Is Being Frugal the Same As Being Cheap?

As we search after the great deals, incessantly cut and organize coupons, and shop the sales, the question comes to mind … Why? Are we coupon queens just cheap? Don't we have "anything better" to do with our time? Are we never satisfied? Is there no method to our madness?

Does any of this sound familiar? Well, if you are as "in to" coupons as I am, it does! You know, you get those looks from "ordinary" people in the grocery store who basically stand and gawk at your coupon organizer. Or, you get those heavy sighs from people who unfortunately for them get behind you in the check out line.

By definition according to Webster's dictionary, another word for cheap is stingy. On the contrary, being frugal means is to not be wasteful or to be thrifty. There is a huge difference is these two words. I think back when my husband and I were first married (20 years ago!). We both had good-paying jobs. It was nothing for me to go to the grocery and spend $ 200 a week for just the two of us. I cringe now at how much money we wasted, for I did not use coupons nor did I shop sales.

But as for me, there are good reasons for what I do. First and foremost, I want to be a good steward of what God has given me. Using coupons is just one way I strive to do this. Shopping the sales, using rebates, and looking for the best deals all go hand-in-hand with using coupons in order to efficiently spend the money God has blessed me with. Now, there are limits here. I do not believe in doing anything unethical or illegal in order to get a deal. I believe that if I deal honestly at all times, then God will bless my efforts.

Another reason that I use coupons and shop wisely is so that I can help others. The Bible says in 1John 3:17, "But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" God expects us to help those in need. One way we can do this is by donating to local pantries food, health and beauty items and even clothing. For example, recently I was able to "purchase" 4 blood glucose monitors at no cost to me. Now, thankfully, no one in my family needs these; so, I donated them in the hopes of helping someone who does.

Another misconception is comparing stockpiling to hoarding food for fear of what tomorrow holds. For me, this could be nothing farther than the truth. I believe that as Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." God is able and will supply all that me and my family need. Stockpiling is a way for me to buy the things …

Frugal Beauty Tips: Buy Great Cosmetic Products At Affordable Prices

High-end, designer cosmetic lines offer quality products, however, these products are often sold with a hefty price tag. Consumers who wish to build up an extensive collection of makeup may be discouraged by the cost of designer products, which is not friendly to many household budgets. Fortunately, there are some cosmetic brands that are not only of good quality, but also very affordable. Examples of these makeup lines include e.l.f. Cosmetics, Cover Girl, BH Cosmetics, and Rimmel.

e.l.f. (Eyes Lips Face)

Offering a range of hypo-allergenic cosmetics, application tools, and skin care products, e.l.f. Cosmetics is well-known for its low price points – most items are available for $1, $3, or $5. The company’s philosophy is to provide every woman, no matter what her financial situation is, with the ability to purchase cosmetics that enhance her natural beauty. e.l.f. Cosmetics are widely available online and at retail stores such as Target and Dollar General. Examples of products include the Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette ($3), the e.l.f. Essential Lipstick ($1), and the Professional Travel Brush Kit ($5).

Cover Girl

Since 1960, Cover Girl has marketed reasonably-priced cosmetics to consumers who prefer to purchase products at drugstores, supermarkets, and convenience stores as opposed to high-end department stores. Known for their extensive range of pleasantly-scented, well-formulated products, Cover Girl offers makeup and application tools for the face, eyes, and lips. Popular products include Simply Powder Foundation, Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush, Intense Shadowblast Eyeshadow, and Continuous Color Lipstick.

BH Cosmetics

The BH Cosmetics online store specializes in both small and large eyeshadow, concealer, blush, and lip color palettes. Consumers can purchase affordable items such as the Jenni Rivera 36 Color Eyeshadow and Blush Palette, the 66 Color Lip Glass Palette, and the 10 Color Concealer Palette. BH Cosmetics prides itself on offering highly pigmented and textured makeup in neutral tones and bright colors. In addition to cosmetic palettes, BH has a range of false eyelashes, makeup brushes, and accessories available.

Rimmel

Rimmel, also known as Rimmel London, is a cosmetic line that originated in England during the 19th century. Today, Rimmel products are widely available in pharmacies, retail outlets, and supermarkets worldwide. Examples of Rimmel cosmetics include the smoothly-formulated Moisture Renew Lipstick SPF 18 (available in 24 colors), the Lasting Finish Pro Nail Lacquer (available in 28 colors), and the Special Eyes Precision Eye Liner Pencil (available in 8 colors). Rimmel also offers products such as mascara, foundation, concealer, and bronzer.

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Shopping Tips For the Frugal Shopper

The problem isn't that we don't make enough money, it's that we spend too much money.

That is so easy to say, but I know that many people struggle with shopping. I know that I do. It is so easy to try to forget for a while and just buy everything that you want. I do it when I am stressed or upset. I understand.

However, I know that it causes financial trouble. So I remind myself all the time of our financial goals. What is really important: shopping or retirement?

One of the top keys to my successful rehabilitation from overspending is planning. You have to plan your spending. This will keep you from making those costly impulse decisions. If you don't need something specific from a store, don't go in it!

In planning your shopping, make lists. Remember, when you are going through the grocery ads, that sales items are not always the cheapest. With a little time and some directed shopping, you will begin to recognize a good deal when you see it.

Shopping can be stressful. You are better off if you plan your shopping for times when the stores are virtually empty. This may mean doing your grocery shopping at 8 am Tuesday morning. Don't go just before holidays or on paydays. It's always crowded then.

Plan your buying so that you replace items when you run out of them. You don't necessarily have to buy bulk to save money. Look at it this way. Yes, you may use the gallon of peanut butter. But you might not have $ 10 for it right now. Buy the $ 3 jar if that is all you can really afford.

When it comes to sales, you have to have control. Don't buy things just because they are a good deal or are on sale. If you won't use it, don't buy it. This is often cemented when you clean out your closet. What is a three dollar shirt worth if you've never worn it? That's three dollars out the window. After a while, the sale items add up. They cost money too.

Keep in mind that larger isn't cheaper and smaller isn't cheaper. Often, you have to look at the unit prices if you are concerned with getting the most for your money. Many stores have the unit price on the shelf sticker.

When shopping on sale, you need to watch the clerk ring up your purchases. Don't be afraid to say something. And no matter what, always check your receipt. I once had a clerk charge me for 23 loaves of bread instead of 2. I'm glad I checked the receipt.

And finally, to keep from spending too much money, you should leave your checks and cards in the car or at home. Only take the amount of cash you can spend with you. That way, you won't be tempted to write a check or charge.

There are many ways to save money when shopping. Start …