Frugality Means

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In growing my blog and networks, I’ve come across a lot of sites, blogs, and people who are claiming to be frugal and live frugal lifestyles. Ya know what? I’m not so sure that’s really what I want to call myself, if what I’m seeing is what is expected.

You see, I’m not all about couponing. I’m not all about this product or that product. In fact, I’m about spending less money in all aspects of life. To me, if it means spending money, it’s NOT frugal! To me, the frugal option is free or almost free. It might cost a little more in the way of effort or time, and I completely understand that there are times when it makes more sense to pay for small conveniences, but most of the time it holds true that frugality does not equal spending money.

frugality means

Make do, or do without.

I’ve done so much with so little for so long, I’m pretty sure I can do anything with nothing at all.

Seriously. We laugh about that in my family, sometimes. (Sometimes we cry over it!) But it’s true. Frugality, to me, is about taking what is available and making something out of it that I need or can use – without spending money! It’s about figuring out how to get things done without pulling on the family budget. As in, not at all.

Don’t get me wrong. Frugality sometimes means putting forth an initial investment in order to save a large sum of money over a period of time. Sometimes it means shopping around and finding the best deal on something you’ll have to spend money on one way or the other. Sometimes it means spending a small amount of money to make something you need instead of a larger amount of money to purchase the item up front.

But most often, in my world, frugality is about the avoidance of spending money. If it’s a “free item” that I have to pay for shipping on, and I wouldn’t buy that item or think about getting it anyway, it’s not a frugal option for me to spend any money – even just two or three dollars for shipping. It’s just not. Do that ten times and then what have you got? $20 gone on things I never would have bought. Yes, it’s a good deal. But not if I didn’t have or didn’t need to spend that $20 in the first place.

Perspective. That’s all.


  1. says

    That’s a good point. I don’t claim to be frugal, but I pretty much never buy anything unless it’s on sale. I guess that makes me thrifty? I don’t know. I do buy a lot of things I don’t necessarily need, haha. Now following back 🙂
    Modern Modest Beauty

  2. says

    This is so true, and a big reason why I just can’t do the couponing thing. I shop at the off brand stores for my groceries and it makes no sense to me to spend 3 times as much on something just to save $1 off (or less). And those big time couponers with the stockpiles? Who in the world needs 500 tubes of toothpaste, even if they were free?

    I subscribe more to your philosophy and the philosophy of The Frugal Gazette. I still get out those books from time to time and implement her suggestions. They are timeless.

  3. says

    Don’t forget not throwing out something that can still be used! I sew lots of projects and you have no idea how much of my fabric is really just “scraps” other people tossed out!