Leah Elizabeth Photography

Hey y’all

Welcome to Value Minded Mama. This is my creative space where I document motherhood moments, cool kiddo and family finds, my super simple casual mommy style, saving time and money tips, our travels/adventures and being a stay at home mom. I love that you're here! Please stop by one of my posts (or fill out the contact form) and let me know how you found me. I love making friends and connecting with new people. Feel free to check out my social media channels below for more from Value Minded Mama.

Wealthy Life

Wealthy Life

So, sometimes I see these people that just look so wealthy. Like, maybe their clothes are name brand (and obvious about it) but maybe they’re not. Maybe they just look good in anything; their hair is done beautifully and they look gorgeous - like they’re not wearing any make-up, but it’s just done so tastefully and natural that it just enhances their natural beauty? Or those people who ALWAYS seem to have money to go out and do cool things - shopping, restaurants, events or traveling (this one always gets me because I LOVE to travel). How can they do all these cool things, always looks so amazing and WHERE do they get the money?!? Well, I have a few sort of “rich hacks” that also merge into being “thrifty” and “savings”. It’s all about finding the value in what you already have or searching for the best value to begin with. My husband's birthday is today (28, woohoo) and on Monday we decided to live the “fancy life” for a few hours. Here’s how we did it!  

Nice Restaurant

We were able to eat at a fancy Brazilian steakhouse (Cowboy’s downtown Columbia) for a fraction of the original cost. About two weeks ago my husband started looking at Groupon and LivingSocial to find food deals, because he has been wanting to eat somewhere good for his birthday. On LivingSocial he was able to get a dinner for two and a bottle of wine for $56. These meals usually cost $35 apiece, and that's not including the $22 house wine we got. So we still scored a major discount, even if we didn’t order the wine (which we wouldn’t have because $70 is already a lot for a dinner for two). So, basically, if you want to experience the “good life” and you’re a little short on cash - check the daily deals apps.


Fancy Clothes

This one isn’t hard to figure out…and most of you probably already do this anyways. Find the nicest clothes in your closet and put them on. If you don’t have any “nice” clothes and can’t afford to buy something new, go to a consignment store (not thrift - consignment) and find something awesome there. It doesn't matter how much they cost or where they came from. What does matter is, if they fit you well. Well fitting clothes always make you look more put together and wealthy because they enhance your shape. It doesn’t look like you just pulled them off some random rack and didn’t even try them on (most stores aren’t even close to getting sizes and fit right - that’s why all of them are different!).


I am wearing a dress that I got as a bridesmaid, it was $120 from David's bridal and the most expensive dress I own. Luckily, for me, it's black and goes with every occasion. And it’s so very classy! It’s modest, but still sexy and chic. I can (and do) wear this dress over and over again. img_1266

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My husband is wearing some fitted gray trousers, white button down and black suspenders and we look so classic and put together. We didn't have to spend any money on our fancy outfits! We already had all these things in our closet. So see what works for you, and what makes you feel comfortable & chic and you will be rocking it.


Extravagant Present

For many of you, this will not be an “extravagant” present. But for me & my family - it is. I’m one of those people who never just buys one present for someone - mainly because I’d have to spend a specific amount that I never want to spend. Usually, I buy a few less expensive items that add up to what I would’ve originally spent for one thing. I just don’t like spending $50+ on one thing, when I could get 2 or 3 things for that same amount (making your dollars stretch!). However, for this birthday, I gave in.

My husband has been in graphic design and more specifically, t-shirt design, since he was in high school. Now, my husband is 28… that’s TEN YEARS of making t-shirts. Therefore, he has accumulated an insane amount of t-shirts. We have had these t-shirts sitting in bins in our house ever since we got married (almost 4yrs now). I told him if he wanted to keep them, he needed to make a t-shirt quilt (yes, he can actually sew too) because I was not going to give in to his hoarding tendencies. I knew this would never happen because he ALWAYS has something better to do with his time than try and make a t-shirt quilt. So, I did it for him. I bought him a t-shirt quilt. Neither of us had to make it or deal with it ourselves (what a great gift giver I am).

I had been searching for a couple of years for the best t-shirt quilt makers out there and I found Project Repat. They have a lot of affordable options and when you sign up for their mailing list, you get 15% off. I wasn’t quite ready to purchase when I had decided to go with them though, so I just sat around for a few weeks. THEN, they sent me an email with an even bigger discount! I was so happy! I was able to get a queen size quilt (usually $190) for $123 (plus $7 standard shipping). What an amazing deal! And now, my house is a little more decluttered because of my awesome and thoughtful personalized gift :) *I don’t have have his quilt pictured because it’s not here yet - it takes 2-4 weeks to make!* Oh, and some of the leftover shirts I didn’t use (to cut down on shipping costs), were cut into rags for my husband to use on his motorcycle and I’m using the rest for DIY T-Shirt Headbands (post to come). So, an extravagant and recycle friendly gift all rolled into one.

img_1353 See what a little planning, thrifty living and valuing what you already have can get you? When you’re trying to make the most out of life, and you just don’t have that much extra cash to do the cool things you want - you just have to get creative and figure out how to make the most of what you do have. Any cool gift ideas for men that you have? I’d LOVE to hear about them (shopping for men is hard!) in the comments below. <3 Amanda

Thrifty Thursdays

Thrifty Thursdays

Easy Recycling