Taking The Frugal Challenge

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

Piggy Bank

Everyone has a different perspective on frugality. But we allagree that saving money is beneficial! To what lengths do you goto save a dime or a dollar? In this section, we hope you will join us in helping others decide what level of frugality is best for them.

Check the featured challenge below and then feel free toshare your experiences, recipes, ideas, and more with other readers by posting your comments below. Together, we can make adifference!

On with The Frugal Challenge!


Can you do better?

Are you more likely to buy this product (click here to view then use your browser’s back button to return) or a cheaper model at a discount store such as WalMart or Kmart? Tell us why you would spend more or less and share any experiences you have had. Would you buy it or skip it?”

To add your comments and help other readers, simply scroll down and enter your answer or comments below. Share what has worked for you and your family!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do not want to post your email address, simply use [email protected] as the email address in the form below.

Fill in your answer BELOW if you would like to face the challenge!


challenges posted:


BJL wrote: does anyone know of a site on the internet to get folgers coupons?


Bekk Enriquez wrote: I am asnwering this question after having had the benefit of reading a large volume of responses. Definetely a passionate issue with supporters on both sides of the fence. Here is my personal opinion(not to in any way put down any other opinions on the matter) I personally do not drink coffee, however, my husband is Cuban ans has to have his cuban coffee made in an espresso maker everyday. Now my husband LOVES his coffee, and if it isn’t made properly he cringes, however he is also the most amazingly frugal person I have ever met( I call him the prince of darkness because he shuts off lights constantly) As picky as he is about his coffee, he will not spend more than $25.00 on his espresso machines. He has found them on clearance, or at wal-mart, our last one was purchased brand new at Goodwill for $12.00. I also am a firm believer in purchasing certain things for quality because the long run savings make it cheaper in the long run. However, I have learned through the art of frugal living that sometimes you can do just as much with less, and with proper care and maintenance a cheaper item can last long enough that it truly does save money in the long run. I have lived most of my adult life on a shoestring budget. I have 5 kids and 2 adults in my household. I guess it truly boils down to what is important to you personally. To my family it is most important to put the money where our priorities are, however, to another our priorities might not be as important as a good coffeemaker. So, I, personally would not purchase this item it seems frivolous and unneccessary.


S. P. wrote: Im a mormon…don’t drink coffee, so it saves me a ton of money! 🙂


Christina wrote: You can purchase brand new coffee makers now for $10 almost everywhere (grocery stores, Dollar Genergal, Wal-Mart, etc.), Target this week even had some for $7.99. If you can afford to (and want to) spend a lot more on expensive name brands – they might last longer, and they might not. In the frugal sense, why not ask for a coffee maker for Christmas? Also you can make coffee using half the amount the directions say and still get the great flavor. I’d rather savor the flavor of the coffee then feel as if I am drinking tar. Keep in mind people generally get rid of coffee pots when they become slow (clogged) at making coffee. Even the $10 coffee maker I recently bought makes a pot of coffee in about 2-3 minutes. Whereas our “old” coffee maker which we’ve had about a year and half, would take 20 minutes! (even with regular cleanings of vinegar). $10 a year and half worth of coffee is less than $1 a month. The other thing is that we LOVE Folgers coffee, and I stock up when it is on sale for $1-$1.50 a brick, and freeze it. And if you use coupons you can save even more on coffee and creamer. I usually get creamer for less than fifty cents with coupons, powdered creamer lasts quite a long time.


anddragon wrote: Now..the real reason I was looking for a consumer section…is to make people aware of an illusion that has been happening on the contents of coffee cans…usually I prefer Folgers coffee and it is a tie between that and Maxwell House…this summer a friend of mine bought a no name brand..actually the coffe was sufficient..the big shock was the packaging…the can looked the same size as a brand name, the price was abit cheaper, but when I was looking at the content lable, there was less..although the can appeared to be the same size at the first glance..ha ha..my reaction was not to buy this again, no name is not always cheaper.. Tonight the big shock came when my large can of Folgers was empty, so I brought up a can of Maxwell House to replace it…the lid got stuck on the can opener so I thought…well I will just empty it out in the Folgers can..I was shocked that to look at both cans they seemed the same size and were the same price…I had to put a large cup of the Maxwell House in a storage container…the Folgers content was smaller, something I hadn’t noticed when I bought it….I consider this a consumer rip off, it wasn’t posted on the can of the change in size, if someone likes a brand well enough, they will buy it anyhow…I trust Maxwell House now and plan to stay with it…the message here is..take the time to read the content lables and amount you are buying, sometimes it isn t cheaper and now advertising is getting very sneaky…I often wonder because we all have different taste buds and techniques of making coffee, that somewhere between the actual coffee origin and we as consumers…by the time we get it through the company processing…if that is why sometimes it tastes different?…a good coffee company has nothing to worry about by being honest with its customers…am I the only one noticing this?…please consumers beware…


anddragon wrote: Now..the real reason I was looking for a consumer section…is to make people aware of an illusion that has been happening on the contents of coffee cans…usually I prefer Folgers coffee and it is a tie between that and Maxwell House…this summer a friend of mine bought a no name brand..actually the coffe was sufficient..the big shock was the packaging…the can looked the same size as a brand name, the price was abit cheaper, but when I was looking at the content lable, there was less..although the can appeared to be the same size at the first glance..ha ha..my reaction was not to buy this again, no name is not always cheaper.. Tonight the big shock came when my large can of Folgers was empty, so I brought up a can of Maxwell House to replace it…the lid got stuck on the can opener so I thought…well I will just empty it out in the Folgers can..I was shocked that to look at both cans they seemed the same size and were the same price…I had to put a large cup of the Maxwell House in a storage container…the Folgers content was smaller, something I hadn’t noticed when I bought it….I consider this a consumer rip off, it wasn’t posted on the can of the change in size, if someone likes a brand well enough, they will buy it anyhow…I trust Maxwell House now and plan to stay with it…the message here is..take the time to read the content lables and amount you are buying, sometimes it isn t cheaper and now advertising is getting very sneaky…I often wonder because we all have different taste b


anddragon wrote: Just cruising through the net and came across this area…Black and Decker Coffe pot…that is my story and I am sticking to it..one of the best brands of logical coffee pots I have used for years…and a product well backed by guarantee…spacesaver style…about a mid range price…but for the good cheaper brands and the amount of time they last…it is better to put the extra money into them and it works out cheaper…2nd hand ones at garage sales ect…work just as good….


anddragon wrote: Just cruising through the net and came across this area…Black and Decker Coffe pot…that is my story and I am sticking to it..one of the best brands of logical coffee pots I have used for years…and a product well backed by guarantee…spacesaver style…about a mid range price…but for the good cheaper brands and the amount of time they last…it is better to put the extra money into them and it works out cheaper…2nd hand ones at garage sales ect…work just as good….


Steff wrote: I would and have spent the big bucks on a coffee maker. However I did get mine on sale and with a 15% dept store coupon.. so the $100 maker became $75 dollars or so. The maker I chose has a built in mill (these alone cost twenty or so dollars). I buy my coffee bulk and whole bean. I purchase at Sam’s club two varieties at a time (usually a high-end brand and then the Sam’s brand) I mix the beans 1/3 high-end to 2/3 Sam’s… this way I can stretch the coffee to last. I keep the unused coffee in a sealed air-tight container in the freezer.


Diane wrote: $100 for a COFFEE maker?! I don’t THINK so on a military person’s salary. I have a Gevalia machine and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t buy their coffee anymore, but I buy decent coffee at the commissary or Wal-Mart and use either just plain milk or if there’s enough money, the flavored creamers. And as for a Cuisinart, you’re paying for the name. I have an Oster stand mixer which also is my blender, my food processor, my ice crusher, and my ice cream maker. I can also add a meat grinder to it, if I wanted to. I bought my machine about 12 years ago and haven’t had to replace any parts yet, but it’s held up through 2 PCS (permanent change of station) moves when my husband was active duty, including moving overseas and back. I’ve never lost a piece or had a piece broken. I paid about $130 new for all the pieces I have and have yet to be disappointed with the results of any of the things I’ve made. If I can say one thing, buying the best you can afford is the best thing for your budget. Just ask any military spouse.


Claire wrote: Here in Eastern Australia, most people use coffee plunger presses, they’re very cheap and make a couple of GOOD cups of coffee a pop. Coffee is VERY expensive here compared to the US, where I used to live. I just got a bit more frugal in other areas to make up for the new expense in this one. Geez, to be honest, life is too short, some of you folks need to lighten up a little and enjoy what you have instead of worrying about what money you might be wasting. (It’s one thing to actually be poor or on a fixed budget for health reasons, etc.) My late Father saved and scrimped, was terrified to “waste” any money and after his death, my sister gleefully spent every dime that he left. He should have relaxed and lived his life instead of spending so much time pinching pennies. This kind of mind set can extend over to other parts of life and one can get obsessive about “wasting”. Moderation is best in all things. Lighten up, please!


Angie wrote: WOW! Seems everyone has an opinion on this! LOL First of all I LOVE coffee, but it IS just a beverage. I got my coffee pot free from Gevalia with $10 coffee purchase (and 2 mugs), my grinder as a shower gift, and I buy 8 o’clock whole bean coffe at Sam’s for $5.29 for over 2 lbs. As I said, I love coffe, but I’m committed to frugality! I make my own half and half and the cup of coffee is superb! To keep it, DO NOT leave it on the burner! Thrift shops and yard sales sell thermal carafes for under $2. Also brand new at Walmart for about 10 (check the thermos isle). Anyway that’s my 2 beans! I’m going to get a cup of coffee now!


Agni wrote: When I married and moved to the US from India , I brought with me a coffee filter from home that cost my mother Rs.60 (just more than a dollar)to buy. As Fathima pointed out above, this filter (been around for several hundred years) can be found on sale at most Indian grocery stores , selling at a maximum price 7-15 dollars . I buy roast coffee powder from Indian stores and use the filter to make my decoction. And it tastes as good as the coffee Mom makes at home. South Indians are fanatic coffee consumers and my total monthly expenditure for 3 big cups of strong , fresh , yummmmmm coffee comes to $10 a month. Is that a deal or what ? 🙂


Agni wrote: When I married and moved to the US from India , I brought with me a coffee filter from home that cost my mother Rs.60 (just more than a dollar)to buy. As Fathima pointed out above, this filter (been around for several hundred years) can be found on sale at most Indian grocery stores , selling at a maximum price 7-15 dollars . I buy roast coffee powder from Indian stores and use the filter to make my decoction. And it tastes as good as the coffee Mom makes at home. South Indians are fanatic coffee consumers and my total monthly expenditure for 3 big cups of strong , fresh , yummmmmm coffee comes to $10 a month. Is that a deal or what ? 🙂


Ariamore wrote: Super Healthy! Cook elbow macoroni & set aside. Saute very slowly thinly sliced garlic (one whole bulb!) in olive oil. If you saute it fast it gets rubbery. If cooked slowly, it become soft & tender. Add a LITTLE salt to the garlic, set aside and now cook 2 cups of broccoli. Toss all 3 together mixing well. From the olive oil that was in the garlic, add 1-2 Tablespoons to the Broccoli Pasta. You can also sprinkle parmasan cheese, cooked salmon if desired. We have been enjoying this little meal for over 25 years…. oh yes, about that garlic, we peel, slice & saute three whole bulbs. We can’t seem to get enough garlic. Cooking it very slowly mellows the garlic flavour so much that WE NEED 3 BULBS!! Cheers! Ariamore


Amy De Rusha wrote: we have always gotten our coffe makers for free, through family and friends. if for some reason we need a new one we would make do with instant till i found a new to me, coffee maker at a yard sale. in the mean time we use the hand me down coffee makers as we have done since we got married. i could not justify wasting my time going to the store or the gas spent getting there. not to mention if you can get the same thing for free. i would not even waste the time of turning on the computer.


Clare wrote: Don’t use a coffee pot at all but have great coffee every morning. Spend money on premium beans (using coupons to purchase). Filter your water first (e.g. Brita) and boil it in the kettle on the stove. Buy a simple Melita cone (got mine for less than a dollar at a yard sale). Place it directly over your warmed coffee cup. Drip drip. It works great and there is no additional mess to clean up. No broken pots. A fresh cup every time. Yum.


JoAnn wrote: I feel that buying a good coffee machine is well worth the money. Yes, you can get the freebie from Gevalia but look at the price per pound for the coffee. I would much rather invest in a good machine that lasts a long time, while having searched for the best price in stores and on the web, then to continuously purchase coffee at a much higher price. Its like buying cookies, cakes, or meats from a catalog — you get them and they are no better than what could have been purchased at the grocery store. I feel if you want lasting quality then there are times you should spend the money.


Fathima wrote: 100$ 1s too much for making coffee.It is spending money for the sake of spending.Good cooks dont invest much on single purpose kitchen gadgets.In India there is a vessel for making coffee it works on the principle that heathers grnpa uses and may be available in the US in Indian Stores.100$ dollars would feed a family for 4 months in India


Amy wrote:

Duty Station:

sdf great idea


Andrea wrote: For the price, it should bring the coffee to you. I could never spend that kind of money on a coffee maker. I purchased mine long ago for a quarter of the price and it is still running like a champ and makes a great cup of coffee.


Rani wrote: Even at half-price, $100 for a coffee-pot is absurd. Like Tamera and BJ, I’ve gotten my coffee pots free from Gevalia Kaffe. I notice that I’m more likely to break a carafe before I wear out a coffee-maker, which is a daily-use appliance for me, and the Gevalias seem to be sturdier carafes than any other coffee-makers I’ve had over the years. BTW, note to Christa about “how buys a Cuisinart?” My 18-y/o Cuisinart with its 30-year motor-warranty has paid for itself several times over. I have some of their professional cookware, and it’s superb. All bought at huge discounts and on sale, plus some of the cookware was free-with-purchase and BOGO. Sometimes,buying something more expensive is the more frugal thing to do. I don’t rank coffee pots in that category, but I do feel that way about knives and cookware. Get the best I can afford and buy it ONCE. The ideal is to find it at a garage sale, LOL! Rani


Rani wrote: Even at half-price, $100 for a coffee-pot is absurd. Like Tamera and BJ, I’ve gotten my coffee pots free from Gevalia Kaffe. I notice that I’m more likely to break a carafe before I wear out a coffee-maker, which is a daily-use appliance for me, and the Gevalias seem to be sturdier carafes than any other coffee-makers I’ve had over the years. BTW, note to Christa about “how buys a Cuisinart?” My 18-y/o Cuisinart with its 30-year motor-warranty has paid for itself several times over. I have some of their professional cookware, and it’s superb. All bought at huge discounts and on sale, plus some of the cookware was free-with-purchase and BOGO. Sometimes,buying something more expensive is the more frugal thing to do. I don’t rank coffee pots in that category, but I do feel that way about knives and cookware. Get the best I can afford and buy it ONCE. The ideal is to find it at a garage sale, LOL! Rani


Mary Lynne Kinney wrote: If I had the money and I liked coffee I probably would buy the best coffee maker I could. However I wouldn’t go into debt for it and as I am a tea drinker, I would just be buying it for occasional company. I don’t think it is economically feasible for me. If I had the money I would go out and buy a kitchenaid stand mixer instead of a knock off, because it would be something I would use and it is the best there is.


Sue wrote: I don’t like coffee, so there’s no way I would spend that much on a coffee pot. Even if I was a coffee drinker, I’m sure I could find an acceptable model at WalMart or similar store. I could buy a lot of groceries or even clothes (I like yard sales) for that much money.


Erin wrote:

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