When Frugal Goes Too Far
"Honey, do we have any peanut butter?" my husband's voice called from the pantry.
I was instantly overcome with guilt. We are a peanut butter loving family! It is a must-have staple at our house. But the day before, I had made a decision I regretted at the store. The peanut butter I intended to buy on sale with a coupon was sold out. I knew we were completely out at home. Of course, the shelves were lined with several peanut butter varieties and I could have easily reached for another jar. Instead I mentally calculated how much more I would spend and decided to walk away empty handed.
That's when I knew. My frugal had gone too far.
Depriving my loved ones of a basic food item in the name of saving a few pennies was crossing a line. That day was a wake up call for me. I realized that agonizing over every deal and every coupon was not healthy. Saving money is important, but it had become an obsession.
Today we see a new breed of "extreme couponers" and frugal going too far. While thousands of dollars are saved and endless coupons are clipped, families are suffering. Is it really worth it?
Signs your frugal may have gone too far:
- You spend 20+ hours per week cutting, sorting and planning shopping scenarios with coupons.
- You refuse to buy basic items that you need unless it is a rock-bottom price.
- You visit your local drugstore(s) multiple times per week and know all the cashiers by name.
- Your stockpile is so big you need extra storage.
I am all for saving money, but more important than pinching every penny is living every moment. Take some time to reflect on your frugal endeavors and examine how they rank in your life. I have found that simple steps to live frugally without even using coupons are not only more fulfilling, but they take far less time. Instead of running out for the latest deal on laundry detergent, try a homemade version. Your pockets, and children, will thank you.
Tell me, have you taken your frugal too far? How do you keep things balanced?