Cheap/Squeaky/Frugal

Once again, I was visiting Mary and one of her blogs inspired me to stop procrastinating long enough to comment on this myself. She asks when is frugal is TOO frugal? It’s a fair enough question and one that is asked pretty consistently at my house. My mother was pretty frugal about some things and extravagant in other ways. Myself, I rasied my oldest a grocery bill of about $100 a month when it was just us and my ex hubby. I don’t normally have an issue with store brands (especially since they have gotten so much better in taste and quality) and quite frankly, Flavor-aid tastes just like Kool-aid to me and the fry’s brand shells and cheese tastes better then the Velveeta…

When I met Keith, he was in the process of recovering from near financial disaster from his previous marriage.  Seriously, the man had an Electric Bill of over $1000 dollars past due.  This wasn’t even counting the current charges…He had to make an almost Unheard of arrangement with TEP to always pay the current bill plue $80 for over a year to pay that off.  He had left the finances to his ex wife and well…let’s say we have been paying off that debt for almost 8 years.  Keith worked hard, sometimes working 2-3 jobs.  His kids had all the game systems when they came out…his wife never really wanted for her computer system extras (she was an early computer user)…he had no problem working that hard and buying the extras…

 That changed when we met and had to recover from the fall out.  Keith (ever the extremist) has done a complete 180 and has become a human calculator…We have bought most of the girls wardrobe for the past 6 years from yard sales, and clearence racks.  Childrens Orchard has been a godsend for us, especially during their “Bag for $5” sales that happens twice a year (pretty much all of the clothes you can fit into a small-ish grocery type bag). We have walked out with $100’s of Baby Gap, Old Navy, Children’s Place clothese for about $20. We rarely buy ourselves clothes. I am kinda of addicited periodically to coupons and free samples (gotta love PYP). And to be honest, the best shampoo that I have found is Chargrin Valley’s Shampoo Bars along with a deep conditioning treatment that consists of Sauve conditioner, honey, and aloe vera. Shampoo for Shampoo it’s still cheaper then going to buy Pantene or Biologe for my hair and my hair looks better.  But that’s me.  Keith on the other hand will forgo buying a 3 pack of paper towels at wal-mart for 2 bucks but is okay with spending that on milk or meats.  He also is always trying to get the deal…the down side is that they are times when he talks himself out of buying something  that he really wants then kicks himself about it later..which is when I call him squeaky.   

It’s all a matter of perspective, really.  I would love to have a veggie garden and learn canning and stuff, but the reality is that I can’t do it in the middle of the desert and I don’t have time to devote to it.  I’d like to compost, since I have the space for it.  But again it doesn’t work for me timewise…I make up for it by buying flavor-aid and getting rainchecks for stuff when they are on sale…or by getting coupons.  I’m willing to spend money on my girls or on Keith before spending it on myself.   But that’s just me.

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