Archive for the ‘Frugality’ Category

Bartered Blessings (Frugal Fridays)

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Free science classes. Free artisan bread and bagels. Free art for some of my children and free ballet for my girls. Free baby gifts! OK… Not really “free” but it sure does feel like it!

How do I score such great deals? Certainly not by couponing. No, Harris Teeter has great triple- coupon days but no promises of free extracurricular lessons. And they’ve certainly never given me free bagels!

These super great deals come by way of bartering. I teach a writing class and have friends that teach science and art. Their children take my class and my children take their classes. No money changes hands. In my basement is a sprung wood dance floor which was a tremendous gift from a very loved teacher several years ago. In exchange for hosting dance lessons in my basement and babysitting the teacher’s children, my girls dance. Again, no money changes hands. The bread… this is where I am so very fortunate. Mr. Awesome Baker’s daughter, who I think is a writing prodigy, takes my class as well. I am more than happy to receive Owl Creek Breadworks as payment! (See The Breadlist and place an order!) The baby gifts are one of my favorite bartered blessings. My girls knit! I buy their supplies but when I need a babygift, like this adorable pacifier clip, they knit for me for free.

The Lord has provided some extras for my children through bartering. While you may not teach a class, there are many creative ways to lend your services in exchange for others.

Please feel free to comment and share your bartering success stories! For more Frugal Friday tips see Life As Mom.

Free Doggy- Dos (My Frugal Friday Tip)

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

We have a little yorkie named Tanner and we just love him. He has many wonderful qualities but the fact that his hair grows quickly and needs grooming is not one of them. I remember when we were trying to decide on a dog breed, considering the grooming costs. Ideally, I wanted a dog that didn’t need grooming which certainly would rule out a yorkie. However, when we were in the puppy market and my in-laws told us about the most adorable yorkie puppies from “a good Christian family” we were completely sold. “I’ll just learn to groom him, myself,” I thought.

I learned pretty quickly that dog grooming is not a hidden talent of mine. After helping me wrangle our tiny 6 lb puppy for two hours, my husband, exasperated, told me to please call and schedule a beauty appointment for our dog the next time he was shaggy. So I did. Every 8 weeks for two years I forked out $40 for our little dog to look handsome. I know my frugal friends are shaking their heads. Believe me, paying more for my dog’s haircuts than mine was terribly painful. However, so was torturing him with the clippers. The poor thing would shake, snap and sulk. Seriously… the home grooming sessions were traumatizing for both of us.

So – how do I get my doggy’s do done free? Christina, my almost 13 year old daughter, is the dog whisperer. The clippers I originally used were an old set of my husbands. Christina requested a pet set and I decided, after two years of beauty salon appointments, to buy a new set and see if my daughter could do a better job than I. The answer is yes!  In 30 minutes this afternoon, my daughter  gave our doggy a new do. It looks fantastic!

My Frugal Fridays tip is not to just clip your pet’s hair at home though this definitely saves money. My tip is to believe in your children. Give them tools. Encourage them to learn new skills. As my children are growing and maturing, I am blessed to see their God-given gifts develop. What a joy to see them learn things that I haven’t taught them! This could go places! I can see free cake decorating, sewing, landscaping, medical advice and who knows what else in my future! For now, however, I’m appreciative of Tanner’s new do!

For more Frugal Friday tips see Life As Mom