1. Hanes cotton panties are just as comfortable as Victoria's Secret panties. Yeah, you lose some of the sexiness, but it's really hard to feel sexy when you're poor anyway.
2. I can cook just as well as good restaurants and in the same amount of time it takes to drive there, wait, and get served. Even if I can splurge on a steak (ummm...like once a year), it still costs a fraction of eating out, and a quick search on AllRecipes will get me a marinade that beats the steakhouse every time.
3. My untrained sister can do a decent job cutting my hair, and that is FREE. No, it does not look professionally done, but it is definitely passable. Heck, I wear my hair up in a clip or ponytail 99% of the time anyway, so as long as it is long enough to put up, I'm good to go.
4. Unless they are born with a silver spoon, young children do not know difference between this season's brand name clothes and last years (or earlier) secondhand. I live near an outlet mall that has Gap, Old Navy, The Children's Place, OshKosh, etc., but secondhand clothes (even brand name ones) are still less expensive. Hand-me-downs are even better. Kids grow so fast and are more interested in playing than putting on a fashion show.
5. Christmas is not about gifts. It is about family and fun. Last year, my sisters and I did an experiment with all the kids. Instead each family buying each of the kids (ages 1 to 7) a $20 gift (a total of $240 worth of gifts), we each pooled in about $15 (for total of $45) and played games like holiday bingo, pin the nose on the Rudolph, scavenger hunt, etc., and had prizes. Everyone thought it was way more fun than sitting around and opening a few gifts, and the kids voted to do the same thing next year!
Care to share any lesson's you have learned from living on a much smaller income than you're used to??