I am starting to wonder where this line is. Where does that line get drawn for you?
To me, it seems that the line gets drawn when you become unreasonable. I dated a guy who negotiated prices on a lot of things. But, the were big items - furniture, appliances, etc. If he did this everywhere he went, it would cross the line from frugal to cheap.
I have seen downright embarrassing acts of cheapness. I have learned a lot about where this line is for me and I never want to cross it. In that spirit, I have written myself the Ten Commandments of Being Frugal (Not Cheap).
- I will bring tupperware to my parents' for a holiday to take home leftovers. I will not bring tupperware to a party thrown by someone not related to me.
- I will find a way to eat reasonably at a restaurant by ordering a half portion, splitting an entree or having a less expensive appetizer. I will not forgo the waitress' tip to cut costs.
- I will look for a great deal on a deeply discounted bottle of wine to bring to a party. I will never show up to a party bearing Two Buck Chuck.
- I will clip coupons to save as much money as I can on tin foil and will buy generic if it's a better deal. I will not wipe off and reuse tin foil. The same goes for ziplock bags.
- I will shop at high end consignment stores that have very good resale brand name clothes at excellent prices. I will not give such items as a gift.
- I will turn off or keep my heat on very low and bundle up while I am home. I will not insist all people visiting my house bring their own parka.
- I will feel no shame in finding a great deal on something fun and funky at a garage sale. I will never in my life "dumpster dive."
- I will cook something for a potluck that people will enjoy that will not cost much (can we say potato or pasta salad?) I will not cut costs by only bringing enough for half the people at the potluck.
- I will research the lowest gas prices and carpool if it is every possible. I will not take turns bumming rides off people without reciprocating the offer.
- I will look for opportunities to save money on purchases by buying multiples or bulk. I will not buy and live on Cheezit's for 3 months because I could buy them at 75% off if I bought 20 boxes.
That's it. That's the list. Feel free to add to it. But, please don't cross the line. If you do we all reserve the right ot make fun of you. It's that simple.