Life, Money

Judgement Day! Frugal Or Cheap?

It’s Friday, so let’s have a bit of fun today and keep it light. I am trying a new post format using WP Quiz and hoping it will make it more interesting for all of you. It was for me! You need to have a little fun sometimes:) This is Judgement Day! Frugal Or Cheap?

How It Started:

Last night I was making myself a tea, re-using my tea bag from the previous day, when my lovely daughter, who was sitting at the kitchen table studying, noticed I was using a used tea bag (which I always do!) and proceeded to tell me (out of nowhere, may I add) : Mom, just use a new bag, you are so cheap! Ought, that hurts!

But is she right, am I being cheap? To me, if the tea still tastes good then who cares if I used it the day before. Plus often it is too strong the first time anyway. Then I started thinking about a few things I do on a regular basis and wondered if they could be construed as cheap instead of frugal. I don’t want to be CHEAP!!! “Cheap” to me means you are only concerned about spending as little as possible regardless of quality, value and the people around you!

Checkout MMM’s posts on the topic: Frugal vs. Cheap

I believe I am frugal. I do spend the money on things that matter to me. Case in point: I just bought 6 small chocolates for $12! (I finally made it to Purdys, as recommended by my fellow blogger GYM at GenYmoney, and bought the little praline hedgehogs …SO good)! I DO have my priorities straight!

So I thought it would be fun to find out what you guys think about my little frugal habits. I know it will be a shocker to some of you, but you may as well find out now: I am NOT perfect!!! But please don’t unsubscribe yet, I NEED you!

Here is a list of some of my habits (only a few of MANY) I think some of you may consider cheap vs. frugal. Let’s find out!

Frugal Or Cheap?

I re-use my tea bags at least once. It is usually too strong the first time around anyway!

I am one of those people who take the hotel toiletries! No nothing else! I do use all or some of them to make special care packages around Christmas for a women's shelter (see not all bad)

When my kids were younger, I would order two large drinks and ask for two extra cups so I could make four regular size drinks

With three kids, I got into the habit of always bringing our own snacks to the movies and I still do!

I often eat food past the expiry date as long as it looks and smells fine, and taste good (sometimes I find out too late!).

I go into the Lindt chocolate store just to get the free sample!

Sometimes, I use my friend's Amazon Prime account to get free (and fast ) delivery

I NEVER buy bottled water when I am out, I always ask for a FREE glass of water instead

If there is a great promotion with a limit on quantity per purchase, I will go back to the store several times

Whenever we travel to an Airbnb for a few days, I always grab extra creams and sugar from places we stop at so we don't have to buy a large container for a few morning coffees

Cheap or Frugal?
Yes that's right, I am only frugal:) Thanks, I knew I could count on you!
Are you kidding me??? I am NOT cheap. Sorry go back and redo the quiz! NOW! Please
A mix of many things!
You're right, why put a label on everything? Just type "Frugal" in the comment section and we are all good:)

Share your Results:


So this is it. What was your result? Am I Cheap or Frugal?

Technically I should be able to get the results somehow from the plugin but I may not have done it right so kindly share your result in the comment below.

Wrapping Up

In my defense, I do spend money on things I value, and not just chocolate! Last year I brought my three kids to France and rented a place in a beautiful little coastal village near Deauville for a week so they could spend time with their cousins. That was not cheap!

How about you, what do you do that may be considered cheap vs. frugal? Be honest, this is all for fun!

What did you think of the Quiz format? Annoying or Fun? Thanks for your feedback, ANY feedback!

Disclaimer about the Quiz/survey format:

  • The font is too big but I couldn’t figure out how to fix it!
  • My plan was to have a picture/GIF for all questions but I was worried it may affect the loading time for the page. Any additional (constructive) feedback on this would be welcomed. I may use the format again!

58 thoughts on “Judgement Day! Frugal Or Cheap?

  1. Sometimes (not very often) if I buy something, like a tool from a hardware store, and I only have a one time use for it I return it for a refund rather than having it lay around the house for the rest of my life then get tossed in a landfill
    -I consider it a form of recycling.

  2. I think frugal is doing a little extra work for a payoff. Cheap is putting yourself out or suffering to save a buck. Everybody has their own line!

  3. When I was at Disney in California with my sisters and parents, we went through the Giradelli shop multple times to get the free samples… no shame at all when we walked in *acting oblivious* and then saying, “Oh a free sample? I haven’t tried that one before, thank you very much! :)”

  4. A fun post, Caroline. I saw a pattern here: you value your money, and don’t want to see it wasted. Little things add up, that’s why you are one of the few who made to FI. Kudos to you. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Helen, thanks for the feedback. I know some PF bloggers don’t agree the little things make such a difference but they DO. you get to save more now and you need less later, win win!

  5. I’m always reusing tea bags, and you know my opinion on “lightly expired” food 😉

    As far as hotel toiletries, if I’ve opened them and used them once, I’ll take them, because I figure they will get tossed otherwise. But I actually don’t know if that’s true?

    1. I do know your opinion on “lightly expired” sister:) My kids think I am cheap there too! As far as hotel toiletries, I would assume they throw them out, what else would they do with it?

  6. That was a fun quiz! I got you as frugal!

    I always reuse my tea bags too, usually at LEAST twice. Sometimes until it tastes like water and then I compost the tea bag haha.
    Thanks for the mention, I’m so glad you tried the Hedgehogs! They are my favourite favourite. Their Sweet Georgia Browns are good too.
    My husband jokes that I might as well end up taking the copper from the bathroom sink as well when I start taking stuff from hotels (this is when we stayed at this 5 star hotel for our wedding). I only do it if there are nice toiletries or if they smell nice, otherwise I don’t bother.

    1. Thanks GYM:) I do reuse the bags more than once usually too but sometimes it does taste like water!
      The Hedgehogs were to die for!!! I may have had too many if that’s possible:) (my stomach seem to thinks so)

  7. Except for taking extras (for later use), you’re 100% Frugal in my books.

    I used to take the extra packets of items from restaurants, hotels, other places as (what I consider) a frugal choice but now, I don’t want to create extra waste. I do take my used hotel soap (although I almost always bring my own toiletries) and any other products that I needed to use like 1/2 a sugar packet. I take my napkin too. Anything that I think will be thrown out and or have more life with me. Any extras, I leave in the hotel room or return to my server for reuse. I try to put the environment ahead of my pocketbook when I can for those times when I can’t.

    Besos Sarah.

    1. Hi Sarah, so glad to see you are still here:) I am still using the Bulk Barn coupons and always think about you when I do. Also been sharing that little secret with others:)
      Love your approach on the environment. I am not very good in this area but trying to. We do compost (we have a green bin program in my town) a LOT but I don’t do much otherwise.
      And I truly do care packages for a women shelter with all the extras for Christmas. They usually show up with very little so it’s all very handy.

  8. My vote is frugal on most of these! I do say “cheap” on anything that causes danger or illness, like eating food that’s too old. I had to learn that one the hard way, too, I’m afraid. :/

  9. On the tea bags I can tell you that with some teas an aficionado will tell you the second cup will taste better then the first. I’ve bought high end teas in China and in some cases they even recommended tossing the first steeping.

    A lot of these aren’t frugal versus cheap but personal preference. Even the ones that might be I think are only cheap if morally questionable or if your depriving yourself to achieve.

    1. So I have been doing it right all along? THANK YOU! I can wait to tell my daughter:)
      I agree with the personal preferences to a point. Thanks for the feedback.

  10. Hey those tea bags are good to reuse at least twice depending on the flavor. I never knew about that until Mother with Cents told me it’s still good to use a few more times.
    The local chocolate store here in SF, Ghirardelli Chocolates has free samples whenever you go in store and I always take advantage of that. No shame for me!! Haha
    Thanks for setting up that quiz Caroline, it was fun!! Enjoy the weekend!!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Kris and glad you enjoyed the quiz:)
      Ghirardelli? We don’t have any here but will keep an eye when I go to the states or other Canadian cities.

  11. You’re Frugal!!!!! 🙂 I do many of the things you do! I’ll go to the Godiva store for the free sample, bring my own snack to the movies, stock up on toiletries at hotels, and eat expired stuff. LOL. I think of the expiration date more like a suggestion. 😛 I have never been able to re-use a tea bag though; for me it’s not even strong enough the first time. Perhaps you buy better quality tea! HAHA.

    I liked the format of the post! Keep them coming!

    1. Hi Lily, we all have our limits! I am more of a coffee drinker if I want strong so my expectations on the tea are not as high as guess.
      Thanks for the feedback, really appreciated.

  12. You are clearly frugal! Smart to take hotel room toiletries as you paid for them anyway. Most of what you do I happen to do too. Other things I do include using baking paper twice when it is rather clean e.g. Used for baking peanuts. Glad that you took your kids to France – clearly the right priority.

  13. This was a really fun quiz! I do almost all of these things myself, and grew up doing them. The only exception is that I have my own Amazon Prime account. We get some of our groceries that are cheaper with Subscribe and Save auto-delivered every month. Not many are cheaper on Amazon, but when you find them, grab on with two hands!

    1. If I ordered a lot from Amazon, I would probably get my own account. I should look into the groceries, not sure how much is available in Canada. Thanks for stopping by Moose.

    1. Hi Steph, Have you seen the line at the movies for snacks? I am always amazed! Actually my partner usually ends up in that lane, he likes to buy his popcorn there. Glad our finances are separate!!!

  14. It was a fun quiz! I didn’t get a definite answer to mine though… it was a mix. Now here’s an example for you; After eating a meal with family, all the food not eaten from EACH plate gets put into a container for leftovers. Frugal, Cheap or disgusting ?

    1. Hi Lisa, so the quiz didn’t give you an answer at all?
      Hmm, the leftover question! I guess I am lucky I don’t have that problem, the rule in my house is “you have to finish what’s in your plate”. The only way to teach kids not to take too much and then waste. I never thought of putting all leftovers in one container. I am frugal and don’t like to waste but I don’t think I would eat those leftovers:(

  15. Nice post and cool format. I got frugal. The water one i didnt quite get. At a restaurant its a no brainer get the glass. But at a convience store or something? Personally i hate bottled water anyways.


    1. Hi Rob, thanks for the feedback!
      For the water bottle, it’s more when you are out and about and you need a drink (coffee shop, food court…), I won’t buy a bottled water.

  16. Love your blog caroline I’ve just started blogging about my FIRE journey in Australia lots of fun and lots of ideas saved in drafts my biggest problem is I ramble lol doing drafts seem to help I can go back and work on them until im ready to post. At least I hope its helping!

    1. Haha, just read one of your post “I am more of a word vomiter”, you made me smile:)
      I do the same thing too, I feel like I ramble! Check out my best blogging tips page, I included links to other site to help new bloggers. Hopefully you find it helpful:) Thanks for dropping by. BTW, I may be in Australia in 2 weeks!

  17. aw yay Im glad my writing made you smile! happy dance! wow thats so cool heading Newcastle way at all? (2hrs north Sydney NSW)

      1. Awesome! Iv never been to Melbourne apparently they have the best coffee enjoy! Can’t wait to see photos and whatever you do don’t drink xxxx beer worst beer ever made…also watch out for drop bears

  18. We use the teabags a couple of times too. The 2nd brew is the best according to the Chinese. That’s with full leaves tea, though.. I do many of those things on the list too. It’s okay. 🙂
    I got frugal.

  19. I had you for frugal on everything except the chocolate samples (but I do that too) and the Amazon thing (but I’m just jealous I don’t have someone who could do that for me!). I do all of these things and more–like putting disposable latex gloves back on a few times while painting, bringing my leftovers home for another meal, reusing string, and picking up good junk from the side of the road or dump! If the movie theaters and some other places didn’t charge a fortune for their refreshments, we might not carry them in.

    Several waitresses have told me that the packaged & sealed condiments they bring to the table, like little containers of sauces, have to be thrown out if left there due to what someone could have done to them before leaving. I imagine the shampoo and etc. might be the same these days when even Halloween treats get tampered with.

    To my daughter’s horror, I push the expiration dates on food all the time, except meats. How could cultured yogurt, for instance, go bad in an extra few weeks? And eggs will stay fine refrigerated for a long time–they’re made to. Some dates are sell by, not consume by, as I point out to her but she’s having none of it. I have her give me her outdated milk and I make potato soup with it or biscuits, etc. (not spoiled milk). That’s how cheap…I mean frugal I am! I always call myself frugal or thrifty–I save everywhere I can so I can spend money when I want to on my garden, collections, or myself–but deep down I know I’m cheap too!

    1. Hi Barb, maybe you just have your priorities straight:) I am with you, I prefer to save on certain things so I can indulge in others that really matter to me.

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