OK, so, thrifty.

The kids aren’t in school right now so we are only paying summer camp fees. We have more money to send to debt until they get back in school again. Yay! My grocery bill for this pay period won’t top my budgeted amount (for once). While that’s still a lot, it’s much better than it used to be. Don’t forget, I have 3 boys in the house who eat like there’s never going to be another meal. Ever. For now I have enough to last for the next week and I might not even have to go shopping again until next pay period. If that’s the case, I will have cut my budgeted amount in half. More to send to debt! I am all about getting out from under that as quickly as possible.

We have been making our own fun at home, with the kids playing on the slip-n-slide, having water fights with the hose, and playing video games when they get home from a full day at summer camp. That has saved quite a bit of money. I’m trying to actually eat vegetables (since I’m a vegetarian), and those are way cheaper than cruddy junk food. I’m also trying to lose weight so I’m eating less overall and that’s money saving, too.

Thrift is becoming important to me again now that we are in debt. Luckily, thrift is easier in the summer for us. The kids are in camp all day and my husband and I are in work and school. That doesn’t leave much time to get into a whole lot of financial trouble if we remember to pack lunches. And, my husband is learning to cook the meals that I used to. He’s discovered the wonder of the crock pot. A frozen something, a bottle of barbecue sauce, and 12 hours on low and you have yourself a meal! He’s been eating a lot of barbecue flavored things lately, I’m going to have to teach him more tricks before he gets sick of that one. And, yes, I buy a dozen or more bottles of barbecue sauce when I see them on sale for around a dollar. I’ve stopped being picky about brand, most taste pretty good.

I bought an air popcorn popper and have discovered the wonders of air popped popcorn again. I hadn’t had it since I was a kid. A little butter (or fake butter since I’m trying to be as close to vegan as I can get right now), some salt, and you have something way better than those microwaved bags. It’s super cheap and way healthier. The popper I bought was $25 because I wanted the retro looking one – I’ve seen them for cheaper than that if you don’t care about it looking a certain way. Big bottles of popcorn kernels are cheap, and this year I planted a few stalks of popcorn in my garden. That’s even cheaper!

I’m coming back to my thrifty ways these days. It feels good. I don’t feel out of control in my spending anymore. I don’t feel guilty because I haven’t saved as much as I wanted to. I don’t feel bad because there’s not much money until payday. I feel more in control and more empowered because I have taken control of where my money is going, I’m working toward a goal, and I know what I have to do to accomplish it. I’m not just spending indiscriminately.  Thrift is way better than the alternative.

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