Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Insourcing #27...my value in the home...

 This week I'd like to float the idea, that being a full time stay at home parent, means that you can do far more than just cook from scratch, wash the dog, and bake for school lunches.

Yes you can do all of that, for sure, but it's all about having the time and the energy, to source what your family needs, not just for today, but for future events, both anticipated and unforeseen. 
 I'll have more on that in a moment. 

But first of all, look at this stunning dress.....

This was an impulse buy for my daughters Senior Formal next year. Yes. Next year. 

Annabel over at The Bluebirds are Nesting recently called this the Pre-Emptive Strike, where you plan well ahead for events both within and beyond your control. I like that. 

I like to think of it as "transferring tomorrows need into todays budget", so that you can do something about it in a timely fashion, when it best suits you. We do a lot of transferring tomorrows need into todays budget. Both financially and timewise, it saves a LOT of stress.

You see, when you're not rushed all the time with mini emergencies thrust upon you by needing to work full time, you can sit with the aforementioned daughter, looking at what she's pinned on Pinterest for this lavish occasion. You can also start searching waaaaaay ahead of time, for that perfect gown, not to mention the accessories to compliment it. This is not to be sneezed at, as Senior Formal is big business, with many families lashing out on expensive bouffant dresses, even more bouffant hair, and limousines to rival those transporting a celebrity.

I happened to be passing a Bridal wear store that was closing down a week or two ago. On impulse, and bearing in mind the lavish jewel encrusted gowns my lovely one was pinning, I stopped. You know. Just in case I could transfer tomorrows need into todays budget.

And there it was. The very style of dress she'd pinned over and over again. Slim, elegant, shimmering, and with the most fabulous jewel embellished neckline, bodice and back detail. It had the fishtail finish with a small train at the back too, was beautifully lined and finished, and in the most glorious colour to compliment her complexion.

With trepidation, I fumbled for the price tag. $699 was crossed out, and $299 scrawled in it's place. But wait...that too had a huge X, and next to it was written $99. Hang on though. It's on a rack that says $49. A quick check with the staff, and I was out of there, with dress of the daughters dreams in a bag, for just $49. We could not have purchased the fabric, zipper and jewelled trim for that!

Very happy daughter, very happy me. It's not an 'insourced' item as such as I did not make it with my own fair hands. However in terms of my value to the family on that one purchase, and by transferring tomorrows need into todays budget, I'm going to call it a completely justified savings value of $650.
 Next on the insourcing list is afternoon tea for my gluten free teen. Teens get hungry. Especially really active teens who dance four days a week. Often she'll request hot chips, I guess for the carbs, and always looks longingly at the gravy, which of course is off limits, as gravy is usually made with wheat flour. It goes without saying too, that I cringe at spending $5 on chips at a takeaway, knowing full well they're deep fried, and not the healthiest thing. I've solved this by coming up with a strategy of always having fat 'healthy style' frozen chips on hand to cook in the oven, and making a quick gluten free gravy, seen above, drizzled temptingly over her chips. Here's the recipe in four sentences...

Quick Gluten Free Peppered Garlic Gravy

Add one stock cube, a pinch each of dried garlic and onion, and a grind of pepper to 100mls of boiling water in a microwave safe jug, stirring to dissolve the stock cube. In a separate jug or cup, combine 3 heaped teaspoons of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water, stirring to a paste. Add more boiling water to the stock cube mix to make it up to 250mls, then add the cornflour mix, combining well. Add a drizzle of milk and a dribble of soy sauce to add creaminess and colour, and microwave on HIGH for 60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds. 

Easy, and creamy smooth and delicious over chips, chicken, meat or pastrygoods. Gluten free gravy mix is ridiculously expensive so I'll call that a savings value of $20 on gravy mix, and an equal value, easily, of $20 on a weeks worth of bought afternoon snacks.

Heart shaped baking is not limited to Valentines Day around here, and I made a lovely Bacon and Cheese crustless Quiche that fed us for lunch on Sunday and for my daughters school lunch for the rest of the week. We'll call that a value of $30 on a similar purchased quiche.
I finished two books I was reading (I always have two or three on the go), and thought about treating myself to some more from Booktopia, but decided to put my wants on a Mothers Day list instead, and resurrected some old favourites. That's a value of at least $50.

 And I finished another cloud soft snuggle rug in softest pastel pink for my other granddaughter. I've made two now, and these will be Easter gifts, along with a softie bunny face, and a crocheted snood for my darlings. Snoods are quite the rage for the little ones this Winter here, as evidenced by their presence in the designer Department Stores. I'm making ones like this....

 ....too cute, huh?

I'm going to call those last two savings not just on Easter Egg gifts, but also on Winter woollies, and make it a $200 value. 

That's a total value of $970, and I haven't counted all my usual tasks of cleaning, grooming and beautifying of self, daughter and dog, and garden and home maintenance.

That's a pretty dashed good week.

How was your week? Tell me all...



  1. Dear Mimi, I love your pre emptive strike! Sure as eggs you will need a fabulous dress for DD for upcoming parties and formals. So I would expect this has saved several hundred dollars at least!
    Apart fro having the energy to be with everyone, spend time, help with problems, homework or whatever and all that comes with a family (Grand children too when you hit our age!) I always found it a huge thing to be able to be home when the kids were sick. It was no drama, Days off were all fine, we would have a pyjama day and so on. This was and still is something I can do. Be there. There is no price on it and Im so grateful I could do this.
    I love the scarf with the little ears! I think I could make that! Thanks for the lovely idea! With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Dear Annabel, yes that dress is truly a dream come true for my girl (and for me at that price!). I'm not being too frugal on other things for her, given the bargain on the dress. When you only pay $49 for the dress, you can afford to splurge on makeup and accessories. She's very excited. We have Year 11 Semi-Formal this year, and similarly sourced another jewel encrusted, more frothy black chiffon dress in a shorter style for $50, around this time last year. Knockoff Valentino heels studded with gold and in a breathtaking shade of fuchsia were a birthday gift, and all we need is a cute clutch purse. Thinking ahead and making that pre-emptive strike or transferring tomorrows need into todays budget, saves money, time, energy and stress, that is for certain! Our only outlay for the semi-formal this July, will be for professional makeup, as my niece is a hairdresser and will do her hair as a gift. So our all up investment will be under $200 for dress, accessories, professional makeup and hair. There are families spending five times that...and that's on the SEMI formal, NOT the Senior formal. Where do you go from there??? And what then do the girls expect when they marry? It's a special modern day insanity, but we do love our daughters, don't we, so we go along with it. Although, I do recall suits, shoes and limousines being de rigeur for my sons at that time too...lol! You are right in saying how rewarding it is to be at this stage of life, and being in a position to be the conduit for so much good, positive and supportive in our loved ones lives as well. And I knew you'd love the snoods. Aren't they adorable? Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Mimi, Darling I am SO SO delighted about the gown!!! The dress is stunning and is going to look breathtaking on the D. ;D xx
    Giggling re the hot chips....gawd I am the same!!!
    I totally endorse buying way ahead of events. Saves buying under pressure and spending too much.

    1. Dearest Flora, yes it's a bit fabulous, isn't it? She will look a picture for sure. Mind you, I think she's the kind that could wear a potato sack and still look fabulous. Ahhh...the bloom of youth. How do we not appreciate it when we have it? I love that buying ahead at a clever price, leaves money for other important things in life...like trips to Europe ;D xxx

  3. That gown is Just gorgeous Mimi and one of my favourite colours!
    Also thankyou for all the glutenfree recipes,very helpful for when I have my G/f family or friends visit.
    Like you , I keep my eyes open for bargains and gifts ahead .It's often easier for me to do that than make some things at home,when little people visit often.My little darlings visited last night and got into my present cupboard and then master 4 asked why I had kids things like toys in my cupboard ! I was not amused (although inwardly smiling) and replied that Grandma did not give permission to go in her cupboards.That went above his head, he just could not get over seeing Easter goodies in grandma's spare wardrobe lol.I have now wrapped them and other gifts and hidden , after a resort of that untidy room .Happy ending :-)
    What a good weeks earnings you had, love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria, yes that colour is eye-poppingly gorgeous, isn't it? I'm glad the gluten free recipes are useful. I had to giggle at your darling finding the 'treasure'. Cheeky...lol...I do recall doing something similar to my Nanna at that age. Good that it gave you the impetus for a tidy and toss. That's always liberating. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. You are my kind of woman, Mimi! I used to shop, exactly as you've described, for my girls as they were growing up (out of season/stock pricing for future season/growth wear). You were very fortunate on the prom find, and it's gorgeous. It's ridiculous what [too] many parents will allow their kids to have on those nights. I gave my girls a budget, and if they exceeded it, it was up to them to fund. Love the snood - too, too cute!

    1. Dear Rita...you mention daughter(s). How did you cope? One is expensive enough...lol! I do love though, that you can indulge them if you're clever enough about it, and it sounds like you and I have similar thoughts on that subject. A budget is a good thing for these events, and I do the same. My girl is very savvy and switched on, and hunts out amazing bargains in unexpected places, and that is a great lifelong skill to have, I think. It's always a joy to see a comment from you. Thanks for stopping by. Love, Mimi xxx

  5. What a beautiful dress and I think it's a very good idea to sew it this year in matters of unexpected events.

    1. Arti, how lovely to see you! I enjoyed my visit to your blog yesterday. So much to read and absorb. Thankyou for your lovely comment. Mimi xxx

  6. Mimi,
    That gown is gorgeous! Having only sons I haven't gotten the joy of finding a pretty dress so I love seeing everyone else's. You are very talented the snoods are so cute. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Hello Vicky. Before I had my daughter, I too only had sons, and had to enjoy the dresses by proxy...lol. It was just as much fun, and less stress on the budget ;D Love, Mimi xxx

  7. My dearest Mimi, you truly treasure your time and home !
    Have a wonderful remainder of your week, sweet friend, sending much love to you
    with thankfulness

    1. Dear Dany, that is the truth...I do treasure this time. I hope your week is lovely too. Love, Mimi xxx

  8. Oh that dress....swoon! Your daughter will shine as the princess she is in that gorgeous gown. I'm over the moon about that cute little snood too. Hoping that I will have another little grandchild here within the next few years so that I can have my mother aka the master knitter and quilter, make one too. ;) My oldest grandboy's birthday is today and he is now 4 years old. I have been buying gifts for him and his little brother year round when I see something that I know they will love. Retail value of the gifts I have for his birthday are well over $100 and yet I spent a small fraction of that. :)

    1. Oh Debbie...lol...I just read your comment as knitter and quitter...I had to go back and re-read it! How lovely to have the knitter and QUILTER in the family. Happy birthday to your sweet little grandson. They are so special, aren't they? You sound like a clever shopper too. Great work :) Mimi xxx

  9. Mimi I love the dress and I am sure that your daughter is going to be the bell of the ball.

    I am all packed and just about to walk out the door. Everything is as organised here as can be, wall tiles sorted for the rental bathroom redo, food topped up for my husband and the list goes on.

    Be kind to yourself and don't overdo it.



    1. Dear Lynette, likewise you be kind to self too. You have some challenges ahead. I will be thinking of you. Mimi xxx

  10. Mimi that dress is just gorgeous. I really love the colour. Never too early to prepare for the future. Next year there will be no mad rushing around for you both to look for a "special" dress as it has already been found.

    Well done

    Aly xxx

  11. This is an inspiring way to look at things. Well done! Pretty dress. Happy daughter. Yay! Score!

  12. I recall so many years of rushing from one mall to another to find a dress for a really special event. We never found exactly what she wanted. One prom, I was sewing her dress the day before the dance. You have given a whole strategy - quite wise of you.

    Thanks for sharing at SYC.

  13. What a bargain on that dress. The colour and the embellishments are gorgeous. I bet she'll look stunning in it.

    I like to plan ahead. You are right, you can be more thrify if you have time to look at what you want to buy and when. I hate buying items in a rush. You tend to not get exactly what you want, at a price higher than you wish.

    Sally @ Life Loving


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx