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Get the frugal fuzzies

By on October 17, 2009

photo by foooooey

Some activities can make you feel frugal. You might pause and smile because you know you’re doing something that is aligned with your values. That’s the frugal fuzzies, aka the frugal feel-goods. Have you ever had a moment of cheerful frugality? Maybe it’s when you mend an item, creatively use up leftovers, or meet another frugalista while shopping (she’s easy to spot with her frugal binder) and you feel like kindred spirits.
Here are a few inspirational stories from readers.

COOKING AT HOME: I feel really frugal when I have to buy more flour or shortening or sugar, etc., because it means I’ve been making things for my family from scratch instead of buying them pre-made, which is more expensive and not as healthy. — Amy B., New Jersey

WATCHING SALES: I feel frugal when I need an item and it goes on sale for a good price and I have a coupon for it, too. That puts a big smile on my face. — Carol, New Jersey

STOCKED PANTRY: When I run out of something in the kitchen, I walk into the laundry room where my stockpile is and replace it. No wasted gas for a quick trip to the store, either. — Jan, Texas

WARDROBE CHECK: I feel extra frugal whenever I add up the cost of what I’m wearing (often less than $5) or how long I’ve owned certain clothing. And I’m not dressed in rags! — Hannah, e-mail

PACK A SNACK: I feel frugal when I bring a cooler with platters in it and a thermos with glasses when I know my errands are going to take all day. I just find a park or a nice shady spot under a tree somewhere and pull it out, and the kids and I have a picnic. When my husband and I were first married, he thought this was just crazy. Now he’s the one grabbing mason jars and filling them with iced tea and grabbing an apple before he heads out the door for errands. I guess after almost two decades, I’m rubbing off on him. — J. Goettling, Missouri

SECONDHAND CHIC: I took a dress I bought at Goodwill and sized it down to where it fits me perfectly. I’m so excited because I love the dress; it was just too big in the bodice. (The shoulder seam hung down on my arms, and it looked as if I was playing dress-up in my mama’s dress.) So what I did was seam-rip the sleeves, trim one inch all the way around where the sleeve attaches, take in the side seam at the bust about two inches, and then reattach the sleeves. Now it fits perfectly. A custom dress for a Goodwill price!

I also feel frugal when I see my daughter’s cloth diapers drying on the rack in my bathroom. Although my husband probably is slightly annoyed by them, he appreciates that they save us money.

And lastly, I feel frugal when I look at the pile of Goodwill- and yard-sale-purchased Christmas presents (hidden in our bedroom closet) that I’m saving for my children. We’re going to buy them each one or two medium to large presents (something they really want and ask for) and “pad” each child’s Christmas morning with these other smaller (but still nice) toys that I’ve picked up for a song. — Lindsay F., Alabama

What gives you the frugal fuzzies?


  1. Sheryl

    10/17/2009 at 5:39 pm

    I feel great when I have on a designer label outfit on and I paid a few dollars for it. (especially when I get a compliment) I think about what the original person paid and smile knowing that I got a real bargain.
    PS. my best deal (so far) is a Clark Leather Purse (worth over a $100) and I paid $20 for it. It was brand new!

  2. tracy

    10/18/2009 at 5:54 pm

    I feel good when I can use up my leftovers. I live alone and I cook 85% of what I eat from scratch. It can be quite a challenge to use things up before I have to give them to my dogs.

  3. Diana

    10/18/2009 at 10:54 pm

    I feel good when I listen to the ladies I work with talk about how much they spend, and I know I can get by on a lot less and I am still happier than most people.

  4. Mea

    10/19/2009 at 4:29 pm

    I feel great when I can go and buy clothes for my little guy (he’s 1) and I’m usually under $30 for 5 or 6 outfits. I go to a re-sale shop and leave there happy every time. That justifies the $5 a gallon of organic milk for him….

  5. Lynn

    10/22/2009 at 3:10 pm

    I recently had a case of frugal fuzzies: I was substitute teaching at a suburban high school, where the rich kids go. One boy complimented me on my pullover sweater. I smiled and said thanks. Little did he know that I’d bought it for 50 cents at a thrift store, on its sale rack, about four years ago. I certainly have gotten my money’s worth out of this still-fashionable garment!

  6. Amy

    10/25/2009 at 5:37 pm

    When I came out of Costco with about 50 pounds of flour for $13. I was giddy. Then I realized I had to figure out how to store it! LOL. I used 5 gallon buckets with good lids. Matching up store sales with coupons is the other way that I feel the frugal fuzzies. When I get something that’s free or nearly free it’s a nice perk.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..HyVee Mega Monday Sale =-.

  7. Jess

    3/28/2010 at 9:21 pm

    Got that fuzzy feeling, when I walked out of Ross with a pair of $100 running shoes that I got for $7.49 (They just needed new laces which I had at home.)

  8. Carla

    7/27/2010 at 10:56 pm

    I get the frugal fuzzies when I do something absolutely, ridiculously thrifty, like making kids pyjamas out of worn out adult clothes, or removing and reusing zippers or elastic off of old clothes.

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