Frugal but enjoy the Finer things in Life - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-18-2005, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We lead a somewhat frugal lifestyle. But we do like organic things, enjoy fresh roasted coffee, imported beers, better clothing etc.

We have found that when we buy a better sometimes more expensive product, in the long run we end up ahead. When I buy a better expensive leather boot, it ends up lasting a few years instead of one winter season. The LL Bean winter coats DH & I each bought a few winters ago kept us toasty warm- well worth the investment and they are gaurenteed plus we will keep them for a long time. New appliances- we noticed our utilities went down in cost.

I could go on but you get the idea, what do you do to keep a frugal lifestyle and enjoy the fine things you want to or need to?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:26 AM
 
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I'll be ridiculously cheap about some things, but I always regret it when I don't buy good quality clothes and shoes. I try to keep my wardrobe really streamlined and classic, so I don't need a whole lot of variety, but when I get something new, I like to know it's going to last.

I don't know if I would call that the "finer things," though--it's not like I get designer ware (unless it's pretty classic AND on sale). . . .

I'll also pay a lot for good food.
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:08 PM
 
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This was actually a problem for me. Big time. When I started living frugally, or what I thought was "frugal", I would do so in certain areas, and then figure that I "deserve" to splurge on this or that. When it all came out in the budget though, I still wasn't saving much, and then get totally frustrated that my "hard work" wasn't paying off.

I guess to answer your question, I had to redefine almost everything. What was really worth paying more for? Clothes~for example~without a doubt certain brands last MUCH longer than others. But rather than buy all of them new, why not shop Goodwill/thrift/yard sale, for the same brands? Huge money savings, same quality wardrobe. Still buy some new stuff, don't get me wrong, but I only buy what I can't find used and still in good condition, and I will wait for a good sale or search out coupon offers.

Eating out~ I used to LOVE taking my family out to eat. It was such a treat to get a break from the hectic schedules, and go out to eat together. Now, it's homeade pizza and board games. Guess which one the kids look forward to, especially when we invite family to participate!

You mentioned beer. My dh likes the good stuff too, only now he has the equipment and brews his own! (makes great gifts too!)

Anyway, to make this short, I have and am still in the process of changing what I like. I still like a lot of the good stuff, but find when I look/try hard enough, I am able to replace habits with another that allow me to enjoy myself just as much, and be frugal about it. Not to mention, I find frugality a sport that provides a lot of entertainment in and of itself!
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:22 PM
 
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Frugal isn't necessarily about spending less to the exlusion of all else. It's about making wise choices. -- so if something more expensive is truely the better choice for whatever reason, it can still be considered frugal.

In one of the tightwad gazette books she talks about the fact the generally we're frugal for a purpose. She said she was frugal in most areas so that they could have a large family and a big farmhouse in the country. Other people save so they can travel or whatever else their passion is. You don't want to be a scrooge -- pinching pennies for no other reason than to horde them.
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Old 10-01-2005, 11:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsps
Frugal isn't necessarily about spending less to the exlusion of all else. It's about making wise choices. -- so if something more expensive is truely the better choice for whatever reason, it can still be considered frugal.

In one of the tightwad gazette books she talks about the fact the generally we're frugal for a purpose. She said she was frugal in most areas so that they could have a large family and a big farmhouse in the country. Other people save so they can travel or whatever else their passion is. You don't want to be a scrooge -- pinching pennies for no other reason than to horde them.
This was exactly what I was thinking of. Frugality to me is mindful, purposeful spending and saving. Not indiscriminate hoarding and cheapness.

I try to reign in the grocery budget (although I still spend more than many) so that there's extra for my crafing supplies and dh's hobby.
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Old 10-01-2005, 11:25 AM
 
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I am really glad for this thread. I had such a negative view on frugality because my MIL buys cheap over anything, regargless of what the item is. They haven't moved, they don't travel...I have no idea where this obsession has come from.

Mallori, you have me to a 'T'. I buy good brands as inexpensive as I can, and then I will scope out the sales racks. I am actually happy to know that I am frugal and that my MIL is just obsessed.

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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Old 10-01-2005, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im really glad your really glad becuase I have the same issue.

I'm frugal but not cheap. My thought is if I buy something thats cheap, it won't last as long and I'm back where I started as well as filling the landfills.

I like things that last. I do have an expensive coffee maker and and an expensive grinder. But when we bought it, the person who recommended it had her model for 20 years. I know people who go thru coffee makers every 2-4 years. We also roast our own coffee beans. In the end it works out to a better $ value and its about 10 minutes more than going to buy beans already.

I hate when people equate frugal w cheap. This of course is why I started this discussion.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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Oh yeah! Being frugal is the ONLY WAY we can afford those things in life we like so much....

good coffee, nice wine, good organic food, dark chocolate, folk festivals (although been getting in for free by doing the recycling) decent art supplies, a long telephone conversation with my wonderful sis and bro who live far away..... oh good toothpaste (thoms of Main fennel, yeah!)
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