I’ve been called a coupon queen, a smart shopper, a penny pincher, frugal, cheap and just about everything else you can think of for someone with as many money saving ideas as I have. Most of it is completely true. I carefully watch our budget. I clip coupons for groceries, clothes, dining and more. I work hard to save money on everything in our lives.
That said, there are some things even I will never do.
- Wash & reuse plastic baggies. This does not apply to sturdy, fabric baggies designed to wash & reuse. Those, I’m all about! If I’m using a throw away baggie, it was probably because I’m heading somewhere I won’t be able to safely wash containers or using it for something sticky & gross. I’ll not be reusing something intended for the garbage.
- Skip flushing the toilet. “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.” (Um, ew.) Maybe this works for some people, but I can’t even stomach the thought. Nothing irritates me more than walking into the girls’ bathroom to see someone forgot to flush. No way I leave it there on purpose.
- Eliminate (insert current must-have here). Sure it saves money to go with out, but some things aren’t worth the sacrifice to my lifestyle. (Examples right now include date night, girls’ night and paying a mother’s helper for Lorelai while I work.) Instead, I find ways to work it into my budget by choosing lower cost versions.
- Sleep in the airport, instead of a hotel. While there may be an entire site dedicated to helping “the budget traveler” find the best airports for sleeping, I’ll take my chances with Priceline or Hotwire, thank you very much.
I posed the question Where do you draw the line at saving money?” on Facebook and Twitter. Here are your answers:
- When quality or too much time is sacrificed. This excellent point came from our friends at Fabulous Savings. I am a big believer in quality over cost. If you save money on poor quality but have to replace it sooner, did you save any money at all?
- When there’s no room in the budget for fun. Dramatic Mommy hates being a ‘no’ mom more often than a ‘yes’ mom. Of course, there’s always room in the budget for free entertainment! So far this month we have enjoyed a water park, bowling, movies and the beach. All for free!
- “Shop” from the dumpster behind the grocery store. Missie has actually seen this happen—by people who are not homeless. I’m all for a good deal, and I’m well aware you can get something for nothing, but I’d have to agree this takes it a little too far.
- Sacrifice quality time with family and friends purely because of cost. I think Corrin was specifically talking about those who actually have money in the bank when invited to dinner, but choose not to spend it. Of course, whether you have the money or not, if you don’t want to go out to spend time with friends, there are plenty of frugal ways to have a good time. Invite your friends over for board games, organize a pitch in or catch a free concert at the park.
What do you think? How frugal is too frugal? Where do you draw the line at saving money?