To kick it off I will share a funny story about a time when I was frugal with my daughter and it totally backfired. Hopefully this can bring a smile to your face today!
We all know that having kids is expensive. From the moment you find out you're pregnant you want to buy all the cutest clothes, the top of the line equipment, a room full of toys, and so much more. That phase lasted for a few months after my daughter was born. Then I started to realize that I was going to be paying for things for her for the next eighteen years.... at minimum! So I wanted to start cutting some corners.
Cutting corners can be really easy. Buy clothes in the next size when they go on clearance. Then you have them for next year. When you find something on clearance, buy it in every color. Try and coupon clip, I have saved hundreds just by using coupons. And my favorite is to shop at garage sales!
Garage sales can be great for certain items. I once found a backyard roller coaster for $15, where if I bought it new I would have paid closer to $100. But sometimes I can get caught up in a bargain and make a poor choice. I did that this past summer. A friend of mine was having a huge garage sale. She had two girls who were a few years older than my daughter so I went wild. And that's when I saw the umbrella stroller. I knew my daughter would soon be leaving the big stroller and ready for an umbrella stroller. I also knew we were planning on doing a lot of traveling in the next few months and it would be so much easier to travel with something light. But the price wasn't great. I hemmed and hawwed. I even tried to Google on my phone real quick to see what kind of umbrella stroller other moms liked. I felt caught up in the moment and didn't want to lose out on what could be a great deal. So I bought the stroller.
I put the stroller in the basement and pretty much forgot about it. Then the time came for us to head to Canada for my brother-in-law's wedding. I brought the umbrella stroller up and opened it up. Then I started to think about it logistically. It didn't have a canopy. Ugh, we will be outside a lot... I need a canopy. The wheels were not great and didn't turn well. Ugh, we are going to be navigating the streets of Toronto... I need to be able to steer easily. I wasn't happy with the stroller so off we went to the store.
At the store we looked at tons of stroller. They pretty much ranged from $10 to $150 for an umbrella stroller. We hemmed and hawwed again. Ultimately, we felt as long as it had a canopy and was easy to steer it would work. So we walked out with the $10 stroller.
Off we went to Canada where we didn't use the stroller nearly as much as we thought we would. And it functioned pretty good for what we needed. So next up was our trip to Disney! I pull out the umbrella stroller. Ugh, it doesn't recline. We will need it to recline so she can nap in the parks. Ugh, there's no basket underneath. We need a basket to put sweatshirts, water, and other things that we don't want to lug around all day. The stroller wasn't even high enough on the back for her to put her head back to sleep. This surely wouldn't do!
So this time I sat at my computer. I read reviews, looked at blogs about traveling with kids, and really put the time into finding a good, lightweight, stroller that folded up nice and small. I finally found one I thought I would really like. I ordered it on Amazon and it arrived in two days. I took it out of the box and examined it with a critical eye. It had a nice size canopy that easily opened and closed, it had a high back and reclined, it had a basket underneath, it had cup holders, it folded up and was light enough for me to carry with one hand.
I had finally found it!! The frugal bug had definitely backfired on me with this. Three stroller later and money thrown down the drain... I finally had a stroller I was happy with! The other two are now in my garage waiting to go in my garage sale next weekend. This taught me a valuable lesson. There is a time and place to be frugal. But sometimes a penny saved isn't a penny earned when you then have to buy the same item two more times!!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox® blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.