I love a bargain as much as the next person.  When I shop, I compare prices.  Larger items get the Consumer Reports treatment – both from the company and from friends and neighbors.  I do an internet search for comparable brands and different outlets for what I want.  And usually, I go with the less expensive item.  But the bottom line is, is it really worth the savings?

Yesterday, I failed at trying to be frugal.  I thought I was saving forty cents on two cans of crescent rolls for a recipe I wanted to make.  I should have gone with my first instinct, which was to buy the name brand item.  Now, mind you, from the time I left the store to the time I got home, less than an hour had passed.  We are experiencing rare weather in the 70’s, so it isn’t scalding hot outside.  Plus my air conditioning in my car was running.  It wasn’t hot.  However, by the time I got home and pulled the cans of crescents out of the bag, one had exploded on one end, and gooey dough was running out.  Instead of waiting to make my recipe, I decided to go ahead and try to salvage the can, so as not to waste it.

Talk about a mess.  The crescents would not come apart.  It was one solid mess of dough. It wouldn’t roll out, so I could cut it myself.  I ended up tossing it.  Fortunately, I still had a can of name brand in my refrigerator, to replace that one (the recipe calls for two cans).  So, I opened up the other can of the off brand, thinking maybe the first one was just a fluke.  Wrong answer.  I ended up being able to pull the crescents apart, but they were uneven and stretched; some were so thin they tore.  They were to be sprinkled with a cinnamon/sugar mixture, then sprinkled again with raisins and chopped pecans.  Rolling them up was a serious mess and almost didn’t work.  Still, I just used them for the bottom layer, and created the top layer with the name brand – which, by the way, worked like a dream.  The final product worked out ‘good enough for government work’, as my daddy used to say.  But I promise you, I won’t buy that off-brand again.  Instead of saving forty cents, I wasted $2.00. 

That may not sound like much to you, but if you start considering larger purchases, or even a whole buggy full of groceries where over half of it doesn’t do the job it was intended for, then your expenses shoot up when those items go to waste.  We bought a new washing machine a couple of years ago, and I really wanted one that did not have the agitator in it.  I have large items and quilts that I want to wash on my own, as public laundromats all too often have washers that are lined with grease, which will ruin your clothes and quilts.  Randy and I found one that was close in price as one with an agitator.  Guess what?  I hate my new washer.  It doesn’t get the clothes clean. When you wash your sheets, one ends up covering the others and ‘bubbling’ up, keeping the rest of the load from getting clean.  Soap residue is left behind.  Needless to say, it was a poor decision on my part, regardless of the research I did.  Given the opportunity, my next one will definitely have an agitator, and I will just have to hand wash my quilts in the bathtub. 

Before considering a purchase, do your research.  Talk to others who own what you want.  Do serious comparisons.  Go online and check out the reviews – these mostly come from people who have already purchased what you want, and know if it works or not.  Take into consideration that what you pay a little more for today, may actually save you money in the long run.

Frugal isn’t just about cutting costs.  It is about managing your money in smart ways.  Want to know what I was baking?  Visit me over in the Kitchen for Pecan Raisin Breakfast Bread.  And use the good crescent rolls.  Trust me on this!