Frugality: Nature or Nuture?
Jul. 12, 2013 1:16 pm
Updated: Jul. 15, 2013 1:01 pm
Well, of course, nurture. But if you were raised to be frugal, can you ever not be frugal? Doesn't frugality feel
If you have been fortunate in life to move from poverty to working poor or working poor to lower middle class or even middle middle class (the only socio-economic categories with which I have direct experience!), can you ever truly not have a frugal heart?
Do you ever find yourself saying 'I am not paying $2.98 for that!' when you could, actually, pay the $2.98 without breaking the budget?
Do you think about food costs other than when at the grocery store? Food costs and non-food costs: all of the stuff we buy at the 'grocery store'?
I think about costs. I am not obsessed with costs, at least I don't think I am. But I don't use a quart-size zip-loc when a sandwich size will do... because I know the quart costs more. I'm imprinted to choose the cheaper option; the choice is automatic: almost
I feel completely totally blessed and grateful that I was able to retire when I did. Although I'm comfortable, I'm acutely aware that my comfort may not last forever, with inflation and all. My income is fixed but prices are not! So I continue to be what
I consider frugal, even when I don't have to be... but wonder if I could be any different anyway?
Well, yes, I could be different, and I am. I buy items now that I didn't buy in the past, or I spend more for certain items.
- I buy cage-free local eggs because they are healthier.
- I spend way more on paper towels (which I didn't used to buy at all) because I like the dependability and absorbability of my favorite brand, regardless of price! Oh, yes, I buy these primo towels..... but still watch for the coupons and the sales!!
- I have a Keurig coffee maker and I buy k-cups. (My name is Vicki and I am a Keuriger.) I almost feel like I'm confessing. My frugal heart (and my 'green' heart) thinks spending sixty cents for a cup of coffee that I could make for ten cents
(or less) is almost evil!
So I guess I am selectively frugal. I calculate and fret and wring my hands, but I can make what I consider a non-frugal choice, and go merrily on from there. Those who were not raised in a frugal household or have not experienced the necessity of frugality
won't understand, and those who were or have, will understand immediately. The odd thing is, I never felt deprived; never longed for things I couldn't have. I don't know why.
I am so proud of members on the Buzz when they respond to another member who asks for budget-friendly recipes, or, especially, to those members who say: this is all I have in the house until payday, what can I make? Given the number of responses, and the
eagerness to help and contribute, I'm thinking that quite a few of us know about frugality. I don't usually have much to contribute to these posts since I've been an empty nester for so long, but can certainly identify. I can remember buying whole chickens
and cutting them myself because they were cheaper, and then saving the backs and wings in the freezer (the tiny freezer on top of the tiny fridge in the tiny kitchen in the tiny rental house) to make a meal of chicken and noodles!! A 'free' meal!!! Although
a determined and totally committed chicken butcherer, not a very good one...we had some odd-looking chicken pieces!
So, understanding that everything about finances is personal and subjective, just thinking about your own experience, what did you do in the past that you do differently now, related to how you shop for food or prepare food at home, or even the non-food items,
like the paper towels??
Another of mine is light bulbs. I can remember moving light bulbs around for weeks at a time. I mean taking the light bulb out of the closet to put in the lamp because I was out of light bulbs. Because when I was at the grocery store and light bulbs were
on the grocery list but the cart was already full... well, the light bulbs got crossed off the list for weeks at a time!