Frugality-Not Just for the Poor

I have heard from a number of people that they just don’t like the word “frugal”. It seems to conjure up images of reusing tea bags and saving hundreds of empty boxes. But neither of these things are what frugality is really about. It is not cheapness or hoarding. Or even clipping coupons necessarily, though that would be frugal if you were going to buy that item anyhow and the coupon price really was the best deal.
The opposite of frugality is waste, not luxury. It is about getting the maximum out of available resources. For the poor frugality is a necessity. But that doesn’t mean it is only for the poor. In fact, being wasteful can make us poorer, and conserving our resources (frugality) can make us richer. Except for the new high tech millionaires every rich person you can name is either frugal or has an ancestor that was. The one who made the fortune.
The best model for frugality is nature herself. She wastes nothing, and yet is exquisitely abundant. And considering the shape the environment is in the new frugality is essential to restoring the balance of nature with the least pain to humankind. Frugal is the new green.
When I write a post I create it so the information will help the “new poor” immediately. But each element will be of equal value to the voluntarily frugal. Most of whom very comfortable. And if there is a conflict I will explore it openly.
Once the true meaning of the word “frugal” is known, what’s not to like?

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10 Responses

  1. Hi Annabel, I totally agree. A person can lead a beautiful life and strive to lead a waste free life without being poor. Being frugal to save resources for the planet and for others on the planet is a gift for all of us. Mother Earth is not only frugal, she is self healing, if she can keep up with the high demands placed on her resources. We can lead luscious, juicy lives in wild abundance and prosperity while still being frugal. To me frugal is the opposite of being wasteful with our gifts and resources.

  2. We live in a country where rampant consumerism is the norm and the result is so much waste that we have to ship our trash to other countries to deal with. I believe living frugally is the responsible thing to do on many levels and the fact that it greatly helps my budget is just a bonus!

  3. Hi Annabel,
    So, if I find a tee shirt on sale for $5 and I don’t really need it right now but know I will next summer, then if I buy one in every color offered because they are such a good buy, am I wasteful. Or if I find a blouse I love and looks great on me,and decide to buy it, am I wasteful to buy two (again in another color.) Sometimes I do this and then feel a little guilty for buying what I can do without. Also my closet fills up with choices. Comparing myself to people who have few resources I come out not so frugal.
    I’m not being argumentative, I would like to know what you think of this kind of buying. Am I hoarding?

    • The main question is whether you use all of them. Buying clothes in bulk is no different than buying food or office supplies in bulk. Also, the fashion gods are fickle and some years put out absolutely nothing that works. So when you find a good one buying a few in different flattering colors is pretty smart. Hoarders are different. They will have piles and piles of unused and broken items. And can’t find their closets.
      For non-hoarders, buying in bulk is a good move as long as the storage is there.

  4. Very creative,I like it.

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  7. […] general, as expressed in this blog post entitled: “Frugality – Not Just for the Poor”, frugality is described by The Frugal Goddess as a positive, i.e., “it is about getting the […]

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