Frugal vs Fast

I mentioned on one of my posts recently something about how you can either be frugal or be fast. I don’t know, maybe it was a month ago already. The calendar seems to be leaping forward in two day increments, at least, nowadays. Just yesterday it was Saturday. I swear. But the calendar says four days have passed. Is that why I feel 27 but look…somewhat older?

I’m nothing if not frugal. There are precious few things that I will spend full dollar on, and even then I’ve got to be in the right mood. Like when I recently paid full price for the shoes that I’m going to be wearing to a wedding in April. On the beach. Oh yeah. But I’m actually saving money because I’m wearing a dress that I already own and I bought jewelry on clearance. That’s my logic.

So, frugal I am and therefore I’ve noticed that I cannot make a decision about things without first consulting at least twelve different websites or visiting six different stores all the while trying to break records on how cheap I can get something. Why pay full price when I know full well that it can be found for cheaper? I try to beat William Shatner at his own game. And I’ve done it too. Just call me the original Priceline negotiator. Try $79 a night for a four bedroom house in Orlando. Try $25 for a pair of $220 pants. Make that three pairs. I go cheap or go home.

But all that internet research and store hopping, while fun, takes up time. I’m realizing that time is more and more of a precious commodity these days. Before kids I could spend a week online…nonstop…without batting an eye. Well, I would blink or else my eyeballs would be raisins but you get the point. I could spend innumerable hours finding the best deal on whatever it was we were searching for. I’m sad now because I’m losing the rationality to do that. Apparently people need fed, clothes need washed, and the house needs cleaned. Oh, I guess the cats need their litter changed too. See what all I have to do that now takes up precious time? It gets harder and harder to justify the hours of searching it takes to find the truly good deals.

I wish I could just say, “Hmm, we want to take a vacation. I’m going to go to this one website and do it all from there. Without researching. Case closed. Honey we’re going to the mountains and it’s going to cost you a kidney. Mk?” It was hard for me to even type that. Even now I’m wanting to hit the delete key. I would have to check just one more site to see if per chance that elusive deal would strike on the second go around. I’m starting to sound like a gambler.

I guess I need to mentally acknowledge which situations actually need the detailed research and deal finding. I mean really, does finding the best deal on shoes really matter? In that regard I’m making small breakthroughs. Those wedding shoes I bought full price the other day? I went into Dillards, found the jewelry (on clearance), went to the shoe section, told the shoe lady what I was looking for and bought the first pair she showed me. It was kind of exhilarating. I mean, I hadn’t even looked at another pair, much less another store! And I’m living to tell about it. But I guess you’d have to take my shopping logic into account (see above).

For now I am not going to quit cold turkey. It is the best feeling to find big deals, like the four bedroom house for the price of a drive-by motel. But I’m also realizing that some of my best deals I have just stumbled upon. Like the $145 pair of shoes that I got for $18.

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13 thoughts on “Frugal vs Fast

  1. We’re a lot alike in that respect. I don’t mind spending more money on something, but NOT if it’s THE EXACT SAME THING.

    That drives me crazy whether it’s a $300 suit or a $1.19 can of green beans, if I see it cheaper somewhere other than I bought it, I go ballistic. (Like you, I rationalize that the savings could be spent on something else!)

  2. Yes… being frugal (or as I call myself – “cheap”) does require a lot of time. It is definitely not worth it sometimes. But I think the trill of the chase is exciting for me… even for a $1 saved. Haha! Crazy.

  3. Honey, sweetie, (remember, I’m from Alabama, I can say those endearing words to another female)…SISTER! I am soooo glad to have you in my life! You must must MUST read the book series, Confessions of a Shopaholic! You would get the biggest kick out of it…she is sooo NOT frugal….soooo LIKE ME! I struggle with being frugal (that could be a tongue twister), and am so glad I am surrounded by women who are and lead by their example! So, next time you wanna NOT be frugal, call me….when I WANT to be (or in my case NEED to be), I’ll call you!….expect my call later! 😉

  4. EmmyJMommy, we’re headed down to P’cola for the weekend so I stopped at the BX to get a couple of things. I was going to get a magazine but what did my eyes spy? Confessions Of A Shopaholic. I am now the hopefully proud owner of it and hope to get it all read this weekend. I’m sure we’ve got the same tastes.

  5. It is hard to find the right balance of frugality and efficiency. I am struggling with this right now too. I used to drive to three different grocery stores to get the good deals . . . but I am not sure the few dollars I save is really worth the time I put into the deal. But maybe it is- we all just have to decide for ourselves, I guess.

  6. Someone mentioned the thrill of the chase…and I could not agree more! I pride myself od being able to say these could have cost me x$’s and instead I got them for y$’s. But the even better thrill would be if the amount saved went into a savings account!

  7. First, can you share your sites with me? Please and thank you!
    Secondly, it is nice to just throw research to wind and have fun getting what you need instead of strategically treating shopping as a thing to be done clinically and business like.
    Do the rule of wearing it the number of times that you paid for it and boy will you get your money’s worth.
    -r

  8. We have a saying in consulting world – “good, fast, or cheap – pick two.”

    I’ve started to have the same problem and I’ve had to really work hard to overcome my OCD tendency to just keep looking for cheaper and cheaper until my head is spinning.

    So what I’m taking from your experience and mine is that next time we hit NYC we’ll probably just spend the whole time in Sephora or wandering around Times Square. =)

  9. Definitely agree with heather’s 2 out of 3 theory.
    It’s a decision that I don’t make lightly when I don’t do the frugal thing. But, if you don’t have time, then you don’t have time!

    Thanks for the giggles today

  10. My husband’s always reminding me about the value of my time. I like to think that I got a “good deal” when I make a big purchase (or, honestly, even a small purchase!), but if researching a sale on orange juice takes too much time, I lose on that end.

    Good post with plenty to think about!

  11. Hi – I found this website by mistake. I was searching in Bing for beach suggestions for my family trip when I came upon your site, I have to say your website is pretty cool I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time this minute to totally read your entire site but I have bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feed. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a awesome site.

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