But what do you do when life pokes you in the eye? Not a vicious jab, but an annoying Three Stooges poke meant to remind you that you’re not altogether financially in charge?
Case in point: Bossy’s daughter was given a project for social studies. She is making a diorama of Homo heidelbergensis for her unit on hunters and gatherers– and who misses Middle School social studies?
The shoe box: check. Lord does Bossy’s house have shoe boxes.
But the other stuff— the materials to make a cave-like thing and various boulders and lots of little hunters and gatherers– those materials needed to be purchased.
And so off Bossy’s daughter and husband go to Michaels craft store, whose slogan is, “Where Creativity Happens,” even though Bossy knows something else that happens there: spending.
The total bill came to $22.24
$22.24 for a glob of clay and a mess of styrofoam balls. And one glue stick and one small tube of grey paint. And maybe a 3 Musketeers happened.
$22.24 for a class project.
The funny thing about creativity is how much the little extras necessary for execution add up. Bossy was always into making her own Christmas presents and holiday accoutrement. She painted light switches, she framed photos, she made lamps from marsh reeds– but truth be told, none of these things were necessarily easier on the wallet than other choices.
It’s certainly something to think about this holiday season, you crafters. In the meantime, Bossy will be trying not to purchase a bag of cloves to stick in a million oranges, and she’ll be returning one 5″ styrofoam ball for $4.49.
Don’t forget to check out the amazing resource of participating Poverty Party bloggers below, because the list is constantly updating. And comb the comments for links to the latest Poverty posts across the web!
Serendipitous Girl saysNovember 25, 2008 at 9:24 am
So perhaps this isn’t the time to discuss my < $5 splurges? Well I can promise you this–no styrofoam balls in this post. Or any balls for that matter … although I did mention Frank Sinatra. Now he had BALLS. And how did I get distracted so easily?
Rabbi's Wife saysNovember 25, 2008 at 9:42 am
Bossy should always check the Dollar Store and Big Lots for craft supplies before buying at Michaels. And, if Bossy shops there, Wal-mart, because their craft stuff is also cheaper than Michaels.
corrie saysNovember 25, 2008 at 10:04 am
It’s so hard, especially with school projects! Little things DO add up, and if time is a factor “shopping around” is not an option. Think of the trip to Michael’s as one-stop shopping for everything your daughter needed, therefore a savings was incurred on gas!
MariaV saysNovember 25, 2008 at 10:31 am
Ditto Rabbi’s Wife. The dollar store is a good resource.
maggie saysNovember 25, 2008 at 11:42 am
I just spent $108(!) at Michael’s buying rubber stamps and ink pads to use on the blank cards I bought there years ago and never used. Should thrown out the cards and saved the money. (I got six stamps and four ink pads for that money). Even the cashier was like, “Whoa, dude!”
Tootsie Farklepants saysNovember 25, 2008 at 12:28 pm
Those school projects equal highway robbery. A 4th grade California Mission project once resulted in $40 ish dollars.
Liz saysNovember 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm
My roommate tried to convince me that the way to save this year was by making our own Christmas cards. Luckily, I didn’t fall for that and instead discovered 3 for 2 packs of the cutest cards at Borders. 60 Christmas cards (yes… I really do send them all) = $18.00 and 5 minutes of time.
Plus I suck at crafts.
Ris saysNovember 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm
Homo heidelbergensis? I didn’t learn about that until Intro to Anthro in college!
Linda saysNovember 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm
After Christmas sales for Christmas-ish gifts. Better if you can wait till a week or two into January when they have the 75% sales.
I myself can’t resist the 50% sales. I haven’t paid full price for my cards, paper, or ornaments in years. I have to set a cash budget though. Once it’s gone, all gone. And last year, I bought my Bunco gift after Christmas. So I have a Christmas themed gift but didn’t have to spend the same money as I would madly rushing to the store the night before Bunco.
David saysNovember 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm
Well, compared to a certain pair of boots, this doesn’t sound all that pricey.
I still stand by baking holiday cookies as a super-cheap gift. The grand total usually comes to around $50 for over a dozen finished packages, including all ingredients and the dollar store cookie tins.
Melanie saysNovember 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm
We dropped well over $100 on a science project 7 years ago. We did the minimum that was required. I then took my receipts to a school board meeting and that project was forever stricken from the curriculum. Fight back about these things.
Andrea's Sweet Life saysNovember 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm
I would love to show Bossy photos I took at our county fair of projects the local school children made. Some of them were all-out fancy ($$$ at Michaels), some were nice but not overly crazy, and ONE, well – it was obvious the child’s parents gave her an old shoe box, paper, crayons, scissors and some tape to do her WHOLE project.
Sometimes the cost is worth it!
Karen (submommy) saysNovember 25, 2008 at 5:09 pm
You lost me at Diorama.
the cheap chick saysNovember 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm
Uffda, as we say here in the great state of MN. School projects will sink you every time.
But hey! I have a poverty post to share! I think that’s what I’m supposed to say…
And thanks for stopping by!
melanietai saysNovember 25, 2008 at 11:08 pm
OOH, OOH! I have a great tip at Michael’s. Even if you ‘forgot’ your 40% off coupon, they will still give it to you for one item. Just tell them and they will have you sign a clipboard they have under the register.
I have a super pet peeve about those pricey projects. I worked at another chain craft store and I watched so many parents drop tons of money. It’s supposed to be about learning, not about shopping.
Kim saysNovember 26, 2008 at 12:35 am
My home made crafty presents will not cost me a thing this year!! Thats right! Here is my secret… Ready… I am going to use the thousands of dollars worth of Michael’s stuff that I have crammed/hidden away in the garage.
Rosemary saysNovember 26, 2008 at 2:44 am
So, this isn’t craft related, but it is a holiday tip. I’m buying turkeys right now at Safeway for $5, stocking up for the holidays and plan to be eating a turkey every month and living off of the leftovers. You can’t buy a roasting chicken for that price! If you can’t eat the whole thing, share the cost with your neighbor, taking turns cooking and sharing the bounty (and recipes for all things turkey).
amyp saysDecember 5, 2008 at 12:13 pm
We had a school project where Styrofoam balls were to play a major role. When I saw the price, son’s project changed immediately. I was physically unable to put them in my cart for that price. Looks like son’s going to get lesson on making papier mache. Thankfully the $.38 bottle of Elmers (bought on clearance after back-to-school) could be thinned and Papier mache planets were born from leftover office paper and newsprint. We did spend $2.00 on paint (@50 cents a bottle, I’m buying more), and $.76 on dowels.
From now on, his projects are going to have a $10 limit, and he needs to help me figure out how to complete them for the lowest cost – something he may be willing to think about since the difference goes in his wallet.