I bought a blue Ralph Lauren dress to wear on New Year's Eve. That was the last big ticket item I'll be buying for some time. You see, I recently found out that my secure-until-I-retire job was no more. I was one of the thousands laid-off from the federal government. I received a package allowing me to stay in my office looking for a new job while getting paid, however, the date for me to leave is getting closer as the days go by.

Even though I'm scared, I consider this a present from the universe. I was unhappy in my job. I had no passion for the work I was doing, and I knew I needed a jump to get out and find something I love and am passionate about.

I feel like there are opportunities out there for me, and I'm going to find them. I love blogging, travelling, writing, and social media. I'm going to focus on the things I love, and hopefully turn those things into a full-time career.

I also love shopping. But now that I've lost my job, I have to be more careful about shopping now. I can't walk into a store and buy five sweaters and a pair of shoes "just because." I'm not about to quit shopping cold turkey; after all, I have to a job to do here at Yummy Mummy Club, where I tell you about great deals and products I love. I can't just stop shopping because I love to shop. I just have to make smarter decisions now, for myself, and for my children.

How To Shop When You've Lost Your Job:

Be Strategic: If you're going on a vacation next month and you need a new bathing suit? Shop with a goal in mind. Only go to the stores you know sell swim wear, and don't (as tempting as it is going to be) walk into other stores, even if they're calling your name. Have a game plan, give yourself a time limit, and go. Buy only what you need.

Comparison Shop: So you found a gorgeous, perfect-for-you, sexy bathing suit or bikini in that exact shade of turquoise you were looking for from that cute store you love to shop at? Great. Put it on hold, and go somewhere else to see if you can find something similar at a better price. You'd be surprised what you can find in the swim wear section of Old Navy! So! Many! Fabulous! Choices! At totally amazing prices, might I add. When you price check, you will save money.

Set A Budget: I hate the word budget as much as I hate the word diet as much as I hate the words "lifestyle change." But, alas, when you know your pay cheques have an expiration date, you have to be much more responsible with the money coming in, and you have to start saving more. This means when you go shopping? You should head out with cash only in your wallet, and leave your credit cards at home. In the freezer. Stuck in a block of ice. Rid yourself of all temptation! Sit down and write down what your expenses are (swimming lessons for the kids, an upcoming vacation, bills, bills, bills...) and then see what you can comfortably go shopping with. It hurts, but it can work.

Treat Yourself: If you deprive yourself altogether, you're not going to be a happy camper. It's okay to indulge once in a while. Maybe you can work towards a goal, and save a little bit of money every month for that big ticket item you desperately want, whether it's a new patio set for the backyard, a new designer purse, or ski equipment.

So now I get to embark on my new "responsible shopping" journey. I'll bring you along with me as I discover items within my "new" price range, while giving myself some room to make mistakes. Please share with me what you find, if you're a frugal shopper, too! Becoming a frugal shopper will be a little tough for me, because I tend to sing "la-la-la" when it comes to shopping within a budget. Now, I'll going to make some changes that'll benefit me in the long run, and keep my wallet in check.

After all, even though shopping is great fun, possessions do not make us who we are.