Am I being overly frugal?

@coffeebreak (17820)
United States
September 8, 2008 7:28pm CST
So I, like many others am watching my pennies - literally. I don't pay full price for anything, and if I dont have a coupon I usually dont buy. So a coupon to Arbys came in the mail. 99¢ for an Arby Melt which is just a roast beef sandwich with cheese. I bought 10. I have "organized" them for "safe keeping" so I have 10 meals. I have homemade things that I will make to supplement the meal like a dish of scalloped potatoes that will make 4 meals from one box. Those cost $2 each and 4 meals per box is 50¢ per meal, plus 99¢ for the sandwich - $1.50 per meal. Both are healthy dishes and I like them both. So... am I being overly frugal or saving money in a common sense/healthy way?
4 people like this
23 responses
@austere (2814)
• Philippines
9 Sep 08
well, i think not.. i am like you too when i am under budget constraints.. not that i dont have money, but i try to set aside for my savings first before budget what's let for my food and all. i dont really know how to save money so i use this technique to be able to really save. being frugal if you ask me is not a bad thing..a s long as you are still eating healthy and the right foods.. doesnt matter if it's cheap.. what's important is that we are eating the kind kinds of food anyways.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Thanks,. I work to save money in everything I do. I've been without. All this started with low income and 2 kids and trying to stretch the low income to make ends meet. I can't afford organic and all those other "healthy" foods. But, I am always reading about healthy/non healthy foods and I have never seen anythign about roast beef being unhealthy! Then it just occured to me - I can't afford roast beef at the store, so since this discussion, I think I did pretty well - roast beef for a buck! A very healthy savings!
@austere (2814)
• Philippines
9 Sep 08
that's absolutely right.. i am here to earn extra income myslef.. i am not rich.. i am earning a quite decent pay from my work, but i ahve responsibilities.. younger siblings to send to school, groceries and bills.. guess i best understand your situation.. so it's not being frugal but being smart with life if i call it! cheers and see you around! happy mylotting my friend!
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I like how you put that -- it isn't being frugal, it is being smart! Yes I think that is what I will call myself - smart via frugal!
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
17 Sep 08
MY friend people are as frugal as they need or want to be. I don't think that there is anything wrong with your way.It works for you, it saves you money and it's something you like so what can be wrong with it. I have to say that I assume you are freezing them when you get home, because I don't know about freshness after the second day, but as I say, if it works for you then how can it be overly anything? Personally there are something I won't overstock on just because I don't like them after a few days, but other than that I do it whenever I have the chance. I don't use coupons though, because I either forget to take them with me, or the ones I get are for things that I don't use or like. But I look for prices and choose the ones that make more sense to me. As I said, people do what works for them, there is no right or wrong.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
20 Sep 08
Yep - what works for you is the only way we can make it work, isn't? I do coupons - used to do them big time, but now, with just me, I don't use them as much but haven't missed to much, as i see that years ago when I did use them they were for 50¢¢ or more on a product, now they are 25¢ off 3-4 items - like you have to buy 4 in order to get the 25¢ off. Often not at all worth it as usually another brand is cheaper without a coupon!
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
20 Sep 08
yep, the coupon thing most of the times = at least now - isn't much of a deal. I do use in store coupons if I'm buying that particular product and there is a coupon for it, but not the other way around - meaning having a coupon and look for the product to buy. I find that a lot of people think they are saving , but if they didn't have the coupon for that particular item they wouldn't buy it in the first place, so what kind of saving is that ? :)
20 Sep 08
Cant see that you are being overly frugal,no way.I save as much as I can on the grocery shopping,and if I go to the supermarket,then I will always have a nosey around to see if there are any reductions,sometimes there are some good ones,meat and deli with around thirty percent off,thats a good saving,and as im going to use them on the same day,it doesnt make any difference to me.Being thrifty is a way of life for me.
• United States
9 Sep 08
woah.... now thats planning. I wouldn't go that far over saving money but its a life choice. besides I don't think that anyone can go overboard when it comes to saving money. the only thing is why? I mean I'm sure we all have reasons to save our money, take me for example i go chep cuase i wantto buy other things to make my life more comfortable to me, and because i have a low income. so as long as you can justify your means with an answer that YOU think is accpetable then, well, youre in the clear. so no you are not being overly frugal with your money...
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Yeah, I think, thanks to this discussion, I am smart, not frugal. I am saving for retirement. I am low income, always have been and never had the opportunity to do a 401k or other retirement plan. NO, I won't retire wealthy and what I do have won't last to many years, but its a start and that is all I can ask for.
@missybear (11395)
• United States
9 Sep 08
there is nothing wrong with trying to save money. i buy whatever is cheap, if i can save a nickel on something i will.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Yep, I pick up those pennys in the parking lot all the time - that is when I am alone. If I have my grand daughaters with me, they often beat me to it or I show them and let them get it! Got to start learning to save money and not waste it at an early age!!!
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
9 Sep 08
There is totally nothing wrong with being frugal. I've been described as being frugal and some people think its a virtue. Wasting things is never a way to go and the practice of frugality can be essential to some peoples lives. This is likely to be a good habit you should continue. My antecedents were like that.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I appreciate that! I think I am going to change my analogy to "being smart" instead of "being frugal". Bottom line - it is smart to save money and not throw it out the window!!!
• United States
9 Sep 08
You're not frugal. Got to do what you got to do. I keep coupons in the car so I have them with me or I decide where to go depending on what coupons I have. It's harder when you have kids and a hubby that are not as saving conscious.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
It is so much easier and more sucessful if all participate in the coupon game, but like you, my husband refuses to deal with them. The main half of why we made it through on such low income, was because I did the couponing, scrimping, saving, economizing - cause my husband never did! I at first thought I was saving money - then realized I was only accomodating the finances so he could buy name brand and the best of what he wanted. But.. my daughter picked up (finally!) the money saver routine of coupons and it really helps her and she and her daughter can eat rather cheaply. I sent her a link to places in our town where kids eat for a buck or less at certain resturants in our town. She keeps that list in her car and on her fridge door!
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I think that you done a good thing and a very smart decision. I believe that everyone has to be a little more frugal these days and I think that we have to do whatever it takes to save money. I know that my family and I use to eat out some but we can't afford to do it much anymore.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Resturant prices are so high, always have been so we dont go much. Plus that blaring loud music that all resturants feel the need to blast - can't even hear your friend speaking to you! I think fast food places have done really well at offering their trade name not so healthy foods, but adding to that rather healthy foods as a choice too! And putting a little of everything on the dollar menu!
@jmhall (143)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Is there really such a thing as being too frugal. I mean I am not going to go through some elses garbage for food but have pick up stuff that was left on the corner for the taking. I have gotten two extra car seats for my kids that really just needed to be cleaned and a large toy box. I think buying stuff in bulk and freezing or storing it for later use is a great way to save. I try to buy things when they are discounted or I have a coupon that will make then less expensive. I will also almost always use the store brand of something if it is available. It is usually about half the price and taste just about the same. In some cases I have found that I even like the store brand better. I even wait for clothing to go on clearence alot of time before I will buy it. I have 3 kids to feed and cloth so every little bit helps. Why else would we spend so much of our time writing response here:) Not that I don't like the company and reading some of the response but lets be serious.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
KNow exactly what you are saying! Been there done that with 2 kids and did the same things. Good luck to you and if you'd like to read my blog (in my profile) I have written all my ways of saving I did throughout the years just to make ends meet, now it is for retirement. I just did it to make ends meet, but later realized people can throw away money they didn't even know they had! Often store brand are just as good - not like every store has their own food crops! They buy them from the same farmers! Only difference I have seen is in canned corn - Green Giant Niblets are the best - just like off the cob! Others, just don't have that flavor. But green beans are the same throughout.
@drannhh (15238)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I think you are doing great, although I would be a LOT happier with Arbys if they had whole grain buns on those sandwiches. As frugal as I am, I would pay a little extra for that. Also, I'd like to hear what vegetable you would serve with that meal! A frugal vegetable, to be sure. Another thing about the Arbys is they are really salty. Now to cut down the salt in the scalloped potatoes, I start with the box mix, but then slice in an equal amount of my own plain cooked potatoes along with a little oatmeal ground into flour, of course, and more milk. In expensive veggies that I might serve with that would be broiled grey squash, or boiled cabbage, roasted onion, or maybe even cooked celery. I always thought of celery as something you just include with other vegetables or salad until I was served cooked celery presented alone as the vegetable side dish in a meal at one of the Hilton Hotels. It was delicious and ever since I have been occasionally serving celery as the main vegetable.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Okay drannhh - you got me! I am not a big vege person! I admit it! Just Corn, carrots and some green beans. Lot of salad tho! Good for you for being more "vege inclined"! As kids we were told to sit and eat till our plates were clean - even if it went into the evening. The pea and beets and hominy were just to disgusting for a kid to eat (at least us kids!) and we sat there and didn't eat until they finally just said go to bed. So I have a bed relationship with veges! At least that is my story and Im sticking to it!! Yes the Arbys ar a bit salty, but I never add any. ANd usually when I cook things like the potatoes, it always says add salt and I never do. I have watched all the cooking shows and they add extra salt out of their cute little dish to everything ever made. I know it adds flavor, but I'd rather add it as I eat it, that way I get just enough without getting to much and those things that taste fine without salt, I can eat without it. SUfice to say, next time I eat one of my Arbys Roast beefs I will think of you!
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
9 Sep 08
I was taught by my parents that if we want to get on in life as having your own home or just having things you want later on, you have to work for it and save on things instead of just letting your hard earnt money just fritter away. My mother used to walk miles to buy specials for us kids, I see some of my friends just wasting their money and I worry for them as they will never really be ahead, I can't see the point in working hard for your money and then just wasting if for the sake of a little more thought on how you spend your money.
@lilybug (21147)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I do not think you are being too frugal. I think you are playing it smart. The way prices are jumping on everything lately it makes sense to be as frugal as possible. You should teach me a thing or two. I am terrible about buying buying buying at the grocery store.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I learned how stricktly out of necesssity and the need to make ends meet. I have a blog all about my ways to save money - I have found people are realy surprised when they look at things they do and realize how much money they throw away and don't even realize they had the money in the first place. My blog is on my profile if you are interested. I value my experience very much. Now I am saving for retirement as when I was working, 401's and retirement things were not availabe. Wouldn't have been able to contribute had they been, but point is, now I have to savea for that. Guess it's a life long struggle! At least I cn eat roast beef tho!!!
@lilybug (21147)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I am wandering over to check it out right now. I had a 401K that I rolled over when I left a job about 2 years ago. It does not have much in it right now, but I am only 30 so maybe it will get a little bigger before I retire. Enjoy your roast beef! I love Arby's.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Just keep rolling it over!! You'll have a good amount come retirement age!
• United States
9 Sep 08
I'm not sure I would have done that. That seems kind of out there to me. And as someone else mentioned, it's just not that healthy really to eat nothing but those sandwiches all week even if you do supplement them with other foods. Sure, it's cheap but is being cheap really worth your health sometimes?
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I properly wrapped 8 of them and froze them. I didn't mean I was eating them all this week! I treat myself to fast food once a week. That is all and only then if a coupon. I do eat healthy, but I can't afford to buy roast beef at the store.
• United States
9 Sep 08
Ah ok. That makes more sense. Thanks for clairifying!
@pmenard (139)
9 Sep 08
I don't think that saving money is the issue. I think that you need to eat something besides Arby's. 10 Arby's sandwhiches in one week a diet does not make. There are better, more healthy things you can do. For example, when you drink a glass of juice, cut it with water. This tip will make your juice last twice as long. Do not cut citrus juices like grapefruit or orange with water- berry juices or apple juices are perfect. Another way to save money with food is to make sure that you do not waste. I learned this when I was living by myself. If your bread goes moldy before you eat it all, you have to start freezing. Freeze your bread and keep a few slices thawed - your bread will never go bad.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I said I "organized" them, meaning I wrapped them properly and did freeze 8 of them. I do eat healthy - this is my treat to my self once a week - I eat at a fast food once a week.
@pmenard (139)
9 Sep 08
I'm just sayin
@Trace86 (5033)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I think that is pretty smart, as long as you don't eat them all on consecutive days! LOL Spread them out over a few weeks and definitely squeeze in some vegies too. What else can you intersperse to make it more varied and less monotonous?
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I wrapped and froze 8 of them. No, I won't be eating them all this week! I treat myself to fast food once a week. These are healthy - I can't afford roast beef at the store and this is also a "something in a pinch" thing I can toss in the nuker on a busy day. I don't think I could handle 10 of them in one week!
• United States
9 Sep 08
I don't think anyone can be too frugal. I love frugal people. I'll do anything to avoid going to the grocery store at all. Everything is so expensive, especially healthy foods. I never go to malls or Wallmart. I shop at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. I think what you did is great.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Thanks I appreciate that. Sometimes I wonder to much I guess! Fast food is a treat to me. And on sale, just makes it better! I froze them and am set for a few weeks! I do shop Walmart, but only on the sales. I get lot of food items for a buck - 3 times that in the grocery! Target used to be good, but lately, they haven't had much to mention. I love yard sales. Went this summer to look for them and seldom found any! Which was odd - I have a regular route and every summer there is always a bunch. I used to do the thrift stores, and still would be around here they got expensive so they really aren't much cheaper than Walmart or Target
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
Hehe I think you are pretty smart my friend. I like your way of thinking. The only thing is you would have to freeze the sandwiches because they wouldn't last more than a couple days. But the idea is great. The scalloped potatoes aren't exactly healthy but since you are eating so little of them I am sure it won;t hurt you. The bread on the sandwich isn't exactly healthy either since it is a carb but if you got it on whole wheat bread then it would be better. But financially it was very smart of you. Alrighty then, talk to you later my friend, Have a good mylotting day, Chris
@cutepenguin (6455)
• Canada
22 Sep 08
If this is something that you like, why not? If you didn't like Arby's sandwiches, it would be a bit excessive. But you've just found a way to eat what you like while saving money.
@vanities (11401)
• Davao, Philippines
10 Sep 08
i guess not really that frugal but just using your common sense and be able to save out of that...if that coupon thing is common here in our place i will surely do the same and still healthy..meaning nothing being is compromise ..
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
9 Sep 08
As long as you're going to actually eat them and you are not turning into one of those hording people you see on Oprah who have 12 full fridges full of rotting food. They say"but it was all on sale". If saving money is all you think about than money is your god. beware. If not, You Go, Girl!l0l