Friday, 8 March 2013

Questions of Frugality

Frugal Friday


We probably would all confess to liking a good deal.

Spending money and shopping is not frowned upon in our house,quite the opposite, but doing so without getting the best deal is looked upon as a waste of hard earned cash. 

However, eventually the questions do begin to arise about where we draw the line between getting a good deal and keeping what we value intact.

 I think the majority of us over recent years have learnt to make the most of our money, whatever financial situation we find ourselves in.

I do find I have this constant struggle in me of the tensions that arise between getting a good deal and keeping my values intact. Life with kids is expensive and if I can cut costs I will, but there are lines I won't cross. However, sometimes I find I have compromised what I value all for saving a few pounds.

Consequently there are times when I choose to pay more.

Do you find that? 

These are the questions I find I wrestle with.

I know for us , and this will be different for everyone, I resent overspending on food items, children's clothing and branded homewear.


Groceries have been in the news constantly lately with the arrival of 'the horse' in many products. I must confess to wondering if our constant need to have all our shopping in one place at a cheap price has driven a part of this . I almost always get our beef and now chicken from a local farm shop as I know it is a superior quality and is the same price or in the case of the mince cheaper. The chickens are free range and I can get two for £10.99 when they have an offer on. 

Sometimes we need to be clearer with ourselves about what we really want. 

What is the most important. 

Is is cost?

 Is it quality?

 Is it both? 

Do we have to have our groceries all in one place?

 Do we buy it cheap because it is cheap or would we drive further, pay more for better quality meat, from a British supplier? I know I went to my usual butcher to buy my usual bulk order of mince and he had sold out as so many people had been switching to buying from them since this "horse" scare. People are changing the way they shop. The only meat left was way out of my price range, but as I am a regular he knocked £10 ( yes I did say £10) off a £23 pack of mince for me. I also got pork and apple , beef steak and 2 free range chickens for £10. I have been known to be drawn into paying less for chicken that is not free range even though I place importance on happy chickens , sometimes this value slips.

 Children's clothing 

 How often do I pick up a cheap pair of jeans and then find two weeks later they have gone through at the knee? However when the same happens for the pair of £20 jeans I realise my money is better spent on one nice outfit for best and cheaper outfits for play. The dilema that then rattles around my head is - how do they make them so cheap? 

Are children making my children's clothes?

 I hate spending loads of money on kid's clothes, especially for my boys, as they get wrecked, but also want to check where they are made. If we pay more are we ensuring good working conditions? Not always. It is good to check your source if this is important to you. I constantly slip on this through busyness and tiredness and needing to find an item quickly.  

 Branded Home wear 

This is a no brainer for me. I resent paying for a product with a name when I can create a cheaper copy that is unique. However, quality items that are more expensive because of their workmanship I can understand. It is an item by item approach for me here. I will not buy a product simply because it has a "brand" name, but neither do I immediately discount it. I find it is sometimes more practical to spend that bit more of a solid item that simply lasts longer with kids around - branded or not!

Having said all this, one of the reasons I shop at Lidls is because I find if you keep an eye on what offers they have coming up you can pick up your favourite "branded" goods for so much less than you pay at other supermarkets. Yes, you have to be flexible, but I would bulk buy when I can to make a saving on a favourite product. This applies to toiletries too. Today there were Simple face products, Lynx shower gels and sprays ( which my 12 year old has developed a liking to), branded tampons, Nivea, Sure, Dove - all at heavily discounted prices. It is definitely worth a look on their website. 


It just takes a little planning. 

What are the questions you wrestle with when trying to keep to a budget?

What is your most important value when shopping- cost, quality, availability etc?

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  1. Hi there! For groceries, I will shop in Sainsburys and Lidls as my main first choices and Tescos and Aldis for 2nd choice. My lovely mum buys my meat in M&S fairly regularly so that helps too. I would say that 99% of my wardrobe is via boot sales and charity shops, with the odd buy from vintage fairs, ebay and my favourite high street shop Uniqlo. Have a good weekend, great blog!

  2. I will park the car half a mile from the shops and walk rather than pay £1.20 for parking.

  3. Both quality and price are important to me and although I shop fortnightly at Sainsburys (and it is a myth that they are expensive as they are often cheaper than Asda when I do that supermarket comparison thingy) but I do pick up some stuff at aldi when I am in town as their fresh produce is always a really good price.