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Live Cheap: Ten Signs That You Might Be A Frugal Guru
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
Yes, I am frugal! No, I am not a cheapskate! Believe me, they are two different animals altogether. People tend to confuse frugal living with being a tightwad. Not true!
My grandpa was a cheapskate! He could squeeze a buffalo nickel and it would poop out pennies. I kid you not! I, on the other hand, squeeze a buffalo nickel and then figure out how I can use the buffalo poop for fertilizer. Big difference, thank you very much!
Some of us, I believe, are born with the frugal gene; some, like my friend Jennie, couldn’t find the frugal gene with a searchlight and a guide dog. For Jennie, life is one big shopping mall, and she has never seen a problem she couldn’t buy her way out of. Needless to say, Jennie and I have very little in common, but she’s good for a laugh now and then so I hold onto her.
One cannot fake living frugally; many have tried but they have failed miserably. Jennie, for instance, wanted to show her humanitarian side last Thanksgiving, so she worked a shift at the Food Bank while wearing a $2,000 dress. Again, I kid you not! She stood out like a whore at a Mormon picnic. No, one cannot fake being frugal.
So perhaps you are sitting around in your Calvin Kleins and Birkenstocks, wondering if you have what it takes to be frugal. Your Jag is sitting in the garage while you sip your soy latte and ponder the enigma that is you. Luckily for you, I am here! Mr. Frugal is going to give you some signs that just might determine if you have what it takes to be a Frugal Living Guru! Are you ready? Good, let’s get started!
OH HAPPY DAYS!
You just might be a frugal guru if you bow in reverence when you drive by the Dollar Store, and then raise both arms above your head and shout “HALLELUJAH.”
Is there any place in America better than the Dollar Store? I don’t care if the products or servings are smaller than in a regular retail store; I just feel better knowing I’m only spending a dollar.
NO SENTIMENTAL VALUE WHATSOEVER
You just might be a frugal guru if once a week you eat a former pet. No, I’m not talking about your German Shephard, but rather that lovely chicken named Gertrude that you have raised from an adorable chick. When you gaze at Gertrude and all you see is a fried drumstick, it is time to push aside sentimentality and sharpen the carving knife.
THE MAIL IS HERE! THE MAIL IS HERE!
You just might be a frugal guru if, when the mail is delivered, you run out to grab it, toss to the ground the letter from your mother, and skip back in the house with the coupon circular. Nothing says family togetherness like clipping coupons with the kids.
A LOVELY DRIVE IN THE COUNTRY
You just might be a frugal guru if your idea of a lovely drive in the country is to do a pass-by of 55 garage sales on a Saturday afternoon. You just might be a frugal guru of the highest order if you can tell if there is anything worth buying at those garage sales while slowing the car down to ten miles per hour. Why get out to stretch your legs if you don’t have to, right?
COSTCO IS THE PLACE TO BE
You just might be a frugal guru if you stop by Costco at noon for a free lunch. Why pay for lunch when Costco is willing to hand out all those free sample? The last time I was at Costco I had a ten-course meal and never squeezed that buffalo nickel once. How cool is that? My grandpa is rolling over in his grave, green with jealousy.
You just might be a frugal guru if your winter clothes become your summer clothes with just a few alterations. Once those fleece sweatpants get a hole in them, cut them off and start a fashion trend with fleece shorts! Take those thermal undershirts of yours, cut off the sleeves, and you have some dandy thermal t-shirts for those nippy summer nights. As for your Winnie-the-Pooh flannel pajamas….well….you’ll think of something.
You get bonus points if, after you have exhausted all possibilities for clothing, you then make rags out of your outerwear and use them for napkins.
NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP
You just might be a frugal guru if your five-year-old’s favorite bedtime story is “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, and his favorite DVD is the “ Ma and Pa Kettle.” Enough said!
CAN I CHECK YOUR OIL SIR?
You just might be a frugal guru if your friend says he needs a oil pump for his 1996 Honda Civic and you go in your garage and find one for him.
We frugal gurus do not like to throw things away. We just never know when we might need an elbow joint or a six foot long piece of PVC pipe. This is good news for our kids because we won’t toss them away after their expiration date of 18 years.
You just might be a frugal guru if you have a salad bar growing on your window sill….in December!
We have heard rumors that there is a vegetable section in the local grocery store, but we honestly can’t say we have ever visited it. Why would we? We have herbs growing in the Southern window in the winter, seeds spouting in the greenhouse in February, and a little medicinal marijuana growing in the closet year round.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERMANENTLY BROKEN
You just might be a frugal guru if you can fix any broken item in the house in ten minutes flat using only duct tape and/or chewing gum. There is no limit to your abilities when it comes to scratched, dented, chipped or shattered items. When told that duct tape is ugly you promptly went out and bought various colors of that magical fix-all.
You can re-sole your shoes, patch a leak in the radiator hose, and keep your mouthy cousin quiet, all with a roll of duct tape, and you are thinking of writing a book about 101 Uses of Duct Tape, but you are having a hard time narrowing down your list to 101.
A Silly Look at Simpler Times
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT
Now that you have something to gauge yourself by, you need to know that you should score at least 6 out of 10 in order to qualify for the status of frugal guru. Anything less than five makes you a frugal guru wannabe, and that is just sad. Anything over six and you have a real shot at winning the Billybuc Frugal King/Queen of the Week Award. I mail the award out weekly so make sure you check your mail each day, and for God’s sake, don’t throw it away with that letter from your mother!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)