Archive for frugal

Dear New York state: Why spend $21,000 on a rug during a recession?

Posted in 1, economy, news, Politics, Ranting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by bloggingmom67

Here’s yet another example of stupid governmental decisions that piss me off. Someone in state government made the ill-advised decision to purchase a $21,000 custom-stitched, antique Turkish carpet for the Executive Mansion?

Now, granted, the rug was purchased in July, before all of us fully got that our economy was going down the toilet. But at that point, Gov. David Paterson was already making a round of cuts to the current budget — taking away money that was already promised.

Sure things got worse and worse and worse. (I’d like to hope the purchase wouldn’t be made now, but I can’t say I’m confident of that.)

Also, I’m sure the governor himself knew nothing of the purchase — or at least I hope not. But the thing with being in charge, you get blamed whether it’s your fault or not. (You also get credit for what your underlings do well, so it all evens out.)

Why does this rug thing bug me so much? Because, like the big three automakers swooping in a corporate jets asking for a handout from taxpayers, it belies the message we keep getting from politicians and corporate leaders. Sorry, we can’t fun programs for early education or schools because we don’t have the cash. Hey, we need money to keep our business afloat but we’re not willing to drop our standard of living one bit in the meantime. (Yes, I realize the big three changed their tune eventually but only after being publicly flogged.)

But we can go buy a rug that’s more expensive than me, you or most people we know would ever be able to spend. (And, yes, I get that in the state’s massive budget $21,000 is like a couple hundred bucks in mine.)

Since the economy got bumpy, my husband and I have really cut our spending. (I know that adds to the economic malaise, but we’re worried we might not have secure jobs.) We’ve stopped eating out, except very infrequently. I’ve cut back on buying coffee; I fired the cleaning lady and started dyeing my own hair. These are all small “nickel-and-dime” type of savings.

But the thing is: True savings comes from these nickel-and-dime savings. Sure, I could save lots of money if I stopped paying my biggest bill — my mortgage, but I’d also be out on the street. So the only way most people can really trim their own costs is by doing a lot of little things that add up. Somehow government doesn’t seem to get this, or at least it seems that way. Instead, they try to cut big chunks out of the budget, but that doesn’t work. The state still needs to function even as it trims costs.

Here’s my message for the state (and federal) government: Take a cue from the Kit Kittredge movie, a film based on an American Girl doll character that is set during the Great Depression: Use it up; wear it out; do without. That’s what I’m trying to do.

bitchy mommy


One benefit of recession: Great deals at the mall

Posted in Family with tags , , , on October 18, 2008 by bloggingmom67

One thing about me, I love a bargain. I’m not super great at shopping — I like to buy more than I like to chase a deal. But I love when a deal just lands in my lap, like today.

I won a $25 gift certificate in a contest at work, so I headed to the mall tonight. The hubby took care of the kids, bless him, so I could shop uninterrupted.

I headed to J.Jill — my favorite store — first and found an absolutely beautiful sweater. It started at $59, was marked down to $34.99, and then it was 25 percent off that. I ended up, with tax, paying just $2 and change over the gift certificate. Who-hoo!

I swore I wasn’t going to kid shop on my night of freedom, but the 50-percent-off sale at Children’s Place pulled me like the undertow in the ocean. I ended up with two Rugby-style shirts for my son. They started out at $16.50 each, were marked down to $11.99, and then I had my trusty 15 percent off coupon. Final bill: $10 and change for two heavy winter shirts he really needs. (He’s outgrown or worn out almost the rest of his winter shirts.)

All this got Bitchy Mommy, who was feeling pretty bitchy today, in a much better mood.

I know the recession is bad overall, but I’m glad if we have to go through, at least I can get bargain

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