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What Does Frugal Mean?

Your Two Cents: How Do You Feel About "Frugal"?


There are certain words that completely get under my skin. Sometimes I'm annoyed by the way a word sounds, and sometimes it's the meaning that causes me to turn against the word. Frugal is a two-time offender for me; I feel the same way about frugal that many of you feel about moist. It's a word with good intentions — it really just means economical— but its connotations seem cheap to me.

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trish0683 trish0683 9 years
I think of myself as a good saver and a smart spender, but if someone calls me frugal I feel as though I am being called cheap. My philosophy is that I won't pay full price for something that I know I can get at a discount. This pertains to clothing and food. I always use coupons and I check for sales each week. If something is full price, but I know it won't be going on sale anytime soon, then I have no qualms about buying it at full price. If something is on sale, I'll stock up, but only buy what I need. I shop at farmers markets for fruit and veggies, and I'm not afraid to look at thrift stores or low price stores like payless. But I know what I am buying. I prefer to spend a little more to get something that will last, than to buy something that is made poorly.
mrs-h mrs-h 9 years
I'm frugal and proud of it, but the word itself...yeah, I don't like it. Can't put my finger on exactly why, but it tastes bad.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
I said other. I disagree with a lot of folks. I feel like cheap is an even worse term. I would prefer folks call me financially savvy. This is savvysugar after all, no?
CurvatudeBlog CurvatudeBlog 9 years
i would consider it a total compliment..
chynablue chynablue 9 years
Don't call me frugal. Call me smart or opportunistic.
rosey rosey 9 years
Do people actually use the world frugal anymore? I don't have any problems with it, I don't think, probably because I associate it with that cooking show The Frugal Gourmet which I remember watching as a kid all the time. So, I guess since I don't exactly associate it with money and/or real life implications, I can't really decide how I feel about it.
kathybyrd kathybyrd 9 years
I see nothing wrong with the word frugal. However, I really like the word pragmatic better. I think it's complimentary.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
When I hear the word frugal I think of someone who is cheap and that just annoys me. I don't like the word. I'd rather someone say I am wise with my money or something like that.
sugardoll83 sugardoll83 9 years
"Frugal" just seems so dirty. I'm awful, but it makes me think of shopping at those discount grocery stores (I visited one once) where the food is either old or canned. However, just because I go to the sale rack first when I visit a store, I don't consider myself "frugal." (And neither would my bank.) I'd like to start thinking of "frugal" as a good thing... because right now I overspend, and then spend more. But I'd rather spend too much than be "frugal." It's this weird sense of control thing. If I can spend, I have control. If I have to limit myself (where I'd actually have more control) and be "frugal," I feel scared and powerless. It's this f'd up class thing, I think.
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Yeah, I don't think it's negative, but I wouldn't use the word. It really depends on the situation!
starsmom starsmom 9 years
Frugal makes me think of someone sitting in the dark with the heat turned off.......or of Ebenezer Scrooge.......I'm all for managing one'smoney and being thoughtful and careful....I just think the word itself is abrasive.
JubeeDancer JubeeDancer 9 years
I would much rather someone call me frugal than cheap...which I know I am but paying $20,000 a year for school is not easy!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Frugal makes me think of: Jeff Smith the Frugal Gourmet some penny pinching money bags who doesnt tip Frusion, fruit loops...
lizzylu49 lizzylu49 9 years
"Frugal" makes me think of people who never treat for coffee and never chip in enough for dinner! I agree, this word does not have good connotations!
homekeeper homekeeper 9 years
I think there can be good "frugal" and then not so good "frugal"! For example, reusing lint would be a not so good frugal.....seriously people do this and I have read about it! Do a google search. =0 Then there is good frugal, where you have finding ways to reuse things or find the cheapest way to get something, etc. A lot of people call me frugal because I find ways to save money, such as making my own detergent, etc. That is a good thing and saves me money on grocery items so I can use it on what I want, like shoes! ; )
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
To me, "frugal" is about affluent people making sure they stay affluent. They have money, and want to keep it that way. "Budget" on the other hand...
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
The word in and of itself sounds awful but knowing the meaning makes it less negative and thus I wouldn't mind if someone called me Frugal...though that would probably be the last thing they'd call me lol
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I'm with wackadoodle- I always call myself cheap. There are definitely things that I will spend money on, but, yeah, I'm cheap.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
I just flat out call myself CHEAP. I have moments where I splurge on a purchase but I spread those out throughout the year.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Aisa84 thats what I think of too! I HATE being frugal! I mean I watch what I spend but I always make sure I have money to do what I want and pay my bills and have some left over. Hence why I got a 2nd job AND have a sugar daddy who covers a lot of my expenses ;)
Kelly-O Kelly-O 9 years
There is a huge difference between frugal and stingy though. Frugal just means you're not wasting your money and are trying to be responsible in how you spend (at least to me.) My husband and I are still dealing with the fallout of his company's downsizing this time last year, our subsequent move, and all the life changes that have come with those things. I would have never thought myself frugal before, but it's out of necessity now. We're certainly not cheap people, but I buy dish washing liquid at the Dollar Store, and marked-down clothes from Ross, TJ Maxx, Target, and Penney's instead of Ann Taylor and White House | Black Market. And I'm learning as we go that those things are not necessarily of a lesser quality, and we're having much more fun together since we're not so worried about which restaurant we're going to, or what we're going to do on a weekend. We still go out and have fun, but being choosier about what you do really makes you think about the things that are important to you. I guess that's what "frugal" means to me - focusing on what's important to you and budgeting your money accordingly.
stayplus stayplus 9 years
At least being frugal means you'll never get yourself into debt. I really hate stingy men though.
figurine figurine 9 years
Seriously, I think it's quite a great word.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Frugal does have a bad connotation, as being cheap, but that's not the correct meaning of the word. Frugal is being careful and not being wasteful-- use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. I like being frugal for things like eating out and groceries so that I can have money to occasionally splurge on things like handbags and jewelry. I don't think coupons are embarrassing. I would rather hand a whole pile of coupons to the cashier at the grocery store while dressed fashionably than pay full price and not dress fashionably(or even worse, dress fashionably and be in credit card debt).
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
economical budget conscious parsimonious oh oh prudent. haha. when i hear that i think dana carvey doing george hw bush. what else we got... thrifty is my fave. it makes me think of
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