Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Being Frugal isn't always about NOT spending

 We all know people who turn their noses up when you say you are frugal.  They think it means you are cheap.
In my opinion that couldn't be further from the truth.  

I think frugal means buying quality over quantity.  Buy something that will last you years - not having to be replaced every year or so.  I think that about clothes, furniture, small appliances, towels, etc.  Now does that mean you have to spend a fortune?  - NO!  Watch for sales, clearance, mark downs, out of season, etc.  You can still buy second hand - just look at what you are buying.  I often see vintage items listed at a second hand store here in town and they are beautiful and in great shape.  WHY?  Because they were built to last - they are quality pieces.

Being frugal doesn't mean never buying things.  It means looking for the best prices.  It means getting the deals WHEN you find them and that saves your money in the future.  It may mean buying 'lost leader' items - you know those prices that lure you into the store?  Take advantage!!!!!!  The store is using you and trying to trick you - so turn the tables!

Look at clearance racks - my goodness you can get great deals.  At the grocery, just about every department has clearance.  Buy it - IF you will use it and you can AFFORD it at that moment.  Freeze, can, and get creative.

Just this past Sunday on Weekly Wrap-Up - Kay mentioned she had a 25% off coupon and was going to get cards to send out to others and that she had Kohl's cash to use.  This is great.  She is still getting a great deal and getting something she wants.
Frances spoke of buying a new floor lamp for her hubby and liking it enough to get one for her chair!  It would make reading and needlework easier.  Making life easier is what it is all about!!!
THIS is exactly why we are frugal.  Save your pennies where you can - so that you have have enjoyment in other areas!  You can get things you WANT now and then and you can get things you NEED and have to scrimp.

Maybe you are saving for a 'new' to you vehicle, a new coat, a new couch or rug for the house, maybe a vacation, maybe something new for the yard............ it doesn't matter.  If you are frugal in MOST aspects of life - you can save and get the frills you want in life.
It could also be as simple as watching and saving today - to pay off bills!  That is huge!  We all strive to be debt free.
You can still donate to causes - helping others is a admirable reason to save $.

Now I see people all the time (on FB) who talk about being 'preppers'.  They also talk about being 'at risk' with all the health concerns going on.  They talk about how hard life has been without as much income.  YET they go out SHOP almost every day!!!!!!  Sure they get sales - but I just have a hard time feeling compassion. (I'm bad I know).  If you are at physical risk and you have no extra money and you ALWAYS been a prepper - stay home some more than you go out!!!!!  If you are worried about paying your bills, have lost income, and just can't really afford to be spending all the time - STOP IT.  Learn to make do with what you have.
OK - judge not - I know.  They are free to do what they want - but they need to quite expecting everyone to feel sorry for them.  Just my two cents!!!  (this just gets my hackles up!! LOL)

Being frugal is all about being a good steward of what you have.
Be thoughtful and careful.  Look at prices and get the best deal you can.  Stock up when you can.  Be mindful of your other bills and debt - try to reduce where you can.
Be kind to others and help when you can.  Learn ways to re-invent things, get creative with cooking, recycle, and just be mindful.  It means using what you already have.
THEN you will have extra funds to do those fun things.  You don't have to be a hermit!!!
You can be frugal and still live a wonderful life.

Be a good steward of ALL you have.
You will then live a good and satisfying life!


  1. Yes ma'am!! I will gladly say I am a frugal gal, but cheap I am not!

    I've learned that frugality is a balance of both spending and saving. There will be times to spend and times to save, a season for everything.

    Last week I was able to get a bag of spinach for $0.15 (markdown) and a package of four chicken breasts for $1.49 (markdown). While I didn't "need" these things, I was already at the store (Aldi) and knew that these were items my family would use. If I didn't have the money in my budget for those markdowns, I would have not bought something to buy those because they were the greater value and both items that could be made into a variety of meals.

    Thanks again Cheryl for the wisdom you share! If there was a "President of Frugality", you would have my vote! :)

    1. "A season for everything". Yes indeed. You are so correct. Sometimes we save, sometimes we spend.
      You got deals - and I am sure they were or will be put to great use. I just stay home a lot - I did this especially when things were especially tight in years back. I wouldn't be tempted. Truth be known - we are all tempted when we see a deal. If I stayed home - no spending. WIN

      LOL - thanks for your VOTE! As long as there were politics involved - I accept!!!!!
      Appreciate your kind words.

    2. I save a great deal of money by staying home too, as I believe a penny saved is easier done than a penny earned!

    3. Absolutely. Best way not to save - just don't go anywhere or buy anything. A penny saved is one you don't have to earn AGAIN!

  2. I didn’t know Kohl’s will let you buy gift cards with your scratch-off discount.
    Good to know.

    1. I am not sure they do. She had a coupon to get all occasion cards to mail (like birthday, etc.) from one place and Kohl's cash to use at Kohl's. Maybe I didn't say it right.
      I hope I didn't mess it up!!!!!

    2. Let me explain (I was probably sleepy when I commented and got it all confused.): I had a 25% off coupon to Current for the cards and I had Kohl's cash to use. 2 different stores and transactions. Hope that makes sense. :) See my comment below of what I got.

  3. Totally agree. Watch for the sales, stack coupons, etc. And, I agree, re: shopping when times are tough. One reason to have a well-stocked pantry. When times are tight and/or you should watch how much you're out and about, draw from what you have on hand and replenish your inventory/pantry stock when the items go on sale. No need to immediately replace. I don't know if it's done everywhere, but my Kohls will take Kohls Cash past the "use by" date, if it's within a week or so; months past due, they won't. If you've missed the date, it never hurts to ask. And when shopping at thrift stores, my sister pays attention and looks for "high end" brands that may be available on the cheap. She'll sometimes grab items up and re-sell them on sites that cater to such brands -- she picked up a pair of high-end juniors jeans for 9.00 and sold them on another site for $47; she knew the brand retailed new for $100+. The profit gets added to her crafting funds.

    1. Agree totally. Those are the times when we all say "shop from home". Stay away from stores and don't be tempted when there is little money - you are way ahead of the game. Replenish when you CAN.
      I knew BB&BW did that with their coupons. I have never been a Kohl's shopper - but I will tell my SIL about that. She goes there quite often. I learned about Bed Bath & Body Works coupons on here from some readers.
      Those are always good things to know!

      Cool on the jeans! Great money maker for her. It always amazes what people will spend on things.

  4. YouTube vloggers that are always complaining about being poor and then go weekly to Dollar Tree and buy junk because it is 'cute' drive me nuts. How many hauls of that cheap stuff does one really need?

    We need a new stove and I have looking for a second hand one for a good while. We can only replace our Jenn Air with a Jenn Air so it was going to be at least $2500 if we went with new. Over the weekend I found just what we need for $40. It does need a repair but we will have upgraded by 30 years and only spent about $500. I'll take it!

    1. Holy cow! WIN WIN for you!!!!! Those are expensive fine stoves. What a deal. That is another good point - when something is high end - it is often much cheaper to repair than replace with new. I bet you will love it and it will last for years to come.
      Great shopping!

      I know what you mean on the Vloggers. I see that a lot too. Then there are the ones talking about saving money and replenishing the pantry and it is all junk. I just shake my head.
      I guess several of us think the same!

  5. Regarding good stewardship of your possessions: Right now I am looking out the window at a lithium battery tool that my very UNfrugal (and always complaining about being poor) neighbor left on their outdoor electric meter box last Sunday. In the rain, snow and cold. In plain sight. Hubs and I are betting on how long it stays there.
    The lamps we bought were $125/each. That is a lot of money for us, considering that our house is furnished in Early American Garage Sale and Put-Together furniture. The lamps were supposedly on sale from $200/ea (on Wayfair), but that may just be the mfgr's list price. They seem to be of good quality and will last for many years, making them a good investment.
    As Lana's comment above illustrates, being frugal also has to do with being patient and waiting for the right thing at the right price to come along. It took me a couple of years to find a good, clean recliner chair at a good price. Took a year, but I found a new-to-me winter coat (to replace my 15 year old one) at a thrift store for $9. Found $5 Easy Spirit shoes in new condition at a thrift store and put $15 arch support insoles in them to have an $80 pair of shoes for $20.
    Husband gets the frugal prize of the week so far. Our bathroom vinyl flooring has a couple of holes and tears and is becoming dangerous. In addition, the subfloor is rotting (a common problem in old mobile homes). Husband's suggestion? To use a vinyl placemat taped down with white duct tape as a patch until I can get the job done properly. For bonus points, I used an old placemat because I had a new one on hand ($.99 at WM) to replace it.
    Oh, and the neighbors next door? They're always eating out, ordering pizza, shopping, take two vacations a year, but go to the food bank, have an energy assistance charity paying their electric bill and haven't had a working furnace in over two years because they won't pay the natural gas bill. She says that's what the charities are there for. She thinks I'm crazy for being frugal! Grrrrr!

    1. Oh my gosh that is an expensive tool. Surprised it is still there. What a fool he is.
      Hey, that is the same place I got most of my furnishings!!! LOL In 2002 we bought a new love seat and dining room set - that is truly the only new stuff we bought in all our years (other than the car). I still have those things - although I do want to replace the love seat!!
      Most everything was gifted to us or we got at yard sales. We still had a lovely home and got lots of compliments.

      You know how it is done. Deals like you mentioned just make our $$ go further. That is what it is all about.
      Good temp fix in the bath. Throw a sturdy throw rug down (with some 2 way tape - so no trip hazard) and call it a day for now.
      I see people doing the same things. That agitates me that people that have the money to spend on frivolous stuff use the charities that are meant for those really in need.
      You are a smart cookie!!!!!

  6. Great post Cheryl! I have neighbors who have scoffed at us not buying new, luxury vehicles. They drive high end vehicles and live fancy lives, but are all up to their eyeballs in debt. We choose to be frugal, because it helps us splurge on other things. It's not that we can't afford a brand new car. We can pay cash for it. However, we know that saving that money instead, makes it easier for us when a real need arises. When my parents both died within 8 weeks of each other, years ago (my family live abroad), we were able to pay cash for both trips and pay for their funerals (it wasn't cheap).

    I'm not gonna lie. I like nice things, but I wait for that deep discount before I spend money on it. My dad taught me that everything eventually has to go on sale.

    When a large appliance breaks, we do the research then go to the store and pay cash for a new one. This is all thanks to frugality. Those who turn their noses up at us who choose to live frugally (not cheapskates) are the ones who have to charge new things and then worry about how they're going to pay it all off.

    1. There is soooooo much to say about being able to pay cash. I WANT a newer vehicle - but keep waiting. Mine looks great and runs fine - so why? I will pay for it when the time comes.

      Like you said things happen and it is nice to be able to take care of the unexpected. When G passed - people kept saying "oh how will you pay for the funeral - don't you have to wait for insurance?" No - I paid it. The funeral director even seemed shocked. Sure the money was eventually replaced by insurance - but I didn't need to wait.

      So many things people don't think about. Those trips and 2 funerals could not have been cheap. I sure hope someone else helped.
      Your daughter is smart - everything does on sale at some point!

  7. Good post ...exactly why we are frugal too. We save for home repairs or remodeling and vscations. No worries then.

  8. Absolutely! I am frugal to the nth degree. And I am very willing to write a check for a very expensive item I've given a great deal of thought to purchasing.

  9. Years ago when we lifted our old farmhouse and put a full basement under it, we had a neighbor ask why we didn't just sell it and build a new one in a different "better" spot (in his eyes). I couldn't believe he suggested that. Our house is old, but very strongly built and all we needed was a basement (replaced a small cellar & plumbing crawl space) and we added on a basement and main floor bathroom and main floor laundry room. We did not need a whole new house nor did we want to move our house from the shady space it already occupied. Not to mention the tremendous expense of building a new house and the waste of selling our home.

    PS I am so honored you mentioned my comment from last Sunday. I hope you saw my explination above. I was a bit confusing. I did get 2 value packs of cards, bday and get well, from Current with my 25% off coupon code. And I used my Kohl's cash to get new pillowcases for the living room. I don't anticipate any other spending for a while except dairy & produce grocery shopping.

    1. That was quite an under taking. They don't build houses now like they used to. I have seen that done on TV as well. You loved your home and location - cheaper than a new house - why not?
      I understood, but I think a couple others weren't quite sure. You did great. Thanks for another great example of living wisely!

  10. I like nice things--leather, silk, wool, sterling silver. But, I wait for a sale for the leather, silk, and wool. I went to Macy's and bought a $24 scarf for $3. Then, I bought more for Christmas gifts. Since I only buy leather shoes, they last a long time, much longer than manmade shoe stuff. I wear shoes for a long time and repair them. I am all about loss leaders and sometimes only buy those things along with milk and bananas. I am a frugal person and can have luxury for very little!

    1. Thank you. I love all these examples. Yes it is possible to be frugal and live well.
      When you find a good fitting pair of shoes, you have found a goldmine!

  11. I have to giggle like you over some of the things vloggers spend their mney on. IF you are broke and out of work, eat from that huge storage you are so proud of.... It makes no sense to me. How about a post on common sense?

    1. It is amazing isn't it? My friend and I were talking about that yesterday - it just makes no sense.
      Common sense - hmmmmm - not sure if that would be a long post or a very short one!!!! LOL

  12. I definitely agree with you about quality over quantity. It'll save you money in the long run. And as for the preppers, I couldn't agree more. There is no need to be spending money you don't have. Honestly most people have what they need for at least a month or two right there in their own pantry. No need to be buying unnecessary items just because. Have a good rest of your week.

    1. Indeed. Prepping is for those days you don't have as much money or access as others. What are they waiting for? Just use it and replace another day.
      It is like when they mention snow in my area - there is a run at the stores and people clear the shelves! We may only get a couple inches, but it is the same. CRAZY!!!! Like you aren't going to be stuck without help for more than a few hours.
      Have a good one.

  13. I remember living through the oil embargo during the 70's. We were only allowed so much gas a week and my husband had to get to work everyday. So when I went shopping, I learned to buy all I needed for at least a month and make sure to not go to the store everyday. Over the years I have continued to do this. So during this pandemic, being a senior citizen and staying home a little more has not bothered me because I have stocked in over the years and have never wanted for anything. I always told myself that it cost money to start that car everyday so I just didn't do it. Old habits are hard to break. Same with the storms. I never have to run out for tp, milk or bread. I stock up during the summer when the produce is plentiful and during other times I buy what is on sale and stock in the freezer or pantry. People just are too lazy to think ahead and that is to their disadvantage. That is why I have survived this pandemic and whatever else they may decide to throw at us.
    There is only me now so things are a bit easier, but I raised a family of four with only one car and living in the country. So I had to think ahead. And since I still live in the country I still think ahead. I like to beat them at their own game. I buy what is on sale and buy extra if needed. Just love your blog and how far you have come. Keep us widows and others upbeat and enjoying life.

    1. Preach it! So many trials in life to learn from if we just DO! You have given more great examples to all today. Thank you.
      I stayed home as a care giver for several years - oh I went out, but not far. Then alone, that just became the norm again. The pandemic - alone no problem.
      We can beat all the obstacles - we just need to try.
      Thanks for being here.

  14. This is a fabulous post and the comments all add good information to the topic of being frugal. Finding better quality clothing in a thrift store is far better than buying made in China junk that falls apart in a short time. Back in the day when I worked at an elementary school, at lunchtime I would hear children talking about how daddy was put in jail for drinking too much and what they watched on cable TV and about the boat (or other big-boy toys) they had. I was the secretary and I knew who was on free lunch and free books. If folks can afford these "luxuries", they can afford to feed their kids and pay for their books. Same mindset as the other ladies have mentioned about the folks who are preppers but shop every single day. It's about common sense and priorities.

    It's really kind of funny to see people dash to the grocery at the first hint of snow. If they kept their pantries healthy, that wouldn't be necessary. Hmmm, I think this falls into the category of common sense.

    1. That is a funny saying "common sense" - it sure doesn't seem to be that it is common.
      You preach it too!!! Priorities - my how they differ.
      I got ripped yesterday on FB for telling a women who was whining about becoming retired. I told her to enjoy and embrace it (her choice to retire), as did lots of other people. One gal started chewing me out about not all retirements are NICE. How I knew nothing. Well - that is a story for another day!
      Common sense - where have you gone?