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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

You're still frugal even if you drop a treat item into your grocery cart, right?

I did my first grocery shopping since September 3 this morning. We have lots of food at home, so there was little of which we were running short. One daughter was free in the AM and wanted to pick up some personal things for herself. So it seemed as good a time as any to make a run down to WinCo (my favorite local store, but a good 20 minutes away).

I didn't have a lot on my list, some bananas, raisins, popping corn, peanuts, avocados, coconut oil, organic flour (no additives like barley), a gallon of milk, a jar of mayo, and oh yeah a pound of Swiss cheese for my husband and 2 packages of bacon for me. I spent $41.31 for the above.

Those last couple of items were definitely treat items for us. My husband loves Swiss cheese, but Swiss is never one of the less expensive cheeses at our stores. I like my morning bacon a few days a week. So these 2 packs will last until I decide we need more groceries, likely in about 3 weeks.

How do I justify buying treats like these once or twice per month and still call myself frugal? Being frugal is about the big picture. It's not about cutting corners in every area of spending and living a bare bones existence. It would be pretty hard to keep a lifestyle like that up for very long. It's the big picture. Are we living below our means? Are we saving for our future? Are we doing what we can to give others a little help? Are we paying all of our bills? Are we keeping up our house and car? Are we taking good care of our health? If we can say "yes" to all of those things, and there is a bit of change left in the piggy bank, then it's not only okay to drop a treat item into the grocery cart, but that treat will go a long way to stave off hunger for bigger, more costly splurges.

My family's experience has been that when we treat ourselves to small pleasures here and there, we don't feel the need to have a supersized TV, or the latest car, or a cruise vacation, or bling, bling, bling. We feel more satisfied in our daily life by having small treats, and then we can live beneath our budget, take care of our needs, help someone else with their needs, etc, etc. 

So yes, I think you can still call yourself frugal if you drop those occasional treat items into your grocery cart. It just doesn't need to look like there's a party at your house every weekend, judging by that same cart.

By the way, in the next couple of times I grocery shop, I'll be spending way more than that measly $41.31. I'll need to stock up on many items to get through winter, and that won't be cheap!


  1. Totally agree! We say we are worth it when I buy something a bit frivolous lol. Yesterday I went to Safeway for the weekly sale items I needed, and a box of maple donuts jumped right into my cart lol.

    Fiy Safeway puts cheese on sale a couple times a month and Swiss is always included. Sometimes they even include things like Gouda. I know you have Safeway, but not sure if you shop there. I think I paid $1.69 for 8 oz yesterday.


    1. Hi Diane,
      I'll have to remember that -- we're worth it. And thanks for the heads' up on Safeway. We do have one near, but it's in an awkward spot so I don't think to go there. But I will definitely check them out. Thank you!

  2. Replies
    1. Isn't it, though, Kris? All about the big picture.

  3. Totally agree! Helps all of us stay the course.

    1. Hi Linda,
      It really does, doesn't it?!


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