Book Reviews

My “No-buy” list: Something different for a Friday

Watching the video first will help you understand the list below.

Christine at Frugal Fit Mom, is my go-to Youtuber. She does a very good job with economical food, and some other things. The other lady, Dawn at Minimal Mom, I don’t know at all. Bu, this video got me thinking…and since my fever is now only around 100 (guessing by how I feel) I was desperate to get out of bed for a while, I thought I’d do a post on what I do/do not buy… Regardless, Dawn, Christine, and I all agree on one thing: If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. Had I only listened to that advice when I was 18. I’ve also been there and done that on over-buying a house. Never again.

I’ve been in bed sick all week, so this post, a one-off, came to mind. I am not changing my focus from books to frugal living. Others do a much better job of blogging or vlogging on that topic that I do. But I always draw inspiration for myself from anyone’s lists of what they don’t buy or why they buy/don’t buy, so I’m sharing mine. That’s all.

How to read this post: You can simply skim the bold print, or you can read what interests you. This is very long and wordy.

Remember: Every Likes What They Like or Dislikes What They Dislike. For this one post I will delete any horrible comments. I am not criticizing or “judging” anyone by saying I do not buy these.

Here is my “I don’t buy list”

Convenience Food except, bagged salad, frozen veggie burgers, frozen fries, prepare BBQ sauce or similar condiments including some salad dressings. The majority of the modern American grocery store never sees my cart unless there’s a traffic jam. That stuff looks great, tastes horrible. I can’t name a single exception and I’ve been gullible and tried a lot. I cook. My food is way better. Never the less those subs Christine showed with the frozen garlic bread [at minute 14:38] are likely out-of-this-world though I would make my own sauce and meatballs–that’s just me. When my kids were in Middle School and High School the school year was known as “Poptart Season” because that was all they’d eat before school. Worked for me–I’d been picky at that age about breakfast and sympathized.

Name Brand Grocery or Hygiene Products I buy a few–BBQ sauces being among them, one type of pickles and a couple of other food items. Feminine Hygeine was totally name brand as far as my life went. Only certain ones did the job. Most of my groceries are store brand.

Eating Out This is an “almost no.” I do grab Wendy’s chili about once a week since it is very Weight Watchers friendly. I love Raising Canes, but keep it to about once a month or once every 6 weeks. Nothing delivers where I live and that’s fine with me. In the city it would be way more tempting. When the food truck is at my neighborhood I have bought there. When our little store used to do dinner-time pizza and sandwiches I did buy. I do often pick up breakfast, but buy gift cards for gas points at Kroger to sweeten the deal.

Organic everything I’m 59. I’ve ingested enough Monsanto-leavings for a lifetime so what’s the point? There are some organics I buy because I like the product better. That’s it. {Disclaimer: My Uncle was a Monsanto agri-chemicals salesman. We used his inflatable fertilizer bag as a pool float LOL). If I was having a baby today, I’d definitely go with organic milk, no matter the price. But I ask myself–does organic milk mean (as I hope) that the cows eat organic?

Subscription Grocery Boxes: Although I’ve been very, very tempted, I discovered before placing the order, that when I took my proposed Super-Hip grocery box order list into Jungle Jims, that I made it out of the store with NONE OF THE ITEMS. Check your own grocery stories first. I live super-rural, but we are blessed to be near Cincinnati where Kroger is headquartered. We have a Taj Mahal of Kroger in my very rural county. (I’d hate to see what all they throw out. I’m pretty sure some of the produce has never been purchased, let alone that jar of that Marmite unless it was for international day at Girl Scouts]. Now, where we used to live I’d have been a subscriber no matter what–I am just very blessed to have JJ’s for just about anything you could want. (I DO want to try some dinner kits though–just for fun).

Try my test for these boxes: Before buying an online grocery box, pick you items and take your list to a high-end grocery store in your area. (Be sure to record you mileage for cost of gas to be figured in). Shop for your item at least by recording the price. Do the comparison. If those organic, fair trade coco nips will make THAT much difference in your smoothie, go to the check-out and pay. Now at home do the math. Is it “cheaper” to use the box–remember to add in the gas, but be realistic about what your time cost. You were very slow in the store because you don’t normally buy this stuff. If it is cheaper or you have a long drive, order. I may still order some day with a coupon code just for fun.

Cleaning Products/Subscription Cleaning Product Boxes Until COVID, I cleaned with vinegar for most surfaces and Clorox for big stuff. Foaming bathroom cleaner and toilet bowl cleaner so I didn’t have to listen to too much whining about chores in the bathroom. For years I made my own laundry soap and “soft scrub” cleaner. Today I buy a few more things, but just ordinary grocery store stuff. I was really tempted to try a subscription box of Christmas- themed scents, but the price was scary. I go with unscented laundry detergent whenever possible. I haven’t bought drier sheets in over a decade. I tried a Pinterest thing of little sponges soaked in fabric softener. It worked fine but was a big mess so I quit.

Other Subscription Boxes. I tried one for fun around Christmas. One. One of the “top” rated boxes. What a joke! Same scarf at Walmart. Yeah. Forget it. If you have to keep a very well stocked gift closet, these could help. In spite of this, I have lost 40 lbs. at 50lbs I may give myself a gift of trying Stitch fix just to see what another set of eyes thinks would be good on me. I imagine it will go back and I’ll ask for my refund though.

Holiday Crap. Mrs. Ebenezer Scrooge here, but I stopped putting up a Christmas tree even. The turkey planter centerpiece got broken and I don’t know if we had anything for Easter. I did make a 4th of July wreath from a pool noodle, old jeans and other recycled stuff I had from back when I was a scrapbooker. It look good for about 2 years. Tossed it. I used the same cut-sew-stuff-hang Christmas wreath that I made for one of my first apartments for over 30 years. I put up the kids stockings and call it a day now. When grandchildren arrive someday, I’ll go full-out grandma if they want it on holidays.

Kids Birthday Parties and Other Celebrations I was an “abusive” parent. My kids never got to go to Kroger and order the crappy, bad-tasting, over-priced birthday cake with garish Disney characters on it. There. I’ve admitted it. Never. None. No Way. In my defense, we do not have an enormous extended family who gathers for every birthday and holiday. My kids also have never been big on eating cake. So I made either the cake or desert of choice, the meal of choice, and they opened modest presents like some new school clothes and one really desired gift. Friends were welcome. Keep in mind, I did not have the early years of my [adopted] kids lives to get sucked into the racket of the over-the-top kids event celebration. I can truthfully say, I would never have done a “smash” cake. I believe in teaching table manners from the start. LOL.

Expensive Family Pictures. None. First off, my immediate family isn’t hot on posed pictures anyway. But buying matchy-matchy outfits and gazing adoringly at easy other just isn’t us. I’ve seen some family pictures that I thought were well worth the money.

Ridiculous Kitchen Gadgets I do not need an avocado slicer or a plastic lettuce knife or a plastic shrimp deveining tool. I do have Dollar Tree multiples of some items. When a better quality tool makes the job easier, I buy it and take care of it.

Uber-Expensive Pots and Pans. While I wish I’d returned the Pioneer Woman set I have now, they do the job just fine. The lids don’t seal right etc, but they are not flimsy, I’m a very experienced cook and they are red. Red makes me happy. (Note: Uber expensive knives can really be worth it).

Home Décor I’ve done up two very nice houses before. I am not at all anti-decorating. But this is a rental. Yes it has been home for almost 13 years. This year I had to replace the couch. This is a rental and it is very small by today’s Midwestern suburban standards. So I got a futon couch at Walmart. The living room look much nicer and I will eventually put something on that one wall. It doesn’t bother me at all that it is blank. My bedroom is making me insane. I will likely spend some money on it. I have not spent money on my bedroom, aside from IKEA duvet covers and matching pillow shams since 1997. It’s ok this time.

The Home Scent Industry and Candles I have have some left-over tea lights from a graduation. I kept them for emergency candles. I do have a scent-thingy for the bathroom but it doesn’t run 24/7/365. I have cats who use a litter box, so I’m pretty sure that getting into the home scent world might make my guests happier! LOL. These are utter money wasters to me.

New Books. Wow. This is a hard one. I do buy SOME brand new books, but I’m a librarian—I use the library. I buy from library book sales and other used book sources. As a hopeful author wanting to be published this alone will likely jinx me, but there you go.

[Other] Paid TV. Why? I DO have Amazon Prime so my Mom and I can have the First Reads, and a few other so-called “benefits” but if I watch 2 hours it’s a big month. I cannot sit still for movies and tv any more. Most people enjoy them. I plan NEVER to have Netflix again (I used to do the free month once a year) due to that nearly p# rn @ children’s dance team movie and, of course, Meghan Markle. Apple Tv? That’s a No again to the Prince Harry Whine-a-thon.

Satelite Radio, Internet Access and On-Star
Just No.I can see where On-Star would be a great thing on some road trips where cell phone coverage can still be spotty though. Ditto the radio on such trips. Even I get tired of listening to books sometimes.

On Board Entertainment Systems: Nope. Every generation previous lived without it. When my very hyper impulse-control-lacking kid got too much I put on the audio dramatized Bible. Yep. Calm. I hear you saying, “Oh, Please! Mine would never…” When the choice is sit, be still, be quite and RIDE or listen to….you’d be amazed. You just cave fast.

Jewelry, Perfume, Make-Up No interest. I realize that makes me a freak. Fine. I’m living with it. The older I get the fewer scents I can wear without an allergy attack. I did my day of full foundation and all the rest.

Mani-Pedis, Messages, and Spa Treatments Nope, not on my dime. My daughter offered for birthday or Mother’s Day or something and THAT I would enjoy because I was to do it with her. That’s fine. It’s just not my thing. Sorry, but no one should ever confuse these with “necessitates.”

Clothing Not On Sale I buy very little clothing. My employer allows nice jeans, no athletic shoes, so jeans do have to get replaced about annually and casual shoes replace or replenished to reflect new trends. Now that I have lost weight, I’ve had to buy all types of clothing. Since I buy so little anyway it was not financial burden.

Cheap Bras. Nope. No Walmart bras here. Name brand, properly fit. I am guilty of wearing them way to long. Tragically I have a FB photo of someone I know that reminds me of why this is a near-mortal sin. I will be re-housing the girls at some expense soon. I also am guilty of putting them in the washer. I hate hand wash. I NEVER put them in the drier. I always start out putting them in a small load by themselves on delicate. In about 3 weeks, I forget and throw them into the regular wash. Oh well.

Dry Clean Only Clothing. Not any more. My office does not require suits and heels so I do not need anything in this category. That is not possible on some jobs.

Vacations or Day Trips to Theme Parks or the Hillbilly Riviera, Branson, or other tourist traps. Especially in the summer. Why pay to sit in the same outrageous heat, humidity and mosquito invasions that you have “free” at home. Nope. Saving for my friend’s house in Aus and my Bucket List tour of the Great Houses Tour like Chatsworth, Blenheim, Sandringham and other favorites. I couldn’t care less if I ever went to Disney. Now, if I have grandchildren and their parents can afford the trip without compromising my grandchildren’s future college education, then I’d love to go and help out. I have a trip planned for fall to a US historical site. That is my thing. Kings Island is about 10 minutes from my office. If I want to waste money to stand in line in 100 degree heat or pay extra to piss people off and go to the head of the line, I can any day. Buy a Season pass—it is almost considered child abuse not to here, but no way. I’ll take my season pass at the Taft Art Museum downtown.

More Than Just Enough Car
I do have to get a car loan to buy a car. In fact, I bought a new car two months ago. Yes, “new”. I had to finance it. With the ridiculously low rate for new cars and the zillions of miles I commute, the depreciation was worth it to me. It was a demo–a year old but “new.” I’m fine with that choice. No leather, no sunroof, but since it was a demo not the stripped down new-grad model. Just because you have two kids, you do not need a Suburban. (Disclosure: My kid works for the dealership).

Car Washes This depends on where you live. Winter roads can destroy your car so I’m flexible on this. We don’t have that type winter here. I have seen deals though that would make this one ok for a one-time use.

Game Systems. Nope. My kid could accept no rules. I literally took the scissors and cut the damned cord one day. He tried to “show” me, and plugged it in again with a random cord. Blew that f-er up. Never a happier day in my life. Now, in families with children who do not have that issue, they can be a lot of fun and there are cheap ways to provide them. It doesn’t work out for everyone.

Gym Membership I have had gym memberships before. They are pretty cheap if you sign up in January and wait for those doing New Year’s resolutions to drop out and clear the place out enough to t move. My neighborhood (relax, I rent a tiny 70’s house built before the neighborhood took off) has a gym and pool if I want to use them.

Kid activities

Probably my most controversial opinions are right here.

Everyone has different views. These are my views. I am stating my view, my opinion on this “industry.” I am not insulting you or belittling you or judging you if you do find this “industry” beneficial, enjoyable and well-worth every dollar. Everyone who in the world is entitled to his or her or their own opinion. Keep in mind, I am among that stated group.

Also remember, that I have raised my kids. I’ve seen the end results in them and their friends and in my friends’ children who are all between about 19 to 28 years old.

Children’s Sports—NO.  Please be considerate and hear me out.

Try these things out carefully in community programs that are non-competitive. If you find your family is exhausted, rushing constantly, etc. QUIT at the end of the season.***** It is way worse in competitive programs Wait several years to try again. (**** I am assuming the modern norm of a single parent or two working parent, public school family. Homeschoolers may be able to flex more, as may two-parent families with a stay-at-home parent).

There is immense good that CAN come from these programs, not the least of which are self-confidence, time management skills, and better physical health.

Kid Sports 99.9% of these do nothing but exhaust and distract families. It starts so innocently. Take the little one to soccer. It’s so cute! He sleeps through the night afterward. All our friends are doing it with their kids. Our kids could be left out later or miss out on forming an essential friend support group. Our kids do need adults outside their family in their lives. They do need things they enjoy. But, please read on.

While it was so cute at age 2, it doesn’t end. It bankrupts you. You do NOTHING as a family except go to stupid practices and games. No–just no. Friends’ son ended up trying to commit suicide because the parents’ social life was so entwined with his sport that when he was “DONE” and wanted to try something else they thought he was sulking over being put in a different position on the team. He tried to quit for TWO years. His sister tried to explain to the parents. They other parent-friends “on the team” agreed with the parents. Some of THEIR kids tried to speak up for him. It happens sooooooooooo easily.

The NCAA provides statistics about and information on how may get a “free ride” it is a pathetic number. But guess what, academic scholarships are pretty darned easy to score by comparison. Your kid isn’t the new Michael or LeBron or Becks or whoever. But, if he ever got to just be bored he might find out he’d love engineering or have potential as an artist or, yes, even that he might be one hell of a soccer player. Yes, there are school districts where if you haven’t played since age 2 you won’t get looked at. Until the coach is told of a slightly raw talent with a great attitude. He will have to bust his butt harder than anyone if given a chance. You might get it done. If not—so what? Few people earn a living as an athlete. He or She can still even play college ball—yes, in Division III or similar. Again, so what? They can still become a coach. Now, if your kid wants to play badly enough that this the ONE activity he wants and he accepts it as his entire-extended family + Mom/Dad’s birthday/Christmas gift then you have a kid who sincerely wants to play. But, hold him to the deal.

Another short antidote. True story from a Mom of one of my kid’s friends. After paying for each of her 3 daughters to play soccer in a competitive team for years, her husband’s company closed. They were trying to prevent HOMELESSNESS. She went to her kids and told them the sad news that soccer was done. One kid, now 13 had played since age 2, the 3rd child who was maniacal about getting to soccer on time every time, was 9. The universal response was a big whooping, “Sweet!”. She turned to her youngest and asked why she’d been so happy and insistent on getting to soccer each time but was now so happy it was over. The child told her mother she liked the little pre-packed snacks. They only bought big bags to share. Her mother, who had to take Food Stamps for a few months, went to a grocery store where she knew no one and bought the small pre-packaged snacks on Food Stamps. One girl fell in love with the violin she’d been thinking of quitting because it was now “real” music in school orchestra (not Suzuki) and she had thought it would be “hard.” The other joined a club at her Middle School and the little one was happy with an over-priced prepackaged snack and being allowed to read aloud to her family after dinner. Go figure.

Dance or Cheer I love the ballet and I was impressed that the one year my kids spent in an unloved city public school they had well-taught ballet as part of the gym curriculum. I would love to see EVERY child get this.

Like other sports (and dance today is a sport) it can do tremendous good for a child. But. Yes, “but.” To me most of this has become Slut-Out-Your-Kid. My daughter passed the “only thing I want to do test” and got to cheer (friends did dance—same stuff). Profane rap music, slutty, provocative moves, skimpy, skin tight costumes (we were told these were for “safety” Yes, the woman kept a straight face). MANY fathers and grandfathers had to leave one contest I attended. It was like a “gentleman’s club” performance—you know, the kind of “Club” by the highway where that one church always protests? Yeah. Pick your dance and cheer venue carefully. Even ballet—it has soooo many opportunities for bad stuff to happen. Do not assume that the child never being out of your sight is enough. The messages on weight, beauty, and other things ring through loud and clear. Eating disorders, teaching sexually explicit moves to go with raunchy music, having children watch sexually explicit “dance” routine videos—it all sexualizes them way beyond their years. Even kids in Middle School (12—14) can be very harmed by this because in spite of the sophisticate veneer they do not have the emotional maturity to process this Your presence may keep anything physical wrong from happening but the emotional mess is big. Pick your dance and cheer school or gym very, very carefully.

Gymnastics—My daughter wanted this and I flat-out refused. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes was the precursor to what we now “know” (Were you really that blind, people?) She learned enough gymnastics through cheer for her very, very small high school’s cheer team. I know that would not be enough in big school districts. Her cheer teammates accepted what most women would call ______ assault or worse as their first s_____ experience. Accident? No. And, don’t think because you taught them the right thing at home…blah, blah, blah or believe that your child would “never.” Nearly all the girls in her high school cheer team had abortions. Even those whose parents attended conservative churches. Sadly, even a few who were on the pill. It only takes forgetting it once for some girls. The pressure to preform and encourage those basketball players (and thank you that it was a tiny school so no huge football team) was immense. The pressure to look good. To be agreeable. To have a pleasing smile and personality. Grooming, much? Cheer. I wish I’d said “no way” like I knew I should and like I did with gymnastics.

Scouts, AHG etc. This is a YES and a NO. I lead AHG (American Heritage Girls) and had a ball doing so, but there were very troubling things in the “curriculum.” Awards were at flag-studded “rally” like events. The faith was works-based-salavation, A few rouge Moms and I led our little group astray and since all went to the host church or similar we did our faith, (but did NOT object to our kids having an honest discussion of the differences even at age 10), we worked as much career awareness into it as possible and we kept is FUN. This was a fun activity, it was expensive for me as a parent because of the troop we were in who expected lots of pricey additions, but it gave my daughter and me time to do something together—I get it, you CAN get that from sports, dance etc, if you keep it all to a sane level. My son hated Scouts but I sent him anyway. He was not abused but he hated the “brother” troop to our AHG troop and got himself thrown out. (He was a champ at this). That troop was an Eagle Mill. [Eagle Scout]. We found a good-ole boy troop where the Dads drank beer and the kids shot BB Guns. He had a much better time. All troops are not the same. Shop. Speak up. Say no when you disagree.

Church Youth Groups This is a YES and a NO. We never did anything with the youth group of a mega Church such as the nationally known one where I led AHG. We went to a small church in our school district and my kids enjoyed Youth Group. I always paid for a friend to go on fun things. They got to ride go-carts, visit colleges, hear nationally known Christian artists , go to amusement parks, tubing [snow] and much more that I could not pay for, We did all the creative fundraisers and I rarely had to pay for anything except the friend—but in time the worked the fundraisers too, and most parents offered to pay their kid’s way for me.  Our groups were healthy, had excellent supervision, kept it fun, taught morals and ethics appropriate to the real world, did not pressure visiting friends to believe, and just tried to be a positive place. I fully know that all Youth Groups are not created equal. Lock-ins were my only “ify” activity. I found a single Grandma with a teenage grandson and paid for him to go so he could watch out for my son at these events and later my daughter. No problems were ever even hinted at and they look back fondly on all the fun stuff. But, more than the go-carts, they remember going and cleaning up after the Joplin tornadoes. They saw people who had lost it all and they got told by those people how much their care meant to them. As my son sifted through muck to find lost, treasured photos for a crying woman, he told the lady his adoption story. She calmed down and listened. Those four pictures that could be salvaged are as precious to him as to her.

Check them out very, very carefully. Do not just dump your kid there. Go to the church yourself. Yes, attend services and listen. Do not discount church because it isn’t popular or you think no one votes your way. If you are trying to find a church or if your child is invited by a friend, visit the church website. If the statement of belief is buried that’s a very bad sign. Look up the pastor on Linkedin and see if he has a degree (absolutely no guarantee of anything but it’s a start). Call him. Ask what they believe. If he won’t talk without coming to your home, block his number and say no to your child. A good church today does not do that. [My church sends a pastor with homemade cookies after a visitor fills out a card, but he leaves the car running, if possible has the family in the car, the door stays open to his side of the car. He runs up, rings the door bell, smiles, shoves the cookies in the door and flees. Personal, a little bit silly, but ok. ALWAYS take YOUR turn of supervising. If you cannot get off work for a trip—see if Grandma and Grandpa might—that was a true win-win in one family I know.I got out of this by cleaning the bathrooms with my kids and that teenage grandson of my friend after VBS every day. No one wants to help with that. We lived.

If you cannot afford an activity at church speak up. Our church did all kinds of fundraisers for the kids. But there were people who never, ever minded paying for one more kid.

Band and Orchestra. This is a YES and a NO. I loved band and am still in touch with bandmates. But once they turned it into a sport it became all that is wrong with the whole industry. I would advise skipping competitive marching band unless you are prepared to travel a lot. Overnight trips galore. Insufficient supervision because it is impossible to get enough supervision for that age group. If your kid is mature for their age and their friends are too, then it will be ok—they will go to their hotel room and ignore the partiers.  Otherwise, make sure you go on all trips and “ruin it” for you kid by insisting that you kid stay in your room. Then stay awake all night. Yes, it can be that bad. Not always. They eventually fall asleep. If your kid can handle no sleep then they might be mature enough to do it without

If your school has an Orchestra or concert band or the marching band just plays at school sporting events send them and be supportive. A once a year state Orchestra or concert band contest—fine. Be prepared, you will have to pay for extensive private lessons in just about any orchestra program and most bands. It’s just what it takes to learn to play properly. You will also be laying out for “vinyl” and other recordings of great music of all eras if your kid really get into it as well as for concert tickets if you live near a venue.

At some point you will likely need to upgrade to a professional quality instrument, too. Some schools have extensive rental programs, but that may leave you renting an instrument at a much higher rate over the summer so your kid can practice—do the math. Most parents will buy a decent instrument at some point. Youth Symphony in cities, students and later professors at local Universities charge professional prices as they should, to teach your child in private lessons. Like all youth activities, it is not cheap. I had to fight for my son (who I knew would be thrown out so why waste the money!!) to play the clarinet I owned. In our (at that time) large school district the band director decided what the kid played based on what he perceived as their ability. In that district, my daughter flourished with her crappy school-rental cello and the Mom of a former colleague let me drop her off at 6:15 am and happily returned to her old role as orchestra student chauffeur for summer strings. It can be every bit as time consuming as sports. Some schools allow in-building private practice at lunch or after school. Many schools reserve those slots for instruments too big for the school bus (when a 2nd is not possible) or for those whose living arrangements could not accommodate their practicing. I drove the cello to and from school on my way to work.

A band story. A friend, a lifelong band and music lover, raised her kids in music. When the eldest got to our University and was excited to join the internationally known marching band. The student was shocked to find frat-house hazing and initiation rituals that included dangerous levels of underage drinking and worse. This kid was in college for an education. That was the last day of band in college. All of these things have pockets of toxicity. I am positive there are high schools and probably junior high schools  (Middle Schools) today that have the same problems.

Choir is pretty safe, lol, but it CAN be a sport too. Like marching band with slutty costumes and cheer routines. Not joking. My daughter did choir and did my cousin’s kids. All were in small schools were many couldn’t even afford private lessons. I have no knowledge of big school choir other than the slutty stuff I’ve seen on co-workers videos of kids’ concerts though a lot of special dresses, a tux rental and other things come to mind from a co-worker with kids in the state’s “best” high school.

Exhausted? If you read all of it, LOL, then THANK YOU!!

If you have done a “No Buy List” type post, I’d love to do a listing of them. Leave me a link.

7 thoughts on “My “No-buy” list: Something different for a Friday

  1. I enjoyed reading this post! I’ve lived a fairly simple and frugal life……so it is fun to think about the areas where I do and do not spend! I married in the days of cake, mints/nuts, punch/coffee, so elaborate weddings and receptions stun me! I never entertained the idea of a gender reveal party and my children had simple birthday parties where the little guests were deprived of elaborate entertainment and party favor bags! 😂 when I grew up, birthdays consisted of “dinner of your choice”! My childhood Christmas experiences were minimal, too……mostly necessities and one special gift. You’ve got me thinking! 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found your comments on children’s sports and activities fascinating. I don’t have children so never got embroiled in that but I’ve seen plenty of parents chase here, there and everywhere taking their offspring from one class or activity to another. It made me wonder whether the children wanted to do this or it was all the parents pushing them.

    You’ve made me think also about whether there are things on my no buy list. ‘Designer’ candles would be one – what a waste of money; magazines are another. I used to buy Cosmo and Marie Claire when I was in my early 20s but they are so full of advertising, feature articles that are just promotional tools for brands that they work out ridiculously expensive

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most parents today seem to be afraid not to do endless activities. Here it’s all about the IVY League colleges even though almost NO ONE goes to them. Even competitive colleges. The thing is to have interests and pursue them. It’s insane.the number of hours little kids put in these days. We once bitched about how horrible the old Soviet sports system was. Well, we have–just most of the USA kids today go home to sleep. That’s about it. Thanks for reading–I totally agree on Magazines. I used to love Smithsonian, New Yorker, etc but I just don’t anymore. The website is plenty.


  3. First of all, DARN that you are sick 😦 I hope you’re on the mend by now? I agree so much with this post and really enjoyed reading it. I too underspend on pretty much everything. This morning the girls wanted to go to subdivision garage sales and we walked around for a couple of hours — other than a couple of “free” things for Christmas Child boxes, I didn’t get anything. There just wasn’t anything I wanted enough to pay for it and bring it into the house. Maybe part of it is an aging thing; I know I am also influenced a lot by my mom and the absolute hoard at her house that she cannot part with. Kids’ activities was interesting too and I largely agree. If the college band story wasn’t me and Daughter #1, it could have been!

    Funny story on candles. I’m okay with them but would not buy them. My husband HATES them (fire hazard, soot on the ceiling, etc) so I started burning the few I have during piano lessons. Well, I guess based on that the students assumed I love candles. I think I was given 3 at the spring recital. IT WILL NEVER END!!


  4. I loved reading your list and I can’t think of anything I disagree with. I found myself nodding my head while reading it. I raised two daughters so have experienced nearly everything you mentioned regarding kids, their activities, etc. I grew up in a minimalist home in the 40’s and 50’s. It has stayed with me all of my life. From experience, I know how important it is not to have so much “stuff.” If you don’t scale down (get rid of that “stuff”), at some point, a child or family member will need to sort or clean things out for you and it’s not an easy for them to do.

    So sorry to hear that you are sick. Please get well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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