So I got this question in an email this weekend:
In your description you describe yourself as frugal and in your post you mention you were shopping for clothes all the time. Which is it?
I hope this question was sent in love and not as a jab, but I’m answering in love either way:
Everything’s relative, so this is all by my value system and what I consider “a lot” and “frugal”…even though it is just normal for me now.
I shopped for clothes a lot. At one point it was a few times a week I’d be bringing home bags of this or that.
However, I consider myself frugal because I’d buy:
- Department store pieces found on the clearance racks only
- Pieces from discount stores like: century 21, tjmaxx, marshalls, filene’s basement, daffys, loehmanns
- Online items using discount codes, and cash back from ebates or mrrebates
Also, the money I used to shop was specifically from my personal “slush” fund. My bills are always paid, and my number one bill (my savings/retirement accounts) was always paid first.
In general I like to save money anywhere I can. John and I got rid of cable (honestly for more productivity but has financial benefits as well) and are only watching programs online for free, we download movies and use netflix like it’s our job.
We reuse things a lot, like pickle jars, plastic bags from the grocery, plastic bins from takeout places and we try our best to use something to death before we toss it and purchase a new one.
I use coupons at the grocery store and target when I can and always buy the sale items, and store brand items which are always cheaper. (except for a certain few things that I am just conditioned to love the name brand version of)
We love to travel, and I save up for it, but we still love getting a deal where we can. We use tons of fare aggregating sites and I monitor prices diligently to jump on a good deal when we find one. We also take advantage of clubs, coupons and rebate offers when it comes to travel as well.
Sooo…My frugality is more in the using/reusing of items and in finding discounts and trying to avoid waste. Not existing on a diet of rice alone and living in an empty studio apartment with no heat or creature comforts which may be some folk’s definition of frugality. This is why in my description I consider myself frugal, but not to a fault.