FF: When Frugal Isn’t Best

Chele from Moms Love Shopping asked me to come back on her show to talk about what I see as a negative side of the CVS shopping “system”. As I said on the show, it was with much caution that I wrote about this. If you haven’t read it yet, go read my post on CVS and the natural mom.

One of the points that I made on the show is that we vote with our dollars. We make a statement with our purchases. And our non purchases. When we buy lots of single use products that pollute our environment and our bodies, we’re telling manufacturers to create more of these cheap disposable goods with unhealthy ingredients. We’re telling them that cost is the most important consideration for us. (When it should only be one consideration.)

We’re also getting caught up in the culture of spending, the culture of consumption. That’s a bad habit that leads to more of the same.

On the other hand, when we buy quality products that are built to last, that are reusable and not wrapped in multiple layers of plastic, we are also sending a message. To both the marketers of these products and our children.

There are better ways to be frugal in my opinion. We can make our own natural skin care products at home, we can use cloth menstrual pads or other alternatives. We can use cloth diapers. We can clean with natural home cleaning products that we make ourselves. And there are a million other ways to save money.

We can also buy products that last. For example, buying natural wood and cloth toys from family owned companies  so that our kids can pass these along to their own children.

Some other great related blog posts about when frugal isn’t best:

Get Rich Slowly: Shopping leads to more shopping
Being Frugal: When buying on sale isn’t frugal

So what do you think? When is the frugal choice not the best choice?

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5 Responses to FF: When Frugal Isn’t Best

  1. great post with excellent points. we don’t have a CVS here, but i am skeptical behind all of that getting stuff for nearly “free.”

    i’d love your input on my latest post about freeganism. it’s somewhat related actually.

  2. carrie says:

    Thanks for commenting Amy.

    You know I have had a draft in my blog for Months now on freeganism… I have done it very part time and so have my mom and sister, so I was going to talk about it.

    You’ve given me the impetus I needed to get that post published. LOL

  3. Thanks for mentioning my post!

    I’m moving toward natural homemade cleaners in my house. You can make them for pennies, and they’re so much better than all those chemical cleaners. I’m trying my new homemade laundry detergent today. So far, so good! :)

  4. Rebecca says:

    I agree with all of your points. You ask when being frugal might not be the best choice and title your post “When Frugal Isn’t Best.” It sounds like you’re saying that options like using cloth menstrual pads and diapers and wooden toys will end up costing more than the cheaply-manufactured, wasteful products from discount stores. Don’t you think that the “greener” options you mentioned are the frugal choice in the long run?

  5. carrie says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    No I wasn’t saying that at all… I said we can choose better ways to save money (than playing the CVS game). I absolutely believe that most greener choices DO save money.
    Thanks for stopping by!

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