Does Frugal Living Cost Too Much Time?

by Claire on October 6, 2009

Doesn’t it take a long time to coupon?

Don’t you end up wasting time that you could spend earning money when you’re just trying to save it?

clipping coupons

There is no doubt that being frugal can take time. This is a constant issue that I hear from others, and there is no easy answer. After reading this interesting article on The Simple Dollar, I took a moment to reflect on the issue. In the end, the issue is about balance. There are some things you can do out there that may be a waste of time for you. For instance, making your own laundry detergent when you can spend $3 and save those 3 hours just might be a good use of money! However, if you LIKE making new concoctions, than making laundry detergent can be a fun activity. For me, I find that frugality is as much of a hobby as anything, and it is this mindset that guides a lot of my decisions about when I choose to be frugal and when I don’t.

So what do you think: Is being frugal fun for you? Or is it just a waste of time?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joan October 7, 2009 at 8:43 am

It takes me about 15 minutes (tops) to make 5 quarts (160 oz.) of laundry detergent. We use 1/4 cup (2 oz.) per load, so that’s enough for 80 loads of laundry for 40 cents and 15 minutes of time. Plus I didn’t have to leave the house to get the detergent. I think that’s a very frugal use of time and money.

~Joan

2 Gale October 7, 2009 at 9:50 am

Coupon clipping is a lot of work. I am a 60+ yr old lady who has a low paying full time job. My learning disabled daughter-in-law and 6 yr old grandson just moved in with me. What once was a hobby (loved to get free things to donate/gift) has become a necessity. It is becoming more like a chore trying to come in, relax a little.. spend time with grandson & daughter-in-law & work making the shopping lists. My daughter-in-law is limited in her capacity to help, so I pick up most of the child rearing, etc.

3 Brenda October 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

I find cutting out coupons as a hobby and necessity. I love to cut them out and go through them and sort them. I especially love how, with using these coupons, a shopping trip can go from $99 to $30. I use the shopping trips as a stress reliever. I’m trying so hard to get my mom into it like I am but being so far away from her (I’m in CA and she’s in NM) it’s not happening. As a mother of 5, I need to save money any way I can and with enjoying this, it helps bunches.

4 Mary October 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

It’s a hobby that is an necessity. I use it as a stress reliver I have started helping my 85 year old neighbor who is on a fix income showing her how to save money. We go shopping together and combine our groceries to get the $5 or extra 10 dollars off along using coupons. She is very grateful and in awe on how I can get her 10 yogurts for $2 or so instead $5.

5 Dena October 8, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I just wished that I did this years ago. I love the changelle to make it happen to where I can buy something for nothing or free, and I think anything that saves you money is worth it, but it does take alot of time, but when you tell your husband you saved half on the grocery bill, now he doesnt mind me spending money on food because I’m only spending half. I have also gone into freebie sites that offer some real nice free items, you get free stuff and all you have to do is ask for it and they send it to you, and also I go onto a well known site which offer free items all the time. This is time consuming but worth not having to pay full price or any price when items are free. FREE is a very GOOD word, and who says nothing is for free? And you have alot of fun at the same time.

6 Svetlana Golba October 9, 2009 at 7:58 am

I hate to waste anything.Therefore I always find myself balancing on a subjest of what is more to waste: money or time? While using coupons is fun- cutting, sorting, filing,removing expireds- time consuming work knowing you never use most of your coupos anyway. That is bothering me a lot! Sometimes I take a break for a few weeks then get back again…

7 Tracy October 9, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I was recently laid off from a job paying $60/hour. Fortunately, my husband is still working and we have always been very wise about saving/spending. Recently, in an effort to save what I thought would be a few bucks, I started couponing. This few bucks has turned into unbelieveable amounts of money saved! I am hooked and this is becoming a hobby/game! When I was working, I never considered couponing (to be honest, I didn’t really have to) and I just plain didn’t have the time - it does take time. I kick myself when I think of how much money I used to waste. I’m also smarter about planning meals and my shopping trips, so I’m spending considerably less time in the stores. My daughter recently said (referring back to times when I was working), “Remember Mommy when we used to go the store everyday?” Well, yes, she was correct. I used to just plan for that particular day because I was so stressed and couldn’t think beyond the day/task at hand. So, yes, couponing does take time, but it’s worth it if you have the time or if it’s a necessity.

8 gina fagan October 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I joined a coupon train and it works pretty good and would like to know how joan is makeing the soap.

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