Have you ever watched the show called What Not To Wear? It's all about kind, sweet people without a fashion clue. Their well-meaning friends decide that it would be a good idea to secretly nominate them for a makeover. Hidden cameras follow them around for a while, capturing unflattering footage of these poor souls going about their daily business. Then, in front of family and friends (and millions of viewers) they meet the hosts, view the film, get really embarassed, cry and agree to get rid of all of their clothes in order to be given a 5,000$ shopping spree and find the happiness they hadn't realized they were lacking. At the end of the show they usually cry some more, tend to look a lot better and make comments like "I can't believe I used to wear that flourescent yellow jumper" or "I'm so happy that I now know that high ponytails with ribbons are not really appropriate for a 45 year old lawyer". How could you not love this stuff?
So, we've decided to pay hommage to this show by playing a little What Not To Buy ! No, we will not be secretly filming anyone and we most certainly will not be handing out 5,000$ prizes. This is just a simple straightforward post about saving money by not buying flourescent yellow jumpers (and other random and silly things).
1. Do Not Buy Bottled Water. (see our previous post on bottled water titled "The best things in life are (relatively) free". ) We know that this is a LONG post. We got really carried away on that one, so if you don't want to read the whole thing...just skip to the part where we say "don't buy bottled water"
2. Do Not Buy Baby Food. Now of course we are not implying that baby should not be fed, just that you should really consider making your own baby food. Some of our most precious memories are of cooking, mashing and freezing our babies' meals. Knowing exactly what you're putting into your baby's mouth is priceless, and frankly, a lot cheaper than buying jars of baby food. You can find dozens of recipe ideas in cookbooks or on the internet, but really, once you know what is age appropriate food for your munchkin, it's pretty simple. Boil, mash or blend, serve and freeze the excess in ice cube trays for another day. Of course, you may have to buy baby cereal - we never figured out how to make that.
3. Do Not Buy Lazy Vegetables. It's actually not the veggies that are lazy, but the person buying them. A few months ago, at a very dear friend's house, EN noticed a little container of celery in the friend's fridge. Of course, the next thing EN noticed was the price tag - $3.50.....WHAT !!?? $3.50 for a few measly sticks of celery??? Yes, they were rinsed and cut up and possibly had the stringy stuff removed (or not), but you can usually get a whole stalk of celery for less than $1.50. Now, to her defense, this friend realized she had made a spending faux-pas, but as she was going out of town a few days later she figured that she wouldn't be able to get through a whole stalk of celery and it would end up rotting. Hmmmm....okay - but personally, we just wouldn't have bought celery.
4. Do Not Buy Baby Carrots. We know, we know, many of you have forgotten that carrots actually come in sizes other than "baby". And guess what, sometimes they even come with the green frilly stuff still attached to the tops. We don't understand the fascination with baby carrots. They cost a lot (compared to regular carrots), they don't usually taste as good, and they're often wet and, if they stay in the bag too long, can get slimy...gross. Good news : it actually takes less than 1 minute (trust us - we timed it) to peel and chop up a real life carrot.
5. Do Not Buy Clothes That Don't Fit Because They Will When You Lose "X" (enter appropriate number) Pounds. If you feel that you need to lose some weight, then by all means, go ahead. But believe me (that would be EN), if you think that having a skirt a few sizes too small in your closet is going to help motivate you....you're wrong ! It will only depress you. Focus on losing whatever weight you feel you need to lose, and when you achieve your goal, celebrate by buying some new (smaller) clothes.
6. Do Not Buy Junk Food. This includes soda, potato chips (sigh), chocolate, cookies, cake...you get the picture. None of these things are good for you and although it is perfectly fine to splurge once in a while, these items should certainly not make it onto your weekly grocery list. If you do find them there, cross them off and replace them with some grown-up carrots.
7. Do Not Buy Food In Boxes. Most frozen convenience foods can be made fresh at home with a little effort, time, and willingness. They will definately taste better and will be healthier. We know, we know, you all don't have time to cook, or you don't know how to cook, or you just don't like cooking. Sorry, but none of those excuses fly. You may think that you don't have the time, but many meals can be made in less than 30 minutes. Don't like to cook...probably because you don't know how. So, if you don't know how, learn. There are some fantastic websites with recipes for free (so you don't actually have to buy cookbooks and cooking magazines). Some of our favorites are:
Well, we could likely go on and on...but that's probably enough nagging for one post. We're going to find our kids and nag them now :)
Have a great day