Why Being Frugal Made Me “The Bad Mom”


I am, the bad Mom.

Reason # 1 : I am the Mom who doesn’t send money in for book orders. Not because I don’t think reading is important, not because I don’t love books, or because I don’t want my son to have them and definitely not because I don’t support our schools. It’s because my Son already has a bookcase full of books. Hundreds. Seriously. While it’s amazing that other’s are able to fork out ten dollars for a book, I however, cannot. I purchase my books at yard sales, thrift stores and  online trading posts. I pay twenty-five cents for that same book, and my kids don’t mind one bit. They don’t even mind that this book “Belongs to Julia”.

I’m not completely evil ( I promise! ) , and definitely remember the excitement I felt receiving something when the orders rolled in, so every now and again I treat my little guy to a bargain book order book of his choice. But honestly, I seriously believe he couldn’t care less. He grew up with a totally different mindset than I had as a child. My Mom, while a bargain shopper, wasn’t forced to make hard financial decisions and this definitely effected the way that I looked at things. To say I was a tad bit spoiled, well, that’s an understatement.

FYI-This isn’t meant to discourage those who enjoy ordering from doing so, I am just simply stating that for us, we go used. If there weren’t those willing to spend the extra on a new book, my son wouldn’t be able to enjoy it for a quarter later on, so by all means, spend away!


Reason #2: I rarely order school photos. Now, if you know me, you know I share photos of my children like a crazy person on social media, so you know I am not anti-photo, or whatever . But, you will also know that I take my own photos. This goes back to a frugal tip that I think saves families tons of money, especially those who enjoy having photos of their children plastered everywhere–and really, who doesn’t?

Investing in a nice camera ( we use a Nikon DSLR ), was just that, an investment. We are able to take beautiful photos of our children, not just one day a year, but every single day. Photos that definitely outshine any photo that could be taken in a school gym. If you are dead set on that posed, school photo type feel, backdrops are VERY affordable. Though our first DSLR cost us around $700 dollars, I definitely believe we more than saved that amount by shooting our own “school photos”, taking our own family portraits and even taking part-time gigs photographing things for others.

My point is, I don’t feel the need to buy the photos. This doesn’t mean I haven’t, but normally, I don’t. We do however buy our kids a yearbook, and feel that this is one purchase that is definitely justified.




Reason #3: I send in off brand supplies…sometimes. I am all about the best bargain, so this one is simple. Whatever is on sale ( unless I know it’s total junk ), that’s what I am going to buy. Yep, when the classroom donation list rolls out, I either hit up my stockpile or go searching for a good deal. My six-year-old doesn’t care that his disinfectant wipes say “Best Value”. Seriously, he doesn’t…though admittedly, I might have at his age. Shopping at Aldi as a kid made my cringe, because who buys knock of cereal? Oh, wait…me as an adult! 🙂 But this goes back to the mindset thing.


Reason #4: I buy used clothing. I am always on the hunt for a serious bargain, and  If this means buying my daughter’s new jeans for 2 bucks at Goodwill, it does. Or if I hit up Gymboree’s huge sale and stock up on t-shirts for 3 dollars, well, yay for me. I don’t care either way and neither do my kids.

So now you are probably thinking, “ok, this woman is delusional and doesn’t know her kids at all!” But seriously, I ONLY buy clothing that are well made, look nice and have little wear…oh, and that my kids like! I’m not a total meanie!

Saving money on clothing is a biggie in our household, especially having 3 kids that seem to grow like weeds! Buying quality clothing is a must,  and just because something is “used”, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Quality, that is. Hitting up our local consignment shops is one of my most favorite activities and it allows my kids to have more of the things they want and need.




Reason #5: I hold up the line using coupons. Yep, I do. 🙂 I’m not going to lie, this one really annoys my family. No, they don’t enjoy standing in the grocery store line for an extra 5 mins, because inevitably something went wrong with a coupon, but they do enjoy the extra goodies this allows them, so really, it works out.  Pretty simple. Heck, sometimes the overage even buy us other fun non-food related items.

I could probably go on for days with other reasons that being frugal makes me ” the bad mom”–like the fact that my house is cluttered because I stock up and hold back things to save money, but I am going to stop there. If you are like me, you are probably confused about why I am calling myself “The Bad Mom”, but this means you’ve been lucky and have avoided the seemingly inevitable judgment, or you just don’t care, and in either case, Good for you! 🙂

I’m sure my kids (my 6-year-old son especially)  could come up with a list of complaints about things that I do to annoy them. I’m sure yours could too, even if you buy the books and have your photos professionally taken. But my point is, why the judgment? Why the looks, the whispers the rants on social media, just because I choose to do things a little differently. Because I’m not ashamed to coupon or buy used clothing. We’ve all seen the posts on Facebook, posted by the “perfect Mom’s” out there, stating that those who can’t afford it, simply shouldn’t have children. I say grow up. Get over it and check out the smile on my son’s face while he eats his off brand cereal, wears his 2nd hand Mini Boden and reads his book that used to belong to Julia. He’s happy, and your kids probably are too. Because really, none of that stuff even matters.

Moral of the story, I’ll be “The Bad Mom”, because I am ok with that.

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