A lot of times, I get confused with being cheap. It really unnerves me. No joke. I can’t stand to be told I’m cheap. First of all, it’s not lady like. Second of all, there’s a BIG difference between being cheap and being frugal. HUGE. What’s the difference you may ask? Well, I would be happy to explain.
When you’re frugal, you look for a deal. When you’re cheap, you look for the lowest price. I’m frugal because I search for good products at a low cost. For example, I found an amazing deal on a Dr. Bronner’s set and a Yes to Carrots set at Target. Are these “cheap” items? No way. These gifts sets run at $20/each. Did I get a “frugal” deal on them? Heck yes I did. At $5 each, I would say I scored big. This is the first lesson in being frugal. You search for the best deal, not the lowest price. Keep in mind that value is what matters, not the price.
When you’re frugal, you work to buy well-made brands. When you’re cheap, any brand will do. Now, I don’t say this to offend, it’s just the name of the game. When I say “well-made”, I’m not saying that I buy the most expensive or most popular but I do work to buy the best brand in quality for my family. When you buy cheap, you buy the cheapest item, no matter how many parabens or dyes are in it.
When you’re frugal, you focus on shopping in advance. When you’re cheap, you focus on the here and now. By being frugal, you’re willing to buy something that’s a deal as long as it’s in the budget and you will be using it. When you’re buying cheap, you buy something you need right now that’s the lowest price available. This means that I have a few things stocked up in advance (ie: deodorant, toothpaste) but I got great deals on them rather than waiting on them to run out and paying full price. Does this mean I have 20 tubes of toothpaste? No because that would be wasteful. When I find a good deal and have the space for it and the appropriate amount of time to use it, you better believe I buy it.
When you’re frugal, you plan. When you’re cheap, you just go. I am a planner by nature so it should be no surprise that I’m frugal based on this alone. I search for deals regularly and plan on how and when to get the things I need. I know when certain things are on sale and when the best time is to buy it. When you go the cheap route, you just take it as you go, day by day.
So, what do you think? Are you frugal or cheap? I would think that a lot of us have frugal qualities and can strive towards that. There’s nothing wrong with saving money, especially when it helps the overall quality of your family.
How are you working to be frugal?