How I Almost Killed It

And Other Lessons in Being a Cheapskate

We all love to be frugal, right? Who wants to spend more money on things than is necessary? Not me. Last week my web hosting account had to renew for our Trail Family website. I was looking at this impending bill wondering if we really need the package that we have been subscribing to the last couple years. I decided that I wanted to downgrade to a lower subscription and price.

Thinking that I had read the fine print correctly but also being not so savvy with technology, this move was a huge mistake. After the renewal, I logged back in to find that only the first five posts on were still there. Nearly two years worth of work was gone! I almost killed my website. 

Take a deep breath with me. This story has a happy ending. My panic must have been evident because the girls asked me what was wrong. After two frantic chat sessions with customer service, coughing up the dough for my previous subscription level, and a website restore process, the website was back to its former glory.

 I learned once again that it’s good to be frugal, but some things are really worth paying for. Here is a short list of some other frugal do’s and don’ts that I’d like to share with you. 

Don’t pay full price for snacks

I love a good discount grocery store. In fact, I really miss one that recently closed permanently in our area. Scoring a fifty-five cent box of granola bars feels like winning the lottery. Snacks are items where you want to find the deals.

Do spring for the Turkish Towel

Tim gave me one of these as an anniversary gift. I recently got to take it for a test run at Cape Henlopen, Delaware. We enjoyed a morning at the beach with our friends who live there.

As claimed, the sand did not stick to the towel when I shook it out. Though I will note that I didn’t place it directly on the sand at any time. It did also absorb lots of water without becoming sopping wet. It’s crowning achievement was not frizzing out my curls when I used it to wring out my hair! For my fellow curly girls, I think it was even better than using a cotton shirt. My friend had two picnic blanket sized Turkish Towels and I plan to invest in a few more myself.

My beautiful towel didn’t make any appearances in our beach pictures. But it worked great!

Don’t pay for top of the line equipment

We have found that when it comes to almost any outdoor or sporting equipment, you don’t need the most expensive thing on the market. You also don’t want the cheapest you can find either. 

A few years back we found adjustable size ice skates for the girls. They adjust from a kids’ size eleven to three. The initial investment of eighty dollars each felt like a lot at the time, but considering that they will wear them several winters they were for sure worth it. Compare this scenario to buying a new pair each season and you can easily see that they were worth the price tag. 

The girls are doing soccer this year so we needed cleats. I was expecting to drop about forty dollars each on cleats. Imagine my surprise when we were able to get them for half of that! You could spend forty or sixty on a kids shoes from the big name brands. But we found the store brand to be comparable in quality and much better on the wallet.

Lexi has her cleats on.

Before the kids came along, Tim and I got into rock climbing for a while. We applied the same principle of “don’t need the best; don’t want the cheapest” to buying harnesses, ropes, rock shoes, chalk bags, and all that stuff. We enjoyed a few years of this hobby before kids came along, and our equipment suited us just fine. We did the same when buying kayaks around the same time.

So on your trail family journey, remember that some things you can get on the cheap, and some things you will invest in up front to use for years to come. Don’t drop tons of money on the biggest, brightest equipment because it’s not usually necessary. But pay for your web hosting. That one is worth it; trust me.

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