Amy Clark

Snow Days for a Frugal Family

I am standing in the kitchen baking my little heart out. I have two trays of granola in our oven and the bread machine is humming as I make another batch of homemade pitas. The computer is booted up and I am typing in between flipping and turning pans. I work at a frantic pace, trying to crank out the work for the week so that I have my time free this week for making and attending my son’s Valentine’s Day party.

The smell of shoe polish is traveling into the kitchen, as my husband sits on the couch shining his shoes for the week. He has had the same shoes for years now, but believes in making a good investment in one pair of shoes and frowns upon my ten dollar Payless shoe habit. I have went through about the same amount of money as he has on his shoe splurge, but I try to keep up with the trends and he is more of a classic kind of guy.

As he is shining, the kids are running and gathering speed as they loop around and around chasing each other. Emily is banging a coffee can like it is a drum and they run past me as I type.

If you listen, you will hear the washing machine humming as it cranks out another load of our wash. The dryer buzzes, and I plop in the front room and fold our clothes. I head upstairs and place the fresh sheets on our bed. Sunday night is my favorite night to climb into bed because this is when I put on the clean sheets for the week. The sheets are crisp and smell like lavender- a fancy scented laundry detergent. The detergent is a splurge, but I love it too much to give it up.

In the evening, you can hear the sound of the hair clippers as I give the guys a hair cut. They both need one and we are all thankful that we don’t have to try and schedule hair cuts for them anymore or put up with poor service at the cheap salons they used to frequent. I also spend the evening coloring my hair…a shade called, “Color Me Vibrant.” I call it “Color Me Cheap” though because I save $35 each time I color my hair myself.

As we tuck the kids into bed, we break out the board games for an evening of fun. Games that were probably rarely used in someone’s else’s house and then donated as they gathered dust in a closet. They rarely get dusty in our house as you hear the clink, clink, clink of tiles being placed on the Scrabble board for the third night this week.

As I climb into my bed with the clean sheets against my skin, I grab a library book that I am working through. No guilt as I page through it quickly, devouring it at a record pace. There is no guilt because I didn’t pay for it and I can return it with no buyer’s remorse.

I am happy and I am content…Yes, this is the picture of a snow day for our frugal family!

Sound Off: What are some of your favorite things to do when you are snowed in? If you don’t get snow, just offer sympathies for those less fortunate than you!

Published February 10, 2008 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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