Choosing frugal means you have certain areas of your budget that you chose to spend less & others where you spend more.
When we choose to spend more it's because those areas matter to us. It enhances our life to spend money on date night or good quality food.
Sometimes when you choose frugal in the important areas, your going to pay a price latter on, like trying to shingle your house and find it's leaking 6 months later because you missed a crucial step that a professional would have known.
Here are five areas that we don't choose frugal:
1) We don't buy organic foods, because for our family we haven't seen the benefits of spending extra.
We do however, spend more on the items that matter to us like fresh produce, meat and dairy. We always keep staples like apples, bananas, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce in the house. Then when certain fruits or veggies are in season we add to that basics list.
Canned items that we are going to add to a sauce or cook with will be the store brand. Certain items though must be a certain brand, like Heinz ketchup - there really is no other kind!
Since I am shaping my kids life long eating habits, I am aware of what they eat for meals and snacks. While items like nuts/seeds, popcorn, fresh produce and dairy may be more expensive, they eat less because these foods are filling and meet their nutrition needs.
2) While I won't buy the most expensive paper towels and toilet paper, I don't buy the cheapest either.
When you buy the cheapest paper products you just end up needing more to get the job done. If I can see through the toilet paper, it's too thin!
Brands I look for on sale: Royale, Cottennelle, Sponge Towels and Viva. It's very easy to find coupons for these brands as well.
3) We have always been an Apple house when it comes to phones and computers. There are less worries about viruses and they are reliable.
Last year my husband needed to upgrade his phone and the Samsung was a lot cheaper then the new Apple. He tried it for 9 months and finally went back to the iPhone.
He likes that it works seamlessly with the Apple TV, our computers and that new apps are available on the iPhone first.
4) We have both worked in restaurants in the past and that may be why we tip well.
Once I understood that servers have to give part of their tips to the bar, kitchen and hostess - I realized the importance of tipping well for good service. Servers tip out is based on their sales, not on whether they had 5 crappy tables that night and 2 good ones. It's possible that once the server tips out to other staff, they walk away with very little.
5) Even when money was tight and my husband was in school, date night was always part of the budget. It is very easy to cut this out when you feel like the money isn't there. I would give up a lot of things, before my weekly date with the person I have chosen to share life with.
Sometimes we go for lunch or breakfast because it worked in our schedules. We can spend as little as $25 for a nice lunch compared to a dinner out. Remember, divorce is a lot more expensive than weekly date nights!
When you think about choosing frugal, it's about being wise with your money.
You work hard for it, and should work equally hard to keep as much as you can.
I would much rather spend my extra dollars on a week long vacation with my spouse or a fun night out with my kids. Chose what matters the most to you.