A Frugal Mom’s Guide To Smart Shopping

Dr.H and I have decided to keep an eye on every single transaction that usually bypasses our notice and skip every purchase that isn’t concerned with food, tea, clothing needs (not for the next two months), tea, baby essentials, tea, one-time fuel for the forever thirsty car at the beginning of the month, tea and more tea just in case penny-pinching plays with our blood pressure. You know what I mean. The whole concept of The Project Penny-Pinching is relatively new to the household. Considering a certain someone’s munificence and my inadequate hen-pecking skills, I wonder if Project PP is executable atleast inside the head.


The key is to cut down unnecessary expenses. If it works as easy as it sounds, oh, everyone of us would have smartly invested on a tangible asset or reserved oodles of cash for our kid’s future. Still, I hear people say budgeting is an art that anyone can master. After a heated argument of deeming what is unnecessary and what is not, we came to the conclusion that if something bothers the nuptial bond, it is worthy of being ruled out from our lives. There ended the tale of my brainchild – Project PP.

What’s interesting is not the obliterated project but the budgetary insight we (I) gained out of it. It might seem trivial if you haven’t experienced a cash crunch in life. Others, who are naive as I’m in budgeting, who knows, you’ll end up thanking me for this article. I hope.

  • No Friyay: You read it right. No Friyay!! It is from my SIL, I got to know that spending bucks on a Friday is like giving away the good vibes of Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) to someone else. Now, we all know it isn’t bad at all to have money. In fact the world is powered by money. People who raise their brows and lecture on the cons of accumulating wealth, trust me, would have already crossed their 40’s, living a financially stable life. If you have a child or silver-haired dependents to look after, you gotta scrutinize your income and expenses properly. According to the tradition we follow, even if you have a philanthropic heart like most of the millionaires out there, remember, spending on a Friday would leave you with nothing but deep fried brains to spare for your next charity.
  • Budget Patrol: Any transaction which is more than 2000 bucks should never escape a double-stringent policing from the family member who doesn’t buy it. For example, a new appliance that costs your kidneys shall not be added to the kitchen until your partner signals an OK. No new gadgets, if the wife says No. As blood-curdling as it sounds, this tip definitely works wonders to your monetary treasure.
  • Compare before you buy: This requires a little bit of planning. For instance, you cannot spare time to compare the online and store prices of baby diapers if you decide to buy a pack only when the last diaper is soiled. The trick is to monitor the fleeting seasonal and festival deals online (I personally recommend Amazon for buying FMCG, except electronics for which I prefer Flipkart) in the beginning and end of the month. Most of the convenience products like sanitary napkins, diapers, laundry detergents, toiletries, fresheners , cleaning agents, and even furniture are marketed at the lowest price possible in online stores. Once you get a hang of utilizing the timely deals, you’ll be undoubtedly surprised to see your monthly needs fall neatly under the budget with no fuss. There are times when you have to forget messing with the shopping apps and opt for the old-fashioned shopping. The one in which you walk, talk, negotiate and bag a product. For example, Jewellery items are always sold in a skyrocketed price online. Have you ever noticed the neighbor wearing an even better quality of the same being bought from the corner shop you never cared stepping in?
  • Beware of Baby Shops: How many of you have been to a retail store to buy a single, indispensable product and ended up pushing a cart full of carelessly collected things to the cash counter? I never did until I became a mom. Boy, the impeccably seductive baby care section of every retail shop is a wonder work of the corporate minds. Baby shops are nothing but four walls enclosing the best possible marketing strategies that’d put anyone’s self control to shame. You can never exit the place without loading your wagon with atleast a dozen of not-so-necessary toys (in our case, it was this!) and plus size baby clothes. Most of the time, the things we buy for the baby are the ones that we craved for as a child. I remember losing a majority of the husband’s income for this sentiment $#!+. We have planned to restrict our visits to these shops atleast for a whole month to see what it is like to live without savaging the brains or selling the kidneys.

(Note: Divya Krishnan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to merrymotherhood.co.in)

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