Are You Cheap, Or Frugal?

Discussion in Shopping Discussion started by Diane Lane • Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I like to think of myself as frugal, rather than cheap. To me, someone who is cheap always takes buys the cheapest item, or does without, over-borrows from others, often without regard to reciprocity, and is the type of person who would skip tipping servers. In contrast, someone who is frugal searches out bargains, and buys the best quality for the money s/he's willing to spend.

    How do you define cheap and frugal, and which do you consider yourself to be?
     
  2. cocolgooh

    cocolgoohActive Member

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    I'm probably a mixture between the two. I do usually buy the cheapest thing, but if it's for someone else then I'll spend more. I often do without too, though. I'd rather use my money for things like bills than use credit cards, etc, so I do without to avoid needing credit cards. I always seek out bargains and check the clearance sections of stores to make sure I'm not missing out on anything that's a good deal that I need though.
     
  3. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    You sound more frugal and on a tight budget (similar to my situation) than cheap to me @cocolgooh@cocolgooh. Someone who's cheap wouldn't spend more on something for another person, they'd simply go for the lowest cost item, or would spend less on others than themselves.

    I had a wealthy uncle who was very cheap. They would come over to our house or go to other family members' homes and eat well, then when we went there, we'd have a nice meal that my aunt cooked, but dessert would be prepackaged Twinkies and other similar items from the day old store. I know it probably drove my aunt nuts, but he had her on a very tight budget, and those are the only treats he'd allow.
     
  4. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I consider myself frugal. I do choice what I want to speed my money on and what I will not spend money on. I don't care to go out to eat very often not so much because of the cost as much as I can not eat at lot of the stuff at the restaurants without issues and refuse to spend the money on stuff I can not eat.

    I go to the second hand store to purchase items for the house or clothes because I think we as a nation throw out too much stuff using up the natural resources of the earth. If I can re-purpose an item and save natural resources I have not problem with that. I often find brand new items at the second hand store at a great price.
     
  5. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina IsobeWell-Known Member

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    I'm frugal. I'll always wait for the ads that come weekly and watch for sales always. Clip coupons from the newspaper, get accounts where you can see their ads and clip in-store coupons, watch isles for in-store deals too. I like to get fresh vegetables, so I go to the open markets instead of the supermarket because it's cost is less and it's so super fresh lasting longer too. Cheap is a person who has money and doesn't spend it even on themselves where as frugal is a person who economizes wherever they can.
     
  6. Briannagodess

    BriannagodessActive Member

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    Hmm... I don't know if I'm frugal or cheap honestly. Like just this last month, I was a godmother to a baby girl and I opted to buy a gift for her. I chose just ordinary and non-branded clothes because she will just outgrow them, that's my reasoning. But my husband opted to give them money, a lot more than what I would give actually, lol. Since he already gave the money, I'm the one in charge of the gift. I don't know... Do you guys buy branded clothes for other babies?

    Anyway, another reason that I might be frugal bordering on cheap is that I don't spend much on skin care and cosmetics. Yes, I like buying them but I always choose the cheaper ones. I don't like spending too much money on them because I rarely use them and even if I do, it's only for a short time. I am at home most of the time so there's no need for makeup. I like affordable but good quality cosmetics and skin care products.

    I also have this habit of scouring the aisle for the cheapest prices. If it's just tissue for the house, I'd buy the cheapest brand. If it's just detergent, I'd buy the cheapest brand as well.

    The only thing I don't scrimp on too much is food. I love good food and so I also like my son having that experience. We tend to eat out at restaurants at least once a week. And even with grocery shopping for food, I look for brands that are reliable despite the price tag.
     
  7. JosieP

    JosiePWell-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what I am, other than stubborn lol. I really despise giving certain people/companies my money and contributing to the problems they cause. I don't actually go out of my way to save money.. my lifestyle just happens to be super inexpensive. While trying to better my health, the environment, lives of others, save space etc we spend less and less. I'm more healthful and less-is-more rather than cheap or frugal I suppose. It just works out..
     
  8. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlandsActive Member

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    Well, I will never borrow things from others if I know that it is going to cost them money just so that I can save a little bit myself. I also won't miss out on life experiences because I'm trying to save money. I make sure that I have things when I want them, I'm just sensible with what I buy. I don't agree with people who buy clearly poor quality items to save money, because this is having an impact on their life experience. But there are many things that are cheaper and just as high quality, and that is what I will try my best to purchase when I can.
     
  9. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I consider myself both depending on the situation. I differentiate both terms mostly by level and I think cheap is mostly just an extreme version of frugality with maybe a hint of being unreasonable or sometimes even impractical. Sometimes if I feel like I'm doing the correct thing in saving money then I'd say that would be my frugal decisions but I admit that sometimes I tend to become just cheap for the sake of it but I don't mind because I also allow myself to splurge from time to time which is why I don't feel guilty when I'm being cheap.
     
  10. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    Frugal or budget-conscious would be the appropriate description for people who are careful with the expenses but know how to have fun when the occasion calls for it. In other words, they don't deprive themselves but they always have a budget for every undertaking. I believe I'm on the same boat. I'm frugal but that does not mean I go for cheap and underquality items.
     
  11. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    I don't know how to classify myself. Sometimes I overspend and sometimes I am frugal. I remember our first trip to Hongkong. It was a packaged tour and we were booked in a good hotel, the Guangdong Hotel. But my sense of frugality prevailed to which my husband agreed. For our first dinner, we bought dimsum from the street vendor and ate it inside the hotel room. We also bought drinks from the convenience store. But on our last night, we both agreed to a fine dining so we had lamb chops and authentic Chinese noodles. Our last lunch was also in a classy restaurant.

    So in what category do I fall?
     
  12. ThesePretzels

    ThesePretzelsMember

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    I'm cheap, but after that description yikes. I'll tip and I search out bargains, but I'm not afraid to borrow or go without if it'll save me. There are some things, like shoe shopping where the cheapest pair always gets picked, that's cheap behavior is it not? But I haven't worn anything but Nike, Adidas, and Levi's, for years. As those are my preferred brands I don't think picking the absolute cheapest option always negatively effects the quality of my experience.
     
  13. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    Cheap is those people who buy anything that costs the least thinking they are getting a good deal but fail to see the bigger picture. Replacing broken things ends up being more costly in the end.

    Though I look for deals and I'm always looking for more ways to save, will always look for best value, quality and ways to get all that at the lowest price.
     
  14. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    I'm definitely not cheap, so I lean more towards being frugal because of the tight budget I'm currently on. I'm very careful with my money and always shop smart. I don't necessarily seek out promotions and coupons, but I draw a budget and stick rigidly to it. I also live within my means. As a rule, I don't lend out or borrow money from friends and family. I recently made the mistake of taking pity on someone at work because he was in a right bind. I broke my own rule and lent him some money, and now regret doing that because he's basically going to great lengths to avoid me. Luckily, it wasn't a huge amount.
     
  15. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    I'm not cheap, but frugal is when you know the value of something whereas cheap people don't care about quality but quantity usually.

    Being frugal is sensible, but not to the point where you make your life miserable or look cheap. I mean when you buy a gift don't be cheap, or when you buy a meal for someone either. I had an ex who refused to buy me chocolates on Valentine's Day, so I bought some myself. That was him being cheap, and he then had the cheek to eat half the box. The relationship ended within 24 hours, I could not be someone so cheap.
     
  16. PennyPincher

    PennyPincherMember

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    I am frugal when I have extra money and cheap when I don't! LOL I do not think there is a huge difference between the two when it comes to me. I always try to find the best bargains because it seems like money is tight more often than not. However, there are some items that I simply will not budge on. Certain medications that I know work better than others and certain foods that taste significantly better than the generics, I will always buy the brand name.
     
  17. acheno84

    acheno84Member

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    I'm definitely cheap, but I don't allow myself to go without. If I want something, I will be frugal until I have enough saved up for said item, and then I will wait for it to go on sale or I will buy it during a time frame when I have a coupon that can be applied to the transaction. I have a pretty good idea as to what food items can be store bought (never ever will I buy store brand cheese again). I have found that some off brand medications can actually work better than the expensive stuff. I use apps to help bring my price even lower. I do what I can to save since I'm on a super tight budget, but I like to have nice things as well.
     
  18. davos

    davosActive Member

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    I'm frugal. I will look forward for the best deal but I'm not that stingy to buy cheap bad quality crap that makes you life miserable rather than improve it (yes, chinese crappy headphones, I'm looking to you). When I buy I pay the price for good quality that suits my needs, but I don't buy very often. To summarize, I buy a few things but pay good money for them.
     
  19. DiscountDreams

    DiscountDreamsActive Member

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    I'm financially efficient. I don't care how much it costs, I care about what I get out of it dollar for dollar. I'll spend double if it's worth it, triple if it's worth it, half if it isn't. Generally.
     
  20. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    I think I'm selectively cheap, frugal and spendthrift all at the same time. I can be cheap when I'm trying to save money, but whenever I do have money to spend, I can be a spendthrift. I usually don't skimp on electronic purchases and other material items that I want.
     
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