One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

August 5, 2008

The Frugal Empress

Last year, I really didn’t have the capacity for frugality. And by capacity, I mean time. I was starting a new job, trying to manage Ethan’s school misbehaviour and make it to biweekly counseling appointments with him, manage my own pregnancy exhaustion and get to all my prenatal appointments and tests, move into a new house, fix up the old house to sell, pay off all our debts, have a baby and then get ready for Christmas.

So now the baby’s born, and I’m at home, and though I’m still busy, it doesn’t feel like ‘we might not survive it’ busyness. So I’ve been applying myself to the task of saving money. It goes pretty well, actually.

I have been the primary motivating (nagging?) force in the measures taken to save money. I’m certainly not the only force. Judah would prefer to do all of our repairs. I believe it’s against his religion to give money to repair people for anything. But one can only save so much money by doing one’s own repairs, especially when one never has time to do one’s own repairs because with three kids one cannot even keep up with the dishes and laundry and picking up toys and emptying garbages.

And then I’ve been making granola bars, making big batches of stuff for lunches and easy suppers to freeze so that even when we’re worn out, there’s always something easy in the house to make. I’ve been baking bread and buns and shopping second-hand stores and keeping track of grocery expenses and typical costs of household staples. And so, for example, today I went to Giant Tiger specifically for margarine and applesauce, because their flyer advertising the prices on those items was actually meaningful to me because I know what I typically spend on those items.

Today was also the day I did my big grocery trip for the month, because it’s customer appreciation day at Safeway. So, in addition to whatever I can save by buying non-convenience foods, buying bulk and store-brand or whatever is ridiculously discounted, I can also save 10% off the final bill.

Customer appreciation day doesn’t work out SO well for the frugal empress though when it falls on a day marked by exhaustion and depression.

Last night Hannah went to bed around 9:30. I was staying up late working on something deadline-y that I wanted to have done before going to bed. And then Hannah woke up at 11:30. This irked me, because she gets up a minimum of two times a night, and I figured an early waking meant it was going to be a three times night. And I figured that since I wasn’t asleep anyway, it was a good time to make the extra effort try to soothe her back to sleep without nursing her so that she would eventually learn this ‘going back to sleep’ skill. But she couldn’t go back to sleep. She argued and cried and fussed while Ian and I took turns handling her until 2:30. At 2:30, I went into her room and whispered to Ian, “why don’t I just feed her now. If she had woken up at 2, I would have fed her.” She had been quiet, but as soon as I said it, she started kicking her legs in a little irish jig and cooing at me. Ian thinks she understands enough to know when I’m relenting.

So I got to bed at 3. After a month where my nights consist of six hours of sleep interrupted twice.

And then today, today I was exhausted and depressed. My legs are aching in the way that they’ll do when you have been deprived of sleep for five months.

And so all this is really just to say: don’t send the depressed and low-willpower girl to the store on a money-saving mission. She’ll plan out her shopping list and carefully evaluate which laundry detergent is cheaper this week and will purchase the 10lb bag of flour to supply all her home-baking efforts. And then she’ll blow all the saved money on brownies and ice cream bars. Oh, and a cook-book exclusively about pie.


« Previous post

Leave a Reply