One thing I love about living a frugal lifestyle is that we are able to try out new and different items that companies put out and want to take off. They fall over themselves to release coupons for free items or big promotions online to get people talking.
But, every once in a while I get pangs of deprivation.
If something isn’t on sale or cheap with a coupon, I try not to get it. If are a stickler to a budget, this is just what you have to do. My husband was NOT a fan of this, since he came from a household where they tried to get him anything he wanted to try, and in abundance. Once he did see how living frugally with our food saved so much money, he reluctantly let me do my thing. I tend to not feel like I’m depriving him of anything now, but I do think about my kids.
In my parents’ house, coupons and sales were used to shop, but not as extreme as I do it in my own home. I remember trying out new items that my Mom got at the store on sale and some became staples, while most were fleeting. Because I was young and never did the shopping, I never felt deprived of anything. When I grew up and realized that I had never actually had Chex for breakfast, a real Oreo, not a Hydrox cookie, and a pasta other than spaghetti, ziti or macaroni, I kind of felt like maybe I was cheated in a way. Needless to say, those were the things I scarfed down in college and when I had my own apartment.
Now my kids are in the position that I was in. Am I dooming them to follow in my footsteps? This is something that I struggle with, even though I know I shouldn’t. I provide not only a place for them to live, but a loving home where they are encouraged to thrive. I provide not only 3 meals and snacks on the table, but I get them the best possible groceries for them at the best possible price. So why do I feel so guilty?
Oh yeah, it’s the Americanized me that’s freaking. Even though we’ve been in this lifestyle for years now, I still feel like we “need” our “wants” every once in a while. And I instantly put that on my children. I could dress them in garbage bags and feed them pasta for the rest of their lives and they wouldn’t know any different, but I feel like they “know” when Mommy didn’t get the new brand name wheat bread for PB and J sandwiches. It’s insane.
Luckily, I don’t go out and buy these frivolous things NOW. A few years ago, maybe. But the pangs! Well, this too shall pass, and I can only hope that once they do get big enough to know the difference, that they’ll just be proud of Mom and Dad for doing the most with what we have.