Frugal Confessions — Live a VIP Life on an Average Paycheck

Random Acts of {Frugal} Kindness on the Rise


Have you been on the receiving end of a Random Act of Frugal Kindness (RAFK)? Or perhaps you’ve committed one yourself? Tweet This!

Oprah introduced the concept of the Random Act of Kindness (RAK) to my family in the 90s. My then-stepmother was watching her show one day, and it was all about committing these RAKs. She excitedly told the rest of us about it, and how she wanted us to start doing them as a family.

Then one Sunday, on one of my father’s lovely car rides where he would take us all out into the middle of nowhere and purposefully get us lost (yes, these were fun occasions), we wound up at a toll booth on I-95. Instead of paying for just our toll ticket we also paid for the driver behind us. All of us giggled and smiled at the idea along with the toll booth attendant—she could tell we were up to something. We pulled ahead a hundred yards or so and watched as the car came up to the booth and sat there for a few minutes, most likely trying to digest the fact that total strangers had paid their fare. We raced off like bandits, except that the act we had just committed was for good.

We had actually committed our first drive-by RAK!

Random Acts of {Frugal} Kindness I’ve Witnessed or Received


Lately, what’s really interesting to me are all of the Random Acts of Frugal Kindness happening. I feel like they’ve been on the rise, or perhaps I’m just paying more attention to them?

These are RAKs that don’t cost a dime, just a little bit of effort. Some of my favorites I’ve personally seen have been:

  • I was standing in line at a Kohl’s. A woman who was going to be leaving the country the next week had just earned $100 in free Kohl’s cash that couldn’t be used until after she left the states. So she gave it to the person in line behind her.
  • While walking through our local JCP store, there was a man in the center aisle who asked me if I wanted his $10/$25 coupon that he had no use for. I already had a $10/$10 one, but thanked him profusely for the kind gesture.
  • When I go into our CVS, I oftentimes notice a coupon or two left on the product by someone who decided not to use it or who had an extra.
  • Our local HEB grocery store tapes coupons to products all the time.
  • In the various local Facebook Groups I’m a part of, there are always people giving away valuable items for free to a “good home”.
  • When we rented a vacation home for four days at the beach with several other couples a few years ago, there were cupboards full of unused, non-perishable food items left by previous vacationers that were ours for the using if we’d like.

All of these simple acts have really touched me, and got me thinking about ways I can pass on the kindness to others. Some simple ideas that have come to mind are bringing in used grocery bags when I go to the $5 community yoga classes (they always need more!), passing on products that I’ve tried and didn’t work for me, and I even put one in motion just the other day when Sprinkles was giving away free cupcakes. I told a random woman shopping across the street with her two children (you should have seen the smile on her face at the free treat she could now give her kids!).

And now it’s your turn. Have you noticed Random Acts of Frugal Kindness? Anymore than usual? Have you been on the receiving end and/or the committer end? I’d love to hear your own run-ins in the comments below.

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