What is frugality? Frugality is…

What is frugality?

Frugality is living below your means.

Frugality is walking or biking to grocery stores instead of driving.

Frugality is growing your own vegetables and herbs.

Frugality is buying long lasting memories and experiences instead of depreciating things.

Frugality is driving the car for many years instead of changing the car every other year.

Frugality is asking if you really need this item at least twice before purchasing.

Frugality is parking 2 streets away from the final destination for free instead of paying for $30 onsite parking fee.

Frugality is walking or biking to everywhere, whenever possible.

Frugality is spending less money yet still have the same life experience.

Frugality is spending on quality items, not cheap low quality items.

Frugality is looking after your health and eating nutritious meals.

Frugality is cooking your own food and being appreciative of where your food comes from.

Frugality is writing on both size of paper.

Frugality is knowing where and when to spend money to receive greatest values.

Frugality is recycling and using compost.

Frugality is turning off lights when not needed.

Frugality is wearing a sweater in wintertime instead of turning up the thermostat.

Frugality is using a drying rack instead of using a dryer for drying clothes.

Frugality is not caring what other people think about you.

Frugality is using clothe diapers.

Frugality is not comparing yourself to others around you.

Frugality is cutting cable.

Frugality is finding available free entertainment.

Frugality is not having or needing the greatest and latest in electronic gadgets.

Frugality is finding the right balance in life and understanding which items provide the greatest return to you.

Frugality is using local libraries for books.

Frugality is buying second hand items.

Frugality is fixing up things yourself.

Frugality is DIY as much as possible.

Frugality is enjoying what you have and not always chasing for the new shiny object.

Frugality is understanding tax system and becoming tax efficient.

Frugality is leanding a hand to others in need.

Frugality is being happy about your savings rate.

Frugality is using LED lights.

Frugality is conserving water.

Frugality is spending a day in the great outdoor without spending any money.

Frugality is simplifying your life and live happily.

Frugality is making an effort to consume less and optimizing your life.

Frugality is being creative and thinking about the end goals instead of limitations.

Frugality is being happy and content about what you have now.

Frugality is not judging what others do in their lifes. We all make our choices. Right or wrong, these choices are always right for us at the time.


I can probably go on for a while talking about what frugality is what what frugality means to me. What about you? What does frugality mean to you?

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30 thoughts on “What is frugality? Frugality is…”

    • Hi The Professor,

      Is it possible to have a small herb garden on your kitchen counter? That’s a good start.

  1. I’m just happy to say I’m hitting up a pretty good number of these on your frugality list.

    I think this one goes unrecognized by frugal and non-frugal alike: “Frugality is spending on quality items, not cheap low quality items.”

    This could be one of the most important in terms of long term savings and frugality. Paying extra money upfront for a quality items, your pay per use over time defeats the low quality item.

    • Hi Even Steven,

      Buying high quality items will not only save you money in the long run, they will save you time as well. Time = money. Enough said. 🙂

  2. Wow, guess we are very frugal based on that list!

    Nice list, seems to capture the true nature of “being frugal” quite well.

  3. I got a few on your list! Yay! I also don’t have a cellphone plan. $1K/yr, 15 yrs with interest reinvested … $20-$40K savings.

    Frugality is living happily at the basic level. Happiness come from inside. We’re going to take a road trip with summer and make multiple stops. Imagine flying with 12 cities for example for 2?? that could be $30K. Anyhow, it’s all about choice.

    • Hi Vivianne,

      Interesting that you don’t have a cellphone plan but I do not think a cellphone plan would cost you $1k/year… that’s $83.33/month which seems quite high to me. However good point on how quickly power of compound interest takes affect.

  4. Great list Tawcan – I’m doing most of those but there are some that I’m not doing (and probably should) so there’s still room for improvement in my frugality! Thanks for posting!

    • Hi Barry,

      It’s definitely OK to splurge a little here and there, especially when it’s for buying/gaining memorable experiences.

  5. Lots of definitions of frugality. My favorite is “Frugality is being happy about your savings rate”. I actually enjoyed reading each line, Tawcan.

    • Hi Jayson,

      Thanks for your words. It’s always great to know that you’re saving money. Don’t compare your own savings rate to others. Rather you should look at other’s savings rate as a source of encouragement for wanting to save more.

  6. I find myself to abide by some of the ‘items’ on the list, while splurging on others. I am trying to find the right balance between a good lifestyle and also making as few financial mistakes as possible.

    • Hi Ramona,

      Finding the right balance is definitely very important. The right balance will be different from person to person.

  7. What a fantastic list. We try to do all of these, especially driving our 18yr old car and growing our own vegetables.


    • Hi M,

      Driving an old car and growing our own vegetables are great. We are just starting a garden at our new house and things are growing fast!

    • Hi Andrew,

      You’re right, frugal doesn’t mean cheap. Being cheap is totally different than being frugal. Frugality is really knowing where to optimize your spending.

  8. Great list! For me frugality is maximizing the efficiency of things, especially money. To be frugal I make sure to understand all things that could affect my wallet, and in-sourcing things which some people don’t think twice about paying for.

    • Hi Fervent Finance,

      Doing things yourself instead of hiring someone or paying for it is definitely one way to be frugal. Good point all around.

  9. Tawcan,

    Excellent summary of the frugality and some very good tips, I liked this very much: ¨Frugality is not comparing yourself to others around you¨

    I found too many people that want to like this one or that one and which is not bringing any value but bring sadness as you probably cannot reach the same level.

    I would have added another one ¨Frugality is Happiness¨

    Cheers, RA50

    • Hi RA50,

      When you compare yourself to others that’s when it gets dangerous. That’s when keeping up with the Joneses symptom starts.

      Great thought on Frugality is happiness. That’s so true. Thanks for sharing.


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