August 4, 2008

Does frugal = cheap?

I used to always think frugal and cheap were the same thing. That is until recently.

When I looked up cheep in the dictionary it also said to see stingy, sleazy and tawdry. Ouch!
When I looked up frugal in the dictionary it also said to see sparing, economical and thrifty. That's better!

The other day I was in one of the places I hate to be - Walmart. In general, I think they sell a lot of cheap stuff - not frugal, cheap. I had to buy rubbermaid style containers for my step son. (He is off to boot camp in 2 weeks and needs to store his stuff) While in Walmart I saw a floor lamp (my husband has been wanting a pair for some time now) It was exactly the style he wanted - and the price I was wanted to pay. They were $7.50 each. Sound too good to be true? turns out, yes.


When I got home I was excited to assemble them. There were a series of tubes that needed to be threaded together. Problem was, they didn't thread that well - and if you didn't do it right the first time you ripped the threads then the lamp didn't stand straight. I packaged the lamps up and took them back to Walmart. They happily took them back. It's like they knew I was coming back.

So here is my question for you. How do you know know when you are getting a good deal vs getting what you pay for?

Are you cheap or are you frugal?

6 comments:

Amy said...

I totally agree that many of Wal-mart's items are cheap. There are items there that are great - health and beauty products, some things for the home, some food; but there are so many items that you are taking a chance buying. We purchased plums there recently. Beautiful plums - until cut open; the majority have been rotten inside - ICK!

letters to elijah said...

Amy - did you take them back? The problem with taking things back today - you have to ask yourself if it's worth the gas money. Sometimes it's not for us.

Anonymous said...

i've never been a Wal-Mart fan. There's not one close by which is probably why. I'd take the lamp back but probably not the plums...

Sharon said...

Our Walmart recently was remodeled (it's right next to Target) so it is actually very nice. I do tend to buy name brands that I am familiar with that I know offer a quality product. I will take something back though, if it's not worth even the lowest price.

Amy said...

I usually buy what I need at the thrift store just because I figure if they can take a beating in someone else's home, they can probably survive some time in my house :) I am trying to be better about buying quality items instead of whatever is the cheapest. It is hard because I gravitate towards the cheap stuff, but then I realize it isn't worth it!

Malory Rebekah said...

I'm so glad I happened to find your blog, I was in walmart the other day and seriously considered buying that lamp! Glad I didn't!!

Anyway, love the blog! :)