Saturday, December 20, 2008

When to be Frugal

The title of this post might be a tad misleading now that I look at it. I am a firm advocate for being frugal don't get me wrong. I haven't always been frugal, perhaps you could say that I have been a "fair weather frugaler" at times. But I have been back in the tent for a while now.

After saying that rather wordy and long winded opening I have to tell you that there are one or two things that I don't advocate being frugal about. If you are a frugal woman do you have one or two things that you will spend extra money on even if there is something similar but cheaper that is available? The list for me is small and here it is.

1. Coffee - I haven't always been what you would term a coffee snob. I haven't ever been able to drink instant coffee, there are some lines that should never be crossed. But, I have consumed my fair share of generic coffee. However several years ago I saw the light after a gift of coffee from my SIL. You can read about St. Ives Coffee Roasters in this post and that way I don't have to rewrite everything because I am basically lazy. But, the "gist" of this is to say that I will spend more money on my coffee beans (and they are definitely more than the pre-ground or beans from the store) because the flavor is superior and I love my coffee. This also applies to my tea as well (as I sit here drinking my tea that came from Rwanda, snob that I am).

2. Knitting needles - Knitting needles?!? you are saying to yourself. There isn't any difference between the needles that you can get at the local craft store and those you can purchase at your local yarn shop. Oh yes there is!!! I didn't think so either when I first picked up knitting again about 3 years ago. I didn't have a single knitting needle anywhere in my house and so I went and bought some at my local craft place and I struggled along with them (they were circulars) and it was not fun but I didn't know any better. I also had some regular needles and some double pointeds, also from the same source. Seemed fine to me but I was a novice. And then......I bought some needles at my LYS and saw the light. Oh yeah, these were awesome. Knitting was smooth, they felt wonderful in my hands, a joy to work with. The circular needles that I bought had wonderful flexible cords that didn't kink up and feel stiff. There was no going back after that. In fact, a while back I gave my less expensive needles to someone else who was just starting out. So, I will always spend more money to get better knitting needles even though I can spend less at the craft store. Now, I do have to say that there are times when you don't have much choice and you have to spend more money for better needles. I knit a lot of socks and use sz 0 needles. Those cannot be purchased at Walmart or Michaels.

3. Yarn - Oh I love yarn. I love all the possibilities of yarn. I bring it home and look at it and think about what I might make with it. But....I don't buy cheap yarn. I will confess to having some cheaper stuff in my "stash" but there isn't too much of it and it is there for some specific projects. Other than those skeins I buy better quality yarn. That means that I don't buy a ton of it because better quality also comes with a higher price tag (a lot higher at times). So, I think about a project a lot more and I look at all my yarn possabilites before making that purchase because I am going to spend more. However, the end product is always more pleasing to me and the entire knitting process is a joy so it is worth it.

4. Scrapbooking materials - I think this is totally a left over from being a Creative Memories consultant, which I no longer am. I got a taste of the good life in scrapbooking and haven't been able to go back. Of course, I have so much in the way of materials that I really have no business buying anything else. I keep telling myself that and I keep ignoring what I am telling me. Sigh.

Do you have any "non-frugal" items that you purchase? Hmmmmmm, be honest and fess up.


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