Someone said to me recently, "You don’t like to spend money, do you?" I answered, "I don’t like to waste money!" There’s a big difference. There’s also a difference between being cheap and frugal.
The obvious ways of being frugal? Clip coupons, wait for something to go on sale, don’t buy it if you don’t absolutely need it and try store brands over name brands on certain items.
Today I stood in Target going cross eyed over their new store brand packaging, "Up&Up"—have you seen it? With the bright colors and wonky arrows that point every which way but "up". I don’t get it. What’s the hitch? The catch? The jingle, rhyme or reason? And where’s my incentive? The Up&Up dishwasher detergent was only 20 cents less than Electrosol Finish — the only brand there that still contains phosphorus — the kick in the dried on Frosted Flakes’ pants. Note: thank you to my father who’s always, up (and up) to date on the latest consumer product news — hence the fun phosphorus fact.
I’d taken the time to clip my Curad brand coupons for "adhesive strip bandages". Yes, 99% of America calls them "bandaids" but are they Band-Aids? Is a soda a Coke? Is a tissue always a Kleenex? Do you make a Xerox or a copy? Coke is just one of a variety of carbonated beverages. Tissues are those things that come in a box and are used to blow your nose or pick up a dead bug off the bathroom floor. Xerox is a brand of machine that makes copies of documents.
Anyhow…get this: My Super Target doesn’t carry Curad brand adhesive bandages. They had a lone box of Curad gauze pads, but that’s it. Every thing else was Band-Aid, Nexcare and yup, Up&Up. Luckily, last week I smashed the pahoozies out of my finger while renovating my brother’s house. My sister in law had a jumbo box of "Up&Up" bandages — the "flexible fabric" style. I quickly learned I’d never buy them. They frayed, slipped and came unglued within an hour.
After comparing the prices of the two remaining brands, I held my breath, said a prayer of penance to the frugal gods and splurged on two boxes of Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages — "Clear Water Block Plus" and "Sheer Comfort Flex". I mean, if I was brilliant enough to carve a chunk of flesh out of my middle finger on my dominant hand, I better be brilliant enough to know it’s gonna need extra tough protection.
But the bonus and totally cool part which I didn’t notice until I unpacked said bandages at home? Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages boxes are labeled in no, not Spanish, but Braille.
Yeah. Braille. How cool is that?
And guess whose coupons I’ll be clipping from now on?