A True Frugalista? Yup. To The Bone!

My youngest granddaughter is turning 3 this month. When I asked my daughter what would make a nice present, or what did she need, she gave me two links to Amazon. One was for barrettes and the other was for girlish play butterfly wings. The grand total for both items came to $24.89. Amazon popped up a notice and told me if I spent .11 (eleven cents) more, I’d get free shipping, thus ‘saving’ $6.99, but in reality I’d be ‘saving’ nothing, because I’d be ‘spending’ more than I anticipated just to get the free shipping.

Other than a pack of needless gum (@$4.97) I searched high and low to see if there was anything I either needed or wanted in order to spend the eleven pennies. Well, yes there is one thing that I need, and that’s a bra BUT I’m not buying a bra on Amazon (plus their prices were higher than what I would pay in a discount chain) I really didn’t need nor want the pack of Wrigley gum, so after two days of endless searching on Amazon, I declined to buy anything.

Which brings me to my point: I really only buy what I need. I don’t spend my money mindlessly. I really sit and think about it. That, to me, is the true/real meaning of someone who is frugal. We buy what we need AND it has to be at a discounted, more realistic price. I knew if I got in my car and drove to Wal Mart I could buy those things my daughter wanted me to get for my granddaughter cheaper, and that is exactly what I did. Plus, I got a discounted, brand new bra for only $9. Not the $24 Amazon wanted, just to get the ‘free’ shipping. I would have spent an additional $23.89 rather than the eleven cents to get the $6.99 free shipping. NOT a good deal IMHO.


the list
part of my spring/summer list

Which brings me to my second point. At the beginning of the new season, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things I needed or desperately wanted (within reason, such as a pedicure and a eyebrow shaping). Every week I’d check off what I bought from the list. Every week I’d accomplish something off that list. It was a slow-moving process. It gave me time, however, to calculate what I really wanted vs what I really needed. Eventually, I didn’t get that pedicure nor my eyebrows shaped. I did the work myself. But I did get that haircut. And I did get myself some brand new beauty products that I had been longing for. The only thing I had left on my list was buying a necessary new bra.


So, when I was faced with that choice on Amazon, to spend an additional eleven cents in order to get free shipping, a $6.99 value, I realized the spending trap outside forces can put upon us.  No matter which way I calculated it, I was going to be forced to spend more money than I needed to. And a true frugalista will not do that to him or herself. I just emptied my online cart and shopped retail instead. Thus ‘saving’ myself from spending more money than I needed to.

And that, my dear friends, is what it is all about.


  1. Hi Cindi, I love to find bargains and I really like layering discounts with rewards, but I will no longer spend that kind of time on a $24 dollar purchase worrying about six dollars shipping. How much time did you spend on this? It seems you really do sweat the small stuff. I would have headed for Walmart or their website armed with the prices at Amazon. Don’t they price match?
    I have truly left this degree of working at frugality behind.
    As you know I am trying to increase my passive income and it’s working really well. Have you done any? So far, Quadruple my monthly dividend income I told you about earlier at the same percentage rate, most of it in my Roth. The hard part is finding the investment, deciding how much to allocate, and then bidding on it. I guess I need to create a wish list too and prioritize what to do first. Sincerely, Lara


    • Lara, I have to admit I was mesmerized by Amazon. I don’t shop there. At all. Except to buy a book once every six months or 12 months. What I was concentrating on was the fact how I needed to buy absolutely NOTHING for myself, regardless of the price. I was amazed at how, given the opportunity to buy something, I turned it down because there was nothing on this planet I wanted to buy. Nor needed. I’m over my buying stage and into my saving stage. That’s why I was so flabberghasted. I didn’t think I was wasting any time. I felt as if I was learning something new about myself. That’s all.
      I won’t be doing it again. LOL.
      I’m not going to change my investment strategy right now. I’m liking things exactly where they are at right now. I’m getting in enough income to cover all my expenses. As I said, once DH collects his SS in a few months, I’ll be saving and putting away $1000 a month.
      I’ve invested 85% of my money in a safe, FDIC CD paying 4.21% and I’m sticking with it this time. Usually, I pull it out and lose money but I’m not doing that anymore. The income is good and I’m going to think of it as an annuity only at the end of 10 years I get my full money back. To do something else with it. All the rest of my money is in layered CD’s which 2 come due per year for the next few years (1 for Nick. 1 for me). Those I am going to cash in and either spend the money on travel, extras or eventually a newish car.
      I just got badish news from my doc today. I may have the makings of lung cancer and I need an operation on my thyroid. I’m 67 years old. If the medical news continues to get bad, I’m not thinking nor worrying about my future anymore.


  2. So sorry you got bad news and hopefully it’s not lung cancer. Thanks for the explanation about Amazon. It blew my mind you spent two days trying to find a eleven cent difference for free shipping. And you did find the bra at Walmart, your last item on your wish list, so all good.
    You got a really good interest rate at 4.21 % for a ten year CD. I have callable CDs too. But not quite as high as yours.kudos. Having a ten minute tornado devastate my town and my property, made me realize just how quickly you can go through money from circumstances you never expected. This new strategy will keep me ahead of the inflation we’re experiencing and maintain a better lifestyle, no more nickel and diming, stressing over small purchases, or tight budgeting. Being able to hire help when I can’t or don’t want to do things at all is important. To each his own, but I am thankful for learning about this new plan. Sincerely, Lara

    Liked by 1 person

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