How not using coupons can be frugal

Perhaps many people are reluctant to be more frugal because they have the misplaced idea that “frugal” means “spending less money”?

I was having a drink with my friend Buster, and he mentioned in an offhand way that he doesn’t use Groupons (here, I use the term to mean any of the online coupons). His rationale is interesting:

He wouldn’t buy a Groupon for a business he doesn’t already visit. In other words, he doesn’t let Groupon change his spending habits.

Also, he wouldn’t buy a Groupon from a business he already visits and likes to support, since as a fellow small-businessman he knows it can be difficult to make ends meet.

Those of you who took a logic class in college will realize that means he’ll never buy any Groupons.

If you learn one thing from reading Foundry in the Forest, I hope it’s that “frugality” doesn’t mean “spending less money”. Instead, it means enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life and every dollar you spend. If using a coupon to save a few bucks at a mom-and-pop store doesn’t seem virtuous to you, then not using coupons is very frugal. It’s a personal choice.

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