Thursday, March 11, 2010

Where do you draw the line?

I love used things.
My foray into frugality thus far has been fruitful. I can go to a thrift shop and know in about five minutes whether I am going to come out with a deal or not. I can get things that are trendy and hip for a fraction of what people pay in the malls, and usually with better quality. I know how to compare sale prices and loss leaders and clip coupons, but one thing I don't know, exactly, yet is; Where do you draw the line? What is too frugal? I know this boils down to preference and choice and even your personal situation at the time. For example, I distinctly remember vowing that I would never buy used underwear, and for panties, I can honestly say that this vow remains unbroken. A dollar a pair is worth it for me, knowing that no other hoochie has grazed the gusset but mine. However, there was an occasion when I was in college, subsisting on student loans and pizza tips, with a safety pin holding my straps together that I did peruse the ladies lingerie at Value Village and I came away with a very good quality bra for four bucks. In that state of need, I looked the other way on the personal nature of the item and after washing, it didn't bother me a bit. I find that is usually the case, if I can wash it, I can make it mine. I haven't bought a used bra in a very long time, mostly because I need the support more than a bargain, but if I had to, I'd do it again. I recently read some comments about a person finding a bargain on shoes in the thrift store. I did buy used shoes once and found that they never felt like they were mine. I always felt as if I were wearing someone else's shoes, which I must say is a very odd feeling. I've not bought a used pair since, nor do I intend to. I won't say never, because let's face it; if I needed to, well then that would be a different story altogether. What I am beginning to realize is that if I am frugal in the small things, the everyday items, then when I need to "splurge" on a new bra or pair of shoes, I can and I can feel good about it too, knowing that I have been wise with many other small purchases, clothing, food and toiletries, in order to make better use of my money. The more I get into these habits, though, the more eccentric I must seem. I am horrified to spend more than fifty cents for toothpaste. For crying out loud, why would anyone do that? I've got six tubes stashed if anyone needs them with a coupon...hello? What? Is that too weird?

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