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How Being Frugal Starts With Being Gracious

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Have you ever thought of being gracious and being frugal going hand in hand? If not, you are in for a treat because I will share with you how they do.

If you have done much reading here, you have probably figured out that I am all about living a frugal life. Whether I am shopping for groceries, repairing something that is broken, or simply saying “no” to something that is only a want, these are all regular parts of my frugal lifestyle.

However, and more recently than ever before, I have come to realize that being frugal is so much more than just the things I do and don’t do with my money. Being frugal is also closely tied to how I choose to behave, how I choose to respond in situations, and how I communicate both verbally and nonverbally with those around me.

Isn’t that an interesting concept to think about?

So, let me tell you how I feel that graciousness goes hand in hand with maintaining a frugal lifestyle.


Let me first state the obvious. We get to choose how we act. We get to choose how to treat others. We get to choose how we react to the people and situations around us.

I would like to suggest what you may already know, which is that we should treat others with kindness, gentleness, and in a gracious way. I think you already would know why, which is that God commands us to and because it was one of His greatest commands: that we love others more than ourselves. This is also known as the “golden rule.”

So, let me give you a few examples of how being gracious can also give way to being frugal.

Last week, I was informed by the place where I take my car to get work done that the work they did 14 months ago had already gone bad and needed to be fixed again. Although the parts were covered under warranty, the labor would not be because that is only good for 12 months.

Although frustrated, I chose to not get upset or react negatively in any way when he informed me of this. I chose to respond graciously, which in the end, prompted him to choose to cover the labor for me completely on his own. I ended up getting the repair done completely under warranty despite having been told initially that I would cover the costs.

I firmly believe that if I had chosen to be demanding or disrespectful in any way, even though I thought it was ridiculous that I would have to pay labor, that the outcome would not have been the same. I think that if I had tried to protest, I would have been stuck with the bill.

A second example that I want to share with you happened just last month. My son is on a monthly medication that is about $170 a month out of pocket for us. Last month when I went in to a different location to pick it up, I was just having a friendly conversation with the pharmacist there. I mentioned that I had seven kids and that this was only one of the monthly medications we have in our family. This was seriously just small talk.

She then told me that she would be right back and went over to her computer. A short time later, she came back and told me that the same prescription would only be $51. I asked her the reason for the difference. The pharmacist also told me that rather than billing my insurance company, she billed it through my account as though I didn’t have insurance, which then allowed her to apply certain coupon codes that ended in that cheaper price. She went on to say that in talking to me, she felt bad that we had such high costs for medication and wanted to find a way that she could help.

Again, I think that it was because I was being honest and genuine in talking with her and just being nice all around that she felt led to help me. Had I not shared a little bit with her, I don’t think the end result would have been the same. This wonderful pharmacist was touched by something I said, and she then went out of her way to help me – even though I hadn’t even asked for it!

See what I mean? Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of graciousness can do when it comes to being frugal?


Closely related to this are a few bonus tips that I will share. Have you ever asked for better prices on the things you buy? Especially when it comes to buying bigger ticket items, this is a great idea. I find that if you build a good rapport with whomever you are dealing with, oftentimes, people want to help you more if you just ask.

On one occasion, we went to the store to buy a larger freezer and came home with a television, too, because we asked for it. We bartered a bit, asking for a good price on the television since we were also buying the freezer because our television had just fallen victim to a lively sword fight. Asking for a better price or for some sort of package deal or a deal if you are willing to pay cash will often work well. I would say it is at least 50 percent of the time that we end up with a better price for this reason.

We all know that treating others in the way we would like to be treated is the right thing to do, but it can also payoff in your pocketbook at times. After all, aren’t you more willing to work with someone who treats you with kindness and respect?

There are so many times in life that being kind helps us, but being frugal really does start with being gracious.

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