Note: The following is a guest post from my frugal friend Susan. Enjoy!
On my 3-hour trip to a friend’s Christmas party I stopped at an outlet mall. It’s a usual stop for me as it’s about halfway between her house and mine and it has several of my favorite stores, one of which is the Land’s End Inlet. I started in the “Not Quite Perfect” area where they sell items that are catalog returns, clearance or are marred in some way. Items are arranged on each rack by clothing type and size. I check all the racks, never knowing what I might find.
This trip, I was looking over the winter coat rack and saw a lovely wool dress coat that would be perfect for me. The price was $100. As I was trying to justify spending that much on a coat I noticed that the store was offering 30% off coupons for each canned good you brought in to the store. Since I was on the way to a Christmas party, I had no canned good in the car and not being from town, I had no idea where the grocery store was. I thought about going next door to Harry and David’s and buying some jam to donate. Clearly, I was desperate and that is no way to shop. I ended up leaving the coat there and stopping in on my way home with a can of baked beans. My coat was still there and I am proud to say I am the owner of a $70 wool dress coat, which I wear every day to work, thank you very much.
This whole incident got me thinking about what it means to be frugal. It isn’t just living within your means or being on the hunt for a bargain. It means being prepared for what life offers you, good or bad. It might be shelling out your insurance deductible out of your emergency fund, it might mean putting aside your impulses and using what you already own, and it might mean having a can of cream of mushroom soup in your trunk at all times.
Guest Blogger Susan