If I was going to be clever I would tell you that the best way to save money when you have small kids would be to give them away. Is that mean…? I think we can all appreciate a little humor as parents. I’m not going to complain about the amount of laundry, or the very little time I have to read, or perhaps how tired I am every single Monday morning. Why you ask? Why am I not going to complain? Because I did all of these things to myself well before I became “mom”. I will say this- regardless of the mounds of daily chores and the lists that never seem to get fully checked off, I would never, not for one single iota of a moment, replace my two beautiful little munchkins. Aren’t they adorable?
I know. I drew them myself, it’s fairly accurate minus the stick legs and arms. My son also has dimples, which I couldn’t quite capture those in this particular masterpiece, and my daughter has gorgeous ringlets that look more like spaghetti here… but you get the image.
I’m a mother, a wife, and a career woman, so obviously saving where I can matters, as I’m sure it does to most of us these days. I wasn’t always a savvy shopper nor did I invest any time in looking up new ways or different ways to save money. However, after observing people I learned that being a smart shopper isn’t about saving money- it’s just about being smart. It’s about recognizing that there are better ways of living your life- more responsible ways- and because of that, I took a deeper dive to ways I could be smarter and so much cooler, as a mom. Here are my 3 favs:
1). Leftovers become gourmet surprises
I’m seriously guilty when it comes to wasting food. It starts off as a bakery of goods, radiant scents of cinnamon mixed with the bold aroma of fresh buns, you know the ones I’m talking about- you smell it and feel like you gained five pounds? If this isn’t the case for you, don’t comment, I really don’t need to hear that you can consume bread without flaw. What was I talking about? Oh. Yes. Wasting that delicious food. You do your weekly grocery list, you come home and put it in the fridge. You’re beaming with joy because your once bare boned expired array of goods is now restocked with fresh food. Foods that you spent hard earned money on. Days go by, life interferes, and somehow, that once joyous moment of fresh foods now turns into…mold. A smart shopper’s nightmare. It’s the extra-item nightmare. Where you have more extras than real food. It’s horrific. And it happens to us all. But change can happen. We can do this. How? Here are a few ways to take foods we all have leftover- and turn them into new delicious meals. No more wasting. It won’t happen again, not to you.
- Spaghetti Frittata- you thought this was just for dinner? No my friends. This is now breakfast. Take that last night’s pasta, throw it in a pan, add in the eggs that you have laying in that box, (about to expire), add about ½ cup of the milk, throw in whatever veggies you have left, and fry it up all together. Done! A frittata, for breakfast. AND, you’re also an awesome mom and wife. It’s a really great day.
- Left over bread? Too hard to toast? Too rock solid to jam? Stale? That’s ok. It’s going to be just fine. You know why? It’s time for some French onion soup. Get your soup ready as is. Place your stale bread pieces on top of each bowl, let the juices soak it in, top it with whatever cheese you have (grated), pop it in the oven to heat, and devour!
- Chicken dinner left over? Not a problem. Take your left over chicken, throw it in a pan, add in some breadcrumbs or some of that stale bread, grab your favourite bottle of Frank’s Red Hot- (you can definitely put that s**t on anything), left over veggies, rice, and heat it up. Add in some chicken broth if you have any, and let it sizzle. Serve it on its own or with some pita. You’re done. A new take to an old meal.
2). I hope you’ve all tried this one at some point. If not for your kids, then even for yourself; It’s actually not a bad thing that fashion is all about ripped denim, the 1990’s and big hair. For the first time in my life, I’m always in style. I’m telling you- as Nike says; Just do it. Let the hair wild, own that look. Your jeans are boot cut? Cut that right off, turn them into a crop pant, throw some leggings under, and I’m telling you, you’re good to go. Did you want me to draw it out? Here it is:.
3). Price matching. I wasn’t always a big fan of doing this, but I started paying attention to other moms who did and I realized that the amount of savings was worth the little time it took to put it into action. If you have a smart phone- which I’m hoping you do, upload an app called FLIPP. It will sort through the mess for you and make price matching an everyday ease. Now on a serious note, if any of you know where my hus…I mean I can find a fabulous brown leather Celine satchel bag that doesn’t cost me my first born-like I said, he’s super cute with dimples and worth keeping- I’d be totally grateful to you.
Here you have it. My 3 favourite ways to be smarter. One thing I hope you take away from this is that laughter matters. Smiling matters. We have our moments as moms, as woman, as wives, as people. We should look at the world around us, at everything we touch, see and explore, and take time to see the humor in all of it, because trust me, life is funny. It’s hard, it can be tough and demanding, but I promise you, its also full of humor. Finding ways to be smarter starts with your ability to find happiness in what’s happening around you. If you’re happy, and can find humor in everything, then you can make better decisions. And making better decisions makes you smarter.