I daydream to a fault. I often have to remind myself: This is real life. I look at my daughters over my XL mug of coffee and there's beautiful music in the background and their shining faces. I smile and feel all warm and fuzzy because of their sweetness. Then- reality sets in and I realize Olivia is stealing sips out of my mug and Mila pooped on her bouncy chair. How do you keep ebf poo contained?!?!?!?
An adjustment period has finally come to a normal rhythm and I am now used to our new and improved budget. By new I mean smaller and by improved I mean that I have (almost) gotten used to this whole frugal living thing. I decided to share my experiences by category. If there is anything else you want to hear about then h o l l a.
We do a lot of raw produce from natural food grocery stores like our local Sprouts (Boney's, Henry's). These places tend to carry a lot of local produce at real fair prices, and organic is a fraction less than Whole Foods or even Safeway. Trader Joe's carries our snacks, pastas, and any frozen stuff. Really, thanks jeebus for TJ's. Here I can indulge in a really nice cheese and accompany it with a $3 bottle of shiraz. Olivia loves steamed veggies (see: broccoli) and a little pasta/indian on the side.
I am so thankful for my tenure in upscale retail. I have some nice pieces I wear over and over (a good pair of jeans, boots, flats, jacket) and wear them with cheap tops and accesories from Target and Forever 21. If I have extra cash I will drop it at the Anthropolgie sale rack. If you are local to San Diego I will share my secret since I can't afford to indulge on the regular anymore: Anthropologie at the Otay Ranch mall has the best sale rack. Ever.
Throw on jeans instead of sweats and you will look like you tried.
Wear under eye concealer, lip balm, and curl your lashes. It's crazy how effortless this is and yet it makes a paramount difference. Some of the other moms at the playground still give me the narrow eye as if I were wearing falsies and towering in stilettos. Girl, you shoulda at least splashed cold water on your face.
Target, target, target. Such cute stuff at a small price. Also, thrifting. I have found the sweetest vintage dresses and cardigans at the Goodwill for $2. Be creative! If you sew, MAKE STUFF. My favorite clothing that the girls have is handmade stuff. Take a trip to Joann's and get crafty. I need to take my own advice on that last part.
Diapers and formula
Breastfeed and cloth diaper.
I love packing snacks/PB&J and going on picnics. It's free and always a hit. It gets us out of the house without breaking the bank.
Window shopping the malls.
Story time at the local library.
Free day at the museums (look them up)
Local playdates from meetup.com (try it)
Sometimes I miss certain things but then I remember that happiness comes from loving what you have. Happiness is in the little things. This has never rung more true. Notice those little details and find the joy in them. We listen to good music, have warm food in our bellies, take everything our city has to offer, and indulge in culture. I cannot put a price on being home with my kids every single day.