by a.b.

Thank you to Automatic Finances for making this post an Editor’s Pick in this week’s Festival of Fruality. Check out the carnival for more great articles!

Apparently the first rule of frugal club, is you don’t talk about frugal club.

Like many others, I was hoping that this “Great Recession” we are in would level the playing field between frugalists and retailists. Since so many people were forced into Goodwill stores, Savers, and Deseret Industries, one would think that money saving techniques could become common ground. Not so, according to “Cheap Chick” Lesley Mitchell of the Salt Lake Tribune. A portion of her article for the Salt Lake Tribune, “Thrifty Shopping Comes into Vogue” states:

“…a number of shoppers, including the Lexus owner, said they don’t want their name in the newspaper because they don’t want ‘everyone to know’ that they are shopping in a thrift store. The prospect of being in a photo sends another shopper scrambling to the opposite part of the store.

For some, secondhand goods still have a stigma attached to them. Several teenagers shopping at the Deseret Industries store with their parents said they wouldn’t want anyone at school to know where they had bought their clothes and shoes.”

It’s sad to think that somewhere in the West Hills there’s a housewife hiding her generic peanut butter in the bottom of the grocery bag, and waiting until midnight to check The Simple Dollar for fear one of her friends might find out.

This is nothing new for me. When I was 13, my favorite dress was a double-breasted, navy blue, Anne Klein, that I bought at Tickled Pink, a thrift store at the end of the street, for eight dollars. And I bragged about it. My mother made me budget back to school shopping, and so I went to Woolworth’s (don’t say anything, I’m not that old) to get reams of binder paper for 39 cents each. My exhilaration at my good deals was so contagious that I did get some of my friends involved, but that was always in addition to their regular shopping, never as a substitute.

What’s sad is this reiterates many of the fears that pf bloggers have been expressing, that the newfound joy of frugality is a passing phase. In all honesty, there are some things I have cut back on that I would return to when the economy stabilizes or I’m employed again. I would buy heartier breads, Great Harvest is a luxury for us. I would encourage my husband to buy the newest Bookworm Adventures because I know he loves it. I would buy some more premade foods to have in the house for “I don’t feel like cooking” emergencies.

What I will not change is the joy I find in purchasing a quality product at a second hand store, garage sale, or on craigslist. I will also not stop sharing my “great find.” I am, however, preparing for a change from raised eyebrows and accolades, to one raised eyebrow with the, “Oh, that’s nice.” Kind of like the old days.

Photo Courtesy of David Jackmanson