I have decided that I am officially tired of parenting magazines. Not that I know it all, because I don't. It's because they write the same articles in about a 3 year cycle. And most of them aren't that helpful anyway. For example, the last issue that I read, (I have no idea what month it was. Sorry.) there was an article on how to shave $262 off your budget a month. Awesome, right?
I could not use one single idea. Why? Everything, every single thing is something that I already do. Or that doesn't apply to me. Shall I share an example (or 7)? (Too bad. I'm going to anyway.)
1. Stop buying expensive coffee creamer and just use milk. (check. Um, yeah. Don't drink coffee anyway. . .)
2. Buy sandwich boxes for school lunches instead of using ziploc baggies. (check. Get them at Target in July and August. They have them at the dollar spot with the rest of the back to school stuff.)
3. Rather than spend money to go to a movie in the theater, wait and then watch it on demand at home. (Reasons why this doesn't work:
1. We don't have cable. We use an antenna. (Actually, that pretty much sums it up.)
2. We have Netflix which is about $9 a month and have access to shows online and unlimited DVD's one at a time through the mail.
3. When we don't have netflix, we use redbox, which is a whopping $1 a night.
Oh, yeah. Haven't been to a movie in a long, long time. Indiana Jones maybe? )
4. Get your landline through your cable/internet provider. (Don't have a landline.)
5. Buy a ball of pizza dough from a local pizza place and make your own pizza. (Or make your own dough. Because that's what happens around here.)
6. Instead of buying 5 or 6 hardback novels a month (seriously?), get a library card or use paperbackswap.com. (check and check. Or just buy all your books at DI. You would be amazed.)
7. Check out DVD's from the library. Especially TV shows, and then cancel HBO. (Check. See #3)
Are you kind of getting the picture? These are not helpful to those of us who need to save some real money. Around here we are resorting to things like making our own laundry detergent. Making our own chicken stock. Making our own cleaning products. Making our own personal hygiene products(that doesn't sound right. I make sugar scrub.). Making gifts. Using newspaper and grocery bags as wrapping paper. Making our own brown and powdered sugar.
I don't want to sound like that mom who had the worst labor or who had the worst day or who has the worst children. Because that's not what I was going for. All I'm saying is that I am just like everyone else. Things aren't great financially. We can pay the bills and feed the kids, but as for the extras, that's where we have to cut some corners. So, when I see the title of an article claiming to knock $262 of my budget, I get pretty excited. But the corners they suggest have been hacked off long ago. Apparently, the writers at these magazines aren't like everyone else.
Maybe I should start my own parenting magazine. One that applies to real people who can't afford to go out and buy a new wardrobe and new makeup every time the season changes. One that applies to people who have to dress their children in clothes that came from the ward clothing swap. (But then I would tell you how to make them cuter.) One that applies to mothers of more than one or two children. What do you think?
Who's with me?