This is What Frugal Looks Like is a series that highlights different ways that people can be frugal in their lives- after all, frugality doesn’t have to be drastic or just about clipping coupons. Frugality can be fun and easy. Each respondent answers the same four questions. Today’s interview is with Brett from PennySaver USA.
What does frugality mean to you?
Frugality has to be more than just a here and there, it needs to be more of a lifestyle. Being frugal means making the most out of what you have and living within your means. Especially when making large purchases, frugality means doing the research to make sure you’re getting a good price on a quality item that you will enjoy for a long time. This doesn’t always mean buying the lowest priced item, it means getting the most you can with what you have. It’s ok to spend a little more on a product that’s going to last. I remember shopping for a gym bag with my girlfriend a couple of years ago. This was the third gym bag I was buying in about as many years. I was ready to buy the same low priced brand I had already bought twice. She pointed out to me that for just five dollars more I could get a nicer bag that would last. I still have it three years later.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
Buy used products. Think of how much gets thrown away that’s still perfectly usable. Why buy a new CD or video game when you can buy a used one that’s still in great shape? Once you open it, it’s going to be used anyways! Plus you can save even more by trading in some of your old media that you don’t use anymore. Used music stores will always be one of my favorite places, and now there are plenty of places to find great deals online.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
This is tough to answer. To me, everything I do is more or less normal. Here’s something that I used to do. When I was in college, I would save up my recyclables to take to my parent’s house when I would go home to visit, which was about once a month or so. My mom would take them down to her local recycling drop off, and with the money, we’d get a nice pizza dinner and usually have some money left over. So I guess driving an hour with a couple of bags full of bottles, cans, and newspapers is a little unusual.
What are some of your long term goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
I’d like to think that some day being frugal will really start to have a positive impact on the environment. Being less wasteful, recycling, making due with what you have, these are all frugal mottos which can also help keep the world cleaner. Think about how much space can be saved in landfills if people didn’t always feel the need to have the newest product. Unfortunately, the old products have to go somewhere, and that tends to be in a big pile of trash instead of the hands of people who could still use them. Save some money, help people out, and live a little cleaner.
Bio (about Brett)
Brett is a lifelong resident of California’s central valley who grew up with a frugal mother and frugal grandmother. He enjoys (used) music, movies, books, and most forms of 80s pop culture, particularly cartoons. When he can get outside, Brett enjoys biking, tennis, and photography. He is well skilled in useless trivia knowledge. He works at helping others save money with his day job at PennySaverUSA.com.