Monday, December 08, 2008

If we could all walk around

with thought bubbles above our heads I think I’d write “The economy’s in the shitter and I’ve got three stockings to stuff” in mine for the month of December. I’ve become more frugal this year than I ever thought I could be. Actually more than I ever thought I would want to be. And because I’m in such a vastly different situation than my parents ever were, I’ve only viewed bargain hunting as a hobby, a chance to find a deal and get a thrill. Yeah that sounded SO DORKY. But it’s true, my mother bought us second-hand clothing because she had no other choice. I garage sale (yes, it’s totally a verb) and rummage at thrift stores just because I know I’ll eventually find what I’m looking for before the summer’s over and pay only a few dollars for it. But until recently, I didn’t view bargain hunting as essential, just fun. I’m truly starting to feel like it’s part of my responsibility in this family and I’m learning to adopt a more frugal lifestyle because it’s good for us, not just because I get a kick out of $2 Gap jeans. I’m so much less stressed about clothing my kids this year because I didn’t pay more than $1 for almost every single pair of jeans in their closets! And unless I divulge that information, you can’t discern what they’re wearing from store purchased. Although we’re fortunate enough to never go without new if ever I can’t find something frugally, there isn’t a day I’m not grateful for that. My parents never had that luxury and I’m not envious. I’m slowly learning how to acquire what we need and so much of what we want without feeling like I’m sacrificing. And secretly? I enjoy it. I think what has made the most difference is the group of people I’ve found through homeschooling. They live their lives in similar ways and having good company makes us feel more normal and less like a weird, homeschooled freak show who like to make their own Christmas toys.

Speaking of which, I tried my own version of homemade crayons and they’re pretty neat (Mr. Roger-speak is hip again in case you weren’t aware) and the multicolored drawings they create will totally make it onto the fridge (if you’re in competition with, say, your big brother for the most fridge art). If you’ve got broken crayons, cooking spray, muffin tins and an oven you can make these.

I coated the tins with cooking spray and filled them about halfway with broken crayons and crayon shavings left over from our autumn window hangings (I knew I’d use those later - yay for saving them frugal me!). Heat your oven to 200° and set the timer for 11 minutes.

After you take them out, let them cool for about an hour. When you’re able to hold the pan with your hands, run the bottom under cold water and give the pan a little twist.

Your new crayons should pop right out! I’ll be putting these in my three-year-olds stocking and I didn’t spend a penny. Oh god I’m awesome.

Seriously, I’m learning to reuse what we have and spend our money on more important things, like good dark chocolate or a babysitter.


Blogger mama said...

Great idea - and Cade will think they came straight from Santa's elves for sure.

p.s. i can't believe you saved the shavings. you really are frugal. damn. i could take a lesson out of your book i think.

10:09 AM  

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