Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When Being Frugal and Being Wise Meet



I am frugal.  My friends say I squeak.  I also look for every opportunity available for my children to work on creativity and fine motor skills. 

With that said, this year I am letting it all go.  For this moment in time spending money on something pre-made is the best decision.

Let me explain.

For the past few years, I have had a collection of valentines on hand.  These are ones that I have gotten extremely cheap on clearance.  Little Boz Valentines to be exact.  Assuming that I had some left, I was surprised to find one valentine in my box.  Oops!  No fears.  I hit the ABCJLM Valentine's Idea Page and grabbed an idea that I thought was cute but not over the top.  After the kids were in bed, I grabbed my construction paper, scissors, and a pencil.  I was going to do the hard part so the kids could work on them the next day. 

My wise husband noticed what I was doing and said, "The only thing that I remember about Valentine's Day at school was that I always had the cheapest valentines of everyone in the class.  Everyone else had the really cool superstars.  But I guess it was really good for me." What an interesting comment from a 30-something guy. 

I thought about Bubs taking his valentines to school.  Although this isn't his first Valentine's Day party, it is different this year.  He sees that things are not on an even playing field.  I know that almost every child in his class is going to go to the local supermarket and purchase their favorite current superhero.  There may be a couple of handmade valentines but they will be over the top from what I have the time, money, or ability to make.  While I thought about these Kindergarteners passing out their prize valentine cards, I know that - while very cute - a construction-paper-sticker-glitter valentine is not going to do it this time.  Not for a six year old boy. 

Where am I going with this?  I realize that our children are never going to have the top of the line.  Actually I don't want our children to have the top of the line.  But I also don't want them to be embarrassed because mommy didn't want to spend $2.50 on 16 cards.  I will say that Sweet Pea is very excited about the homemade cards.  That's just the difference between a four-year-old girl and six-year-old boy.

So the next time that we are out and about, Bubs and I are going to hit the card aisle to find not the top of the line cards but something that he will be proud of.  We all know, life is hard enough on its own.  Mommy doesn't need to make it harder. 

2 comments :

  1. I love it.

    My son is under 1 so we have a long way to go before this becomes an issue. However, playgroup is exchanging cards this year, and I wondered what to do. I ended up buying circus ones from Target that were 32 for $1.00, because he seemed to love them.

    I write the Frugal Family column on Examiner.com, and I've been meaning to write an article on being frugal with compassion. I think you really set a good example here.

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  2. Wise choice Mom! No longer than it took my first graders to open and read their valentines at the party each year, the pre-printed cards are the most frugal. Many kids would add a candy heart, piece of gum or a sticker and you would have thought the kids hit the jackpot.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.