Are Magazines a Help or Hinderance?


I get a lot of great cost cutting ideas from magazines, but I also get a lot of “woe is me” from them.  I will see “Budget Recipes” only $2.50 a plate.  WTH not at my house.  I mean I can make a meal for under $5 for the whole family!  Then there are those oh-so-great “Home Makeover” tips for under $1000 for a whole room!  No way man ain’t happenin here!  Then of course those great must have dresses for only $100 each, geeze I must be slummin w/ my $100 a year for a whole wardrobe.

Magazine articles like those can make you feel deprived.  They can make you feel like you “don’t have”.  Let me not fool you, I have those feelings some times.  I think most of us do from time to time.  There are great ways to accomplish these things for a much less kick in your budget.  I wish they would quiz REAL moms and people in the REAL world before printing these articles.

You can feed your family a balanced meal on much much less than $2.50 a plate.  For dinner alone that would come to $375 a month for my family.  That’s a lot of money on groceries and more than my whole monthly budget and that includes HBA and extra items.

Next to the “Home Makeover”.  If you want to makeover a room w/in your price range here are some suggestions.     Try Habitat for Humanity Restore for lots of useful items.  My sister got 4 gals of butter cream paint for $4 because someone bought it and didn’t want it and gave it to the Salvation Army.  Wow that stuff looked nice.   When going to Lowes and/or Home Depot make your first stop their “Oops” and clearance areas.  My husband thought our Laundry Room was going to cost about $500 to redo.  This included putting in a new door and a wall.  We are almost finished and are getting away with about $250.  This doesn’t include the flooring but does include new plywood for the floor.

A lot of businesses in our area have gone out of business.  I was able to get 24 cases, yes cases, of 1/2″ tile that are 1’x1′ and high end for $200.  Wow what a bargain.  This is going to take care of the mud room, small bathroom, laundry room, kitchen and dining room with a lot left over.  Our front sun porch was never finished and more will probably go in there.  For $50 I got a roll of thick plush carpet for our bedroom and it will probably do our hallway too.

Moving right along to a beauty makeover.  I can’t help much here.  First off, I’m a plain jane.  I do wear make up but my shoes don’t match my purse.  I’m not to picky about either of those either, if I even carry a purse.  I’m frumpy I’ll admit it.  But I do buy nice items.  They are always clean.  Usually a bit big but never tight.  I just don’t like tight clothes.  I’m a soap and water gal and don’t really know how to use a cleanser.  Much of my make up *sigh* is Estee Lauder as I will get it on sale and  items that lead to the free gifts and well free is free and it ends up cheaper than raiding the drug store.  OH and if you’re nice to the sales lady she’ll give ya lots of great samples.