Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frugal is not my middle name

I have a confession to make. And you can keep reading because, no, it's not about another one of my very personal issues.

My confession is that I'm not a thrifty person. I don't clip coupons, scour through the Sunday paper or peruse different stores for the best deal. And until yesterday, that used to bother me.

Recently I was with some friends who were talking about coupons, web-coupons, CVS deals, Walgreens deals and money saving blogs. They don't pay for toiletries, save $40 bucks with coupons at the grocery store and try to keep their grocery bill at $60 a week! Seriously.

I started feeling really bad about my spending habits, my lack of coupon use and my general non-frugal personality. Really bad about myself. I spend 3 times that (literally!) at the grocery store, very rarely look at a sale ads and tend to forget my coupons at home most of the time.

Mercy, did I look pathetic next to these thrifty ladies.

So I came home and told Joseph that I was going to start clipping coupons, we weren't going to buy anything without a coupon, we weren't eating out ever again, we were going to live frugally and I was going to make it my mission to hunt for the best deal. We were going to get our veggies out of the grocery trash and our bread from the throw out bin at the bread store. We weren't spending any money at Christmas and I was going to handmake everything - homemade meals every night and I was even going to make Titan's dog food.

And as usual, he looked at me oddly and said something like, "That sounds like a lot of work, but if that's what you want to do..." and then went back to FB.

So I began my mission: Frugal Living. And for the past week, I attempted that.

I bought the Target brand diapers even though I am a Pampers Cruisers snob because there was a coupon for a dollar off. (The twins still wear diapers/pull-ups and nap time and bed time.) I also bought the Target brand pull-ups and wipes for the same reason. On that trip I got 3 packages of wipes, 1 package of diapers and pull-ups and 2 Buddy bar soaps for $18. Less than the amount of money I would normally spend on 1 pack of diapers! Pretty awesome huh? Oh, yeah, I'm thrifty!

And while I was glad to get a good deal, that was a lot of work. Really. It took me forever to find the coupons, I ran out of printer ink printing them (and really don't know how to hand make printer ink!) and while in Target the kids all had to go to the bathroom, and none went at the same time. The whole thing was exhausting.

As the week went on, I was spending all this time looking for coupons and deals and not finding any coupons for anything that I actually needed. Whew, it really started to take up a lot of time.

Then I decided that, FOR ME, it is not worth my time. There are lots of other things I would rather be doing. I don't get a thrill searching for the deal, I found it to be more of a hassle. It took up lots of my time and to be honest - I don't want to hunt bargains on spaghetti sauce in my (very limited) spare time. And that is my personal choice that my husband is supportive of. That man is less thrifty than me! He hates shopping around at different stores for a bargain. His motto that he is always spouting off to me is, "Time is money, money is time. I can always make more money, but I can't make more time."

By nature I'm not a thrifty person. Case in point: Yesterday I went to find something for us to wear for our family pictures. I'm sure I had something at home that I could make work, but I had a specific idea in mind and knew we didn't have that here. I am sure that my thrifty friends would never go out and buy new outfits. Sheesh, some of these blogs I was reading were giving ideas on how to spend $0 at Christmas. I don't want to spend $0 at Christmas.

It's really all about moderation is my conclusion. I sell the kids old clothes to make money for new ones. That's resourceful, huh? And I shop the commissary for meat (can't beat the prices!), Walmart for groceries (can't beat the prices!) and HEB for fruit - because the other two places have nasty produce. I used some store coupons at the commissary yesterday and saved $18 on things we actually use, so I didn't clip the coupons and the lady handed me the coupons and told me to use them. Points for heeding good advice huh?

Bottom line: I buy toiletries, is that really worth beating myself up about?



Sincerely Anna said...

You don't really know how to hand-make printer ink? Hahahaha! I laughed so hard at that. This post describes exactly how I feel about this, too. Listen, some people get a big thrill over buying 8 Sunday papers and stashing 100 boxes of Cheerios and Wheat Thins they bought for $1.22 each and I say good for them, but not me. I'm like you, I know I could do a lot better at saving money but I also think that it's stressful to do all that work. My sister, who eat, sleeps, and dreams Coupons, carries around a huge binder wherever she goes. I'd be in a straight jacket if I had to deal with that at the grocery store!

Sab Mad said...

Oh, Anna, I love you! I think we were separated at birth. Except we look nothing alike...

Yeah, I have friends that carry around those huge binders too. That would stress me out. I'm lucky I can find my debit card!!! And could you imagine what the twins would do with a binder of coupons...

Becca said...

I really like this! I'm not the coupon mom either. I've wanted to try, but I don't know where to start. I look and look but all the coupons are for brand name things that I don't really use that much. Thanks for this! At least I'm not the only one!

Kari said...

I don't like the idea of thinking about money all day everyday...somehow it doesn't make the list of honorable, true, holy, pure, sort of things I want to think about.
Moderation. I have learned how to make laundry soap...very cool and cheap and works great, and I can make it in 15 minutes, when I want, no need to look for a sale.
otherwise, the best way to save? don't spend unless it is actually useful.(and there is room to store it) works for us!

Kellie said...

Yep, to each his own... there are so many things we could judge each other about, aren't there? But we all make our own decisions, and I know if I started saving mass amounts of money in coupons, I wouldn't then go and put it away for a rainy day - I'd go blow it on something totally irrational for the good job I did saving money!! Oh well.

Elizabeth said...

If you ever come to my house, I'm hiding my binder! Ha! I don't have one, but I've thought about it:) I clip coupons occasionally (and always forget them) and shop around for big things (like a tv or boots) but I am not super thrifty and it annoys me when people make money at the store. I don't have the energy for it. I love your husband's opinion: I (or my hubby) can make more money but we can't make more time.