This post is sponsored by Andy Pandy. As always all opinions are my own. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to deal with an unfortunate case of diaper rash? Awful stuff right? If your kiddo is anything like my Margs, diaper rashes just seem to pop up out of nowhere and they cause a ton of discomfort and fussiness. In the early weeks and months when she was just a wee infant we struggled with redness and chaffing and other uncomfortable diaper rash related issues. We were totally new to the whole parenting thing and despite thinking we were on top of her diaper changes we somehow were clearly missing the boat because no matter how well we cleaned her, how much diaper cream we applied and which diaper brand we used baby girl seemed to be constantly dealing with irritation on some level. And, as most of you…

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One Sunday morning during Margsy’s  weekly swimming lesson a fellow swim mom (is that even a thing?) stopped to tell me how cute she thought my daughters bathing suit was and to find out where I bought it because she’d like to purchase a similar one for her kiddo. Now, I’m pretty open about my frugal lifestyle choices and will gladly tell you that x, y or z is used with great pride but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel judgement from time to time.  You see the judgement I often face is not necessarily about our choice to live this way but more about the perception or maybe assumption that by living frugally we’re somehow parenting our kiddo incorrectly or depriving her in some way. I was met with a little- okay a lot – of judgement that day and to be frank, it sucked. It didn’t suck…

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Way back when Mer and I were ultra money wasters we never and I mean never brown bagged lunches. We sucked at organizing ourselves food wise and so it only made sense to pass by the food court or drive through to get something to eat at lunch hour. We seemed to never be prepared, never have enough food, never have enough energy and never be organized enough to actually pack anything to take for lunch. Apparently we never ran out of excuses too! The worst part? There were ALWAYS leftovers sitting in our fridge begging to be eaten. Worse even is that those leftovers often got thrown straight into the garbage because we’d forget about them and let them spoil. We were so incredibly lazy and really had no idea how much our bad  habit was costing us so we kept spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month…

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten sucked into watching Extreme Couponing? I don’t watch it anymore but back in the day when we were struggling financially I’d sit there and try to soak up every ounce of wisdom those coupon divas had to share. I mean, how did they do it? How did they manage to save hundreds and hundreds of dollars on their hauls? Impressive right? I mean from a quantitative point of view – aka accumulating the most amount of stuff for the least amount of money- it really is impressive. But, as a frugal lifer I take issue with stockpiling so many items for the sake of stockpiling. In most of these episodes you’ll hear things like ” I’ll buy the whole shelf – we don’t really use it but at least I can add it to my stockpile “. In retrospect these ladies were probably…

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10 years ago I was a completely different person. To the outside world I appeared to have it all together. I wore fashionable big ticket clothes, had killer designer handbags and wore expensive and uncomfortable footwear. I was a marketers dream! If it was “in” I had to have it. If it was trendy – I was the first in line to buy it. If it made me “appear” more successful, put together, worthy or important you bet I’d drop cash on it. I was a hostage to consumerist chaos and the more, more, more narrative that marketing and consumerism convinces us should be part of our lives. I lived my life by establishing my worth as a person by what I owned. The major caveat was that I had a dirty little secret. I couldn’t afford that lifestyle, it made me miserable and no matter what I bought it…

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Raise your hand if you’re a little put off by buying, wearing or touching used stuff? I double pinky swear that I wont judge you for having the ewww factor about used stuff! My goal here isn’t to chastise you for your opinions! If you’re raising your hand way up high I can assure you that you are not alone. Often times, when I tell people that we buy virtually 100% of our stuff used I’m faced with some of the most interesting responses. There are those who question us – I’ve gotten asked more than once if we’ve ever “caught something from buying used”. In other situations I’ve been met with really strong and sometimes harsh opinions about how buying used is gross and that I’m actually neglecting my kiddos needs by doing it. Buying used gets such a bad rap doesn’t it folks? There seems to be this…

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Raise your hand if you want to start saving some money right now and start padding that savings account! Saving money is hard hard work am I right? Bills pile up, debt needs to be repaid, emergencies happen and things just need to be bought. Life isn’t simple and sometimes putting anything away at all is downright impossible. We’re a frugal family by choice. What started off as a lifestyle change to help us pay down a whopping 21k in consumer credit card debt turned into a lifelong commitment when we realized how much happier and more fulfilled we were by spending less and saving more. Once we paid down that heap of debt we started putting the same amount of money into our savings and were able to purchase our home with over a 50% down payment. Our frugal lifestyle choices not only allowed us to make debt a…

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