Thursday, November 02, 2006

Frugality vs Value/Health

I love a bargain. Even more so now that I am living a much much more frugal lifestyle. But I think a lot of people think being frugal means you buy the cheapest of everything, especially when it comes to food. In my case at least, that's not necessarily the case.

We spend a lot less on food than we used to, but we also eat much healthier food than we used to. One example is bread. We eat whole wheat bread. Sometimes I buy 100% whole wheat bread from the store (no hfcs of course) when the price is good. But I also make whole wheat bread at home. Now, I certainly could buy really really cheap flour to make bread and biscuits and so on with. But I don't. I feel it worth the extra money to buy Bob's Red Mill flour, which is a high quality flour. Now, I do try to save money on the Bob's Red Mill products. Luckily the company hq/store is about 3 miles away, and they have the best prices in the area. So I go there. If you buy a case, you get 10% more off a good price. The point is, I am willing to pay a little more to get high quality ingredients for something I make.

The same principle applies to margarine. I could buy all kinds of cheap margarine. Instead, I pay more for the green Earth Balance Margarine spread and the Earth Balance buttery sticks. They use healhier oils for their margarines, we love the taste and it spreads great. This is another case where a healthy option for food trumps saving a little money buying the less healthy product.

So, just because you are trying to be frugal, does not mean you can only buy and use the cheap stuff. I figure it's worth it. I might spend ten bucks a month more on margarine and flour, but that healthier option might one day save me 50K in medical bills. Well worth it.


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