Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Frugal Philosophy

I have been trying to figure out my frugal philosophy for a LONG time. I see Meredith with her envelopes and her budget and I think how far off I am from that. I see Stephanie with her garden and her animals and I think of how I am no where NEAR that. I see any number of mamas on the Frugal blog roll and I think that perhaps I should move my little patootie off of it because many of the things I do and much of how hubby and I live is NOT frugal.

But then it occurred to me that frugality is a choice we all make. How we choice to use it or practice it is entirely individual. I will give you an example.

Monday was a day of extravagance. I bought really expensive tea at Teavana. I bought makeup at Sephora. I had lunch with Natey at the Cheesecake Factory. I bought him some new cloths at Baby Gap. Now I did have gift cards for Teavana, Sephora, and Gap but I bought beyond what the gift card covered. And I am ok with that.

To contrast that last night and this morning was an exercise in frugality. I was out of bread and skim milk. Sure I could have run to Wawa and bought bread and milk, but instead I mixed up some powdered milk and made a loaf of bread. This morning I stopped at CVS to get a prescription filled. I had a coupon for a free $25 gift card with a new prescription and I had a coupon for 1 free month of the medicine I had the prescription for. I also picked up a bottle of shampoo using a free coupon. This meant that I walked out of CVS with my meds, and a bottle of shampoo and CVS paid me $25 to do it. I then headed to McDonalds for a free cup of coffee with a coupon.

A contradiction to be sure. Does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe it does... but what I have decided is that for me frugality is a set of tools in a special tool belt. I pull the tool belt out and put it on when I need it... I don't wear it 24/7.


Meredith@MerchantShips said...

You're definitely not a hypocrite!

That would be telling everyone you make every meal from scratch and then getting the kids a meal from Smoothie King on the way to the playground (me!).

For me, the means of frugality ebbs and flows but it remains a central way of living in whatever form it takes.

Heather Solos said...

I always look at frugality as a way of saving money in one area to splurge in another. It doesn't matter if my area is a food and someone else's is travel. It's a decision we all have the freedom to make.

jskell911 said...

I believe that "frugality" is not an absolute. I am very frugal in some areas, so I do not have to be in others.