03 August 2011

From Spendthrift to Cheapskate in 4 Easy Stages

When someone is a new Cheapskate it can sometimes be overwhelming hearing about how other Cheapskates manage to live. Experienced Cheapskates tend to automatically live the Cheapskates way, saving money, time and energy has become an ingrained habit for them and they don't even think about how to stay within budget. Sometimes we forget the stages we went through on our journey to frugality:

S - Spendthrift Extraordinaire - buys name brands
1 - Fiscally Conscious - buys name brands on sale
2 - Bargain Hunter  - has switched to cheaper or generic brands
3 - Novice Cheapskate - makes own at home using commercial mixes
4 - Champion Cheapskate - makes own at home from scratch

Going from what we have been told is normal (buying brand name products at full price from the supermarket) to a Champion Cheapskate (making your own, from scratch with ingredients bought at a discount) is a process that takes time and thought.

Finding your perfect level of Cheapskateness is personal. What is ideal for one person or family may be extravagant to another and make another feel completely impoverished. Not everyone is at the same place on their journey to finding the Cheapskates way and not everyone will find their ideal level of Cheapskating at the same place.

As you travel the road to the Cheapskates way take the time to try each step and evaluate whether it works for you or not. There will be times when a level four change won't bother you at all and other times and situations when you won't be able to cope with anything other than sticking at Spendthrift Extraordinaire.
As you go from buying brand names without a thought, to checking the price and buying if on sale, through to switching brands, cutting the amount you use and making things yourself from scratch you will find the level you are happy at. It won't be the same for everything you use either.  As I've confessed before, when it comes to coffee I'm a dedicated spendthrift. And that's ok. I am more than happy to go to Champion level on something that's not as important to me (washing powder for instance) so I can stay at Spendthrift level with the things that are important to me.

Take each stage slowly and remember:  we are all at differing stages. This is your personal journey. Enjoy the trip.


  1. for Christmas I thought I would try homebrand condensed milk it was disgusting 1/4 of the milk was stuck 2 the bottom it was terrible never again I will buy brand name buy when on special I also brought homebrand frozen vegeis never again they didn,t even cook properly after 1 1/2 hours again I will buy frozen vegeis when on special some homebrand products may be okay not this time

    1. Kath, it sounds like that was a very old tin of condensed milk. Have you tried to MOO condensed milk? It is so easy, quick and half the price (or less) than buying it. I can't link from comments, but if you copy and paste this into the address bar (or put MOO Condensed Milk into the search) you'll find the recipe: http://www.debtfreecashedupandlaughing.com.au/2013/10/moo-condensed-milk.html

      I've never tried Homebrand frozen veg, I do buy Aldi frozen veg and have been very happy with the quality.


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