I love getting a great deal. I celebrate when I get items free by combining sale prices with coupons. I pat myself on the back when I combine a Children’s Place coupon with a clearance sale to buy my kids clothes for pennies on the dollar.
I don’t mind buying used. I was thrilled when I found a futon for our guest room on Craigslist. And I waited to buy a freezer until I found one on Craigslist, too. I frequent thrift stores for clothing purchases.
I also strive toward minimalism. I try not to buy something at all, if I think I can do without. I don’t like clutter, and I don’t feel I need every new-fangled gadget on the market. Yes, I’m a frugal person. But there are limits to my frugality.
1. Getting my hair cut. I know some frugal people out there successfully cut their own hair. I don’t dare. I tried to cut my daughter’s hair once, and it was a complete disaster. I can’t imagine what I’d do to my own hair! That said, I get a great deal on haircuts from a friend at church. The price is right, and the fellowship is great. Nope. I’m not gonna give it up.
2. Satellite TV. I suppose if push came to shove, and our budget demanded it, I’d give it up. But my family likes satellite TV. We don’t watch much on the regular networks, but my husband is a huge sports fan and watches ESPN a lot. I love HGTV and the Hallmark Channel (no groans from you guys, please). We rarely go to the movies or rent DVDs, so we feel OK about keeping the satellite TV.
3. The occasional frappucino. I’ve cut way back on my gourmet coffee consumption. Most of the time I make my own mochas or just have regular drip coffee at home. But I’ll admit when the weather gets hot, I love a good frappucino, and as of yet, I haven’t found a homemade recipe that tastes as good as the coffee drinks I get from Starbucks or Dutch Bros. So during the summer I allow myself a few frappucinos to satisfy my cravings.
4. Best Foods Mayonnaise. I like mayo, in moderation, of course. But I don’t like the taste of most mayonnaise. The only mayo I like is Best Foods (Hellmann’s for you East Coasters). Most of the time I don’t mind buying store brands or sale items. But if I’m out of mayo and I can’t find a good sale, I’ll pay full price for Best Foods.
5. Makeup. I know some women who don’t wear makeup, because they prefer the natural look and want to avoid the cost of makeup. I don’t always wear makeup around the house, but I usually put it on before going out. I just think I look much better with it on. I’m not loyal to one brand, though. I buy whatever is on sale.
6. School lunches for the kids. I could probably make them cheap, healthy lunches every day. But my kids are picky, and I’ve found that by making them eat school lunches, they’re more willing to try new foods at home. Must be something about the peer pressure at school. Whatever it is, I’m willing to pay for less picky kids!
7. An occasional splurge on a family outing. I love doing free things with my family, like going to the park or library. Every once in a while, we do something that is not very frugal, like hitting the Family Fun Center for a go-cart race or going to the county fair. I want my kids to understand and appreciate frugality, but I also want them to know that I care about things that they love to do, and that it’s OK to splurge on those you love once in a while…as long as it’s a planned expense and within the budget. I think it helps my kids know that they’re more important than saving money.
Now you know the limits of my frugality. What are yours? What do you refuse to give up in the name of being frugal?
Photo by kevin.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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