When Being Frugal is Cool


5170630053_1240954762_zAs a kid whenever my mom would use a coupon?at the grocery store or make me wait until my favorite jeans were on sale, I was mortified. I didn?t want others to think we weren?t able to afford things, even when technically we couldn?t. Luckily for my childhood self, my parents never made us buy used clothing from garage sales or thrift stores, though I did wear a lot of hand-me-downs from my older cousins.

The older I got, the more I cared about people?s opinions about me, my clothes, and my belongings. I didn?t know then that what I really cared about was what people thought my family could afford. Wearing name-brand clothing was definitely a symbol of wealth, although I didn?t fully understand that at the time.

Now that I?m an adult and I?m working hard to pay off my?debt, much of it from still caring too much what people think I could afford vs. what I could actually afford, I actually like using coupons at the grocery store and shopping sales whenever I need new clothes. In a way, frugal has become cool to me.

Promotion of Sales

One of the ways you can tell that frugal has become cool is how often stores promote having sales. In my opinion, there are more sales fliers, radio ads, and tv commercials than there ever were when I was growing up.

Shopping sales has become a hobby for some and they even like to brag about how much money they saved by buying things on sale. You just have to be careful to avoid sales?if they cause you to spend money you don’t actually have. 🙂


I kind of mentioned this one already, but couponing has also changed a lot from when I was a kid. Back then hardly anyone used coupons, or so it seemed anyway. In reality, most people were using coupons when they were easily accessible to them, they just never talked about it.

These days couponing has become a pretty hot topic. There are lots of blogs and websites dedicated to teaching people how to use coupons to get the best deals, and there?s even a TLC show ?Extreme Couponers? about how people are able to feed and provide personal care products for their families for little to nothing.


Thanks to sites like Pinterest and YouTube, DIY has exploded as a trend. These days people DIY everything from home repairs to craft projects for events, making their own laundry soap, and more. People usually decide to DIY things for one of two reasons. Either they want something unique and can?t find it in a store so they decide to make it themselves, or they want to cut down on the cost of buying something or hiring a professional. Personally, I love DIY-ing as many things as possible as it gives me a reason to learn new skills and it usually saves me money too.

I?m so happy that frugal has become cool in a lot of ways. It sure makes it easier to want to be frugal and to not care as much about what people think.


How else do you think frugal has become cool? What is something that mortified your younger self that you do now to save money??



Photo courtesy of: Justin Jensen

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  1. My mom’s efforts to save money seriously embarrassed me as a child. I obviously do not feel the same way now. I don’t feel embarrassed by my frugality, and when people don’t “get it,” I consider it their problem.

    • Kayla says:

      That’s a great way to think about it Holly. I had to explain to one of my friends what “frugal” meant the other day. He seriously thought it was a made-up word! 🙂

  2. I now bring my lunch from home when I work in the office all the time and the crazy thing is that when I was younger (22), I always thought that my colleagues who brought lunch from home were just cheap. Now I not only enjoy the food but I also enjoy the food savings I get from bringing my lunch from home.

    • Kayla says:

      I don’t bring lunch from home, but I do go home for lunch most days. I live in a tiny town, so my drive home only takes 5 minutes (or less). It’s really nice because sometimes I can switch the laundry or put away clean dishes out of the dish drainer, etc. while I’m home for lunch. Plus, that way I can let my dogs outside and play with them some too.

  3. Kalie says:

    The number of thrift stores around me seems to indicate buying second-hand is now cool. The “hipster” style that’s become popular and the “green” movement to reuse things also affirm this. Good thing as I’ve loved shopping at the Goodwill since high school!

  4. I remember the first time I used coupons. It was when I was in high school and Mcdonalds staff was distributing some. It was the time I thought how I could manage my money well by just using coupons and realized the off deducted from the original price. But, I was lucky that I was able to not increase the times I dined in back then.

  5. Courtney says:

    I’ve been waiting for months now for bulk black beans to go on sale at my local supermarket. I buy a little at a time at the normal price to get us through but when the price drops by 50cents a lb a couple of times a year I jump on it and buy 10-20 lbs. My husband thinks I’m a little nutty but it’s one of my ways to save.

    I’m also jumping on the Pinterest wagon and trying to DIY a lot more including crocheting a rag rug for our back patio this summer. Hopefully it won’t turn out to be a Pinterest Fail but it’s actually fun and I will get a great sense of accomplishment when it’s done, knowing I made it.

    I guess for me finding ways to save money is not embarrassing so much as a challenge. My parent’s went through bankruptcy when I was in high school and THAT is embarrassing. I’d much rather be considered “cheap” for always bringing my lunch then have to worry about my car being repossessed.

    • Kayla says:

      I’m so glad you’ve decided that you don’t care how people react to you wanting to save money. I’d imagine that bankruptcy is WAY more embarrassing than being frugal. I wouldn’t even stoop to call you cheap, there is a difference 🙂

  6. Sylvia says:

    Growing up my parents never really did anything drastic or embarrassing to save. And now that I am an adult it irritates me when I think about how much they could have saved. So when it comes to me and my financial journey, I do a lot of DIY and grocery shop on discount day (wish Bermuda had coupons). I don’t think of it as being frugal or cheap, I think of it as a stepping stone to financial freedom. I would rather build my little empire now while its just me to worry about.

    • Kayla says:

      My parents did some things to save money, but looking back there are definitely more things they could’ve done to save even more. Though at the time I would’ve probably been mortified at their money saving antics.

  7. I thought frugal was cool. Then they came out with the gold-plated Apple Watch, and I lost hope in humanity.

    But seriously, I think the level of sales has gone up marginally. But I think a lot of stores’ business models are predicated on their items always being discounted. It might have gotten a little more fervent since the crash in ’08, but I think it’s more just that people are a) actively looking more and b) it’s easier to find the information.

    • Kayla says:

      You are right, there are some stores who’s entire model is based on sales (I immediately think of Hobby Lobby and JCPenny). That’s a good point for sure!

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