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Sat Dec 24, 2011, 07:16 PM

Being frugal does not mean being cheap.

At least it doesn't for me. For all the people who have not visited this group before, I don't want you to be scared away by how cheap we seem to be. For me, it is part survival, and part a game to be frugal. Of course, I don't care if people call me cheap, or stingy, or cheapskate. I am not ashamed.

But I am not cheap. I can tell you about how I reuse plastic bags, and aluminum foil, and paper towels---just about everything but toilet paper. I can tell you about how I always carry a lunch instead of buying out, or how I will make soup when I find my veggies are getting limp instead of (gasp) throwing them out. But that is not what this post is about. It is about frugality, and being conscious of all the consumption that we do in our society. And mostly, being frugal allows me to have money to do things that are sometimes splurges.

I believe that many here also do the same things that I do. I give to charity. Ask my vet if I am cheap---she will tell you that I will do whatever is needed to keep my cat from suffering. I will buy things that are good quality as opposed to cheap---they cost more, and that doesn't seem to be frugal, but they last. I do volunteer work.

So don't be ashamed of being frugal....embrace it. And when you hear about some of the funny things that we do, don't feel sorry for us. We enjoy the game. Join us, but I will be up front with you, it is addicting to find ways to save money.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Being frugal does not mean being cheap. (Original post)
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 OP
uppityperson Dec 2011 #1
Kennah Dec 2011 #2
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #5
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #3
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #7
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #8
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #9
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #17
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #21
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #22
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #23
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #24
Sherman A1 Dec 2011 #4
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #6
Kolesar Dec 2011 #10
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #13
badhair77 Dec 2011 #11
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #12
badhair77 Dec 2011 #14
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #18
badhair77 Dec 2011 #15
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #20
kristopher Dec 2011 #16
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #19

Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:23 PM

1. Thank you for expressing this so well.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:21 AM

2. Frugal and cheap can indeed run along different paths

There is usually a purchase price as well as a maintenance cost to most anything.

It is cheap to examine only the purchase price.

It is frugal to examine both the purchase price and the maintenance cost.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:56 PM

5. Good point. Inkjet printers, for example.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 03:28 AM

3. I enjoy being frugal. I like trying to use whatever falls into my space.

We usually have lots of recycle trash -- both paper and green, and just a little non-recyclable trash. I compost a lot and try to use other things.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 09:09 PM

7. I think that is what holds us together here,

trying to find uses and reuses for anything possible.

I do not produce much trash at all, and most of that is due to the same things you do. I do have quite a bit of recycleables, and wish I could figure out how to cut even that down. And also knowing the difference between want and need, and so I don't buy tons of things that are wants.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:15 PM

8. This year my youngest daughter and I wrapped all our presents in reusable

cloth wrappings. They were very pretty, and the wrapping will be good for a long time. Some of the fabric can be used for purposes other than wrapping -- like storage bags, pillow cases and other things.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:27 PM

9. What a cool idea!

I was at my cousin's house today, and there was a huge bag of wrapping paper to be thrown out....I was just sick over all that waste. Next year, I will try this for the ones I wrap....maybe everyone will get a throw or a scarf that I use to wrap a gift with.

Thanks.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 04:50 PM

17. My daughter got lovely fabric for $2 per yard

and finished the edges so that the pieces looked really elegant.

I made bags with my fabric thinking that I could later fold and then sew the top edges down and then draw a crocheted sort of rope through -- another storage or shopping bag -- or another bag into which to give a gift. In any event, the person receiving the gift receives the reusable bag as well as what is inside.

Upholstery remnants, curtain remnants from stores that sell that kind of thing are ideal for this purpose. The colors are great. The fabrics have a nice, heavy texture. Ideal.

I, of course, used a lot of old cotton and synthetic scraps that I have had for years.

This was fun but I should have started shopping and making appropriately sized bags earlier in the season.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 06:44 PM

21. LMAO. Maybe you will think about that next year!!!

I do the same thing---crunch time and I am caught flat-footed!

I use some heavy upholstery remnants to make myself purses. They wear really well and are not all that hard to make---just a pain to put in lining. But I like the reuseable shopping bag idea.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:29 AM

22. I never run out of uses for bags especially since I like to knit in the evenings

while my husband and I watch Netflix or listen to music.

My sister gave me a wonderful bag with two pockets on the outside and a number of them on the inside. I have cut the fabric to make a copy of that bag with some embellishments that I think will look great.

I really enjoy this kind of activity although my hands are arthritic and therefore neither as quick nor as agile as they once were. I made most of my children's clothing when they were young -- including a coat for my oldest daughter that was cloth suede and lined with faux fur. That was a lot of fun. It looked cute on her, but I don't think I would want to sew anything that thick again.

I use the Chico bags a lot because I can leave them in my handbag and don't have to think to carry them into the store.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 07:14 PM

23. Chico bags???

I do not know what those are.

And I have to admire that you ever were about to make a coat, especially out of such thick materials. I understand how things are not so easy anymore---we are all getting to that point where we can't do all that we did in the past. But that's ok, as long as we do all that we still can.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 08:16 PM

24. Chico bags are a big bag within a small bag.

When I get to the store, I take the small bag out of my purse and then take the larger bag out of the small bag. And, voila, there is my shopping bag. It's easier to remember than the larger bags since I carry it in my purse all the time. Actually, I carry two of them in my purse all the time.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 07:07 AM

4. I think of frugal as being

efficient. It is simply getting the most out of anything that we can. It is about reduction of waste, which in the end serves no one.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 09:06 PM

6. Efficient is a very good description of frugal.

Cheap is the person who goes out to eat and doesn't leave a tip! I may be frugal, but if I do go out, I would never stiff the waitstaff.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 07:43 AM

10. Or being a chisler

Cheapskate, tightwad, frugal = good
Chisler, mooch = bad

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 08:37 PM

13. Amen!!!! nt

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:12 PM

11. I use my leftovers for soup.

If we have leftover veggies I put them in a container in the freezer that is dedicated to this purpose. Every 3-4 weeks I take my stash and make vegetable soup.

I also like to visit thrift stores to check out clothing for fabric. The clearance rack can be a great source for interesting cloth for crafts or pillows that I make for the children at the women's shelter. I love to repurpose and recycle.

You all seem like kindred souls. I'm so happy to be here in this group!

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 08:36 PM

12. That is such a nice idea to make things

for children at a women's shelter. It must be hard on them, and any little thing is surely appreciated. Thank you for what you do for them. I will have to think of ways to do something for them too. Wonderful thought.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 10:07 PM

14. Thanks for the encouragement.

It needs my creative needs also. The woman who directs the shelter is my hero. Her husband is the director of the men's shelter. I don't know how they do it. She drug tests and runs a tight ship. They are assisted with parenting and nutrition skills and she helps them find a job so they can move on and give space to someone else.

Another woman makes tote bags for the kids and they fill them with toothpaste, soap, etc. That would seem like a simple project, too. My attention span doesn't go beyond pillows these days.

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 06:30 PM

18. People like these are what I would consider saints.

They make me feel so inadequate, but I know that my little bits of help are important too. What would the world be like without these people who are willing to take a big bite out of life to serve others!

And, you know, pillows are important! Take it from me, there was a time in my life when I got a pillow for Christmas because I didn't have one....it was a great gift!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 10:12 PM

15. I almost forgot this one.

I sign up for email lists to local restaurants. Then for my birthday they send me emails for free lunches, burgers, etc. I do the same for my husband and it gives us a lunch out at half price. I've made it into a game to see how many discounts, freebies, etc I could get for my birthday.

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 06:38 PM

20. LOL, I do that too. But....

I wish I would have lied about when my birthday was at some places. In one month or on one day, I have a hard time making decisions. I have one that has been going on for at least 15 years (this was no online)----a free entree with a paid entree at my favorite restaurant. Yippee.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 03:46 AM

16. "Cheap" is related to a mindset of consumption.

I don't mind consuming; I just hate being wasteful.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 06:35 PM

19. I think you hit the nail on the head. It is waste

that is the real problem.

Although I attempt not to consume more than is necessary (need vs want), I am not opposed to those little (some bigger than others) splurges.

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