The Ultimate Stocking Stuffer List

the ultimate stocking stuffer list

This is the best stocking stuffer list ever because all your ideas are going to be on it. I’ve started with what I can think of, then I’ll come back and add your ideas up here after you put them in the comments.  You can’t leave the page without adding an idea, got it?

This year we are only giving one gift to each of our kids.  The kids drew names among each other, so they will each have 2 gifts to open. Then there’s the stockings.  I wrapped up smaller gifts for the stockings and spent a little more on each item–up to $15, instead of the normal $1 stuff I put in there. The idea is that these are things my kids actually need and will use, and won’t be clutter.  The more expensive things are items they’ve been asking for and waiting to get for awhile, but things that weren’t so important that they had to have them right away.  Things like a wallet or a watch or gloves with texting fingers.

I’ve linked to some items for your convenience, but they aren’t affiliate links.  My state is on the list of states that Amazon won’t work with.  

A lot of the items are generic.  I didn’t want to put the same item on each list, so I stuck it on just one of them.  I’m sure girls would like Silly Putty too and I’d be as thrilled with a protein bar as Darren would.

Food Items

Breakfast items–doughnuts, muffins, fruit, cinnamon roll, or single serving fun cereal (so the kids can eat without waking mom and dad)



Favorite Candy

Beef Jerky



Fun food they don’t normally get to have, like Spaghetti-o’s

Restaurant Gift Cards



Hand warmers


Texting Gloves

Lip Balm

Pocket Knife/multi tool

Unbreakable Combs–big pack that would be good to split with friends

Protein Bars

Cough Drops



Toy Handcuffs

Nerf Bullets–big pack to share with friends :)

Mini Nerf Gun

Matchbox Car

Silly Putty

Mini Lego Set (or a special piece from the lego store)

Art Supplies


DVDs (check dollar tree for these too, or even garage sales)



Magic Baby Bottles

Hair Ties

Lip Gloss

Fingernail Polish

Coin Purse

Mini Wet Brush — wet brushes are our favorite

Craft supplies

Fuzzy socks or Gloves (Dollar Tree)

Cute socks–for mis-matching

AntiBac gel from bath & body works

Fingernail clippers/Tweezers

Cute School Supplies


Water Bottle Carrier

Texting Gloves

Purse size tissues

Kitchen Gadgets


Gift Card

Washi Tape

Fashion Scarf


The Ultimate Stocking Stuffer List 2

Frugal Friday #2

Frugal Friday

Last week’s frugal friday was so much fun!  At first I thought no one would play along and then the comments rolled in.  That made me REALLY happy.  You inspired me to look for new ways to exercise my frugal muscles this week.

If you’re new here:  On Fridays I share a few frugal things I did during the week.  Then in the comments you to share a frugal thing or two you did during the week.  If you are a blogger feel free to link to your Frugal Friday post in the comments and we’ll come check it out.

I’ve been suffering with all over body hives for more than 2 weeks now.  My preliminary blood work shows “numerous active allergies” with more details to come.  In the past I’ve had an allergy to cats so they tested for that agin.  When the test came back negative my first thought was, “I need a cat.” My friend was giving away kittens on facebook—it would just take a second to send her a message….Then I saw this video on facebook.

  1. We didn’t get a cat.  Does that count as frugal?  Pet food, litter costs, extra cleaning, vet bills…..I’m saving big on those.  I really do love cats though.  We’ve been enjoying the friendly farm cats up at my in-law’s place.  There always seems to be a couple of kittens around there.  I’m reserving the right to splurge and get a kitten at some point…but for now, we are being frugal.  We also open our doors to family and friends for pet sitting.  Pet sitting is the joy of a pet for about as long as my kids have an attention span for them.


They are soooo cute though.

2.  Homemade hamburger buns.  I plopped a rump roast (bought over the weekend on a sale for $2.99 a lb) in the crock pot with a pinch of cloves, tons of garlic salt and a splash of red wine vinegar, for shredded beef sandwiches.  The original recipe is here at Taste of Home.  I was planning my day and how I would get to the day old store to buy buns and I thought—why not just bake my own.  It only takes a couple of minutes of hands on time.  Here’s my favorite recipe.  I saved around $5 and a whole lot of driving time.

homemade hamburger buns

3.  When I didn’t feel well, Instead of eating out we used some frugal convenience foods (Deli roast beef $5 lb, 3 cans crescent rolls $.99 each, and sliced provolone $2.50 for 12 oz) plus garden bell peppers to make Philly Pepper Steak Bundles.  I served it up with finger fruits and veggies on costco paper plates (bought on a coupon sale.)  I keep the plates on hand for the days I can’t cope with one more thing–on the wanna be takeout nights. The best part is the kids saw me making them and it looked so fun that they came over to help.

Philly Pepper Steak Bundles

4.  I used the library.  A blogger I really respect recommended a couple of books.  I was not sure if these books were ones I’d want to read once, or refer back to over and over again.  I requested copies from my library.  Once I read them I can decide if they are ones to buy for our forever library. Money saved $25

5. I used a discount prescription card.  With my Melaleuca membership, I could get a prescription drug discount card.  Our health insurance dropped prescription drug coverage last January to try to reduce costs and keep up with the new government mandates.  The discount card costs $5 a month ($60 a year) and covers all 8 of us.  I needed 2 prescriptions to fight my allergies.  Normally one was $40 and the other was $30.  With the discount card the new prices were $10 & $9. $50 saved and we’ve only had the cards 2 months so far :).

It’s your turn!  Inspire us with one of your frugal activities this week.


Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Yesterday I made the most delicious shredded beef in the slow cooker.  I worked all day knowing I had that meal ready to go.  When it was almost time for dinner, I slid our homemade buns into the oven and realized I didn’t have a side dish.  Not one. I poked around in the freezer and the fridge and saw we had frozen brussels sprouts, half a butternut squash, a bag of radishes, and a bag of baby carrots.

Roasted Winter Vegetables before

I threw them all together in a pan–the colors were glorious! Then drizzled and tossed with oil.  Sprinkled and tossed with a tsp of sea salt, and cooked for an hour at 400 degrees.

Roaste winter vegetables

Gorgeous right?  The only problem was last minute and bake for an hour don’t go together well.  I let the family eat the roast beef sandwiches and some canned apple slices and by the time the veggies were ready, they weren’t hungry enough to be adventurous.Roasted Winter Vegetables After 2

Stage 3 of my plan to make my family Butternut Squash lovers backfired, but it was really delicious.  I’m super pumped to have leftovers.

The recipe is simple, trim and cut veggies into bite sized pieces, toss with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 (up to 450 if not in glass) for an hour or until fork tender and golden.  For best results stir after 30 minutes.  Serve while your family is still famished–unless they already know that gorgeous food can be delicious too.

Butternut Squash Fritters

Butternut Squash Fritters 5

Remember yesterday when I told you I have a secret plan to make my kids like squash?  This is level 2.

We enjoyed these fritters (inspiration here) during last Sunday’s lunch with our oven baked chicken, but we kicked it up a notch in the evening by warming them back up in a skillet and melting cheese on the top.  We tried Monterey Jack which was good but sharp cheddar would have been even better. Next time I plan to stir cheddar right into the batter.  It might get crisp in the areas where the cheddar hits the griddle—there’s nothing wrong with that.

Butternut Squash Fritters 2

There’s quite a bit of shredding involved in these.  I decided that it was worth the hassle to get out the kitchen aid shredder attachment to do these.  I was so right.  It shredded up my giant butternut squash in less than 5 minutes.  If you try this by hand it will count as aerobic exercise.Butternut Squash fritters
If you don’t have an electric shredder (or food processor) then grab the kid who most recently used the word, “bored.”  Or the one who was asked to sweep the floor and then walked off with the chairs still pushed against the wall and the broom lying on the floor. He will love to shred the squash for you.  So will the one who made a sandwich and left the mayo on the counter with the knife still in it.

Butternut Squash fritters

I didn’t have any trouble peeling my squash.  The hardest part was cutting it open.  I grabbed the longest, widest knife I had and that helped.  My regular vegetable peeler took the skin right off.  I’ve heard if your peeler is on the dull side, it could be more challenging.  Some have success stabbing the squash with a fork a few times, then microwaving it whole for 3 minutes.  That softens the skin without cooking the meat.

Butternut Squash Fritters

5 cups shredded butternut squash (deseeded and peeled but still raw)

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup flour (or 1/2 cup THM baking mix)

coconut oil for frying

Place your squash in a mixing bowl and sprinkle all over with salt.  Beat in eggs, then stir in flour.  Warm a griddle or frying pan and melt a little bit of coconut oil in the pan.  Use a level ice cream scoop to drop batter onto the hot pan and flatten with the back of your flipper.  Cook like pancakes letting the fritter cook halfway through and get toasty brown before flipping.  Then flip and cook the other side.

Butternut Squash Fritters 3

You know what else (besides cheese) would make these yummy?  Bacon. I’ve tried to think of things that bacon wouldn’t make better….like apple pie, pancakes, or ice cream.  Then I had to take it back, bacon would make those things better….



Nerf War Party

You know the mom that calls to invite you to the party happening in 2 days because she forgot to send out invitations? That’s me.  This year I decided I was going to plan ahead, and have invitations printed a couple of months in advance.   Then I set a google reminder to mail them a few weeks ahead. It worked!

Dub's Brithday Invitations 10th nerf war redacted

It might have been more frugal to make the invitations by hand, but for $.09 each and a lot less time I had them printed as photographs and then mailed out in photo envelopes.  (I designed them in powerpoint, my go to graphic arts program.  I can picture all real graphic artists cringing.) The only catch….the invitations came with the wrong date and time, and I didn’t notice it.  My son came home from school telling me that kids thought the party was a week early, so I went to the photo site and looked up the picture I uploaded. It was correct.  I was so confused.

After I heard from a few other families who had the wrong date, I started calling everyone to confirm the date—2 days ahead, just like usual.  One of them texted me a photo of the invitation I mailed out—wrong date and time.  Forehead smack.  I’m still not sure how it happened.

They were all very nice about it, but 3 of the boys could no longer come :(.  I still feel badly about that.


My mom is protective of my health and stress levels, so she came over to help out.  We made 4 target practice games for the first half of the party.  All of these ideas came from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.  I LOVE her site.  The one above is made from a tri-fold board (like what you’d get for the science fair.) I used a package of Dollar Tree Star Cut Outs for all the games.  The inner circles are cut down from the cardboard that was cut out of the window. They are taped to Ikea Smoothie Straws (they are fatter straws) which just happened to slide over the leftover balloon sticks.  You can get more details instructions here.


I used 2 packages of Dollar Tree River Rocks to weight down the bottles.  Then my mom wrapped them in orange paper and taped them with Black Duct Tape.  We stuck on more of the Dollar Tree Stars to give them point values.  The goal was to shoot off the ping pong balls off the top.  This game was easier than it looks and the boys really liked it.  Also, the package of stars is so big that we used one package for all the games and still have more.

Nerf Target Practice Games

The PVC pipe is our ballet barre, which we just happened to have already for the girls. I just taped jute twine to the top of the cup and stuck more stars on them with point values.  The fun is when the cups start swinging and to try to hit them anyway.


The 4th game is made out of file folders.  We stuck them down to a foam core board ($.88 a Wal-mart) so it could be put away and used again easily. Our only regret is not making the cuts in the base deeper so they would stand up on their own.


Decorations were super simple.  I just used the leftover balloon sticks from our Lego Party and made colorful balloon bouquets. Then let the cupcakes, gift packages, and targets be the rest of the decorations.

Nerf Gun Decorations DSC_0072

Target cupcakes.  It wouldn’t be hard to do better.  Darren suggested red and white might have looked more authentic. (I was using up leftover frosting from the fridge.)

Nerf Gun Table

Before the guests arrived, we filled each gift bag with 30 extra darts (from ebay, similar here.) I took the time to write each boys initial on the tip of their bullet so we could make sense of things when the bullets started to fly.  I’m glad I did!  Each boy also got a gun and took it home as a party favor.  We let them have the fun of opening the package and then put their names on their guns too.


I invited all the boys to come and sit at the table and get instruction on how to aim their gun.  We talked about front sights and how to line it up, then did a demo and had them try it out. (Not all nerf guns have front sights, I’m so glad these did.) Then, I divided the them  into partners and sent each group to a station.

Nerf party

They took turns doing target practice and spotting each other to help add up points.  (The points meant nothing, but it was fun to keep track.)

nerf party 2

Nerf party 3

We spent about 30 minutes with target practice, then went to cake and ice cream and gifts.

Then we moved the party outside.  At this point I was done in.  One of the guests came an hour before the rest–the correct time, (because of the invitaiton snafu) and I thought no one else was going to come.  Then when the rest of the guests came an hour later (to our relief), there was a bit of chaos since I didn’t have a quiet sit down gathering activity, (like the coloring pages at the lego party.)

So, Darren took over the out door portion of the party and I rested.  We cut plastic table cloths into strips and tied them around on of each boy’s arms to create teams.  There was an orange team and a blue team and each had a matching bandana for their flag($1.29 at Hobby Lobby.)  They took their ammo and their guns out back to the school yard/city park that backs up to our back yard.

Nerf Gun Capture the Flag

We modified the rules to capture the flag to incorporate the Nerf guns.  Here were our rules.

  1. No head shots
  2. If you get shot below the neck you have to go back to your base and sing Happy Birthday to Dub at the top of your lungs before re-entering the game.
  3. If you get tagged with hands, you go to the opposing team’s jail and wait for someone to rescue you (your own team member to tag you back in.)
  4. You can’t shoot from jail.
  5. The goal is to find and capture the other team’s flag and take it back to your base.

A boy we had never met was playing all alone at the school while his mother, one of the kindergarten teachers, worked inside.  I grabbed one of the extra nerf guns and they invited him to play in their game.   They played the game for an hour mixing up teams each time they started a new round.  When the boys finally came inside, they were THIRSTY.  If I had thought ahead about that, I would have had some sport drink ready to go.

P.S.  Those little nerf guns go up and down in price all the time.  They were $5.50 each when I ordered mine and at the time of the article are $2 more.  You can watch the prices at camelcamelcamel and have them email you when the price reaches your target.

This is day 29 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money

Lego Birthday Party


2 weeks ago my 5th child turned 8.  That’s a significant birthday in our family and calls for a big party.  The point of this post isn’t to show off gorgeous photos. (I’m terrible at photography.)  It’s just to show that a lot of fun can be had with a budget.  The guests talked about this party for days even though it’s not Pinterest worthy.

Brandon couldn’t decide what kind of cake he wanted so I used 2 boxes of cake mix, 1 each of chocolate and white for the cupcakes.  I dropped both kinds of batter into each cup and swirled it a bit with a tongue depressor.  The leftover batter went into a loaf pan.  DSC_0021

I used Dollar Tree cupcake liners and flags.  We decorated them with chocolate melts (from Hobby Lobby) done in these lego molds.  I still have plenty of melts leftover for Christmas baking.

Regular sized marshmallows cut in half with scissors were the perfect size for lego bumps on top of the loaf pan cake.  Then I microwaved canned red frosting and poured it over the top for a smooth looking frosting.  It didn’t turn out as pretty as the tutorial, but it was really tasty. My Mom had the lego shaped birthday candles in her stash.


We bought a food coloring pen from Hobby Lobby (with a 40% off coupon) to draw the faces on these lego head marshmallow pops. I used this video for instructions:

Lego Head Marshmallow Popsicles

The pen kept getting junky and didn’t want to write smoothly.   We were going to use the same pens on the cake plates (yellow square plates from dollar tree) to turn them into lego faces.   It just beaded up and wiped off.  Then we noticed that our Sharpies were labeled non-toxic.  We used them on the plates instead of the food coloring.  It looked really good.  I was afraid some of it would come off on the ice cream after it melted into the plate.  It didn’t.

Lego party table

We decorated with a package of yellow balloons and a Dollar Tree Balloon marker–those work really well and don’t smear. Dollar Tree sells packages of single color balloons 15 for $1.  Wal-mart has much better quality balloons 12 for $.97.  The boys made vases out of legos to hide the floral foam we stuck the balloon picks into.  I purchased these balloon picks to save a bundle on helium.  They are reusable and can be cut into scissors to whatever length you need. We now have a lifetime supply.

Printable lego man art

I set up the table with yellow (Dollar Tree) cups decorated with lego faces and filled with crayons, and printable mini-fig pages.  The box in the middle holds a pile of legos waiting for the next game.


As the kids came in they decorated their page while they waited for the other guests to arrive.  Then we hung them on the wall with painter’s tape.

lego man Art on the wall

To set up our next game, we had bowls full of random lego pieces.  We dumped the crayons out of the yellow cups back into our crayon box and gave each guest a straw.  They had 30 seconds to see how many lego pieces they could move from their bowl to their cup with just their straw and breath.  We played several rounds.

Brandon's 8th birthday 1

Time to get the partiers up and moving.  I passed out a blank sheet of paper and had them number it from 1-13.  Earlier that day, Mom and I hid 13 paper lego men around the house.  (We used this template)

DSC_0035 hidden lego man

Each man had a word or two written on him. The kids had to find the men, write down the word and leave him there for someone else to find.

Finding the lego man

When they were done they unscrambled the words to find the scripture:  “This is the Day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  It was harder for them than we thought it would be.  Next time we’d number the men so they didn’t have to unscramble.

After that we played “Create That.”  We unzipped the big box of legos in the center of the table and then gave them a couple of minutes to build their interpretation of:  a duck, a car, a plane, a spaceship, a robot, and a boat.  At the end of each time limit we showed each person’s creation, said something encouraging and took a picture of him with it (on my mom’s camera.)

Then it was time for cake and ice cream.

Brandon 8th birthday blowing out candles

And then presents

Brandon Opens presents

Then we handed each guest his own gift, wrapped in a Dollar Tree gift bag (3 for $1) with cardstock circles glued on to make it look like a lego.  DSC_0010

I printed the circles on the computer so I didn’t have to trace a template hundreds of time.  It went pretty quickly.

Each bag had a small 3 in 1 lego kit and a small bag of lego shaped candy.  I just put it in snack sized baggies without a fancy label or anything.  The kids loved it anyway. They spread out and built their lego kit while waiting for the parents to come.


There were a few times the kids got crazy, trying to sit on the table or running across the back of the furniture, but for the most part it went really smoothly.   Here’s the breakdown of our budget–the printing costs on the invitations included shipping and invites for his brother’s party two weeks later.  I made up a .jpg and had it printed as a photo at  Then we mailed them in photo envelopes.  It was easy and they were very expensive looking.

The most expensive part of the party was the lego set party favors.  We ordered them directly from  At the time they had the best price between Target, Amazon, and Ebay.

•Lego sets for party favors x 10 = $56.85 56.85
•Lego Candy $16.56 16.56
•Lego Molds $4.99 4.99
•Postage for invitations $4.50 4.5
•Printing for Invitations 5
•Yellow Cups: $1 1.08
•Yellow Plates: $1 1.08
•Blue Napkins $1 1.08
•Edible Marker $4.99 4.99
•Balloons: 5 5
•Cake Mix $1 1.04
•Chocolate melting Discs $5 5.2
Ice Cream 3

This is day 28 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money

Saving Money on Kid Birthday Parties Part 1

Saving Money on Birthday Parties Part 1

Birthdays were a big deal when I was growing up.  My mom was frugal but super creative.  I had a friend party every other year with traditional games like pinata and pop the balloon that’s tied to your friend’s ankle.  One year we turned the whole house into a giant spider web with colored yarn.  Each guest had to wind up their own string and at the end was a small prize.  This game not only decorated the house for the party, but it naturally cleaned itself up as we played :).  Mom always baked the cake and decorated it at home.  Since computers weren’t a household item and the guy who invented Pinterest was probably still eating paste, we got our inspiration from library books.


The years I didn’t have a friend party, we invited over grandparents for dinner, cake and presents.  Mom did her best to make those times special too.  One year she put a clue inside each balloon.  I had to pop the balloons, read the clues and use them to find my presents.   As fun as these parties were they were a far cry from the super stylized Pinterest parties of today.  I thought they were pretty special anyway.

Brandon 8th birthday blowing out candles

When I became a mom I wanted my kids to have special birthdays too.  Life for me was a little more overwhelming since I’ve been pregnant, nursing or chasing toddlers (or all of the above) for the last 16 years.  We decided that with the size of our family we would limit friend parties to monumental ages:  5 (starting school), 8 (age for baptism), 10 (double digits!), 13 (now you’re a teenager), and 16 (Driving a car).  We would still celebrate the other years, but as a family in stress free ways.

Tomorrow I’m going to show you how I budget for birthdays and some ways we save on games, decorations and party favors.  Today, I want the takeaway to be:  Plan the party for the kids and don’t worry about impressing adults or making it Pinterest perfect.
DSC_0007Keep it low stress and try to let the kids help with stuff even if it won’t be perfect.  I know letting the kids help and keeping it low stress can be opposites.  Take a deep breath and try to go with it.


It’s all about the memories, building their sense of worth, and showing them that you’re GLAD you get to celebrate with them.  You don’t want to loose the child in all of the preparations and end up making them feel like a burden instead of a blessing.


Here are my less than perfect cupcakes from our Nerf party this past Saturday.  I was embarrased about how ugly they turned out.  Not one child even blinked.  I jokingly said, “What do you think the cupcakes are supposed to be?”  They didn’t laugh or make fun of my poor decorating job, several matter-of-factly said, “Targets.”  Delicious targets that they devoured in 5 seconds and asked for more.  I’m so glad I went with green—they almost look like something else, but no sweet little boy mind even went there.  The funny thing is, I did them myself.  Brandon asked to help and I didn’t let him.  He couldn’t have made them worse; I should have let him help.

Brandon's 8th birthday heather helps

If things turn out badly, everyone will assume you let the kids help.   So let them help–it’s a great reason for things to be wonky. Sometimes it turns out pretty good and the kids feel ownership about the party.

I love Pinterest and use it heavily for inspiration but I no longer try to recreate a magazine spread all by myself for kids who just want to eat sugar and play games.   That means my kids get a calm and happy mama to host their birthday party.  Who doesn’t want that?

This is Day 26 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money



Affordable Cell Phones for Kids

How to Find Affordable cell phones

There are strong feelings on both sides of the issue of whether kids should have cell phones or not.  At this point only our oldest has a true cellphone.  She’s had it since her 13th birthday (almost 3 years ago.)

At the time all the kids were going to school together and were in the musical staying after school for a different length of time each day.  We found ourselves often wishing that they were easier to get ahold of.  For her big birthday gift, we bought her the cheapest phone we could find and added her to our monthly bill for $5 a month.  Life was instantly better for us.   The best part was the texting.  All of a sudden the teenage awkwardness between us was gone and we could communicate.  She texted me from her friend’s house just to say, “I love you.”  And I dropped her notes throughout the day just to say, “God made you special and I’m glad you’re in our family.”

Now that she’s older we realized it would be handy for her to have a smartphone where we could share the family calendar and she could access Facebook messages from her choir and youth group.  A friend told us about Swappa, a reliable website for buying used phones.  The phones are guaranteed to work and to not be stolen. She saved up her money from mowing lawns and babysitting and bought the exact same phone I have for 50% less.  We didn’t activate her 4G network with our cellphone company (we use T-mobile because they are the best value for our area) but she can use those features anywhere there’s wifi: home, school, most restaurants and her friends’ houses.

The other kids have been eyeing Heidi’s phone since the day she got it.  It was easy to tell them no when they were little, but they are getting older and going in different directions.  We decided it would be nice to communicate with all the teens when they are working or at school activities and need rides. (Plus it’s a motivating thing to take away if they’re naughty, lol.)

When Heather and Caleb started their businesses and saved up their money to buy an ipod, we looked into cheap ways to get them phone access.  Turns out there’s a magic jack app for iPods.  iPods are about $100 less than iPhones, but can be turned into phones with wifi access with the Magic Jack app.  The app itself is free, and it only costs $15 a YEAR to get them their own phone number with unlimited calling and texting capabilities.  We went that route for those two kiddoes.

We looked at other options such as prepaid cell phones, but since the kids usually aren’t places where there isn’t wifi the Magic Jack was the best option for us.  There’s one more option, Ting, that I haven’t tried yet. My friend Kristen from Frugal Girl says it’s great.  It’s might be a way for you to turn your entire family phone bill into $21 a month.

What do you think about kids and cellphones?  Do you know of another way to save?

This is Day 22 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money


Help! My Child is a Clothing Snob

But first, I want you to know that I’m visiting at Stacy Makes Cents today.  Come along and find out the secrets behind my crazy low grocery budget. After you leave a comment on this post of course :).

Help! My child is a clothing snob

A child might be a clothing snob if:

  1. They reject second hand clothing
  2. They determine the quality of an item by it’s name brand
  3. They determine the quality of an item by it’s price
  4. They beg for clothing the family can’t afford
  5. They have a closet full of clothes (that fit) and nothing to wear
  6. They think sales are embarrassing
  7. They think once a style is sold at insert any store here, it’s out dated
  8. They would never shop at insert any store here
  9. They judge another person’s value by what they wear

The thing about clothing snobs is they have low self worth.  They don’t believe they are anyone special apart from their clothing and that’s the main issue to combat.  Making them feel guilty about the naked kids in Africa won’t do it, though that can be a project once self-worth is restored. They might have caught the wrong message of worth from a bully, an advertisement, or a TV show.  However it happened doesn’t matter, the important thing is to make sure they recognize their own value (and also the value of others.)

They are of worth because God made them in His image.  He loved them so much that he gave  them their free will.  Then left his throne to die in their place in hopes that they might use their free will to choose Him.  No piece of clothing can change their worth.

As you are building a proper view of self, there are other things you can do.

  1.  Try giving them their own clothing envelope and let them use it to buy their own clothes.   For this to work, you can NOT bail them out.  If they spend it all, they’ll need to earn the money on their own to meet their clothing needs.
  2. Donate their excess clothing to a good cause.  Such as the dress project or a local ministry.
  3. Sew dresses for little dresses for Africa. Or for babies born sleeping.  Or knit hats and scarves for the homeless and here.

There’s something about volunteering and serving that heals the soul.

This is day 21 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money

Kids Buying Cars

Kids Buying Cars

My oldest daughter will be 16 in 90 days.  She’s a good driver and I’m excited for her to get her license and help out with the taxiing. I’m also excited for her to save up and buy her own car.

It’s something we’ve talked a lot about lately.  She’s concerned that it will take forever to save that much money.  I reminded her that I’ve been driving a car worth $500 for a couple of years.  If she could scrape $3,000 together, it would be the nicest car at our house :).   Dave Ramsey has a matching fund for his kids.  If they save so much towards a car, he’ll put that much more with it.  We thought by now we’d be in the position to do that for our kids, but we’re not.  They are going to be fine anyway.

Then there’s the insurance.  When I was a teenager, my parents paid my insurance as long as I was driving their car and made A’s or B’s in school.  Darren and I looked into it for Heidi and it’s pretty cheap to add a driver to an existing car since they aren’t the primary driver.  As soon as you add another vehicle to the mix, they become the primary driver and the insurance is quite a bit more expensive.

When we’re shopping for cars we call our insurance agent first and find out what it would cost to insure the vehicle we’re interested in.  It’s good to know all the numbers you’ll be faced with before you buy.  We also think about the sales tax, licensing and annual property tax.

We like to buy our cars used from a 3rd party (instead of a dealer), then run the car by our mechanic for a look over.  We aren’t car people, so it’s good to get someone who knows what they’re looking at to find any glaring problems.  We also look up the private sale car value at If you compare that number to the dealer price, you’ll see why we prefer to buy from an individual. It surprises us how many vehicles listed on Craigslist are priced incorrectly.   With the KBB number you’ll have what you need to know to make a reasonable offer.

We’re getting ready to buy a couple of cars for the family and are involving Heidi in the process, so she’ll be more prepared when it’s her turn.  At first Heidi thought she wanted a truck, but now she’s thinking something smaller and more fuel efficient.  As long as she’s paying cash, we’ll let her make that decision.  I’m excited to see what she chooses.  Until then, every time she gets called for a job that car is going to be in the back of her mind.

This is day 16 in our series 31 Days of Kids and Money