Teaching Our Kids To Be Thrifty

I want to teach my kids the importance of thrift. There was a time in my life when I ignored this quality. Maybe because my mom is super-thrifty. I’m not sure. Maybe I  blocked it out mentally. Either way, I made the mistake of not being thrifty in the first half of my life, and I am making sure my kids learn what I ignored.

I took Brandon shopping for school clothes the other day. He wanted to buy a pair of jeans from the Levis Outlet Store. $30.

I convinced him to go to Old Navy. I had a 25% off coupon and they have better prices. He found jeans he liked just as much, and we were able to get him three pair for the same $30. He was VERY excited and is starting to see the value of being thrifty.

I needed a watch for work, so he also saw me buy this Diesel watch for only $19, regularly $90. He couldn't believe it, and he wants to come back to the Fossil Outlet Store next time we shop at the Park City - to get a watch for himself. I think he is starting to see the benefit of shopping smart. Thrifty Lesson Part I: complete.


Can You Really Save Money At Outlet Stores? In Search Of the Good Deal And Some Retail Therapy At the Movie-Star Hang Out, Park City

Lily, McCann and I spent the day at Park City yesterday. It was a blast.

Before we left town, we printed out our coupons and...

stopped by the hospital to say goodbye to mom. It's her turn to work today.

Everytime I take the kids to the hospital, they score cookies. The nurses and secretaries can't resist their cuteness.

Of course McCann started pushing all the buttons in the elevator. At first I got mad and was yelling at him, then I thought, "What am I doing?" It wasn't like we were in a rush or anything. So, I let him push all the buttons, and we stopped at every floor in the hospital.

Once we got to Park City, we ate breakfast at The Eating Establishment. This is where we always eat when we go to Park City.

Lily and McCann freaked out because they had a menu "just" for kids. Not sure why. This isn't the first place they've been to with kids menus.

McCann thought their glasses were fancy. You know those cheap plastic tumblers you see in most resturants? (The kid seriously needs to get out more.)

First, we ordered our drinks. Lily got grapefruit juice and McCann got hot chocolate.

I talked McCann into sharing his with me.

The kids both ordered pancakes and sausage. McCann, of course, insisted on pouring his own syrup and got it all over the table. (Dang kid!)

I ordered a killer omeltte.

After we were done eating, McCann hung out by the fireplace to get warm.

After a leisurly breakfast, we took off for the Outlet Stores.

Our first stop: the Crocs Outlet Store. We bought Crocs for Me and Fauneil to wear at the hospital (Crocs are a godsend for hospital workers) and we bought Lily...

these cute Crocs shoes. She was in desperate need of shoes she can wear now that the weather is getting cold and wet. We got a steal on all of these Crocs. Only $15 each, retail price on each was $40ish.

Next stop: The Gap Outlet Store. We didn't end up getting much there. The store was a mad house. It was worth all the chaos, though, because I got Fauneil a very cute jacket. She loves it (me too). It retails at $49.95 and we got it for only $11. Sweet!

The kids were getting worn out after only two stores. Sheesh! We'll never make it at this rate. We stopped by Mrs. Fields Cookies, so they could rest a bit.

McCann got a pumpkin cookie, and Lily got an M&M cookie (man, my kids are eating WAY too many carbs today).

After the kids' cookie break, we stopped by The Children's Place. We came out of there empty handed, because they didn't have the kind of deals I was looking for.

McCann had to use the bathroom, so, reluctantly, I took him (I HATE public restrooms. Gross!) Anyway, their bathrooms are in the weirdest spot - at the back of an alley next to their dumpsters. Just Weird.

We HAD to stop by Harry and David to buy a treat for our Aunty Lei. She LOVES Harry and David. If she knew we were near there and didn't get her something, she would kill us. We bought her cookies.

Our next stop was for my benefit - Banana Republic. I wanted to buy some long sleeve t-shirts, but everything they had cost more than I wanted to pay or was not what I was looking for.

At this point, the kids were really not interested in shopping anymore. They took a rest on these display tables. Lily even started to sprawl out on top of the clothes and take a nap, until I stopped her.

We made a quick stop at Coach. Not to buy anything, but just to look at all the beauty that resides in that store. I love this store. Wish my wife were more into purses and bags. We didn't stay long. Lily had a melt down and we made a quick exit to...

Gymboree. Talk about a zoo. I think every psycho mother in the state was there. And they all looked at me funny, because I was actually shopping instead of standing next to the front door talking sports with all the other Dads. Give me a break chicas. I can shop if I want.

The best thing about Gymboree is that they entertain my kids, so I can shop "whine" free. Gymboree was our jackpot today. Lily is in dire need of winter clothes and we were able to get her several things here. She got some long sleeve tees for just $4 (normally $10.99), and we got her a dress that was only $15 (normally $22.99). We also got McCann some PJs for just $8 (normally $16.99).

Our last stop was Gap Kids. This was our 2nd jackpot of the day. We got a bunch more long sleeve t-shirts for Lily at only $5 a pop (regular price $12.99). I also bought her a dress that wasn't the best deal, but I HAD to get it for her (they got me). I still saved 20%. I mean, 20% is 20%, right? (Money in my pocket.)

While at Gap Kids, Lily kept hiding behind clothes...

and McCann was peeking in dressing rooms. It was seriously time to get out of there and get home. But, I think we had a successful shopping trip and saved a lot of money. So I think the answer to my earlier question is "yes," you can save money at outlet stores.

When we got home, the house was a mess. We only had an hour before mom got back from work. We had to move fast. We didn't want Mom to come home to a messy house. Here is our living room before. Now look at the after...


The bathroom before. And the after...

Kitchen before. And after...

We also got kids bathed.

Then we made blue berry pancakes for dinner. Yum! (click here for the recipe, or copy and paste the link below). CONCLUSION: I think we all had a fun day.

How I Cut My Food Budget In Half (Part II)

In my last Savvy Shopper post, I cut my bi-weekly food budget from $300 to $166.39 and got all this stuff (plus more that couldn't fit on the table.)

This pay period I cut my budget back to even farther to only $73.15. But it is for a different reason than normal. I am already stocked up on many of the things I need, so I didn't have to buy a bunch of stuff. This is a trend I am noticing with my Savvy Shopping experience.

Thank you DealsToMeals.com for helping me slash my grocery budget.

How A Simple Website Helped Me Cut My Food Budget In 1/2 And Buy This Truck Load Of Food For Cheap

I bought this mountain of food for only $166.39. An this is not even all the food. There is another 20% of it that I couldn't fit on my table. I would have normally spent about $250. How did I do this? I am glad you asked.

My friend Marianne has been telling me about ways to save money on groceries for a long time now. I just recently started thinking seriously about it when...

Coincidentally, my friend Kim, whom I work with at the hospital, introduced me to this DealsToMeals.com.

What is Deals To Meals? Let me have them explain it to you: "We compare the prices of all of the major grocery stores to Costco and Walmart and tell you where the best deals are. Don’t spend hours looking through all of the ads to try and figure out what the best deals are. We do all the work for you--without using coupons! Just focus on the RED deals each week and they will save you anywhere from 30-70% on your groceries.

Essentially, they go through the grocery store adds for me, and all I have to do is go down the list and check the items I am interested in and...

Print off the list, and there is my shopping list (with tons of savings). The trick is to ONLY buy when things are on sale, and stock up. (Red = super good deal and blue = sort-of good deal.)

And DealsToMeals is available in all of the above states. You, my loyal blog followers, are in all these states( except New Mexico). So, all y'all, my readers, should think about doing this, if you have a family.

Also, I price match at Walmart, so I don't have to run from store to store. WHAT? YOU ARE A WALMART HATER? You need to click here to read my post, titled "Jesus Would Not Shop At Walmart." Or copy and paste the link below into your browser.