Have you ever noticed?

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…How everyone is “frugal” in their own way?
I was talking to a friend who reminded me that I am not frugal. “Not at all” she says… and she’s right!
When I think of frugal I think of buying a used car and driving it till it dies. Isn’t that funny that this is what I think of when I think of being frugal? What do you think of?
Anyways, she pointed out that I always buy a new car. Never used. More examples…
1. I don’t have a set budget (the horror)
2. I buy new clothes
3. I eat out all-the-time
4. My house is too big for my family
5. I don’t do my own nails
Here are my thoughts on this:
1. I don’t have a budget because I think of every purchase and every expense before I spend money. I don’t say to myself, I have $500 budgeted for food so I’ll go spend $500. I think through each food item and think “do we need this” and “is this a good price”. I have found that I spend less this way. This is not to say that I have an open ended amount of money to spend on groceries. I know my bank accounts limitations and I spend accordingly.
2. I totally do buy new clothes. BUT, I always buy them on sale with a coupon. I {heart} Ann Taylor Loft and Nordstrom rack. I can’t help it. I don’t go clothes shopping everyday and when I do I apply the “do I need this and is it a good deal” talk to myself first.
3. True, I eat out all the time, but I use coupons as much as possible. I’m a horrible cook and I have to feed my family. My favorite restaurant coupon right now is the $19.99 for a family of 4 at Souplantation {from their email list}. The baby eats for free too! This is not frugal. It would be cheaper to cook at home, but I’m all about saving where I can.
4. My house is too big for us, I guess? We got a good deal on it and plan on staying for a very long time. So I’m okay with having to work hard to pay for it. It’s in a great school district and I like it {there’s room for my stockpile}. It’s a trade off. Work harder to make money, work harder to save money= nicer house.
5. I can’t even paint stick figures so I think it makes sense that doing my own nails would be a stretch for the non-creative side of me. Sorry.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m not frugal. I know this. I’m okay with this. I love to save money and I love to coupon. My goal is to spend where it matters and save where ever I can.

Are you frugal?



Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I love this post! I think of myself as frugal because I use so many coupons and question everything before I purchase it. But like you, I love Ann Taylor Loft, love shoes and love to spoil my husband and myself sometimes! But, I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially if it keeps you happy and sane! Happy shopping! (whether that be in rite aid or Ann Taylor! Hehe)

  • This was a great post! 😀

    1) I don't have a set budget either. I've finally got things working for our household, there is no way I'm changing things! Everything goes on credit cards (*gasp*), but they are paid in full every month. There is enough money to pay all the bills and put money into savings, but I don't have to go insane tracking down every receipt to reconcile a bank account. I go over credit card purchase (online) at least once a week and question anything I'm not sure of. Hubby's ADHD plays into this big time. It works, so this method stays.

    2) I hardly buy clothes for myself. I desperately NEED a few things right now, but can't bring myself to pay good money for them. I'm a nice mix of thrift stores and clearance racks. Clothes shopping usually nauseates me to no end.

    3)We don't eat out often, but when we do – coupons only. Why was it so funny that my birthday dinner was at the restaurant I had the best coupon for? 😉

    4) No comments on this one I guess.

    5) I don't wear makeup, I don't do my nails, and I don't get my hair cut/styled. NOT the girly-girl type one bit. Hubby cuts my hair and I cut the bangs. I used to keep my nails long and perfectly manicured, but got sick of them. Now they're short, perfectly filed, and unpainted. I always did get a kick out of people being jealous of my perfect nails and I never spent money on them!

    Me, frugal? Yes. Maybe a bit too much at times. I don't care – this works for ME! If your lifestyle works for you, go for it! 😀

  • I am not frugal at all other than finding a sale & using coupons!

    I eat out way too much! I work full time & don't have time or energy to cook, plus I eat out while at work.

    I buy Starbucks for myself {& sometimes my boyfriend} several times per week; sometimes more than once per day! $1.50 for a Starbucks Salted Caramel Square…Yum!

    I have no problem going to the Coach outlet & buying a purse or five!

    I LOVE vacations.

    Everyone is different. Luckily, I am at a point in life where my kids are older & I am making more money than I ever have, so it works well for me 🙂

  • @Jessica- Glad to know there are like minded saver/spenders out there! I'm getting more comfortable with me and how I am. I day dream about being a super frugalista, but for now I'm happy to be a super saver instead!

    @Lianne- I bet the ADHD would be extremely hard if there is a set budget. It's good that your system works so well. We've "talked" before about credit cards. I totally agree about the ease of spending on a credit card and then paying one bill every month for it all. I bet I'd be one of those people mad at you and your perfect nails. I can't grow nice looking nails to save my life. I should have mentioned that I stopped wearing fake nails 2 years ago after having them on for 15 years. It was hard for me to fork over the money every other week and I hated the smell… for now it's mani's and pedi's.

    I love how we all can bond over deals but still be okay with our different level's of frugal {or not}!

    PS. How are you doing?

    @Dana- I love your honesty! I too love all of those things, and coupons too!

  • Heather,
    I think we are related. 🙂
    Frugal me? NO way unless its coupons for the drugstore deals and some food items. We eat out ALL the time and we have no set budget at all. I have a closet full of LV bags. Plus, our house is just for two and its big, although I am frugal regarding our electric bill. I hate having to pay $500 a month to run it in the summertime so I'd rather run the fans and be semi-hot. I don't do my nails,feet or eyebrows. I "waste" $52 a week on my eyebrows alone. Stick figures? LOL LOL LOL. I HATE paying pictionary, I SUCK at drawing, everything looks the same when I draw it. I buy new clothes, I cant find myself ever buying them used but that is just me, I have tried thrifting before for home decor but I never find anything. I love Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Ballards and my home is reflective of that style. On the plus side everything I have bought has been from the outlet of these three stores and I have gotten a killer deal on them. I have no budget, its not unlimited but I do know the within reason limit. We do use coupons for food all the time, I think the people at Del Taco are wondering where I get them from all the time, I buy them off of ebay BTW. Plus, we do the 2 for $20 at Chilis more than I would like to admit.

  • @Dusti aka "canyon oaks, lol", I forgot to mention Chili's. We've gone a few times on Tuesdays with the kids eat free coupon. For us it works out to close to $20 for 2 adult meals and then we get the 3 kids meals for free. Love it!

    PS. I think we might have been seperated at birth!

  • Lol, I agree. Sorry about the Canyon Oaks, that is our HOA and I am the VP so I'm always logged into that account and I forget to sign out.

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