the cost of being cheap

Gabe bought me a Groupon deal a few weeks ago–a $20 gift certificate for Barnes & Noble for $10. ROCK ON, right? Well, Saturday night after our family date at Pei Wei (with another $10 off–woot!), we headed over to B&N to spend our (my) twenty bucks.

The excursion did not end well.

In a nutshell, I couldn’t justify spending money on a book that I could just get from the library. And I felt bad for Ava and Nina (who put all their money in the Cambodia Fund), so I decided to let them spend $10 each instead. But when I saw how much stuff was (like a Klutz Origami book for $16.95 that I just bought at the thrift store–with all the origami paper intact–for 50 cents), I just cringed and couldn’t do it.

It’s hard being cheap. It’s probably even harder being married to me and my inability to enjoy guilty pleasures that cost more than a dollar.

Gabe suggested I buy a game, so we looked at those. Again, couldn’t do it. The Sorry Sliders game that was selling for $29.95? I just got it at the thrift store for 45 cents.

The thrift store has ruined me for retail.

We left the bookstore in varying degrees of irritation with each other. Mostly the three of them (Livi was at a sleepover) were mad at me, the cheapskate. On the way home, Gabe said, “Can you use the coupon online?”

Well, what do you know? You sure can. “I know what I’ll do!” I said. “I’ll buy three copies of one of my own books and then sell them at my next speaking thing and put the money I make into the Cambodia Fund!”

And what did my husband do? He FORBADE me to buy my own books. “Will you please just buy something for yourself FOR ONCE?!”

So, what did I do? I bought 3 copies of Organized Simplicity. And am darn near tickled pink over it. Including tax, I spent $32.28 minus my $10 discount, so $22.28.

AND NOW I have 3 books to sell to 3 of you for $10 each! And if you’re good at math, you’ll see that leaves me with a profit of $7.72 which will be eaten up and then some if I ship them to you.

SO… the first 3 people to e-mail me (who can get the book from me in person) get a copy of the book for $10 (and the proud honor of donating $2.57 to our Cambodia Fund). OR you can pay $3 extra for shipping. Up to you.

DANG, girls!! 5 of you wanted the book before 7am! I’m so sorry I didn’t have more! Thanks for your love and support! Happy Organizing!

Have I mentioned how much this book is changing my life?!? (why, yes I have!)

Ready… Set… Go!

30 thoughts on “the cost of being cheap

  1. Denise

    Ok, you are awesome! 🙂 I love how that’s hard for you to spend money when you can know you get things cheaper other places. I have that problem but more like I can’t spend any money on myself…because I have a toddler that deserves it more than I do.

  2. Bethany

    I am LOVING this book! I am so glad you recommended it and that I bought it! I just finished reading the chapter about the home management notebook and I got on the computer to print off her Daily Docket download from her website (but read your blog first). I’m trying to only read one chapter a day. I don’t have much free time nowadays and I don’t want to get irritated with my family members when they need my help or attention, but it’s so hard! I also just went through my drawers and got a huge pile of clothes to give away. I’m only going to have a yard sale if one of my friends hosts one and lets me sell my items there.

    Thank you so much for convincing me to buy it!

    My newest mantra “Relationships are more important than your to-do list”.

    1. Marla Taviano

      First of all, I love you and miss you like NUTS. Can’t wait for next week!!

      Second, I love you that you have the book!

      Third, I just found out a few minutes ago that one of my friends IS having a yard sale! To raise $ for a missions trip! And she said I’m more than welcome to sell some of my stuff to raise $ for Cambodia. So if you want to bring me anything Friday, feel free! Or I’ll get it Saturday.

      1. Bethany

        Oh I’m so excited that I can give you all my stuff to sell for Cambodia! I’m glad I have a whole week to get even more stuff! (I have 3 boxes so far)

        And I wanted to clarify my comment above–I meant that reading only one chapter a day is hard, not giving attention/helping my family members. I just meant that if I try to read more than that I will get too engrossed and ignore my family.

        I’m so excited about next weekend!!!

  3. Joel McLaughlin

    You are the least selfish person I know Marla! 😀 However God blesses us and sharing with others is a GREAT thing, but there’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a treat….especially when you so rarely do it. Plus Gabe really wanted you to get something for yourself. He got the deal for ya and you should have just bought yourself something. You rarely talk about possessions, that is for sure. Maybe you should have just bought a book you haven’t and then once you read it, give it away??

    God Bless you Marla!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Well, thanks, Joel. But honestly, one of the reasons I can’t buy myself stuff is because there are things I want MORE. Like going to Cambodia and being completely out of debt! So it’s not really unselfishness so much as just knowing that buying that thing is going to delay those other things I REALLY want. Make sense?

  4. amber

    I’m a terrible bloggy friend. I’ve been so out of the cyberloop…
    but please know that that doesn’t mean that you aren’t in my thoughts and prayers.

    I heart you, sister.

    And even more now. Because you are a thrift store junkie. Lemme hear an Amen!

  5. Cheryl Pickett

    Totally understand not being able/not wanting to buy “things” especially for myself. You are far from alone :-). In fact, gifts/things is not everybody’s love language. If you/Gabe by chance haven’t read Gary Smalley’s book on that topic, it could be helpful for all involved.

    Also had a thought for the book side, you should organize a book swap. People lucky enough to be local to you could bring a handful of books and meet up and just take/give as desired.

    Maybe there would be a virtual way to do it too via Facebook (since it’s easier to connect) & mail. Everyone could list one or two books they want to swap in a discussion link on your page and then hook up with each other. There would be shipping involved of course, so not as cheap as the library, but way less than new (unless you have a cool coupon :-)). Then if people felt so inclined, they could donate some/all the money they saved by not buying new to the Cambodia fund :-).

  6. Brooke

    i’m cheap, but mostly not with books. i was explaining to someone why i was too cheap for a kindle, then remembered i just paid to have built-in bookshelves made. safe to say with the price of lumber/labor, i spent more than $200 on those shelves. but goodness are they beautiful!!!

  7. Christy @ pureMotherhood

    Oh, this is the most disappointing blog post ever I wanted one of those books! LOL. Thanks for sharing your bargain with us! Brian’s thrifting and garage-saling has ruined it for ME. If I buy anything that’s more than $2.00 he gets all squirmy. BUT he saves us A LOT of money so I can’t complain too much. 🙂

  8. Addie

    wow… crazy… I probably would have been tempted to get in on that deal as well!

    And goodness gracious, I feel like a kindred spirit – I just have a hard time spending money on things anymore – I just think of all the orphans who dont have anything and then put whatever Im holding back on the shelf (and Im a thrift store junkie too!)…. you know its funny – I almost bought that same Barnes and Noble book deal b/c I really want all the pigeon books from Mo Willems, but I just couldnt do it….

    rambling, rambling

  9. ali

    This is starting to become my life. I left the grocery store the other night without baby wipes or toothpaste because neither was on sale and both had gone up in price. We need both, but I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. I told Matt I’d buy both at Walmart or Target this week because I know their generics are cheaper. And don’t even get me started on the cost of butter. It has almost doubled in the last year, and it is killing my love-for-baking heart.

  10. beth lehman

    you crack me up – i am almost as cheap as you….!!! i really need to get into the book – I already have it (somehow I justified buying it b/c I knew our library wouldn’t get it…!!

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