Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Frugals

i was reading the other day about "the frugals", people who penny pinch in some areas so that they can have what they want in other areas. i might live in weirdsville but i didn't think that was a characteristic of frugal people, i thought it was necessary for survival.

it got me to thinking about my own spending habits.

  • i refuse to buy a coffee everyday, when i have coffee at home and there's free coffee in the canteen at work. i will buy a coffee as a little treat or pick- me- up.
  • i would prefer to eat out less often at nicer places with better food than to eat at crumby places with crumbier food
  • i refuse to buy cheap coffee. i don't desperately need the extra few dollars per jar so i might as well drink something palatable
  • i also refuse to buy cheap ice cream and these days i even buy my favourite, very expensive, Homer Hudson on occasions rather than look at it longingly ( it's $8 for 500ml/ pint)

i read recently that contrary to what you might expect, prostitutes do well in times of economic downturn because the men who frequent them regard it not as a luxury but as a neccessity


what would you be prepared to give up in a fiscal emergency and what do you regard as sacrosanct?


  1. It's funny that you should bring this subject up...the Hubby and I were just talking about this since I lost my job (maybe I should become a prostitute?)

    I cut out buying my coffee every day...yes, I was doing that.

    The Hubby is now packing a lunch to work.

    We cancelled our magazine subscriptions..yes, we subscribed to magazines but NEVER READ THEM!

    We cancelled our landline phone number and just use our cell phones now.

    We refuse to cut out date nights however...with two kids we need TIME ALONE! But we're going to cheaper restaurants...unfortunately. It's hard to find a cheap restaurant that doesn't serve crumby food!

  2. hey RC!
    interesting ....
    i've always been too tight for daily coffees
    i sometimes buy lunch but they're mostly packed
    i rarely have mag subscriptions either
    but i would be most reluctant to give up the landline

    can't wait to see what everyone else says!

  3. Interesting topic, especially these days.

    Since I'm a single parent I always have to be careful. No backup and no support sucks - but I chose it, so gotta live with it!

    First thing to go would be fast food. In fact, it's almost gone now, except when the craving gets impossible to withstand.

    We've pretty much given up going to the movies except for once or twice a summer for the big exploding things and such.

    Sacrosanct is still, to my shame, the cigarettes. Got to kick the habit this year.

    And I don't think the offspring could survive without World of Warcraft...

    Hmm, now you really got me thinking!

  4. This past year I went from playing golf 2-3 times per month in 2007 to playing a total of 4 times in 2008. Part of that is due to my depression, but mostly because it has become too darn expensive.

    One luxury I probably should surrender but won't is my 1-2 cigars per weekend. I won't even lower myself to buy cheaper ones, I stick with my favorite brands.

    Hi Blottie.

  5. Hi Kylie!

    I'd never sacrifice GOOD food! Even when we were dirt poor we ate organically and well -- I just cooked everything from scratch and we ate like kings for pennies.

    As for giving up something . . . hmmmmm . . . I like fine restaurants but would sacrifice and eat at home if necessary. Never does fast food touch my lips and I don't do coffee (because I prefer tea).

    I'd freely give up movies (we have no tv reception or cable) but NEVER books!

    I'm an old-fashioned girl who likes the best but am willing to work for it. ("Work" as in bake my own bread and grow my own veggies, not "work" as in . . . you know . . . *blush*) ; )

  6. Hi Kylie!

    Definitely have some necessities like chocolates, soda and frozen custard. Couldn't go without 'em.

    Prolly would give up the newspaper if I had too. The birds are the most frequently readers of it anyway ;-)

    Best wishes,


  7. King Solomon is quoted in the Old Testament as saying "there is nothing new under the Sun."

    All this lugubrious garbage about frugals of today is nothing new. My own parents and g/parents did all this way back in the 20th century except that you were frugal because that's the way you survived. There was nothing left in $$'s to spend on luxuries. The frugals of today are softies in comparison.

    My wife and I too are not without a watered down experience of the above description.

    The term frugals probably originated in the USA home of 1980's management spin and euphonism, such as going forward, that's the future in real English,
    or the Bushies collateral damage otherwise known as murder, shock and awe, double talk for unanswerable attacks on other nations. Or superhero. Those who are Victoria Cross winners are heroes. A hero is the ultimate in altruistic and selfless acts.

    Some are real frugals. They live simply so that others may simply live, a philosophy or act that probably does not quite achieve the stated end because not enough of the priveleged practice living simply.

    Here endeth this rant or spray ... probably to the converted!

  8. Good question. And Attenuator, I enjoyed the rant!

    I try to be frugal every so often, and you would think that being a one-salary civil servant family, I would succeed.

    I too won't give up super-good coffee, my fave being organic sumatra. I also won't give up a few, but not necessarily a packed closet-ful, good clothes and shoes.

    I guess in the end, I'm a luxury hound for the little items (coffee, fancy soap, nice boots, organic foods from the nicer supermarket) but where big items are concerned, for instance cars, I'll go with a 14-year-old 200,000 mile hand-me-down that for a long time got the job done but wasn't pretty.

  9. Hoboken Crunch??? I to drink coffee at home now, time to cut out that "let's meet for coffee" social crap (and save some serious bucks)

    I go to the library a LOT more. but I still buy tons of books, just less tons.

    I'm giving up makeup and clothes.
    no more new (frivolous) shoes!

  10. Now who's posting like a demon!
    Living frugally is not fun- if you have to decide whether to buy your children an apple or an orange because you can't afford both. (Thankfully those times are past)
    I would miss petrol and heating gas the most.
    I do buy more expensive redbush teabags- can't stand cheap tea..
    I like using cash..allocate an amount for the week- and when it runs out, it runs out! It's amazing how this affects choices in the supermarket.
    There is a woman on TV who is currently trying to live for a year on £1 a day (including clothes, presents, everything)
    Good job blogging is free cos I would miss that too!

  11. Okay, with my loss in the stock market and my entire retirement fund gone, I actually considered porn. Well not really, but briefly!!! Oh yeah...that's me. I can hear me now "Get off me you M(*#$# F(*#*#$. Yup, that'll be a hit!

    What? No, I can't change. Not now. What is, is. I'll work through it without walking the streets. Cuz I swear to God, I'm not wearing those heels. I have limits.

    Okay, what would I give up? Olives from Greece. But would never give up herb goat cheese from Trader Joe's. Yes, I'm a simple woman. I recently learned it's imported from Europe. I thought it was from CA. I'm such a simpleton.

    Love you Kylie!

    Hi Just Bob!

  12. hi all,

    thanks for your comments, i had fun with this one

    bob, how much does a cigar cost?

    take care & save your pennies, eh?


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  14. Sorry about that previous comment. My grammar and spelling were so bad that I couldn't allow them to remain.

    Hi Kylie

    Cigars are a lot like wine... you can spend as much as you want on them. Some range from $3 each all the way up to $40 each for premium cigars. The ones I buy are usually in the $7-$12 range.


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