Monday's Memory of Mom

March 16, 2008

My mother was cheap frugal. Nothing was ever purchased full price. NOTHING! NEVER! It was the 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not pay full price for anything." She was the quintessential bargain shopper. 

Conversations would commonly go like this:

Me: Mom! What a cute sweater! 
Mom: Thanks! I got it at a garage sale for 50 cents.

Me: I really like your shoes.
Mom: I got them on the clearance rack marked down 75% off at Younkers.

Me: Cute jacket!
Mom: I got it at Goodwill on their clearance rack for a dollar.
*note: you know you are cheap frugal when you won't pay full price at Goodwill or at The Salvation Army. *wink*

Me: I love your new table!
Mom: I got it an action for 5 dollars. It was covered with bird poop and painted 5 times, but I knew there was oak wood under all that paint. 

You get the picture. :-) She knew the price of everything in her home and where she bought it. It drove me nuts as a teenager and young adult. Why did she have to tell everyone how much she paid for things? Argh!! I also didn't appreciate her frugalness. It made me mad that she gave her grandchildren bargain items from her gift closet (clearance items she would pick up over the years to have on hand for just the right occasion) instead of asking them what they wanted. I'm embarrassed that I was so shallow. The good thing is, I grew up and appreciated the thought and the person, more than the gift. 

Once her gift closet got her in trouble. Two Christmases in a row, she gave Holden the same shirt, only in a bigger size the 2nd time around. Holden wasn't shy about saying. "Hey! You gave me this shirt last year." She was embarrassed, but we laughed about it and Holden didn't care. It became the joke every Christmas after that.  

During her last days, she was cold all the time. I splurged and bought her a super, soft, pink sweater jacket to wear. She saw the price tag and exclaimed, "$80!!" I told her she was worth it and to just enjoy it. Of course, my mom told everyone who came to see her. "Look at the $80 sweater my Amy bought me from Von Maur. I've never owned anything so expensive and she paid FULL price!"  I would just smile...That was my mom...

Last fall, I found some cell phone purses on clearance at Tuesday Morning. They were $12.00 marked down to $1.50 (or something like that). I bought 5 or 6 of them to give away for Christmas and to have on hand for just the right occasion.  Laurie turned to me and said, "Your mom would be proud."

I am my mother's daughter and proud to be so....


  1. I can remember, as a teen, wishing my mom didn't always share what she paid or where she bought something. I then grew up and became just like her. I do appreciate the frugality she taught me, and I have in turn taught it to my kids.

    I just know I'd have loved your mom, Amy! :-)

  2. I really wished I would have known your mom. She just sounds lovely.

  3. Marilyn@A Mixed BouquetMonday, March 17, 2008

    Oh, I just loved this post, Amy!! nice and funny.

  4. yup! a wonderful description of who she was! and on many, many levels......... yes, she would be proud!

  5. I am *very* frugal. I could definitely relate to your mom. OTOH, your teenaged insight was eye opening for me. I know I'll think more now, when my own kids are teens, before sharing every detail of my "finds." Loved how you told this one, Amy.


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