Broke-Ass Mom Cheapskates Through the Holidays

I began this year’s shopping for my two-year-old by following my own advice:  buy only one or two great gifts for your toddler/baby because that’s all they need (if that considering the mounds of presents they’ve already received from their grandparents).  My husband and I decided what my two-year-old REALLY wanted was a play kitchen.  Although to be honest, even this wasn’t necessary.  Currently he’s using a corner of our living room as the kitchen, a table as an oven, and the armrest of our sofa as the counter.

I began my research about two to three weeks ago looking for the perfect, wooden (will last longer), small (we only have so much room in our apartment), kitchen.  I searched several websites such as Target, Amazon, Green Toys, and some other local toy stores.  Suddenly last week it occurred to me that I hadn’t searched Craigslist.  What was I thinking?  I claim to be a Broke-Ass Mom and I hadn’t even looked on Craigslist yet.

I immediately sent several links to my husband from Craigslist to see what he thought about buying used.  He too was disappointed in us for not thinking of it sooner.  He quickly placed a few phone calls and sent a few emails while we waited.  Then we waited with one hand on our phones and the other hand on the computer waiting to push the “Yes, we’d like to rent a Zipcar” button (since we don’t own a car, we’d have to go pick up the kitchen in a Zipcar).

That night we had our husband’s office holiday party.  Shamefully, we sat around talking about our children while we drank our Martini’s and ate our cheese.  Then as luck would have it the owner of his company told us he had four children and a neglected little wooden kitchen sitting in the garage just waiting for a new owner to love him.  We couldn’t believe it.  He also wouldn’t accept any money for it.

The very next day we rented the Zipcar, picked up the kitchen, and hid it in our garage while our son was still asleep.  What is the total cost of this present?  Glad you asked.  That will cost us a lump sum of $35 ($7/hr for the Zipcar).  We could have gotten off cheaper too, but we ran a quick errand to our local used bookstore to pick up a present for our nieces.

So you see…. you CAN have a happy and Broke-Ass Holiday!  All you have to do is remember the Broke-Ass Mom rules of thumb: Think big and go cheap!

Photo by: My husband

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About the author

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.

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