View Poll Results: Do you have guilt about being thrifty?
I never feel guilty about a good deal! 32 35.96%
I feel a little guilty but I can't afford to buy Americain products. 17 19.10%
I feel guilty about buying stuff made in China. 23 25.84%
I only feel guilty if I find a cheaper price later. 4 4.49%
Other ... there is alway an other! 13 14.61%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-12-2013, 11:21 PM   #1
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The ethics of thrifty

Lately I've been thinking about not just saving $ but also how I "vote" with my money. I think sometimes to get the best price, I'm supporting things that I don't want to support.

For example: When I bought diapers... I bought cheap from China on Ebay. I bought some babyland cheapos. (These really suck. They delaminate. The elastic is shot on all of them even though they have only been worn maybe 10 times? ) I also bought some minky pockets from china on ebay. The minky diapers have held up and after nearly a year & half, I don't have issues with them.

The thing is... I feel a little guilty that I bought diapers from China & not made in the USA. I'd much rather support fellow Americans jobs than some of the practices that go on in China.

I'd rather buy local but it's hard to find local stuff. I'd rather buy from a Wahm but that's a gamble as to quality (especially online).

If I have another baby, I'll probably end up making diapers. I don't want to buy more made in China diapers but I can't see paying $30 or more a diaper from a Wahm when I sew.

It's is really hard to find things that are made in America. I know that if I really want to only buy American made products that would be very hard. I've read that if you can't buy Made in the USA ... then you should buy the item 2nd hand so the money from the sale would be more likely to stay in the USA. Like I'm pretty sure Kam Snaps are made in China. So I'd buy them on the FSOT here second hand. But I don't know if that makes much sense.

Am I the only one with thrifty guilt?

Do you think it is possible to buy only Made in the USA (Or only made in the county you live in) and still be thrifty?

Do you ever have ethical conflicts about being thrifty?

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I have guilt about buying things that I don't support the ethics of making/growing. I try to buy USA, organic and/or fair trade when I can afford it. I am getting to the point that I would rather have less of something that is quality and supports good practices than more of something that doesn't. Does that make sense?
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rdesonia
Lately I've been thinking about not just saving $ but also how I "vote" with my money. I think sometimes to get the best price, I'm supporting things that I don't want to support.

For example: When I bought diapers... I bought cheap from China on Ebay. I bought some babyland cheapos. (These really suck. They delaminate. The elastic is shot on all of them even though they have only been worn maybe 10 times? ) I also bought some minky pockets from china on ebay. The minky diapers have held up and after nearly a year & half, I don't have issues with them.

The thing is... I feel a little guilty that I bought diapers from China & not made in the USA. I'd much rather support fellow Americans jobs than some of the practices that go on in China.

I'd rather buy local but it's hard to find local stuff. I'd rather buy from a Wahm but that's a gamble as to quality (especially online).

If I have another baby, I'll probably end up making diapers. I don't want to buy more made in China diapers but I can't see paying $30 or more a diaper from a Wahm when I sew.

It's is really hard to find things that are made in America. I know that if I really want to only buy American made products that would be very hard. I've read that if you can't buy Made in the USA ... then you should buy the item 2nd hand so the money from the sale would be more likely to stay in the USA. Like I'm pretty sure Kam Snaps are made in China. So I'd buy them on the FSOT here second hand. But I don't know if that makes much sense.

Am I the only one with thrifty guilt?

Do you think it is possible to buy only Made in the USA (Or only made in the county you live in) and still be thrifty?

Do you ever have ethical conflicts about being thrifty?
I am by no means an expert. I don't find a problem with imported items when there is no locally sourced option available and/or the item is made using fair trade practices, environmentally safe practices, etc. environmentally speaking, I do have issues with imports (or even USA made but not local to me), but ethically, no. Buying every single item local is nearly impossible. I have not researched every company I ever buy from, but I do what I can when I can. My first choice is locally made with local sourced materials, of course. When not available, I try to choose either fair trade certified/organic imports, or locally made items made of (likely non FTC/O) imported materials. Sometime imported items made in questionable conditions is the only option, though Honestly, I waver bak on forth whether what is most important. Ideally, the "best" choice would always be the one I buy, but finances don't always agree. I do, however, hesitate a lot more often when it come to buying something I don't know the background on. I do try to think about where my dollar is voting when its a non necessity and there are many to choose from. I don't participate in co-ops and the like when its cheap knock off toys, diapers, etc. they are so ridiculously cheap, that I just can't see that the workers are making a living wage or working in decent conditions, not to mention I don't like that they steal the patterns and designs and all. (I'm kind of miffed, I bought some toys through aCo-op on facebook that I was told were the actual company, when I got them they were just knockoff brands and not the real deal; I likely will not participate with her again).

Thirsties are made in the USA and they use as many USA sourced materials as they can. Plus, they are really cheap. I know there are others. I think I read cotton babies is bringing all their products home again too, so flips and bg will be USA made again.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:25 AM   #4
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I voted that I have no guilt about a good deal.

The real answer is a bit more complicated than that.

First, I make many of the things I can. If I am making it, of course it's US made.

Second, I buy used a lot. I don't believe buying second hand supports foreign sweatshops.

Third, importing things supplies jobs to a LOT of US employees. When I make my wipes, the flannel is not US made (I don't think,) but the customs officer at the border inspecting the imports, the truck driver that brought it to JoAnn, the people stocking it on the shelves, cutting it and ringing me up are all US people employed because I bought something imported.

And finally, I do, occasionally feel bad about foreign sweatshops employing people for horrible pay. But at the same time, I think about our own history, the US went through a time frame where our manufacturing processes and labor practices were similarly dubious. A time when small children were being forced to work long hours in very dangerous conditions, many were killed and the employers didn't care. A time when women were locked into their office so they wouldn't leave early and then couldn't escape when it caught fire. And, it's awful and horrible, but we grew past it. I think it might be part of the growing pains of a country as it developes from a third world to a first world country. It doesn't make it right by any means and I am not saying that the fact that we went through it makes it ok. I am not saying that we (or anyone else) shouldn't work to change it, only that I think that those things WILL resolve themselves, because I think they have to as the nations grow and developed, regardless of whether or not I personally buy flannel from Joann that was made in China.

And, as I mentioned, generally speaking, I think the system of imports and exports is good for the world economy. It employs lots of folks, from ship captains and airline pilots, to customs inspectors and dock workers. And, many things may be made in one spot, but with parts from all over. My DH is working on a project that his company was contracted for by a foreign government. The engine they are building is being built with parts from all over the world. It's being manufactured here in the US, it will be used in another country. And many of the parts that will make it up, were made in other countries and shipped here. Employing thousands of people all over the world.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:32 AM   #5
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I never have a problem with a good deal. I am trying to buy used or make it but the reality is thrifty is extremely important to us. If something is made better for more I go with the best quality I can afford.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I generally don't have too much of a problem with it.

I try to buy locally or US made whenever I can. But to be honest things like diapers or clothing I don't really care so much about buying USA. Mainly because even if it's "made in the USA" the fabric probably isn't. So I honestly can't justify spending $20-30 per diaper anymore. It's just not in my budget anymore (I did do it with dd but I can't afford it this time).

I do however still try to support WAHMs when I can. If I can swing an extra couple of dollars yes I'll buy a diaper here or there but probably about 95% of my stash is sunbaby or alva. They work for us so I don't see a problem with it.

I do believe in quality over quantity though. So I will pay more for natural toys, natural soaps, and food.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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I'm too poor to "vote with my dollar" almost everything I buy us second hand. We even dumpster dive. I shop at Wal-Mart mostly and will buy over seas products. I have absolutely no guilt about it. I also will not buy American cars either.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I dont give it even a second thought. I consider quality in the mix but never where made.

We live in a global economy, aside from bater and trade really local is very limited. Even american companies make overseas now.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:29 AM   #10
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I try to "vote" when it comes to food. I think the typical food in grocery stores and such is not healthy and full of chemicals/artificial ingredients.

I suppose this isn't exactly what the op was asking about, but this is a huge issue for me. So, I try and buy organic, and I try to make a lot of food (as opposed to already prepared food). So, for me, my "thrifty food budget" just doesn't exist. I have decided to spend more on food than I have in the past to try and use my money to make some positive changes in our food industry. It really scares me that kraft uses known carcinogens for the mac and cheese coloring and that the milk industry is trying to be allowed to add artificial sweetners to milk and not have to put that on the ingredients list. Not to say I am perfect and I enjoy eating out But, when I read articles about 70% of the seafood served in restaurants is misrepresented (often cheaper, less healthy fish used in place of) and that it is even happening in grocery stores I can't help but feel angry, used and wanting to make a change!
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