I have grown to hate PF blogs…

I’ve grown to dislike many of the PF blogs that I used to visit every day.

Many blogs, I’ve found, are too preachy.  There was one that I stopped reading after the writer carefully explained that we have to brush our teeth every day and use soap – all over our bodies! – when we shower.

When a blog starts talking about how they think buying organic might not be frugal, but it’s important for them to be healthier, I can’t help but reply.  Sorry, organic foods aren’t proven to be any healthier (assuming you wash your fruits & veggies!), and producing them is so inefficient that it’s even worse for the environment than using conventional methods.  The profit margins are higher on organic food, and misinformation convinces people that it’s better for them, for the animals, and for the environment.  Sorry, but no. Link for your perusal.

I hate extreme frugality.  I can’t get behind a website that tells people that clothes at Costco are just as good as those made by J. Crew.  The basic construction is probably fine, I will concede that, but there’s something to be said for the structure of clothing, for the fit and the shape of it.  I am guilty of seeking out cheaper clothes; I shop at Old Navy!  The best advice out there is to pay a lot of money for tailored clothes that will last.  For the sake of honesty, I will admit that I am too cheap and want too trendy of clothes to actually do this.

I detest lists about “Ten Cheap Things To Do On The Weekends!”  If someone doesn’t know that reading a book is free, they are probably reading your blog from an extremely short school bus.

Perhaps it’s just because I’ve incorporated the more basic frugality advice and repitition of it bores me.  Perhaps I’m not committed enough & make too much money to reuse Ziploc bags.
I sound like a curmudgeon.  That was not the point of this post, and hopefully no one will ever have to hear me rant about organic food again.  I had actually intended to describe the blogs I like.

My favorite blogs are those with a narrative.  I love blogs that sound as if they could have been written by me, if I only had a better grasp on the English language.  I love blogs with authors who have a weakness for shoes and Banana Republic pants (seriously, though, why do they cost so much??).  I like giggling when a blogger agonizes over having spent $100 on a pair of shoes… when they’ve already saved $2000 that month!  Because I totally do that.

I suspect this means I’ve moved past the stage where I need to be taught.  I have a good grip on the basics, and now I just need some moral support when I feel guilty for actually spending part of my clothing budget.

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28 Responses

  1. I do have to agree that organic may not be better, but I tried organic chocolate vs. regular and the taste was a million miles away

    Second, I also hate extreme frugality. I blogged about this a while back, and it bothers me when people start telling me to eat ramen and to pinch on every part of my life, that it makes me wonder why life is even worth living.

    If I want an iPod, I WANT IT damn it

    And if I want J.Crew or Anthropologie clothing, I’m gonna buy it because I’m not going to spend $5000 on a shopping spree, but maybe $300 on a well-made garment that I’ll wear for many years.

    And this is why I love your blog too 🙂 Because you aren’t so crazy thrifty and crazy religious about maximizing every penny, that it makes me feel like I’m not a freak in the PF world.

    I am SO LINKING TO THIS 😀

  2. @ FB: This is probably true about the taste of organic food. I get more upset that there’s all of the misinformation about health benefits. If it tastes better, then say that! I’m OK with people buying it because it makes them feel good, too, I just have issue with people presenting things as facts without taking time to check the science behind it.

    Clothing is the only thing I splurge on, so it makes me mad when I read in other blogs that you don’t need to be stylish, that it’s consumerist and a symbol of everything wrong with the state of the world. These people then talk about how they like to splurge on specialty foods, but that’s OK because it’s their “passion.” I’m not saying it’s the best of habits, but as a portion of my overall spending, it’s tiny!

  3. that is why you should look at mine 🙂 no preaching. just the tales of my life.

  4. I hate self-righteousness in general, and there is definitely enough of that to be found on PF blogs, both in posts and comments. The formula usually goes something like, “Anyone who buys ___ is ____.” Some bloggers say some mean things about ladies who buy expensive bags (“superficial”, “lacking self-esteem”, and much worse). Granted, I don’t spend much on my bags, and I do believe that people should be careful to spend within their means, but I also understand that there are many reasons why someone would pay more for a designer bag when some people might not see a difference other than price. I, for one, am very visually-oriented and am willing to pay more for nicer looking, better quality things — while my roommate who is very smell-oriented will spend money on all sorts of scented things I could care less about.

    In the end, it comes back to the fact that everyone’s different. We have different incomes, different needs, different wants, different priorities, and different tolerances for money saving strategies. I, for one, don’t mind reusing some zip lock bags and I try to reuse them primarily because I hate throwing out plastic things. I have a box that I toss most used ones in. However, those are mostly bags that I haven’t used to store food in, so I rarely if ever wash them. Food usually gets stored in canisters, jars, or Pyrex bowls (if leftovers).

    On the other hand, a lot of times I see people getting offended by what I see are just suggestions. What you said about reading did make me giggle, I’ll admit. But really, it is a good suggestion if not novel (no pun intended), and one that a lot of people don’t take advantage of because they don’t think about it. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily make for a particularly interesting PF blog post, but I find that the most interesting suggestions are quickly shot down by commenters as being too extreme.

  5. @adventure: I will definitely check your blog out!

    @ Meg: I hadn’t originally intended to go off on a tangent about blogs I dislike. My general feeling is that everyone has different things they’re willing/unwilling to do, and as long as it’s not something that hurts others, I don’t care. I’m sure some of the things I do for fun or to save money would appall others!

    I actually have one blog that really embodies all of the things that bother me, The author will talk about how it’s OK to splurge, but then insult buying designer clothing. (This is the same blog that wrote an article about how to wash yourself.)

  6. I think I read that blog! I think I may have to follow suit an stop reading it all together. Trent posted an article this weekend that again, insulted people who want to buy name brands. I don’t buy name brands, but I find him hypocritical.

    I even wrote a comment, but it didn’t make it past his censorship. That’s kind of creepy.

  7. @paranoidasteroid

    Well said! To each his/her own. I’m sure that some people would be equally appalled by some stuff I do but consider me completely unfrugal because I have such an extensive collection of shoes (though I did buy most at Ross) — not to mention my lovely matching containers for dry food that would be just about as well off in zip-top bags.

    I think it’s interesting, though, to see what others scrimp and splurge on. It’s amazing how different people’s priorities are in some ways, and how similar, too. And I think it’s alright to splurge on some things but there’s the difference between enjoying personal luxuries and keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about figuring out what really makes you happy and not just buying stuff because everyone else seems to be enjoying the same thing.

  8. “I love blogs with authors who have a weakness for shoes and Banana Republic pants (seriously, though, why do they cost so much??). ”

    Shoes & BR pants? Um, that’s me. So does that mean I’m not on your blog hate list? 😉

    By the way, thanks for linking to my blog.

  9. I completely agree with you about organic food. I actually work in agriculture and I know for a fact that organic farmers are WARNED of when their inspections will be and have enough time to stop using the chemicals they are not supposed to be using. (They know in enough time to be able to time it so the chemicals are out of the dirt). So honestly, a lot of “organic” foods are NOT organic.

    Then, if they get caught by accident and loose their organic label it’s ok because that particular farm can then just sell their product as normal food. Either way they make money.

    FB’s post led me here…but I completely agree with your post! (I would definitely rather buy an Ann Taylor suit than go to Walmart). I think I might have to post about this now too. ha.

  10. I find those kind of posts (the top 10 or whatever) so much harder to write than actually telling stories. And less interesting to read…more likely to just skip over in my reader. Now and then there’s something new, though. 🙂

    I much prefer writing about things that are going on in my life, or related. And reading about things that other people probably find interesting. It’s almost always better-written.

  11. IMHO, preachy people are humorless and therefore useless.

  12. Great post! I found a link on FB’s blog…

    I don’t think I will ever shop at Costco. BR pants are great…I have a BR credit card to earn gift certificates…so I feel less bad about spending $80 on a pair of jeans, and $120 on a pair of wool pants….because I have $20-$30 of gift certificates 🙂

  13. @ Well-Heeled: Your blog was actually one of the ones I was thinking about when I wrote that!

    @ Penny: Ha, one more thing I did not know about organic food! This actually makes me feel better about being to cheap to shell out extra for the organic stuff!

    @ Mrs. Micah: That’s exactly what I prefer to read. I think it can be hard to come up with new content every day, so I suspect that some of those lists are just filler.

    @Wendy: Agreed 100%.

    @SavingDiva: I discovered I had been linked last night, I was wondering why so many people had come to my blog! I’m addicted to the BR sale section, I confess. Might have to look into the credit card!

  14. It’s the FB effect (like the FW = fatwallet effect). I get it from time to time when FB is gracious enough, or when she’s laughing at me. 🙂

    I got a kick out of both your posts. You both certainly have good points. I still read those blogs from time to time just in case they happen to have a good idea that I DO like. Other times, it’s just a nice counterpoint to the other extreme (spending) so I can feel like I’m still somewhere in the middle; too often I feel like I’m WAY too frugal. It IS by necessity, but I look forward to the day when I can better pick and choose my forms of frugality.

    I’ve even stopped looking at BR as a splurge, I just enable it by trying to keep gift cards on hand at all times: makes it A-ok 😉

  15. Very very true. I too read the “how to shower” post. Um, ok? Definitely covered that a very long time ago!

    I like the narrative blogs too. Less preachy, more real, a few helpful tips, some cute outfits

    I like reading the comments on some of the big name popular blogs, but the content itself is repetitious if you read pf blogs for a month or two.

    (also found you through FB–she does such fabulous links!)

  16. LOL… I have a new found respect for the effort that can go into a top ten list of frugal ideas.

    Today I find myself having to write out a 10 frugal tips list for a newspaper article featuring FruWiki.com. While I have a lot of ideas, it’s not an easy thing. Some things are too common sense to many people (which doesn’t mean that they do any of them, of course), some things are too extreme to many, and some just fall under the realm of “too much information”. I started really broad because I hate that many of those top ten lists only help people who live in the country or live in the city or have kids or don’t, etc., etc., etc. But of course, the first list was broader than what they were looking for so it’s back to the drawing board.

  17. Oh, and yeah, I found you through FB, too.

  18. @ PA

    Last week I wrote a preachy blog entry about eating organic food. Thank you for calling me on this. I want to run back and DELETE that post and start all over again. But I won’t.

    You may have shattered an illusion of mine I have been holding onto for a while (namely: organic=better). Can it be true? I must find out more.

  19. @ Msminiducky: I completely support whatever frugal things you do. I’m sure you would be repulsed by things I do to save money, and some thing I do out of sheer laziness!

    @ Meg: I can definitely appreciate the difficulty of making the lists! If someone asked me for advice, I’m not sure what I’d say. It’s not that I haven’t spent weekends & vacations doing nothing but reading (this is one of my favorite things to do, to the dismay of my hyperactive boyfriend). Given the number of people who actually read for fun(i.e. practically none), I don’t think many people would be interested, even if it is free.

    @ Candice: The absolute last thing I want is to make anyone feel bad. I’ve heard (although I can’t confirm as I have always been too cheap to actually buy organic food) that organic food tastes better. There’s no scientific test for that!

  20. Found your post through FB and feel the same way about extreme frugality. I can border on extreme frugality sometimes but I’ve discovered spending money isn’t so evil after all in moderation and for need.

    the Banana Republic card is a great deal. I think you get a $10 free coupon on your birthday and I’ve spent about $300 and earned $20 in certificates. Not a bad ROI for shopping there though I’ll steer clear of the shoes.

  21. I can only do the extreme frugality thing for a week or two, and usually only then when I have something in mind to blow some money on.
    I will NEVER have a big deal about a $2 chocolate bar – that’s too much for me. I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments.
    I hate the top 10 lists too – I did that a couple of times on my blog and then put it away for ever. It was boring to write and, I’m sure, to read. I just like to tell my story, and occasionally, that of the people I know.

  22. @sfordinarygirl: I have some things that border on extreme frugality too! I’m sure most people, seeing the things I do for fun on the weekends, would be bored to tears by my life. I sometimes have a problem allowing myself to spend money, so I’m trying to retrain myself through a non-tracked spending account.

    @ debtfretter: that’s how I am! I’ll do a no-spend month so that I can blow the money of a skirt or something that’s outside my normal comfort zone.
    I never can make it to a round number when I make lists… usually I wind up with 7 or 13. Most top-tens are near-exact copies of everything else that’s out there anyway.

  23. I will be “frugal” to a point. I do not sacrifice quality. I shop at Ann Taylor Loft for my clothes because, let’s face it, I’m in my 40s and need all the help “good” clothes will give me. By the way, I made the mistake of buying my older daughters clothes from Ann Taylor Loft and they now see the “cheapness” of Old Navy. Oh, oh. They will need a bigger clothes budget.

    The point is where I won’t sacrifice on what I wear, I may sacrifice on the kind of car I drive. Bottomline is I can’t spend more than I make, and it is even better if I live slightly below my means.

    I believe some of the PF bloggers are writing things they need to hear, not necessarily what others should take with them…although I’ve seen some pretty obusive comments….geez…

    Anyway, it sounds like you definitely have everything under control, so I say do what works for you and leave the rest….

    Glad I found your blog….

  24. There’s no preaching about eating organic on my blog, but I have to admit that lists are fun to write and great when you can’t think of anything else to write because:

    1. Don’t even need complete sentences
    2. Easy to read
    3. Number 1 and 2
    4. All of the above
    5. None of the below

  25. I got here through some links on the blogosphere some how.

    I find the link on organic products very hilarious. It argues about animal welfare but then just talks about animals as a vehicle to produce grocery store products. Clearly giving animals drugs to reduce their pain, admitting that they are either going to be doped up or in pain, has nothing to do with animal welfare. Pain still exists whether masked by drugs, or not.

    In the end a diet free of animal products – organic or not – is the best environmentally.

    I don’t really buy organic products – and was hoping to get some insight from the article – but being (basically) vegan the article did nothing for me.

  26. […] 24 Comments paranoid asteroid wrote a very good rant about PF blogs, and I have to agree with her. I love my J. Crew or other mainstream brand name clothes as much as […]

  27. […] I am interviewing the wonderful Paranoid Asteroid, who caught my attention with this very post about hating PF blogs, and then followed up with a post this March saying that it was okay to spend […]

  28. I totally agree! I just wrote about this subject the other day. http://londonsnobonabudget.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=87&action=edit
    There are times when I was so poor that I couldn’t afford to buy any clothes so I didn’t and I held out on the candy bar as well.

    However now I would rather buy fewer nicer items then cheap crap that falls apart after a turn in the washer.

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