Attitudes towards thriftiness

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Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275275Post Maykal
Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:25 pm

Have attitudes towards thriftiness in the UK changed in the last couple of decades? A friend of mine referred to another couple as 'stingy' because they go on holiday and often take their own food and self-cater, rather than spending every night in an expensive restaurant. This basically allows them to take a couple of holidays a year, rather than one. I, personally, wouldn't see this as being tight-fisted, just a choice not to waste money on certain things so you have more for others.

Also, whilst scanning the online rags of a morning, I saw an article about a man being 'tight' because he'd take sandwiches for himself and his family on visits to theme parks, rather than splashing out on food. Again, the tilt of the article was that he was a no-good scrooge.

So have attitudes changed despite the recent economic woes?

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275276Post diggernotdreamer
Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:05 pm

Ha, I read that about the man. He strapped baguettes to the kids legs and put ham in their shoes so as they could get into Eurodisney and not have to pay for food. He took the food from the breakfast buffet which is a bit odd, but I guess most of it would get thrown out after the breakfast service had finished. I think the real issue is that Eurodisney have this attitude that you can't take your own food in with you, is that the same everywhere? because the food is crap and expensive at these places. I don't have holidays anyway because I don't much like them, which a lot of people think is odd, I used to spend my paid holidays from work at home working in my garden and down the allotment because that is what I liked to do to relax. All the middle class people are now queuing up when a new Aldi or Lidl open up to get the bargains so I think maybe the tide is changing towards being thrifty.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275277Post Maykal
Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:25 pm

Aha, I didn't read the whole article; sounds like he was taking it to extremes. I also don't especially like holidays. I spend all my free time working on the house (which is four hours away by car in the countryside, so as good as a holiday as it's a complete change of pace/location).

I don't think Aldi and Lidl had stores in the UK when I left, but I guess from the context that they are budget supermarkets, right? Funnily, things are almost the complete opposite here. There's a big market about 15 minutes away on foot, full of great produce, much better quality fruit and veg than the supermarkets and much cheaper, a decent fish market, real cheeses, a good variety of meats, with the cheaper cuts and offal available too, Admittedly, it's a bit 'rustic' in places, it's not like the fancy farmers' markets that have sprung up in the west. However, the middle classes are now shunning these places for people too 'peasantish' and spending their money at supermarkets, which are considered civilized, despite the produce being, on the whole, expensive, imported, and poor quality. Personally, I prefer to be 'stingy' and shop at the market and eat decently.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275284Post Pumkinpie
Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:30 am

When I used to go to Spain, with my family, half board on some of the early package holidays in the early 70's I remember my mum always took her hand bag to the buffet breakfast and slip a odd item in to have at lunch. Not many people from our little mining village travelled so far then and she had saved all year to treat us but spending money was limited. Other than that we had to wait until high tea , apart from drinks and fresh fruit . Oh I still remember the wonderful cups of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice we had as we crossed the railway lines to the red hot beach.
I have done similar when I was a student and on cheap hols when buffet breakfasts were available at the economy overnight stops.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275287Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:10 am

Modern robber baron capitalism depends on ever-increasing consumption, so anyone adopting a thrifty approach is something of an enemy. Hence the promulgation of the attitude that thrift is somehow bad. If everyone in the West stuck to buying things that they truly needed and avoided unnecessary purchases for about three months the entire economy would disintegrate. It really is that fragile. So we must be good little hamsters and run ever faster in our wheels.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275288Post okra
Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:49 am

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:Modern robber baron capitalism depends on ever-increasing consumption, so anyone adopting a thrifty approach is something of an enemy. Hence the promulgation of the attitude that thrift is somehow bad. If everyone in the West stuck to buying things that they truly needed and avoided unnecessary purchases for about three months the entire economy would disintegrate. It really is that fragile. So we must be good little hamsters and run ever faster in our wheels.
So right, simpler more frugal lives would not suit capitalist consumerist society. The spend, spend, spend system is not sustainable and as non-renewable resources become scarcer and more costly will society be forced to move towards more frugal ways of living?

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275290Post seasidegirl
Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:34 am

Yes I think thriftyness is the new upwardly mobile.

I'm fairly sure the man you are talking about is Ben Hatch. He is a Brighton author who goes on road trips with his family (wife a travel journalist) and writes about themeparks and kiddy places. They go on a lot so save what money they can.

He writes books about their travels which are VERY funny. I wrote a blog about his first book here.

http://eastbournewriter.blogspot.co.uk/ ... hatch.html

He was on breakfast telly yesterday too. As were his kids demonstrating playing in the cars he made them from cardboard boxes.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275292Post berry
Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:31 am

Oh jeez yes! I've had it here. Seen as cheap, tight-fisted because I'd rather take a packed lunch than spend ridiculous amounts on bad food.

But it goes across the board. You can't shop in charity but "vintage" shops are OK - Its the same frelling thing! (admittedly 'vintage' shops are supposedly hand picked still second hand though)

It seems there is a right and a wrong kind of thriftiness. But the "right" kind still involves spending more than you have too.

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Post: # 275298Post oldfella
Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:57 am

Got a garden full of Veg, Tree's full of fruit and a Cellar full of booze;

And it didn't cost a penny. Now that's wot, I call a Tite Arse :cheers:
I can't do great things, so I do little things with love.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275300Post KathyLauren
Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:44 pm

I'd say Riff nailed it. In modern capitalism, waste is a virtue.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275308Post Milims
Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:52 pm

I love being thrifty! It's so much more intereting and creative than simply going out and buying stuff! I also feel that I end up with much more than I would if I wasn't thrifty!
At work the chef often gives me bits hat he doesn't want or need - and extra bag of spinach, a venison carcasse with enough meat for a couple of stews and bones for stock, a venison loin that he was given by the game keeper but it isn't on the menu, stuff from the freezer left over from a menu change etc. Home made jam from forraged fruits tastes so much better than bought stuff. Swapping gluts with neighbours brings friendship as well as an ever changing menu. Did I mention about the day I came home to find the bath full of lobsters and crabs - a gift from a local fisherman.
Charity shops are fantastic! I have so many good quality, "posh" clothes with expensive labels that I really couldn't afford, and besides which buying fom Primarni is like having an ar5eh0le - every one else has the same!
If I want something I wait and I save. Not only does it give me the time to decide it I really do want it, but by the time I get it it's usually in the sale so I save a bit too and I appreciate it more because I've had to work for it.
I don't know if it's the same where you are, but it seems to me that the people who have the least in terms of finances are th least thrfty and that quite often people feel the need to buy in order to make themselves feel better and more fulfilled in life.
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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275309Post Maykal
Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:32 pm

Milims wrote:If I want something I wait and I save.
I love this philosophy. It's pretty much been my motto my whole life. I've never had a loan (apart from a tiny student loan), never had a credit card, never had a mortgage, although I suppose if I'd stayed in the UK I would have had one by now. I see so many friends and relatives squandering their money on complete rubbish that they never use, mostly due to lack of forethought (something that credit cards make eminently possible). I'm not knocking people with debts, for some it's inevitable due to unfortunately circumstances or emergencies, but for many it seems to have become so normal that there's no incentive to be thrifty. I also predominantly deal in cash, and that makes it a lot harder to waste money, I find.

Here there is a real contrast in attitudes. Bucharest, where I spend most of my time at the moment, is like any other European city - it's all spend spend spend. There is a lot of pressure on the new generation to have the right consumer products and possible due to the country's rapid ascent (descent?) into capitalism, many people are still quite naive when it comes to marketing and branding tricks. Being thrifty is what their parents and grandparents had to be and so they strive to distance themselves from it.

The rest of my time is spend in the countryside, which is the complete opposite. It's a self-sufficiency wet dream. Cheap land that you can practically do what you want with (within reason), small holdings all over the place, everyone growing their own, neighbours happy to share produce or lend advice or give you a hand when you need to build/demolish/move something, and town councils free of jobsworths poking their noses into your back garden. Sadly, most of the neighbours' kids have left for the cities, so they could well be the last generation of Transylvanian smallholders who genuinely live off the land and learn to use everything they produce.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275311Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:06 pm

I admit to pleasure in thrift. Small things like using the delay setting on the dishwasher or washing machine to take advantage of overnight tariffs which must save us about €20 per year, but it feels right.

I am genuinely concerned that modern economies appear to be based on practices that are completely unsustainable and I wonder how on earth we can ever make the transition to sustainable development. I suspect that it is entirely possible that no-one knows. I remember being somewhat in awe of the great & the good of the commercial world when I was a recent graduate and concluded that the must be very wise and possessed of knowledge that was evident only to them. When I moved into trading and eventually became regarded as being amongst them I came to realise that they (and me) were as clueless as to what drove markets as everyone else was. Bit of a shock that, to be honest. No-one, it seemed, was actually driving the bus.

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275314Post clare
Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:47 pm

I agree that being frugal is a challenge and I do get a kick out of saving money (even if it is because we have to most of the time)and getting a bargain in the charity shop which is a "label" I could not afford normally but because it is older is unique.I recently got the high school gym skirt for my daughter for september in the charity shop for 50p instead of £10 from the uniform shop I was chuffed to bits.
We took our girls to Euro disney in March on the sun deal we took the ferry and drove arrived friday afternoon Had one night in a log cabin, a day at the park left at 5pm saturday drove back got the 8pm ferry home by midnight sunday to recover.I took all our food packed lunch for both days and a meal for the arrival evening,drinks everything,there are signs everywhere saying do not picnic in the park but we just ate food from our pack in the queues for the rides,it was the only way we could afford to go ,one night accomodation,fuel and food was all we paid for,park tickets and ferry were free.I am constantly looking for cheap food,use money off coupons and scour charity shops for things we NEED.When I am in the playground listening to other parents going on about what they got for the kids birthdays and christmas and how they went for 4 nights to eurodisney or 2 weeks to Florida disney I feel sorry for the kids cause mine really enjoyed their day in disney because it wasn't the norm they don't do it all the time and they really appreciate what they get and when they go for a day out it is cherished.When I sip my homemade wine in the evening I am smug in the knowledge it is 60p a bottle and when someone remarks on my skirt in the playground and I say I made it they are amazed.
Grow it,make it ,eat it, drink it and sleep well!

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Re: Attitudes towards thriftiness

Post: # 275315Post Skippy
Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:05 pm

I've been thrifty all my life. My parents were and my wife is too, in fact probably moreso since she meet me :lol: Her sister on the other hand is less so , much less so. My wife regulary uses the charity shop (they know her pretty well in there), freecycle, e-bay and always looks for the bargins at the local co-op. They have a rack of stuff on dirt cheap because at 9pm it all gets removed to be chucked in the skip. Her sister looks down her nose at all of this however and would rather spend more "freely". The fact that when she got divorced and was in effect homeless (she was living in a rented house in Inverness so came back down to Staffordshire)and we were able , because we are careful with funds, to take her in and even manage to stump up for 3/4 of the cost of a house for her is completely lost on her and she still moans about my wife using something that might be a day out of date and being to mean to buy something decent :roll:
I also have to whole heartedly agree with RR comments


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