New Feature: Makeshift Monday!

So, it’s about time I got real with y’all.

Er, more real.

As some of you already knew, and as more of you who read this post now know, we are pretty broke over here at Makeshift Manor.

How broke? Well, let’s see. We almost never buy new clothes. Or buy clothes at all. My daughters are both on the Oregon Health Plan. We are on WIC and food stamps, and we qualify for the maximum amount of food stamps for the number of people in our family (although Dan actually doesn’t count because he isn’t working enough hours to qualify, what with school. So we get food stamps for 3 people). We consider Taco Bell “eating out,” and Burgerville is a splurge.

But they don’t call us the Makeshifts (or, rather, I don’t call us the Makeshifts) for nothing!

How Makeshifty are we?

Well, if I do say so myself, I think I dress pretty nicely, despite getting 95% of my clothes from free clothing swaps and second-hand stores. My girls’ clothes have pretty much all been free, but they are also usually dressed well. This is largely due to accepting all clothing that people offer us, in pretty much any size, and saving the best stuff.

I have learned that the best brands for second-hand children’s clothing are Gymboree, Baby Gap, and Old Navy, so I never turn down anything with these labels unless it is very stained. These three are usually timeless styles. They are made with thick, soft fabrics that don’t fade and are usually easy to get stains out of. If we need to buy new (like a sudden, desperate need for pants), we go to Old Navy, since they are half the price of the other two stores.

Food Stamps? We don’t always keep all of our grocery spending within the food stamp budget, it’s true. But we are always within 50 dollars or so. Since I am trying to make the organic switch, I’d say a $50 deficit is pretty good, no?

I’m keeping careful track of good deals, stocking up on clearance organic foods, eating less meat, and eliminating as much processed food as possible. I’m also working on reusing leftovers in creative ways, although the truth is that most leftovers get eaten for lunches around here. We are not anti-leftover people.

I guess that’s kind of an overview of our broke and makeshiftin’ ways. Every Monday, I’ll tell you (and hopefully show you, since pictures are the bomb) about some way that I am making do, stretching the budget further, or creatively solving a problem.

Are you excited? Me, too!

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