I am a cheapskate.
And lately, with the economic downturn, it's become less looked down on to have a skinflint bend to your personality.
However, I'm also noticing my abilities to BE a cheapskate are lessening. Greatly.
I used to be a coupon maven who had her groceries delivered by Safeway. The web shopping had a LOT of online only sales and price mis-prints they actually honored. Things like free food, free cookware (with a $50 order...like that's hard to do), and steep discounts like the infamous $0.10 wine (I spent my wine budget of $12. Usually that got one each of red and white for cooking. But at this price...and with the added 10% discount on 6 bottles or more every 10th bottle was free!). But Safeway stopped delivering to my area and many of the closer stores are closing.
I used to get the dogs kibble at PetCo. The manufacturer sent me coupons monthly and every so many bags I'd get one free. Which made the special needs diet we bought almost as cheap as plain ol' Dog Chow. But the manufacturer changed the formula and added ingrediants she can't eat. Now the only commercial diet she CAN have is this horribly expensive stuff.
I used to get my baby clothes extra cheap at consignment sales (I'm talking REALLY cheap). However we've reached a point where little boys usually destroy their clothes before growing out of them. So the pickings are slim. Add that we need button down shirts because crew necks won't pull down over his head and his tubby belly/short legs make it hard to fit pants...we find ourselves now ONLY buying his clothes at the Gap/Old Navy. Because they are the only ones that will fit. And so they are new and not nearly as cheap.
He's an expensive little boy--insurance doesn't cover his medications either.
I used to use my credit card a lot because of the great rewards program. We'd eat out on many a gift card paid with free money. It's shrunk. A lot.
Many promotions we looked forward to (free ice cream day, free cookie day, etc.) and many franchises aren't being participated in anymore--at least not by my LOCAL venders. I still see the ads come thru about them.
An assortment of things have popped up making my old ways of saving money, no longer valid.
How are we supposed to be good and thrifty when people keep taking away the means?
*the title is from a joke I heard on a Cajun cooking show long ago and only half remember. Something about a little boy lerning in school that the word 'frugal' meant 'save.' And then getting in trouble and yelling "frugal me!" Jokes aren't funny if you don't remember them.