Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cheap Vs. Frugal

Hubby, Miss Baby, and I spent some wonderful time with friends yesterday. We did some early cocktails at our favorite watering hole and then went back to their house for some delicious pizza, and wine. We had a conversation what is the difference between being cheap and being frugal. Cheap just sounds like such a negative word. Cheap to me is something made of poor quality or a person who is not willing to pay their share. Now frugal to me is someone who watches their money wisely and buys things on sale, and lives well below their means. If someone called me cheap I would be horrified, but if they called me frugal I would be pleased.

Hubby and I have really been evaluating how we live lately. We want to pay off some student loans, and in the next few years consider buying our dream home (which we'll find somewhere around here). We've often talked about how we could live more simply. This morning Miss Baby took a nice nap so we decided to do some early spring cleaning. It was interesting spring cleaning out closets together, because Hubby would say "oh I remember you had to have that at the yard sale we went to last summer" or "oh was that the thing that was on sale that you got because it was a "good deal" and now it is going to the thrift store." It really put things into perspective for me. We also looked around at the things we got from yard sales that we use everyday, and could not live without (but that's a whole other blog). This morning really showed me that even though I had been "frugal" with my purchases at the time, in the end it was a waste of money because many of the things I bought were never used and stored in a closet for a "someday project". Maybe it was times like that I should have been cheap and not bought the item because it was a good deal :) Maybe being cheap in some cases is not such a bad thing!


  1. I do agree with your definitions on cheap and frugal. I am neither. I spend money like a drunken sailor. My husband thankfully is frugal. So although I do not spend my money frugally I know when enough is enough. In other words If I have 50.00 for the week I will spend it almost immediately and have nothing left for the rest of the week. But I will not take out any more money.

  2. You both are very frugal and this is one mother who is proud of the both of you. You see what you want and save for it, not go and get a loan for it. love to you all

  3. This is a very good post. It is so true. I used to pick up things at the Dollar store or Target that were on clearance just because. Now our house is so full I think very carefully whether we need something. With 6 people to feed, food is my major expense and we only buy clothing as needed. I have very few things in my closet now. I just kept what I loved and only buy when necessary.

  4. i was pondering the same question this week, when i did my scrapbook art project thing. it is cheap. that should be ok. it's ok for me to say it's cheap, for me to say I'M cheap, but not for someone else to. but it should be. i want to make cheap an ok thing to be. how do we do that?