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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why I'll never be a "fashionista".

Here's one for the "Yuh, huh???" pile. DESIGNER BAG HYSTERIA AT WHOLE FOODS.

Okay, so the concept - use canvas bags instead of plastic while shopping - good idea. I'm on board with that.

But this bag? Is horribly ugly. I mean really, really, really ugly. Yet apparently crowds of people couldn't wait to get one. Some even stood in line in the rain for 'em. I guess my fashion taste is just as sadly plebeian as I always figured it was, because - meh. Ugly!

And as far as I'm concerned, this bag sure as heck is not worth the $15 asking price much less: "As of 1 pm ET, the U.S. and U.K. versions of the bags were being bid up into the mid-$200 range on eBay. On Craigslist the bag was being offered for $250."

Whoa.

If you have $250 to blow on one ugly bag, you could just as easily go to ORIENTAL TRADING COMPANY and purchase 12 large canvas bags for about $20. It's not like that bottle of expensive salad dressing cares what it rides home in and then you could take that $230 you just saved, buy a whole lot of food, and donate it to a food bank. Now THAT would be making a difference not just for the environment, but for people less fortunate as well.

Hee. How much now do I want to go over to Cafe Press and design a similar tote bag that says, "I paid way too much for this bag to show-off how environmentally conscious I am!" Betcha I could find a similar font for free.... ;)

(Eek. Is that too mean? Sometimes my snarky side really gets rolling. But honestly, if the idea is to spread awareness - plain bags at an affordable price would do just as well. The more people see other people bringing their own canvas bags to the store, the more people will consider doing it themselves. It doesn't require a bag that actually says, "I'm not a plastic bag." Er... and I hope that's just some sad attempt at some kind of cosmopolitan ironic chic thing there, because otherwise - duh!)

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14 Comments:
Anonymous L said...

I must say I quite agree with you. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. How about $200 or more for an ugly designer handbag? Expensive cars, jewelry, etc. etc. etc.

I cannot comprehend how people feel this is good stewardship of their money (in God's eyes) to buy such extravagant things (even if you can afford them). How about turning around and helping the poor (as you mentioned). There are certainly many in this world.

It is because of greed and a feeling of "I deserve this" which makes people to live such ways.

And then, let's think about those "socially aware" Hollywood celebs, who adopt children and do many good "things" yet live in complete materialism. For once, I would love to see a famous person who lives frugally (I am not speaking of living in squalor) and still gives generously. Wouldn't that be refreshing?

We live on about $2K a month. Even if I had much more money I could not comprehend to live in such a way. There are times I wish I had more in my pocket (like the $4 I have until next week) and better savings, but in all I feel I am blessed and have quite enough. Amazingly enough I often hear of poor people in 3rd countries (who having nothing) who are the happiest of people. That is so amazing to me.

We all have much to learn.

July 19, 2007 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

I like your snarky side. :)

Now I want to go make a bag that says that.

July 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Birdie said...

Not only is the bag ugly, it also looks heavy and impractical. My favorite shopping bag is one I got for free from a crochet company when I ordered something from them. It probably will never win any beauty contests, but it IS a wonderfully practical bag that can be folded up really tiny and tucked into my purse!

July 19, 2007 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you are not too mean.

Those are UGLY bags. I bought canvas bags years ago for something like $3 each. They're not pretty, but they're not ugly like that.

And what's the deal with this part of the article:

"But I'm going to keep one [a bag]," she said. "I'm a vegan."

What does being a vegan have to do with the bag? Is she going to eat it or something?

Tammy

July 19, 2007 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger AmyDe said...

How about one that says "I am NOT a plastic person!"

July 19, 2007 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Leah S said...

How about one that says "I don't use plastic! Not even credit cards" *ahem* Anyhow. No, not mean at all. I could make a beautiful quilty bag for $15. I can buy a 59 cent blue bag from IKEA if I want something to shop with.

July 20, 2007 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger ~Quasimodo~ said...

That's insane...$15 for a bag...highway robbery! I don't get that, especially since I would need 20 of those to bring home my groceries every other week! I guess I won't be a fashionista either..... :)

July 25, 2007 at 9:36 PM  
Anonymous MommaKnows said...

Okay, I read the article and looked at the Oriental Trading Co. bags, and honestly I really like the looks of the OTC bags better! They are big and colorful! I've recently been thinking about making a few handbags and bookbags of my own. Those WholeFoods bags are hideous. It would make just as much sense for me to have my kids wear t-shirts that say "I am not a cat" or to put a bumper sticker on my car that says "I am not a food processor"!

July 31, 2007 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger ~Quasimodo~ said...

Check it out, Jenni. This post inspired me and got me thinking that it would be nice to have something to bring my groceries home in besides those awful plastic bags from the store....so I bought a few at Stater Bros yesterday for .99 each. I was delighted that they were so cheap, so I bought three. The checker proceeded to tell me that it was good that I was buying them now because they will probably go up (as, she said, the demand for them will) once they start CHARGING THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR THE PLASTIC BAGS they give you to carry your groceries home! I was surprised to hear her say that, but felt justified and so good about my purchase.

Fast forward to today, the kids and I are at Winco, checking out, and the lady at the register sees my bags (I have 1 Trader Joe's, 1 Target, and 3 Stater Bros bags in my hand). She says, "Oh, how many bags did you bring for your groceries?" I told her that I had 5 and then she proceeded to credit me .06/bag for using my own! I saved .30 by using my own bags. I was floored. I couldn't believe I had been charged for my bags at this store I visit every 2 weeks and not know it!

I'm so glad I bought those re-usable grocery bags, and I plan to buy about 5 more!

August 1, 2007 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger iportion said...

I am not into priced handbags, my splurges are tech stuff, skirts, books, thrift store retro dresses "gifts from my mom"
I am still girly but haven't bought into the marketing for those products at least.

September 1, 2007 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Peregrina said...

What's really ironic is that the Whole Foods parking lot where I used to live is filled with the big SUVs. So much for environmentally conscious. It's just a way people can make themselves feel that they are doing something, without actually having to give anything up! :)

September 28, 2007 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Boltbabe said...

Aahh! I just lost my comment,I think.

Anyway, I totally agree on the ugliness of the bag and the fact that whatfamily can afford to spend so extravagantly on shopping bags?

I have been working on a set of patterns for shopping bags for families, but honestly, who can afford $15 per bag?!!! How am I saving the environment if I spending my cash on bags?

Anyway...I found your blog via Frugal Hacks. I am loving it!!! I do blog here at blogspot, but my other blog is all about homesteading and frugal family living. Love to have you visit. www.homesteadblogger.com/boltbabe

October 3, 2007 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Lori, Landon and Logan said...

I love your blog!
I can't believe people spend that much! I am the one selling them on ebay though if they are going for $250! :)

November 4, 2007 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

My daughter is constantly into designers and shows me pictures of Coach bags and cannot understand why I almost vomit. The idea of spending that much money on a pocketbook is actually sickening. The thought that our society has now extended that to grocery bags is CRAZY. On the otherside, my birthmother used a cheep renewable grocery bag as Christmas wrapping. It was kind of a double gift and I'm still using the bag.

October 1, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

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