I was listening to Frugal Coast to Coast last Monday evening. The show was about becoming frugal. Lynnae and Jenn shared their various frugal tips and suggestions and people in the chat room did as well. I found it very interesting to observe people’s levels of “frugalness”.
Some people, like Lynnae and Jenn, I would consider very frugal. Others say they’re frugal but only practice a very few tips and seem to ebb and flow when it comes to being frugal. The concept of “being frugal” seems to be a very personal and is definitely not a one shoe fits all definition.
While I’ve evaluated my level of frugality in the past, the Frugal Coast to Coast conversation caused me to do another frugal self evaluation. I wondered whether I was really frugal or not, and if so at what level.
I wouldn’t by any means say I am very frugal, nor would I say I’m not frugal at all. I think I’m sorta frugal. Here are just a few examples of where I consider myself frugal:
- I buy generic/store brands, but not always, but I certainly do try to. I’ve found with some there is no difference, while with others there is a huge difference.
- We budget. My wife and I live on a budget and do one each and every month. We manage our spending and work diligently to stay within budget.
- We make our own bottled water for the most part
- I buy refurbished electronics
- We only buy clothes that are on sale and often buy off name brands instead of expensive name brands
- I deal shop and often wait for extreme deals on items via Deals of the Day sites but avoid impulse buying.
- I do my own home repairs when I can rather than pay someone else.
- I repair our cars when I can.
- We grow our own vegetables in our garden.
- I buy high mileage well maintained used vehicles
- I used a shower timer on my kid’s shower to control their hot water usage.
Here are a few examples of where I consider myself not frugal:
- We don’t use coupons like I should.
- We don’t make our own laundry detergent
- We don’t cook everything from scratch
- I only drink Starbucks coffee
- We eat out occasionally
- My wife and I both drive gas guzzling SUVs – We like them, but also need them with 6 kids.
- I wear only Doc Martin dress shoes. While expensive, they last for years.
- We use paper towels instead of washable rags
- We always used disposable diapers instead of cloth. The thoughts of dealing with cloth diapers just grosses me out.
Anyway, I think you get the idea. I am sure I could sit here and list examples on both sides of the frugal fence for hours, but I think the examples above show how we’re frugal in some areas but not in others. I find it very interesting to listen and read about different peoples frugal and not so frugal practices. Doing so makes me realize that being frugal isn’t a set line in the sand, yet more of a very personal set of choices. I also think being frugal is very relevant. For example, compared to Lynnae and Jenn am I frugal? No, probably not. Compared to others though, I am very very frugal.
How about you? Are you frugal? Where are you frugal and were are you not so frugal? Add a comment.
Photo by: andyjakeman