Yes, you heard that right. I didn’t mean college. I didn’t mean retirement. I meant preschool for my 4-year-old. Where I live, the cost of preschool is edging up on the price of a state college or university.
1) I will drink less and buy cheaper wine. I’m pretty sure this serves more than one purpose. My daughter will be socially ready and my liver will be happy. Instead of ordering a nice glass of wine, I’ll sacrifice taste a bit and order the house kind, even if it comes from a box. I’ll order only one glass, instead of two or thwee. When I go to the grocery store, I’ll buy six bottles instead of one at a time, because I save 10% at my grocery store that way.
2) I will only do the grocery shopping AFTER I’ve eaten. It’s amazing how many extra items I buy when I go to the grocery store hungry. We have three people in our family and I end up buying enough food to feed about six. This is also when I think the two-for-one deals are a good idea and I’m too hungry to look at the expiration dates. Yes, I need ten boxes of Nutrigrain bars and two different flavors of the same cookie.
3) I will avert my eyes when I drive by Whole Foods or Whole Paycheck, as I like to call it (without hitting any cars of course). I am a Whole Foods-aholic. The bread is fresh. The cheese is gourmet goodness. I can buy organic food that actually tastes good and pretend we’re a super healthy family. But, there’s a steep price tag for all of this yummy. Their staple brand is called 365 degrees because every time you see the receipt your head spins around 365 degrees. At least mine does.
4) I will start wearing only vintage clothes. And, by vintage I don’t mean going to a vintage store. I mean going into my boxes of old clothes from the past two decades and deciding what can be called “retro”. Are shoulder pads back in yet? Have retro bell-bottoms made another comeback yet? Is velour awesome again?
5) I will go into the garage and pull out some of my daughter’s baby toys. She’s pretty easy to please and she doesn’t remember much past a year ago, so I’ll pretend they’re new. If a cardboard box and crayons can entertain her for an hour, then I think those toys will keep her busy for at least a couple.
6) I will drink more coffee, so I stunt my appetite and buy less food. Coffee has many medicinal qualities. It promotes regularity, which I need in my older age. Dr. Oz says it can even reduce my risk of cancer (okay, one cup, not three). It also helps me get my chores done faster, so I’m more efficient.
7) We will eat out at restaurants that only offer coupons or specials like Chili’s or Chevys. Wait. Scratch that. We already do this. Coupons and kids menus and we’re regulars.
8) Instead of going on a vacation, we’ll watch movies about families going on disastrous vacations to remind ourselves that we don’t really need one. Some examples, both good and bad, Vacation, RV, Are We There Yet?, or Swiss Family Robinson. This actually serves two purposes, because we won’t be spending money on movie tickets and popcorn.
9) I will grow my hair out. I’ll pretend I have split ends on purpose. I’ll be one of those cool, bohemian girls who embrace their streaks of gray.
10) We will only do free weekend activities. Flying a kite, going to the park, going to the beach, going to the library. At this rate, I will have to learn to make my own wine. Hey, there’s an idea!
The sacrifices we make for our children.