I can be frugal too

by Mike Holman

I’ve read a lot of posts on various blogs about being frugal. I’ve never been one to worry about my spending until about a decade ago when I decided to stop spending more money than I made. Since then I’ve been a lot better with money but it’s only been the last year or so when I’ve really started to think of myself as being more frugal than I used to be. I’m still not very frugal by a long shot but I thought I would share an example of where I wanted to buy something pretty expensive but in the last year or so I changed my mind and choose something much cheaper.

When we bought our new house I had my heart set on getting a natural gas line run to the back of the house and buying a natural gas bbq. The main benefit of natural gas over the normal propane is that you will never run out so you don’t have to go and get the tank filled up every so often. We did get the gas line run but I didn’t buy the bbq because we were too short of money. I never did price out the natural gas bbqs but I’ve heard they are at least $500 which is a lot of cash.

This year the “new me” decided that it wasn’t worth it to buy the more expensive bbq and I would get a cheaper propane one instead. A couple of months ago Loblaws (local grocery store) had bbqs for $100 so I grabbed one. I have to say that this bbq is one of my best purchases ever. It was relatively easy to assemble and works great. My old bbq was not that safe anymore, was much hotter on one side than the other and it used to shoot a lot of flames at me while I was trying to cook which I didn’t much like! The new bbq is the same size as the old one, very hot, perfectly even temperature and although the food doesn’t taste any better, it’s a lot easier to cook without burning everything. I still have to fill up the tank once in a while but there is a gas station just around the corner from where I live so it’s no big deal.

I have to conclude that I’m happier with the cheap propane bbq than I would have been with the expensive natural gas version.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Qcash

Mike,

My house had the natural gas line and I was lucky enough to get a ng bbq from my parents as a wedding gift.

It is great, in that I never run out of propane…BUT…

…the one time I forgot to shut the #&#()#@ off, by gas bill went through the roof and I was possibly flirting with a huge fire hazzard…

Ooops.

🙂

Q

2 TheFinancialBlogger

Mike, I can understand your pain on trying to be frugal. I am having a hard time being frugal myself! However, I must admit that after a while, you discover a certain pleasure in saving money… because you have some left in your pocket at the end of the day!

3 FourPillars

Qcash – funny story – glad it worked out the right way (ie no fire).

FB – yup, it’s nice to have money too (as well as material goods).

Mike

4 Warren

BBQing is something I love, and I’ve considered the natural gas route myself. However I’m on propane now as I rent my current residence.

You can make any BBQ into a natural gas version with a different element and a gas fitter to help you, its not a huge deal.

Also consider the investment in the BBQ and how much you might not be spending at restaurants so you can enjoy some good grilled food at home.

5 FourPillars

Thanks Mr. C – the salmon did turn out pretty good.

Mike

6 Kyle

Good story…you think like me. My take is more expensive does not always mean better and does not always correlate with increased happiness. Good buy and happy BBQing!

7 telly

oops, QCash, my husband ahd a similar accident with our bbq. Thank God we decided to bbq again the next day noticed it!

I have to admit, I love having ng. I feel like we bbbq at lot nore because if it. But if you’re not lazy you can save some $$$. 🙂

8 SavingDiva

I also have only recently started to spend less than I make….I don’t have a house or a BBQ….so I can’t really comment on that…but I do admire that you purchased a cheaper item and seem just as happy with it. I hope to be able to reach that type of enjoyment with an item that isn’t QUITE what I wanted.

9 FourPillars

That’s great that you are spending less than you make SD.

It’s hard to be happy with “less than the best” but for things like houses especially you might end up being happier in a cheaper house.

Mike

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