Cheap or frugal?

Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

By Chuck Moss

There seems to be a difference between being cheap and being frugal…but only if you’re the one being cheap, I mean frugal.  I’m no exception, really.

I look at the prices on the menu before I decide what I want to eat when I go to the restaurant.  And I know I’m completely out of my depth when I find a price I can deal with, then I look right and see that I have reached the kids’ menu. Embarrassingly frugal.

Christmas passed, a few months back right?  Ever buy a live Christmas tree that has a severe bald spot but you’ve already decided that side will go in the corner and get a little extra tinsel?  Sure, the tree is shorter than you wanted, and a boxwood, but, you’ll take it, if the lot attendant can be haggled with like a street merchant in Disney’s Aladdin.  The art of frugality, holiday-style.

How about enlisting the aid of every person you’ve ever met to help you move?  If three of them have trucks, Yahtzee!  And for lunch?  Pizza, probably from a two-for-one place, but it’s on you, right?  It’s the least you can do for busted knuckles and high-ankle sprains.  And, maybe you should have told everybody about the three-story walk-up you were moving to, but, whatever.  You’re being frugal, remember?  And they’re getting pizza.

How about dollar movies?  Sure, the world is full of spoiler alerts for you, but if you can wait until a movie’s sequel is being advertised, you can catch it down at the Byrd in Carytown for cheap.  And you can’t beat the ambience in that place, man, seriously.  I just saw that movie about Lincoln down there (not the vampire one, the one with the European fella playing our sixteenth president).

Day old bread; seafood that treads the line betwixt fresh and the trashcan; duct-taped furniture; going to Goodwill and only buying what’s marked with the color tag that’s on sale that day…all signs of frugality, not cheapness, friends.

Of course, this frugal writer will spend $200 on a fishing rod…there’s a dichotomy there that I’ll choose not to explore today…

The wagon rolls onward, friends.  There’s no charge for bags, but there’s also no snacks provided.  Thanks for riding shotgun!

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