My Frugal LifeFrugal Living

When Frugal is Not!

After watching some TV shows tout frugality that aren't really in our best interest, I wanted to express what I think is not frugal.
  1. I see folks spend a lot of time clipping/filing coupons they may never use, or shop online endlessly for the best price for various groceries at different grocers and then go to multiple stores to buy sales every week. That's fine as long as you see the payback in all your time spent with these habits. If they take you lots of time, gas and money, you may be better off using your time more wisely. You could either work an extra hour overtime, make a recipe from scratch rather than buying take out or prepackaged foods, or invest in a hobby that pays you, perhaps by selling something you make or offering lessons?

  2. Buying an inferior (cheaper) item/product/appliance may save you a few dollars originally but if it needs to be replaced or repaired quicker it may not be the most frugal move.

  3. Not getting things repaired or neglecting regular maintenance on your home or cars may save you today, but a leaking toilet or car with a "check engine" light may cost you big time tomorrow. It's usually much cheaper to maintain an item then to replace it.

  4. Speaking of maintenance, the same goes for your health, such as medical and dental check ups. Many diseases don't show symptoms until they are at critical stages; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes are a few of the biggies. You don't want your first visit to the doctor or hospital to be due to a major health event.
    Missing a 6 month dentist appointment because you don't think you have any cavities misses the point that cleaning the teeth regularly prevents dental build up that could mean major problems like gum disease ( and possibly the loss of all your teeth.)

  5. Cutting corners on your health also include cheap meals. Like recent lawsuits have shown, cheap fast food meals can be purchased every day for only a few dollars, but eventually your body with pay the price for the poor fuel you've been giving it!

  6. Special events. This is an individual thing but when you have a mate or kids, you may think you can't 'go anywhere' due to the expense or the extra expense to bring children. But mates pass away and children grow up and your window to share experiences and memories are numbered. Don't forget to relish your life experiences. You may need to be creative, like camping somewhere instead of renting a fancy suite, but you will make lifetime memories for yourself and your family.
      Choose it wisely but DO IT!


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February 12, 20170 found this helpful

Lots of good advise here, Donna! Thank you.

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February 12, 20170 found this helpful

Some sound advice! I am very frugal but I learned years ago that one evening per week spent on couponing is all that makes sense. After that, you're using valuable time better spent saving elsewhere.

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February 12, 20170 found this helpful

When I use coupons I spend more. So we usually buy the store brand which is often cheaper than the name brand even with a coupon.

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February 23, 20170 found this helpful

This is so true. If I do save a coupon, which is very seldom, I compare the name brand price and the store brand. If the store brand is cheaper than the name brand after subtracting the coupon, I just lay the coupon up on the display for someone else to use.


Harlean from Arkansas

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February 12, 20170 found this helpful

"Sales" are not always beneficial. My mom had her eye on a set of lamps she dearly wanted and when they went on sale, they were higher than the week before when she looked at them. She complained to the manager of the store but never got them after she realized the deceit. You have to be wary also of bait and switch when you go to get a sale item and hmmm, it's out, but of course they have this higher priced item that is better. Just saying, frugal is a matter of knowing your prices and getting the best deal without the deal getting you.

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February 13, 20170 found this helpful

Right you are!

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February 14, 20170 found this helpful

Great advise. Also what is not frugal is taking handfuls of napkins, straws, and condiments.


It is stealing. I have heard people say they do this. Also other things that are there for you to use, not to stock your home.

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February 16, 20170 found this helpful

One great question I ask myself? "Do I need this, or do I want it?" World of difference between the two and, in being honest with myself, I tend to spend a lot less.

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February 17, 20170 found this helpful

So true! The difference between NEEDS and WANTS...
they say to wait a while and let the test of time prove if it's necessary!
Good point!! Thanks!

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February 18, 20170 found this helpful

Great comments....tired of people saying their drive an hour to get a cheaper price at big box stores when smaller home town markets are just as manageable. Who carries out your grocery..Who home delivers when you are sick, broken limb...My son's supermarket is delivery 5 days a week and sometimes weekend--depending...$2 a delivery. Many seniors' family set up 3 day a week delivery, HE goes into the home, checks on them, brings fresh which ever, puts things in fridge/freezer, opens jars, etc. KNOWS their brand and will often stop the personal store shopper when they have so and so' list, NO on the the sale one, the one they BUY. Extra eyes on a family member is worth it. Going an hr to get to the big box store does not give you value you are looking for. Not when you don't NEED the SUPER SIZE, but take it because you drove there. Gas money..OH you get yourself things not on the list, and absolutely you eat out, dissolving any pennies/nickles you think you saved. As your local grocery for the item or brand you like. I have no problem getting my favorites.


I also make note of sale locals are about every 3 weeks and so I know when to buy.. OH COUPONS...Absolutely the 2 days a week the pamplets in my newspaper are looked through, ask my neighbor for hers, take out what I use and need, share with d-i-l who passes them to another new mom.
Our grocery has a bin where they put soon to be out dates at less than half price. Just got today 6 packs of Chobani fold over yogurts for $.50 each. Dates are suggested by companies, and the store moves them out. If a case of yogurt was in the back store room and outdating, they tell me, I take the whole case at minimal..75% off. My almost 16 yr old German Shorthair got greek yogurt daily, would freeze them. I made her food with them, etc. Storage space is costly at stores and so they try to be effecient, too. In store sales are run daily, bakery day olds, etc. Fresh baked one day in the store, the next offered discount.

My eldest son beef shops with local farmers, and in finding 'organic' ranchers same price we buy on the hoof.
I have food allergies and do not buy anything PRE ready. 60% of my groceries are from the fresh produce isle. Summer I grow my own...or shop farmer's markets (learn who sells the best of what supply). And some neighbors and I trade off garden foods. When some neighbors give up early on their gardens, I offer to take them over till frost. Eating good does not have to mean spending wads of hard earned money.

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February 24, 20170 found this helpful

Lots of great habits! Good comments! Thanks!

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