differ. 

When you are praying and pleading for help and guidance in certain areas, and you willingly and happily pay your tithing trusting fully in the Lord, knowing He will provide, and something comes your way, I know it is His work.  Yes, I have been debating on paying tithing lately due to income and things coming up, but I know that the Lord is testing me.  I can't imagine where we would be without me paying an honest tithe.  Surely I know we wouldn't be where we are today. 

To tie into the subject of tithing, the other night I got to thinking how blessed we really are.  I am a single mother with two healthy kids, a safe roof over our heads, two healthy and happy dogs, food to eat, great clothing on our backs, our religion and freedom to worship, a paid off car, and all the things many people take for granted.  Yes, I might complain or wish I had better things sometimes, but I know I am so much better off that someone else might be.  I know that it is thanks to the Lord and my faith in paying tithing.  Yes, I will surely be tested all throughout my life, but do I want to fail?  No.  I want to happily pay my tithing and have faith that He will provide a way for our needs to be met.  I am happy I have been paying my tithing.  :)

I have many other instances where I know that the Lord has provided for my kids and I as a result of paying tithing.  But I will leave this thought with you- If you want to be better provided for and having better faith in your life, I greatly suggest paying tithing.  If you don't belong to a church and have no desire to join any churches, what about giving back to your community?  Ten percent might seem like a lot to someone, but I promise you if you do this, you will be provided for.  And if there comes a time in your life where you really need something and are completely lacking, I am sure beyond any certainty that something will come of it and your needs will be met. 

So sorry....

I am so sorry I haven't posted anything recent.  Truth be told, I have just been so busy lately that posting has been the last thing on my list to do.  My friend questioned when I was going to post something new on here.  Well here it is:

This weekend I had an incredible buy.  I had just cashed my check and was driving to my grandparents' house to pay them for babysitting.  I looked to my left and saw a Catholic Church and a sign that had flea market listed with Saturday's date.  I had never been there before, but something told me I really needed to check it out.  I really didn't want to go, but I surely pulled in the parking lot and ventured in to see what they had.  Man, am I so thankful I did! 

You have to know that my son has been needing new shoes for quite some time.  I have been having him in sandals, but with the weather starting to cool down a little bit, I have been kind of worried about shoes.  You also have to know, that the past two months have been really really really trying on me financially.  So when I saw some brand new pairs of kids shoes in boxes at this flea market, I checked to see if they had my son's size.  They did in fact have his size.  I questioned how much they were, thinking they would be probably too expensive.  I couldn't believe my ears when the guy informed me they were 2/$3.  I asked if he meant a pair for $3, just to be on the safe side.  He said, "No, they are two pairs for $3.00.  If you don't buy two, they are $2.00 a pair."  I was in total shock.  I found two that were my son's size and I was so excited. 

I also found one pair of dress shoes (brand new in the box) for myself for $2.00.  I have been needing new shoes for work as mine are really old and starting to show wear. 

So I happily grabbed those, thinking wow $5.00 total for 3 brand new pairs of shoes for both of us.  Then I looked behind me and noticed the Parish Hall with its doors open.  They were having a huge flea market there.  I decided to venture inside just to see what they had.  They had tons of stuff there!  I had grabbed just a couple things that I saw as really good buys, when a lady screamed and yelled for everyone's attention.  She informed everyone that they were having a deal.  You could fill an entire big, black trash bag full of stuff and the price would only be $5!!!! 

I decided to search more thoroughly since I knew I could stuff a lot of stuff in a black trash bag, and I am so happy I did so!  The following is what I scored for $5 total:
- 2 great and sturdy jackets for me which I have really been looking hard to find for myself
- a few hoodies for my daughter
- a nice, thick Spiderman blanket set, with the sheets, pillowcases, and everything included
- 4 bath robes (1 my size which is really thick and great quality, 2 my daughter's size, and 1 my son's size)
- a few pairs of pajama pants
- books
- hunting gear jackets (one bright orange one and two camo. styled ones) which I plan to give to my cousin
- some clothes for my daughter to grow into
- two swimming trunks for my son to grow into
- towels and wash cloths

All of those items for $5!?!?  I couldn't believe it.  I know some of you might say or think that it is just a coincidence that I stopped there.  I, on the other hand, know that I was guided to stop there.  :)