Tricia Dow Tricia is a mom of two who lost the battle with melanoma in late 2014. Her posts about fighting the disease while parenting and keeping life normal for her kids remain on Mumbling Mommy in tribute. Rest in peace, sweet Tricia.


Frugal, deal-seeker… or just plain cheap. I love saving money.

I will be the first one to admit that I’m cheap. I prefer words like “frugal” or “deal finder” but the truth of the matter is that I am a cheapskate and proud of it. I was always under the impression that my cheapness was somewhat of a secret but when I was out to dinner with a couple of friends I realized that I’m not so mysterious. When one complimented my sweater the other one immediately said “Then she’ll tell you it was only $2.” This induced a round of laughter from the table because anyone that knows me knows that’s true. I love the deal almost as much as I love the sharing of the deal details with everyone else.

I’m not embarrassed by my frugal ways. In fact, I take great pride in them. A few years ago when my job ended and I became a full time stay-at-home mom I really started to focus on saving money. This is why as a mother of two and a self proclaimed cheapie, I will share my cheap tips with my fellow mommies.

1)   I always purchase my kids clothing at the end of the season for the following year. This one seems like a no-brainer to me but there are always people that don’t seem to know it. Once you have a rough idea of how often your kids change sizes you can stock up for crazy cheap deals. Things like fleece pajamas are marked down so low in the early spring it’s almost like getting them for free.


2)   Coupons! I like to maximize my coupons by doing the store surveys at the bottom of the receipt and then waiting for the clearance to go on an additional percentage off. You have to be pretty on top of the sales and the expiration dates of the coupons but if you time it right you can double up on the deal. Last time I did this I bought shirts for my little girl for nineteen cents (Sorry I had to brag just one time) !


3)  Garage sales. I know so many people associate this with old used junk, and most of it is, but there are so many gems out there to be found. This one requires some patience because for every great garage sale you come across, you will have to go to 20 bad ones first.

4)   Another great one is a trade-off friend. I met another mother at my son’s school with a daughter in class and little boy at home. We ended up switching out clothes with each other for free. I give her all of my son’s clothes as he outgrows them and she gives me all of her daughters’ so I can have a stockpile for the future.


5)   Don’t overlook the closeout and non-name brand stores. Big Lots is one of my best friends and so is Aldi. You may have to make multiple stops to get all of your groceries but you’ll save a bundle. Things like avocados are frequently .49 cents at Aldi and over $1.50 in the grocery chains. Same avocados, but huge price differences.


The only real problem I have encountered over my years of perfecting my cheapness is my husband. He has to beg me to spend money on myself and not always go for the discount items. He also has very little enthusiasm for my clothes stockpiling. He thinks it’s on the verge of hoarding but I swear that it is very contained and organized in Rubbermaid bins in the basement. It’s become somewhat of an obsession and it does almost hurt me to pay full price for anything anymore. I just feel that I have deal shopping down to a science now so why would I ever buy something that wasn’t drastically on sale? The deal is more exciting than the item for me….perhaps that does make it a problem….ah, there are worse afflictions to have.

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Category: Saving Money

Tags: budget