Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Helpful Resources for Being Good Stewards of Our Money

There are two wonderful resources I would LOVE to share with you.

The first is one that is truly a WEALTH of information for saving money on anything and EVERYTHING! I always check out this site first. They have a WONDERFUL and FREE newsletter with GREAT ideas, but that is just a SMALL amount of the wealth of information on this site.

The Dollar Stretcher

The second is one I just recently learned about from Cindy Rushton in this interview. It is called Living On A Dime and looks VERY good so far.

I also wanted to speak for just a second on buying stuff second hand. I know that this is becoming a HUGE trend, especially after a group of people did nothing but that for a year. But I wanted to speak about my experience. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to save money. I need a shirt that says "I LOVE GARAGE SALES" because I do. We can be traveling at 65 miles an hour on the freeway, I will see a sign for a garage sale and slam on my brakes and turn! And I love going to thrift stores (that might be because we do have some REALLY good ones near where I live). And I LOVE Ebay (boy can that become addicting, but be sure NOT to pay too much for something JUST because you want to win the item, I have seen people pay TWICE what I can get it NEW in a store for because they got caught up in the bidding process). And I LOVE the internet used book stores (bookfinder.com is an AWESOME resource and searches the web for new/used titles of books and shows you all the lowest prices).

But I have noticed that sometimes prices are lower in stores on their discount racks (Old Navy, Christopher & Banks, Sears). I find BRAND NEW CLOTHES for cheaper than thrift (even cheaper than Walmart and better quality too!!).

Christopher & Banks has be one of my favorite. I recently got a $65 dress for $5!! Become friends with the staff and find out when their do their markdowns. C&B does markdowns on top of markdowns. So if you see something you like, but don't like the price, try again in a week or two. If it is still there, they will have marked it down some more.

Sears is great because their KidVantage program is FREE. If the clothes stain, tear, rip, you name it, during the life of the clothing for that child (in other words, while Suzie can wear it, as long as it still fits) bring it back into the store for a replacement! I got a brand new winter coat for my oldest last year for $5!!! A similar coat in Goodwill was $8, had had some stains on it.

I know that this makes it more difficult to shop, especially if you have little ones in tow. But I use this as alone time with each of the children. I take them shopping with me. We try on clothes for Mommy, then clothes for them, then a trip to the pet store, and a lemonade to split while we walk around the mall. It is a GREAT bonding time, AND teaching time as well (teaching my daughters about frugalness, being good stewards, AND how to shop for QUALITY (not just the cheapest).

All this just to say, be frugal and good stewards of your money doesn't mean only buying second hand. If brand new is cheaper and better quality, you are still being a frugal and good steward by buying new.

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