Friday, 14 December 2012

Frugal Friday

 When being Frugal simply isn't worth it.

In this financial climate when the majority of us, if we are prepared to admit it, are looking for ways to cut back our outgoings, the awkward question does pop up of 

" Is it worth it this time? "

Is there a time when it is better to spend more on something ,when you are trying to be frugal with your hard earned cash?

My answer would be a resounding Yes.

There are times when being frugal for the sake of being frugal is not worth it in the long run. Some products, whether it be food, clothing, beauty or household goods are worth investing in. Buying the cheapest product in some cases will not serve your budget well in the long run. If products are not well made they break or wear out sooner, hence costing as much or more. 


In my house, if I go too cheap, I find I begin to compromise on the content of foods and that for me, with a growing family and our health being important, is not worth the sacrifice. I find that if I buy cuts of meat that are too cheap , certain members of my family will not eat them, so there is more waste, again not a good use of my money. I try to take the middle ground, cutting costs where it is not noticed so much. I try not to waste anything. If fresh foods, such as veg are coming to the end of their life I will make a soup or cut them up and freeze them. The joys of freezing food means that you can use up most of what you purchase, freeze it into meals, soup or veg portions and it doesn't sit in the fridge or larder going off. I have an organic veg box every other week - I squeeze every last drop out of this box! The veg is just so tasty . I will top up on some things, but my OH loves his veg and is particular about what we use. So out of respect for him I try and make this an area not to cut my costs. It is about finding that balance of tasty, healthy food at a reasonable price.

yeg box


Cheap clothing is not always the best buy. I will always look at the fabric, stitching and quality of what I am buying and make a decision if it will last, or whether I should spend more on a substantial, longer lasting item. I knew when I purchased my Primark coat that the belt was not of a good standard. Within a day the metal surrounds on the belt holes had worked loose. However, I had taken this into consideration when buying it and the rest of the coat seemed well made so I got it. Sue from Susie So So had the fab idea of using a black leather belt instead. I'm going to do a post to get you to help me to decide the best belt and get Susie to give her opinion ( shes good at these things!! Check out her blog!) I have tried a few already and someone told me today they assumed the coat was designer! However, I do think if you are not convinced about the quality then go up a price bracket or label and compare the quality. Of course higher price does not always guarantee better quality. I also think that the joy and pleasure you get from saving up for a certain coveted, designer item and then buying it can never be underestimated. If you are like me, then that item will get cherished for years and earns it's keep ten times over. 

Primark Coat


You can save in this area, but it will be a case of trying products out to see what suits you . You will need to look at the content of products and make decisions on where you are happy to compromise. This is an area where I mix and match again. I find if I buy facial products that are too cheap , my skin will react. I have found that I can compromise on some styling products with my hair, but when it comes to shampoo and conditioner I tend to stick with a good branded product. At the moment I am in love with the Liz Earle shampoo and conditioner for dry hair. I do cut costs on items such as shower gels and soap and look for offers and deals on family products that we all use. When it comes to make up items, I do love high end products, but will admit there are alternatives for a fraction of the price if you shop around, that are almost as good. A treat every now and then is lovely, but 'keep it in check' is now my motto, having been a product junkie for many a year.

'One' of my make up bags!

House Goods

Ok , so this is where I may need help. By house goods I mean things like washing machines, driers, cookers, fridges, furniture etc. I often buy our kids furniture from ikea, but know it will be replaced after about 5 years. I got a good white chest of drawers from there 4 years ago which is still going strong, but wasn't cheap by ikea prices. I do think you get what you pay for around the home. Our sofa was expensive and is 15 years old and still immaculate. However, our fridge was a cheap one and needed replacing after 6. I'm on my 4th hand held mixer in 3 years - would a 'kitchen aid' have been halfway paid for with that and still be going strong? However, the way I do cut costs on furniture is to go to second hand stores and auctions and buy solid wood furniture for barely anything and revamp it ( when I have the time) . Maybe it is similar to clothing? It is a case of examining the quality and going from there!?

This is a toy chest that cost me £10 from a local junk yard. Cost me £3 for the fabric and I used paint I had in the garage. It is a beautiful toy chest for my little girls room!

So how do you decide when to save and when to splurge?




  1. We have the same veg box once a fortnight too - spooky! Food is one big area I look into. For years we were in the food business so it's sort of ingrained in me and I can't bear wasting food. I try and plan our meals for the week and I also make soups and freeze any veg I have which might be on its way out.

    1. It sure is and I love seeing what we get each fortnight and then picking recipes I perhaps wouldn't have thought of so that I can use a scrummy veg which I wouldn't necessarily have bought if I was in the supermarket.

  2. Just seen your tweet Claire - hope everything is ok and you manage to get the medication before Monday - how ridiculous.
    I also take the middle ground with food and try to freeze as much as possible - hate throwing stuff out. Unfortunately my skin seems to love my expensive Emma Hardie balm but as I'm getting older now I figure I can treat myself to a good cleanser - plus it lasts for ages anyway! Although I do love high-end make up items occasionally I agree you can find pretty good dupes on the high street for much less so tend to go with this. We bought a good leather sofa suite from M&S years and years ago and it's still going strong so that was a really good investment. Right - this is turning into a complete ramble (do you reckon if we ever get together for that coffee we'll come away with hoarse throats from rabbiting?!). Hope your little one feels better over the weekend. Take care xx

    1. Thanks Jenny - he's going to be fine now as we have the steroids as well as the antibiotics and inhalers!! Silly receptionist - I got a bit cross with her - oops!

  3. Hope your little boy is okay - a bit scary. I just read Jenny's comment above and realised what was happening. Hope he feels better soon.

    I save where I can like you all do and definitely cut corners on the things you don't really notice i.e. supermarket own brand pasta over the expensive stuff, cheaper crisps from Aldi for the boys (6 smaller packets (like the McCoys ones for under a pound but that's not a bad thing in my eyes - they're having less crisps - they just don't know it). Meat - pretty much like you and I've found going to the fish market - you get much bigger pieces for the same amount you would spend at the supermarket and much fresher. Hubs definitely appreciates the extra effort taken for that bit as he is the main fish eater (I can't be doing with bones). And clothes ... you know about me and clothes but I tend to save on the things which people don't judge you on (pyjamas) and very plain items if beiing worn under other clothing. I can't see the point in spending £30 on a plain tee if it's going under a jumper. And I love scoring bargains like my wedge trainers which are suede but finished really well. Of course, then I splurge on Jigsaw Poppy boots but even then they were in the sale. And thank you very much for the shout out - it's much appreciated :o)

    1. He's going to be ok now as I got past the dragon of a receptionist to talk to the GP who faxed the prescription straight over! He has unstable asthma so it flares up all of a sudden - he is on 3 inhalers, antibiotics and now the steroids that will knock it into touch! Bit of a scary night though - he has had it since he was 18months old, but it still is horrible seeing your child unable to breathe...still worst over now. Thank you both for asking!

  4. great coat! would you like to follow each other? let me know!

    1. Thank you ! Have popped over to your blog too!! X

  5. Sometimes the cheap version of something really is just as good. But sometimes it's not and then I will spend the money. It's just more money if you have to keep replacing something and it's just a plain waste of money if it doesn't work!

  6. I totally agree...I'm the most frugal person out there, but there is a point when I draw the line! For example, in a snowy, cold climate makes good boots worth the investment :)

    Following your blog now.

    <3 Cambria

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