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Spending $1.97 for Sweaters with a $104.00 SRP

A few weeks ago I had received some discount and cash off coupons that Kohls so generously sent my way. I have a tendency to ignore these unless we have a need for something, and that particular week we had some things that we both needed. So off we went to see what we could find. Well, we found plenty, although we were both a little stunned at the cost of hose for me, and socks for him, and we won’t even talk about the cost of underwear. Basically, I was beginning to think they were being custom made in the back room, simply for our needs!

Okay, a little transparency: I do not shop frequently, and when I do everything is on sale and I try to buy things in bulk so that I do not have to return anytime soon. Apparently I was away for far longer than I thought, at least for these type items. Well, we left with the basics, and obviously with no extra’s to stash away for when these items might need to be replaced, but we did leave with a $10 Kohl’s cash coupon. I personally do not enjoy this gimmick to get people to return and spend money, so much so, that I will give them to one of my daughters or someone else if they are in need of something at Kohl’s. In addition, I do not believe in credit cards, yet they can work if you only spend what you have available to spend. The only reason I have a Kohl’s card is for the discounts they send my way.

Well, since that visit, I acquired various coupons along with that Kohls cash.  For some reason Kohl’s decided to send me $10 for the Veteran’s day weekend through the mail and another one (different code) via email. Then another $10 because I willingly said “sure” I’ll be happy to get my bill via email”, and another one for the “yes2you” rewards program. Needless to say, I had $50 that I was having a difficult time saying “no” to. Mind you I was a little bummed that they were not offering any % discounts on top of all this savings, but one must not be greedy while being thankful for what one has.

So tonight I returned to Kohl’s thinking that first I will get a few extra pair of hose, but wanted to check out the dresses and sweaters. I found one sweater dress that looked amazing on me, but even on sale, the “see through winter look” was not the fashion statement I was looking for, and certainly NOT for the $79 sale price. I know, I hear some of you ladies thinking, but it would only net out to $29!!  Okay, sure, a great deal, but I struggled in knowing that this sweater dress was noticeably see through. In addition, I just paid off my Kohl’s card for that previous purchase and I had no intention of adding more to it.

So, I browsed a bit, and finally selected a few classic sweaters and a fashionable cardigan. These will work well with dress pants, jeans, and skirts. Yes, I thought about the full wardrobe benefit before cashing in my FREE money. So three sweaters later, my husband and I walk to the register. The total rings up as $51.97 before the coupons. And yes, you math wizards have calculated my total correctly. I ended up putting $1.97 on my Kohl’s charge, and only because they insist that you use their credit card to utilize some of the discounts. Silly them!!

Don’t you just love it when the cashier looks at the total dollars saved and announces  that “you saved $102.03 on  your order today”. They are so perky that I really hate to disappoint them. Seriously, I saved $50, NOT $102.03, because you see, I would never pay full price knowing that Kohl’s always has things on sale and many times for 40-50% off their regular price.

My husband loves shopping with me, not because he enjoys waiting for me to decide what I will be buying for the lowest price possible, but rather to see how much I will not be spending. As we left this evening with my gleeful giggles, he chuckled and asked if I could find a way to save at BassPro and leave there spending no more than $5.00 for his wish list of a new tree stand, a new pistol for each of us and a rifle. Hmmm…guess I need to do some serious thinking there. So far I have not accumulated much on their reward card, so that could take awhile. Yet, if we win their huge sweepstakes they currently have going on, we could walk away with more than his wish list. Then again, I’m not sure I really want to win considering the tax implications.

Being frugal is not about being cheap, but rather about using your resources wisely.

Laura – Frugal Value Lifestyle

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Candle Scents Continue Burning

Keep the candle incense burning even when the wick stops burning.  NOTE: Be sure to keep safe from little curious hands. Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

Keep the candle incense burning even when the wick stops burning.
NOTE: Be sure to keep safe from little curious hands.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

If you are one who enjoys the quality candle scents one finds at shops that sell Yankee candles or even the candles sold at Bed and Bath, you are keenly aware that these candles continue to provide a scent much longer than most inexpensive candles.

As the candle continues to burn, yet flickers out with candle left in the jar, one might consider throwing the jar and candle completely away. Personally, since these candles are not inexpensive, I have a hard time tossing what remains.  So instead of tossing, I continue to burn the scent. How might you ask?

1st – you need to remove the candle wax from the glass jar. I do this by putting the cooled candle and jar into the freezer for a day or two. This process makes it easier for you to break the wax apart, allowing you to remove it from its glass container. Sometimes the wax is already cracked for me, yet if not, I take a dull knife and put pressure on the wax until it breaks. Finally removing the chunks of wax.

2nd – place a few of these chunks in an oil burning unit, where you would normally place the oil, then below place your tea light. The tea light warms up the wax, making it liquid, allowing you to continue enjoying your favorite candle scents.

NOTE: The scent in the picture was that of Chocolate Mint, so the chunks look like chocolate chunks…BE SURE to LABEL your container or storage bag and KEEP AWAY from little curious hands.

Now, what about that beautiful glass jar that your candle arrived in?

1st, you need to clean this out, using hot soapy water. Let it sit for a bit if necessary, understanding that you might need to repeat.

Two Options:

  1. Personally, I take the jars and use them as storage units. NEVER for preserving foods, but have used them for gift containers for covered candies. I use them for paper clips, sewing supplies, etc. Once the labels are removed, they are clear containers with lids, that are functional as well as decorative.
  2. Use as gift containers.  NEVER for presenting preserved foods such as jams, jellies, etc. You can never be too sure that you have removed all the wax. I have used them as gift containers for covered candies – consider hiding a gift card within the candles. A sweet treat for any recipient. If you bake cookies (for the larger jars) be sure they are in those cellophane food bags, that not only protect the taste from potential wax residue, but also gives the jar a decorative look as well.
  3. Make new candles – this is an easy craft, but can be dangerous if you are not careful. Instead of using the wax chunks as burning chips, you can save them to reuse in new candles. Use new wax, creating your own candles. Ask friends who typically burn candles if they toss their jars, if so they might provide you the containers to work with. Craft stores provide incense oils that can be added to your wax, along with a variety of supplies. In a future post I will share how I have made candles in the past.

NOTE: For those who decide to make new candles, you might be able to reuse the wick holders that are left if you are careful in removing them from the bottom of your glass container. If not, they are not very expensive and can be found in craft stores.

Laura – Frugal Value Lifestyle

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Taking Natural Birch and Lighting Things Up

 

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch. This is a set of three which I enjoyed displaying together as a unit. Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch.
This is a set of three which I enjoyed displaying together as a unit.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

Other than Oak, one of my favorite trees, regardless of season is that of White Birch.  It has character that shares strength with delicate features. I love the white that is shadowed with black from wounds created by nature.

This past spring I started to look for fallen white birch along my path, yet when I spotted any, it was rotted to the core. My husband and father’n law knew that I wanted this for some project, not quite sure what, but set in hopes to locate some in their travels as well.

Upon a visit my husband made to his dad’s house, he was gifted with some beautiful pieces of birch that had fallen along the paths that my father’n law frequented. He was not sure whether it would work for what I had envisioned, but felt it was worth picking up and carrying home. My husband told his dad that although he did not know what my plans were, he was pretty confident it included some of his help.

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch. This piece fits nicely on a bookcase as one enters into our living room.  Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch.
This piece fits nicely on a bookcase as one enters into our living room.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

He was correct. There are two gifts that he is working on for me, one which is completed, while the other gift item we are waiting a spell to see how the birch dries. After he completed these two gift items, there was plenty for him to  use his own creative mind to make some projects he felt I would enjoy during this season of holiday decorating.

So, with a little time to set-up, cut, and drill, these candle holders were made. I am thrilled to no end, appreciating his thoughtfulness in making me something out of nature he was sure I would enjoy. He chose to use the battery operated candles, so that I did not have to worry about making sure the candle did not burn too low, plus one would not want to put an actual burning candle in a piece of wood.

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch. This log piece has five candles and my preference was to have it in my window sharing a more natural, flickering display. Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch.
This log piece has five candles and my preference was to have it in my window sharing a more natural, flickering display.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

Using nature with added love, time and talent, a warm and inviting decor has been added to our home.  The only cost was the battery candle lights, that were purchased at a reduced price.

One can purchased fallen, cut birch at Michaels now.  My husband and I were surprised, yet we are grateful that we were able to do this with natural resources that we already have available to us. The battery tea lights can be found at a multiple of craft stores, but use your resources wisely, and take advantage of sales and coupons that your store might offer.

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch. Here I have the set sitting in our kitchen window. Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

One of the different candle holders my husband made using a fallen birch.
Here I have the set sitting in our kitchen window.
Laura of Frugal Value Lifestyle
www.frugalvaluelifestyle.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

Laura – Frugal Value Lifestyle

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Frozen Dessert Molds – Finding Value at the Register

Frugal Value Lifestyle Frozen Pop Molds 1

This summer I made the decision that I wanted to make my own healthy ice pops and frozen non-dairy dessert bars.  To do this, it meant that I needed to purchase some molds.  Although the time frame in which I was looking to do this was late summer, after picking a variety of berries, I still felt I would be able to find what I was looking for locally, and hopefully on sale.

Unfortunately, what I thought would be an easy find turned out that the opposite was true.  As I scanned the housewares and summer season aisles of our local stores, there were none to be found.  As I gave up the search for purchasing locally, I decided to scan what might be available online.  I must have had a 70’s mindset of price, because what I found for pricing was a bit more than I was willing to spend.

When I shop, I first look for quality followed by a price-point value system.  I inspect the product to determine if it will work for what I plan to use it for.  I rarely ever impulse buy (I will either walk around a store for a bit or wait a day if shopping on line to really evaluate whether it is a need vs. want item).  And with the evaluation, I determine if the price will benefit the intended purpose of my purchase.

A few weeks passed when my husband and I went out to shop for a needed sneaker replacement.  While he browsed the shoe department, I decided to browse the housewares clearance area.  As I turned the corner I was delighted to see exactly what I was looking for.  Yet, I was braced for that “clearance price” that is usually 20-30% off (normal sales pricing which never grabs my attention and in this particular store their regular pricing is usually overpriced by the same).  I was delighted to find that the exact freezer pop molds I was looking for was marked down 80% and with a $10 birthday coupon combined with a 30% off coupon, I scored what I was looking for at a phenominal price.

Of course the accountant in me was tallying up my prized find, fumbling with them in my arms as I carried them over to my husband with the biggest grin saying “Look!!  I found exactly what I was looking for!!”  His response was, “Do you really need four sets?”  His excitement was not quite the same as mine, but I will contribute that towards his earnestly trying to find a pair of sneakers that not only fit but had good arch and ankle support, while staying within our budget for sneakers.

Of course I rattled off the reduced price from the overpriced SRP of $16.99 that was marked down to $3.39, reminding him that I had a $10 coupon and my 30% off coupon (which of course could have been used for his sneakers) I would spend less than $10, still $7 less than the original price for one set.  If I did not use the $10 coupon, I would have still been able to get the four sets for $15.10, still less than the SRP of one set.

Knowing my rationale, length of time in searching and frugal spirit, he supported my smile as I put them in the cart.  Of course, they had two more sets on the shelves.  I was definitely tempted to go back and pick them up, but I knew that it would be stretching the “need vs. want” category. In all, I obtained 4 sets of 6 frozen dessert pop molds for a final cost of $ 8.07.

To make my own, individual frozen desserts, I scored a great find!!  Purchased 4 sets at $3.39 each, with a $10 coupon and 30% discount resulting in $8.07 for four sets!! Even if I did not have a $10 coupon the final cost for the set of four would have been $15.10 which was still less than the original SRP.

To make my own, individual frozen desserts, I scored a great find!! Purchased 4 sets at $3.39 each, with a $10 coupon and 30% discount resulting in $8.07 for four sets!!
Even if I did not have a $10 coupon the final cost for the set of four would have been $15.10 which was still less than the original SRP.

Since this purchase, I have made a few healthy frozen desserts, one of which was shared on my Gluten and Milk Free Lifestyle Blog  

Living within our means, stretching the dollars, and still having nice quality items we will use,

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Please feel free to comment, follow this blog, my facebook page and/or share!!  Love hearing from my readers 🙂

Under Warranty – Returning the Bug Zapper

FrugalValueLifestyleLimitedWarranty1

One benefit that some manufacturers provide is the limited warranty at no additional charge to the consumer.  Rarely do we hang onto the boxes “just in case” or many times we either toss that little receipt or have it filed away.

Fortunately, the bug zapper that we received as a gift last summer is something where my husband held onto the box so that it could be stored in during the winter months.  So, after a few months of having it hang, my husband discovered that our work horse of last summer, was not taking care of the mosquitoes and other insects that can cause one to start swatting ones arm uncontrollably at anything resembling an insect that might bite.

FrugalValueLifestyleLimitedWarranty3In reading the box I saw that it had a 3 year limited warranty.   I mentioned to David that I was going to call the company on Monday to ask them about this limited warranty.  To my surprise, even without a receipt, they took my complaint seriously and after asking a few questions provided me with a return authorization number.

Two negatives to my initial communication was that they were not able to provide a return shipping label, and instead of taking the initiative to share the address to return the item, I was forwarded to a recording where it was impossible to clearly understand some of the address.  So, as to not allow the discouragement to take hold of my day, I decided to send an email to the customer service department, sharing that it would make things much easier on the customer if they provided a return shipping label via email, and/or at least have a human communicate the address so that one could be sure that the item was being returned to the correct address.

I decided to send an email, not really being certain whether someone would respond.  I was totally pleased with the quick response.  Within three hours, I heard back from their customer service specialist Catherine.  Understanding my concern for the costs that I would incur in returning the product and my dissatisfaction in not having a clear understanding of the address to return the product, she provided me with a location closer to home saving me on postage as well as a faster turnaround experience.

FrugalValueLifestyleLimitedWarranty2So, today the box was packed and shipped out.  We spent $8.09 on USPS shipping, in its original box verses the potential replacement cost of $50-$60.  For us, even though our preference would have been to have a free paid shipping label, the cost difference in savings was worth our shipping back to the company for a replacement.  They share that it is a 2-4 week turn-around, which we will wait and see.

I am not suggesting that one build a shed to store boxes and receipts, but I am suggesting that when you are purchasing a product with a warranty, that you consider how you might return it if it needs to be replaced along with maintaining the receipt.  For us, we did not have a receipt, as it was a gift but Kaz Incorporated worked with me on this.

In addition, do not toss your money away when a product does have a warranty.  Utilize this benefit.  They realize that many will not take advantage of the offer, but if it saves you $40-$50 or more (depending on the product), do you not think it would be worth it?  You save gas from having to go back out and shop for a replacement, the full replacement cost, etc.  It took me a matter of two minutes on the phone, 1 minute to write an email, and maybe 5-10 minutes to prepare a label from home utilizing USPS.com

  • FrugalValueLifestyleLimitedWarranty4Clearly label all documents with the return authorization number.
  • Be sure to maintain copies of all communications and receipt of your return shipment.
  • Make sure you select tracking confirmation on your shipping selection.
  • Follow-up in two weeks, with your return authorization number if you have not received any communication or the return of your product.
  • And, always, be kind to the customer service representative.  If they are arrogant and/or rude, ask to speak to a supervisor.

I am anxious to receive the new replacement and hang it in place so that we can enjoy our evenings outdoors.  I am trusting that Kaz Incorporated will follow through with a brand new replacement before summer is done.  Yet, I will definitely follow-up on this post to share the results of this return experience.

Be mindful of your money and how you spend it, utilizing the warranties a product you purchase carries.

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

 

Quality VS Price – Clothing

"Everyone has the ability to spend wisely.  It is just a matter of choosing to do so."  ~ Laura D. Field ~

“Everyone has the ability to spend wisely. It is just a matter of choosing to do so.” ~ Laura D. Field ~

Yesterday I made the introduction to shopping, asking whether you shopped for quality or for the bottom line price.  With that in mind, I would like to further the topic to shopping for clothing.

I personally love to find a great bargain, in reality, who doesn’t?  But, I’m not talking about purchasing the lowest priced shoes on the market, but rather a higher quality item for a lower cost.   So, I am going to be transparent and share a little of how I shop.

In reference to shoes, clothing and undergarments.  It is extremely rare that I will purchase them at Wal-Mart.  No offence to those who purchase there.  When our daughters were little, where they would grow out of the shoes within a few months, it was worth it.  Yet, as our daughters got older, along with the needs for my husband and I, Wal-Mart is not the answer.  The same applies for undergarments, jeans, shirts, dresses, etc.

When purchasing these items, I look for support in the shoes as well as bra’s.

Think about it this way, the $20+ dollars you save could affect your overall health.  A poor arch support is bad for your posture.  I had to invest in expensive insoles because most shoes today, even the expensive ones, do not have the support our feet need.  Fortunately the cost has covered itself for how long that I have had them.  It is time for me to replace them, but I currently need to wait until the resources are saved.  And, if you work for a hospital or health care facility, ask the store if they provide you a discount.  Some provide this, as they know that you are always on your feet tending to the many patients you see throughout the day.

Poor bra support is not only bad for your posture but also affecting the muscles in your chest, resulting in saggy breasts.  Personally, at the young age of 52, I really enjoy the fact that although not as perky as they once were before breast-feeding they are healthy and holding their own.  Why?  Because I choose to exercise as well as wear supportive bra’s that do not pull up in the back causing the breasts to sag, from either a poor fit or poor construction.  This, unfortunately comes at a cost, yet does not need to break the bank as they can be found on sale.  So it is never necessary to purchase full price if you can time your shopping.

So, how do I purchase my shoes, underwear, socks & bra’s on a limited budget?

For shoes, I know what feels comfortable, what my feet need, and what fits.  In addition, I do not purchase shoes for a family member without them being with me.  Why spend the cost of gas on an unnecessary trip back to return them?   Although I do not shop very often, when I am out, I keep my eyes open for sales.  I have been known to purchase two pairs of sneakers for either myself or a family member, even when we only need one.  Not because I love to hoard excess of what is needed, but rather because I know that in six months a replacement will be needed and we might not at that point have the resources to replace them.  So, if I can find $50-$75 sneakers for $20-$30, and I have the resources to purchase, I don’t think the penny miser will be chasing me out the store for a poor purchase decision, unless of course I end up starving my family that week.   In addition, I wish to share with you what my Orthopaedic MD shared with me “Those over priced shoes are just a hype.  Purchase a good pair of name brand sneakers that do not have all the bells and whistles, and your feet and joints will thank you, as will your budget.”

Underwear and socks are an essential product we all need, yet why would someone who has limited resources choose to pay more money for thick hiking socks, sport socks and dress socks that are worn daily?  Maybe it is because of my seamstress background, but I know quality fabric when I see it and feel it.  I immediately make a decision to either accept or reject.  Socks wear out, and they wear out quickly.  Yet, the cheap and inexpensive ones develop air conditioning sooner than I wish to return to the store for replacements.  I have had a few wear out after a couple wearings, which really annoyed me, as it felt as if I flushed the cash down the toilet.  Although I do not like the pricing of the better quality socks, one can generally find them on sale, which is generally the time in which I replace them if needed.  I have socks that were purchased over 4 years ago.  In reality I have saved money because I have not had to replace them so frequently.

Bra’s are a personal choice ladies.  For the small chested women, who do not need support, they can generally get away with the bra’s that do not have the same lift and support features.  It goes for the sport bras as well.  A good supportive sport bra will cost more, but will keep you in place during your workout, without pain, and look much more attractive for a long time.  Again, choose these garments for support and longevity, not because you can get three for $15.  And, you do not have to purchase the highest priced item.  There is always a price break between quality and price.  And, if you are able to watch sales, know what stores carry the brands you like and when they have sales, you have the opportunity of obtaining a product you will enjoy wearing at a price you are comfortable paying.

How do I shop for clothing in general, supplying my husband with shirts and jeans for work, clothes for myself, etc.??  First, when we have the resources and our bills are paid with the savings growing a little, meaning I have available money to spend, I will step out and check out the stores to see what they have for sale.  And, I always check out the clearance aisles for classics that never go out of style, even if out of season.  For my husband I have found $50 jeans in his size for $10-$15, in which I purchase 4-6 pair at once.  I have purchased some beautiful $30-$50 button down shirts he enjoys wearing off-season for less than $10.  I also purchase long-sleeved shirts and shorten them to short sleeve as this is his preferred way to wear them.  Clothing for my husband is not generally purchased to wear “now”, although he does select a few so that he can have something “new” to wear right away.  But, during times where the resources are extremely limited, he has new jeans, shirts, socks, etc., available to update and replace his worn out clothing without it affecting our current situation.   Plus, I always love that he looks nice no matter what our financial situation might be at the time.

This same philosophy applies to shopping for myself as well as my daughters when they are/were home.  There is nothing more rewarding than finding items we need at a fraction of the price.  We generally purchase staple items that are classics, with the occasional item to spruce up our wardrobe.  And, if while we are out shopping, we see something that catches our eye with a price tag that says “think about it” we will try it on to see if it works, and decide if it will go with other pieces within our wardrobe.

A quality winter coat lasting the years without boredom.

Winter coats and other winter wear.  My favorite of all savings was when I purchased two Kenneth Cole Wool Winter coats for less than $75!!  Yes, you read that right!  These coats had a joint SRP of $500.00!!  Talk about a savings!!  The best part was that I was in need of a new winter coat, and I was able to purchase a short coat and mid-length coat together within my $100 budget.  The fun part is that I continue to get compliments on them, even three years later.  And, I love wearing them!!  Kenneth Cole makes exquisite clothing, so I am humbled to have found such a savings.  It was all about the right time, at the right place.

The benefit of having sewing skills is that I can mend what we wear without having to pay someone else to do the work, or toss and replace otherwise good clothing that still has some life left.  In addition, I am able to create from fabrics I purchase on sale, using materials to create something others will not have.

Please understand, there are times when paying full-price works and is rewarding.  But, for me, it happens when I am free to do so, with no worry about bills and a savings account that has some reserve.  And usually it is for something I might have been searching for quite some time.

In addition, when we find we are tired of an item that is in good condition, we take them to Salvation Army or other charitable organization where we are able to obtain a receipt for our donation.  We use this towards a tax write-off at the end of the year.  Some years it is worth it, and other times no so much.  But, for the amount of time it takes to list things out, it is worth having the document on hand at year-end for tax preparation, and rewarding that we can pass along to others what we no longer have use for.

Regardless of what your clothing need is, sometimes it is a wise idea to shop in your closet before heading out.  And ask yourself, what you actually need and what colors and styles would compliment what you already have on hand.

Be wise with what you are blessed with.  Think twice before you spend your hard-earned resources on what you really need.

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

 

Quality VS. Price

FrugalNotCheapQuote

How do you shop?  Are you a serious bargain hunter looking for the bottom dollar item?  Do you shop quality only?  Do you comparison shop, for value and savings?   Are you drawn to a store because of dollar value or quality value?

There are various ways in which people shop, yet today I would like to focus on quality vs. price.  As previously read in my blog “A Childs Lesson:  The Value of A Dollar”, I shared a method in which I taught my daughters how to shop for quality.  At a very young age, I would allow them to make that “must have, immediate gratification, impulse purchase” in order to teach them a lesson on the value of a dollar.  How quickly we can spend without focusing on what we are really purchasing.

As teens with their first jobs, young adults, young parents, and others: when you shop you spend resources that you yourself had to work hard to earn.  But when you hand over those earnings at the cash register, are you really taking a look at the value of what you are purchasing?

Today, so many of our products are being manufactured overseas.  In some cases we are getting some quality products, yet this is not always true of every product that is out on the market.

As consumers, we work hard, play hard and can so quickly carelessly spend.  Yet, do you also work hard at making the resources you earned, go to find quality products that you will appreciate for a reasonable length of time?  Today I do not wish speak on consumable products like groceries, but rather on the purchases that can also have a physical and/or emotional impact.

I happen to be a huge advocate for researching and being sure that what one is purchasing is of a quality nature.  From sneakers and undergarments to cars and furniture, etc.  I also value in the time span in which I plan to use and maintain such items.

Be wise with what you are blessed with.  Think twice then spend your hard-earned resources on what you really need.

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

 

A Childs Lesson: The Value of a Dollar

"A dollar was spent, tears were shed, lesson learned."  ~ Laura D. Field ~

“A dollar was spent, tears were shed, lesson learned.” ~ Laura D. Field ~

Today I am going to share one story in which I taught my children the value of money.  It relates to the first time a child has spendable cash.  The story is the same for each of our daughters, but with different “objects” of interest.

The hardest part of being a parent, teaching your children about value, quality, and the use of money is allowing them to make a purchase that you know as a parent is going to flop.  Yet, their determination to acquire that piece of “eye candy” is extremely strong, that they are unable to hear nor understand your rationale as to “why” they should not purchase the item.

Our youngest is now 18 ½ and now smiles at the process of this lesson.  It was not a happy moment the day she decided she MUST have that fashion doll from the dollar store.  This experience occurred when she was around 6 years old.

Because she loved Barbie dolls so much, and knew that the price of them ranged from $4 to $12 or more, she more ecstatic when she saw the plastic simulation of a doll at the dollar store.  She had $2 on her, and felt that she was getting deal allowing her to save the other $1.

My efforts were fruitless as I tried to explain to her, that if she saved every dollar she earned, eventually she would have enough for the Barbie she really wanted.  I even shared how sometimes when we wait for the things we want in life, until we have the money, that the item could go on sale or clearance, reaping a better value for the desired item as well as keeping funds in her pocket.  She was having no part in this rationale.

It pained me to see money being wasted on something we shared would break within the day.  I earnestly wanted to say no, but it was a lesson I allowed our other two daughters to learn as well.  So, I told her that we would allow her to make this purchase with the understanding that the doll could break within a short period of time, but at least she would have a cute Barbie dress for her other dolls.  She accepted this agreement and with a smile went to the cash register.

Please understand, the dollar store has its purpose.  But, for me I utilize this store for items that will serve the length of time I need them for.  If I am looking for an item as a gift, it is rare that I will find it at one of these stores.   I also compare prices on staple items like rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc., with other stores in the area.  Sometimes you will spend more at the dollar store than you realize, just because of it’s name.

So, as we finished our shopping, after obtaining groceries at Market Basket next door, we proceeded to head home.  She was so proud of her purchase, and with our help, we opened the package so that she could play with her new doll that she proudly purchased on her own.  Unfortunately, her proud moment changed quickly to a very painful time in her life.  Tearful crying came from the back of the van as she shared that her doll was broken.  The arms simply fell out of the dolls body!  Despite our efforts, there was no way those flimsy plastic arms were going back into that flimsy plastic doll body.

It still pains me to this day to have allowed her heart to be broken, but one is never too young to learn the value of a dollar.  I reminded her that at least she had a new dress for her other Barbie dolls.  Eventually, and I don’t mean in five minutes either, her pain turned to anger at the manufacturers who produced such junk and claimed that she would NEVER buy another doll that was not of good quality.

A dollar was spent, tears were shed, lesson learned.  As time passed, she as well as her sisters have always watched and listened when I shopped.  She now goes out on her own for things like earrings, college supplies, etc.  She knows the difference between quality and value.  She understands that if she waits long enough and shops around, when time allows, she can get exactly what she needs.  Sometimes she pays the full price, but she confirms it is what she wants and needs.  In addition, one time supplies are always  purchased at the lowest price available.

Although the three girls are very aware of their resources and wants, I find it a joy to listen to how they found their bargains and how saving has paid off for them.  For our youngest, she currently has two jobs for the summer college break.  Her main job pays for all car needs (including her insurance costs), college books and as much of her college expenses as possible.  Her other job, where she might make $10-$20 a week helping an elderly neighbor out, goes towards fun stuff such as new earrings, a new/used book, a trip to the amusement park with a friend, etc.

It was never about teaching our daughters about being cheap, to spend as little as possible while sacrificing quality.  The goal in our lessons in money management was that it is always okay to have the nice, quality items in life, but one must be patient while saving to acquire them.  In the process of saving, there was an appreciation for what they acquired, resulting in more care in maintaining it.

It definitely pained me to not have the resources to buy our three daughters all their wants and desires as they were growing up, but it brings me great joy to see them respect the money that they now make on their own.  I’ve seen our older daughters go on trips, purchase amazing items of great value, all because they knew how to save, how to find the best avenues for savings, how to budget and how to decide what they “really” needed vs. the want for immediate gratification.

For us, to allow a child to spend a $1 on junk in order to learn a lesson on the value of money was worth more than the cost of their college education.

Be frugal not cheap,

~ Enjoy ~

Laura

Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor