When Not To Be Frugal

I love to save money where I can. It is sort of a hobby, even a game, for me to see where I can pinch off dollars. But often that is so I can spend the saved dollars on things we need (or want) to spend money on.

I save money on food or brand new clothes in order to have money in the budget for books (we all have our vices!)

How to determine when to pinch and when to spend?

How much and where you save money is an entirely personal matter. But for me, it was clear that at least two things must be considered. Number one is can this affect mine or my family’s health in some way? As you will see with shoes in a minute, there are times to spend money on good quality items.

Secondly, I avoid cheapness that ends up costing me. I have bought dollar store variety items like kitchen tools that melted or broken the first time I used them. There went a dollar! Then you have to buy a replacement. Do you go back to the dollar store? Sorry, not me.

I have taken a look at all the things we buy and over the years I discovered several things from buying underwear to shoes to paper products to you name it that you just cannot cut corners on. Like? …

Buying footwear

There are some things you just have to buy new and shoes are one of them. OK. I do pick up a new looking pair at the thrift store that has the sole and heel in top shape. But I resist the temptation to buy anything that is even slightly worn. Why? Because my feet are important to me.

Feet are the foundation for your body. My family doctor as well chiropractors over the years have stated that if only people would change their shoes when they get too worn on the bottom, they might save themselves hundreds if not thousands of dollars on health issues involving feet and back. An ill-fitting shoe can spell disaster for the long-term body health – especially back and foot health.

My husband works on his feet all day and finds that he need to visit the doctor more and more often for backaches and pains as the shoes wear. In his case, we need new, quality work shoes every 3 – 4 months. It saves money, in the long run, to spend money on new shoes that fit on a regular basis.

Some shoes wear sooner than others, too. Maybe all you can afford is Walmart type shoes but we find they just don’t last and often don’t support the foot so well. If you like them or if that’s all you can afford, fine. For us, we look for quality shoes when they go on sale at Penney’s or the Big 5 and then buy two or three pairs. Yes, we have a clothing budget set up so that this doesn’t hit our pocketbook in a bad way.


Now, here is one of those subjects that is obviously more personal. Buying underwear for both sexes can be done at a thrift store. I can often find some practically new briefs/shorts or panties even cute lingerie that are worth buying. For those who are more squeamish, remember there is such a thing as laundry detergent and bleach.

But bras, like shoes, are one of those things that sort of get worn. If you find a new looking bra in your favorite brand, by all means, get it. I never find them in my size (honestly). So here again I look for good sales at the local Penney’s or Macy’s and then choose one that fits and buy several.

This subject of when not to be frugal deserves its own category so I will be visiting this subject in the future. I encourage readers to submit their thoughts here too. In future discussions, I will sift through the touchy subject of how often do we really need to see the dentist and do we really need to drink so much milk.

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