Nov 2, 2007

Multipurposing Jeans--Here's My Plan.....

  • I've mentioned a few times John and I are on a strict money diet. We're working a three year plan to eliminate debt, excluding house. I'm constantly amazed how quickly the money goes when I'm watching it like this; $20 here, $30 there, it doesn't seem like much but it IS.

  • Christmastime might be a challenge, but I'm ready. It'll be hard but we're just tired of the same old fa la la la la la la la la. We think the kids will still forget what they get this year just like they did all the years before the money diet. So with great discernment, we have settled for doing fa la la la la. The other la la la la will just have to be paid out in adoration, loving smiles and cookies. Always cookies. No chocolate chips, though--we're not the Gates' you know.
  • I miss the days when John and I held up our ledger, magnifying glass in hand, discussing in depth each dollar we spent at Christmastime. The kids were very young and didn't know better--but they didn't expect so much and they enjoyed every single gift. Treasured those gifts, really. More on that later, I've got ideas. I want ideas....
  • I'm here tonight on a Friday night not only because clearly nobody invited us to hang with them, but also because I'm struggling with this strict budget John has proudly integrated. It's okay...I mean I can do $150 a week groceries, the family meal has long ago given way to activities, friends and now John's teaching four nights a week.
  • It's the clothing budget. We're a family of five. Three of the five are still growing. So here's what my superhero husband John budgeted for clothing: $50. A month! Don't bother looking under your desk for the other zeros, I already did. There aren't any. That'd be roughly $70 a year per family member. It'll look better if I take it out in $5's.
  • What to choose for the boy--should I overlook last years jeans he just donned? After all, they make a nice little capri pant. Okay. How about shirts--ahh well he's home schooled, let him wear 3/4 sleeves. Who's going to laugh at him here? (hehe). But shoes! We can't keep him in flip flops much longer. Eventually we'll have to break or risk time in the pokie when his Sunday school teacher sees his purple toes.
  • So today I put socks on his feet and coaxed him into the car. He chose a pair of tennis shoes on sale, $34. I also bought myself a pair of jeans, $26 on sale (I heart Kohls). With tax, roughly $70. Uh oh. If I add in last month's slacks and tie for the piano recital, I've done spent all I can without dipping into the $5 a week gas money I'm allotted. $5 is a lot for gas, especially for my Explorer! Geeshh! I could use that if I need to.
  • Cody, the other boy, comes to mind. He's desperate for new jeans and I'm hip to a great consignment shop that caters to teenagers. But any dollar I spend there is still a dollar over my generous clothing pittanceallowance. So here's what. John has jeans. He doesn't need more than two pair. Cody can have one. But Cody's thinner. I sew. I have jean thread. I have the Jeanamajig tool. I will sew a seam down the sides as I've diagrammed below. And with that, I'll have scraps. Scraps don't mean scraps here anymore. Again I put pen to paper. Here's the outline, I'm open to amendments, ideas or jean soup recipes here:

This budget will work! I think I still might squeeze another $5 or $6 out of the clothing allowance guru yet. So long those boxers I whip up for John chafe him where chaffing isn't welcome!

*sorry about the formatting dots, my post wouldn't let me separate the paragraphs!


Marie said...

My clothing budget for the last six months has been about $-50.00. I am pretty durn god at stretching money though, and creative shopping. I would recommend going to your local feed store and asking them for their discarded burlap sacks. Make some boxers out of those, and I can pretty much guarantee your budget will go up.

BTW let me know which of those books you're most interested in, and maybe I will share the bounty. There were many books in that pile, and now that I've won FOUR giveaways I'm feeling guilty. Random number generator my left cheek!

BTW the 2nd one I won was Amy Grant's book. I'm giving it to my mom, so I didn't want her to see it.

Rick said...

Your illustration explains the situation very well. You have a future in graphic design.

Kelly said...

Poor Stacey (yes, I'm being sarcastic!). Even Jake gets a $100 a year for clothes--unless he buys it himself, which he doesn't. I just forced him to spend the rest of his Kohl's gift cards from last year's birthday! He's a chip off the block, I'm afraid. Tight with the cash--except this summer when you kept telling me to buy a new outfit for my dates. I'm still kicking myself for all the dates I had!

I DO LOVE the drawing of the pants. You are the funniest person! You know, I hear there is a writer's strike coming in Hollywood. Now is your chance to find yourself a job! Cross that picket line, my dear, write a tv episode. Do it!

Tammy said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and wishing me well. Misty is such a sweet heart and definitely one of my BF's. Have a great weekend!

Bubba's Sis said...

I like the idea of denim socks (or boots!) for Alex. Or the bra for Niki. You are SO resourceful!

Actually, I'm pretty skinny - could ya make ME a pair of jeans with your leftovers??

The Homeschool and Etc. Blog said...

OK 50 x 12 = $600.00!!! Suppose you have to buy jeans for hard-to-fit children, shoes, socks and underwear from Wal-Mart and I'd recommend sweatshirts, shorts and casual t-shirts etc. from the thrift store. The thrift stores sometimes even have *specials* and you can find super-good values on jeans IF you find the right sizes. I have one hard-to-fit child for jeans but otherwise, really, you *can* do this... just the "stuff" won't be as nice as the kids are used to. And that's the really hard part, listening to all that complaining LOL! Just tell 'em they'll outgrow it next year in time for the next bunch of stuff they'll hate...

The problem, I find, comes when the school "just" wants you to buy their PE uniform for $40 a kid or there is an expected dress code for our son's cello concerts, etc. of little suit pants and the crisp white shirts and fancy black shoes... That stuff is hard to say no to!

I don't do any of the fundraisers. That saves me $120 a year, I kid you not.

We're attacking our debt, too. We have the vehicles down and are kicking the vehicle money toward the house. We expect (barring unemployment, etc) to be done with the mortgage in about seven years.

Meanwhile, our kids *are* dressed in rags LOL!

Mrs. C

The Homeschool and Etc. Blog said...

PS. Last year's jeans are NEXT YEAR's shorts. Cut them at the knee and hem them up. If you can sew a straight line it works too.

If things are really tight you might explain to the kids what's up and they might just pick out their own Xmas gifts based on your budget or... one year we piled almost all the money together and bought beds for the older boys, and the younger boys thought it was GREAT that they'd be getting out of the toddler beds... Well, it worked that year LOL!

Mrs. C

Cheryl said...

Ha! You crack me up. :)

Seriously, I am hoping to downsize Christmas this year too. Just because. I started my Christmas shopping way early so I can take advantage of big sales. I'm about half-way done!

Getting out of debt? That's a very, very, very good thing. You are on the right track! And you can teach your boys how to be resourceful.

And, there is always--garage sale!

Stacey said...

Marie, I'm on that idea straight away girl! I knew I liked your quick mind.

Kelly you are mean to me! Feel sorry, you should feel very sorry for me!

B/S--I think if you can get your skinny heinie in those leftovers then you can't be my friend! Don't you eat steak and beef down there in Texas? Isn't that where all the cattle live?

Rick--you hiring?

Mrs C--You need to be very careful here, if my husband sees how good you are at this, he might expect the same from me! But you are good, not gonna lie.

Cheryl--I love garage sales. Come up and go with me next year!

Dawwwwwwn said...

We have decided this year not to buy presents just so there'll be TONS of presents under the tree, but instead, buy good presents that they'll actually enjoy for more than 20 seconds.

Also, I'm thinking John might need to take a walk through a store and look at prices before deciding on budgets LOL

D... said...

Dang, you are one clever chica! I'm in awe of your abilities.

Several years ago, I decided that I couldn't afford to give my kids everything they deserved and wanted. Plus, I really wanted to simplify so we could focus on the true meaning and our traditions. I told the kids that in addition to what Santa brings, they'd only get 3 gifts from their daddy and me. I chose 3 because the Wise Men brought Jesus three gifts. They were fine with it and a new tradition began. Their grandmother spoils them so they really aren't missing the gifts they would have gotten from us.

Shana said...

Funny stuff! I wonder if you add enough salt if jeans taste good!!! LOL!!!

It isn't that we have a strict budget, we just don't have a lot of extra after our bills. I shop a lot at the Goodwill and Salvation Army. On Wednesdays they have awesome half off sales. I even got lucky and found a pair of BRAND NEW Carters dress shoes a few weeks ago for Andrew for $1.oo!!!

kailani said...

It's great that you're taking the steps to become debt-free. I talk about it all the time but never do anything about it.

Girl Gone Wild - BibleStyle said...

Hang in there, Gidge! I'll be bringing you some apple butter to help with that grocery bill!!

Aren't I a peach!?

Trinity said...

Stacey :-) Christmas needs smart budget like yours! Love that jean soup recipe.. LOL.. it looks yummy! :-) Good luck for all your plans...

Oh I also come here to deliver an invitation from Hogwarts!

Misty Dawn said...

Stacey - you are absolutely hilarious! I'm very interested in seeing these jean socks you are going to make.

it's me, Val said...

Loved this post, Stacey!! You are an inspiration. Keep us updated on the debt plan. I'd love to know how you do it.