When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

DIY, decorating, being a homeowner,  and trying to be frugal isn’t always easy.  And sometimes it just fails…  I don’t want to give you this rosy picture that I buy Pottery Barn furniture at yard sale prices to furnish my home and it looks like a catalog and is always perfectly neat and tidy at all times.   Because that just isn’t always the case – sometimes we save up money and purchase things brand new at a store, buying and implementing  yard sale finds and thrift store finds takes a bit more effort than going and getting to pick out and buy every little decorating piece at a big store, and our house is hardly ever perfectly clean!  Smile

But let’s talk about the being frugal part today.   Sometimes you can try and try to be frugal when you just need to bite the bullet and make a wise but more costly decision.  Like doing a home improvement that might not be a pretty or fun thing and might cost a pretty penny, but makes your house worth more or makes your house safe (like fixing a foundation problem, putting on a new roof, etc.)  And sometimes although maybe buying a couch at a yard sale for $50 might be the “frugal” option, if it is infested with bugs or smells, or is worn out, or just not your style, or not the correct size for your space… It may have been a much wiser financial decision to just save up a bit more to buy the new, right color/size/style for your home, and that is also clean and new for your family. 

So here’s a recent frugal fail and success I had in the master bathroom. 

This was my old beige shower curtain rod, and some curtain rod hooks that I actually purchased at Goodwill for $1.21 a year or so ago hoping to use them in the bathroom.  I knew I needed to do something about the rod and also possibly the hooks (although in person the hooks didn’t look as “yellowish”).

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

So of course spray paint came to the rescue.  I haven’t found a great chrome/silver/nickel spray paint but I had some of the Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect Specialty Spray.  So I stuck the hooks through some cardboard and sprayed the metal part with the mirror spray paint.

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

They turned out perfect – a nice shiny, chrome type color. 

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

Then I flipped over the cardboard and sprayed the design part of the hook with Rust-Oleum Spray Pain in Dark Gray.

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

So I thought I would spray paint the rod too.  Although I knew spray painting a smooth metal object like that can be much harder – you have to very light coats and many coats and getting the metal hooks constantly drug across it could cause a problem too.

So here it was…

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

And it wasn’t great – first it was a bright/stark white that looked a bit out of place.  And apparently I did a horrible job spray painting it because there was runs everywhere and after only 2-3 days it was completely scratched up and not pretty looking at all.    It’s pretty bad when your husband says what is wrong with the shower curtain, it doesn’t open and close good anymore?  FAIL.

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

But luckily last week Dollar General had a big 50% household sale and shower curtain rods happened to be included.  So I got a new, shiny silver rod that was $8.50 for $4.25. 

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

The scratched up, runny, spray painted rod will be retired to the garage to use in garage sales or to help organize things.  And the $4 silver rod will be enjoyed in our bathroom!

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

So I guess I could call this a half-success or half-fail since the curtain hooks turned out great and were a savings at $1.21 versus $8 or so in the store and hey, at least I got my store-bought, new rod at 1/2 off too! 

When sometimes trying to be frugal turns out to be a big fat FAIL

The moral of the store is don’t beat yourself up if your best attempts at being frugal don’t work – hey, at least you tried!  Save up, buy the thing you really had your heart set on or the thing that will work best for your family and find another are you can be frugal in.

Ever had a frugal fail?  I would love to hear your story too!


  1. I love Dollar General, my daughter bought chevron curtains there for her livingroom and they look so nice…I wanted them but I’ve checked out two stores and they don’t have any left!
    I love your bathroom shower curtain and the rod and that was a great idea for the shower curtain hooks!

  2. Looks really great.

  3. Great advice! We’ve all tried to be frugal and our best attempts failed…. Despite the fact you had to get a new curtain rod, the hooks turned out great! And they look good with the shower curtain and the new rod! Thanks for sharing – I love that you keep it “real” on your blog…..
    Blessings to you,

  4. When you wrote “a big fat fail” I was prepared to read about something really major going wrong in your bathroom like a broken toilet or a cracked sink! You easily remedied the problem and still did it frugally! Don’t be so hard on yourself. You did great!

  5. Yes! We hadn’t purchased any new furniture the whole time we had been married until we moved into our home last April. We needed a loveseat and we knew that we would be using it all the time, so we decided to spend extra on a new one. It was worth the investment. Your shower rod and hooks turned out great! I spray painted our hooks too. It’s amazing what spray paint will do!
    Emily recently posted..First Birthday Party PlanningMy Profile

  6. I have made to many frugal fails to mention in this box over the years lol. But we love and learn. I like your frugal sliver rod!
    Suzie recently posted..One Sweater 4 Crafts Series Part OneMy Profile

  7. I had no idea that Dollar General sold shower rods! Good to know. And I totally know what you mean about it sometimes making more sense to spend a bit more, because you save more in the long run. We splurged on our sofa several years ago because we wanted to invest in one that would last for many years even through kids beating up on it, and I’m so glad we did. We spent quite a bit but I feel like if we hadn’t, then we would’ve had to replace a cheap sofa probably twice by now. We save money buy thrifting accessories and other decor, but invested in our main piece. Sometimes you just have to weigh the pros and cons! And now I need to go check out Dollar General. Haha.
    Erin @ DIY on the Cheap recently posted..Amazing Cupcake Recipes + M&MJ {93}My Profile

  8. grammygoodwill says:

    I love how the shower curtain hooks turned out so I would count this as a success. (I shop at Dollar General a lot. How did I miss the 50% off sale? Sigh.)

  9. I literally planned to spray paint my shower rod tomorrow. I just happened on your post. Thank you. I am going to save the time, energy and frustration and get a new one.

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