AskDefine | Define frugal

Dictionary Definition

frugal adj : avoiding waste; "an economical meal"; "an economical shopper"; "a frugal farmer"; "a frugal lunch"; "a sparing father and a spending son"; "sparing in their use of heat and light"; "stinting in bestowing gifts"; "thrifty because they remember the great Depression"; "`scotch' is used only informally" [syn: economical, scotch, sparing, stinting]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From frugalis "virtuous, thrifty"

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. economical, avoiding waste, thrifty

Quotations

  • 1776 — Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Book II, Chapter III,
    By what a frugal man annually saves, he not only affords maintenance to an additional number of productive hands, for that or the ensuing year, but [also] establishes as it were a perpetual fund for the maintenance of an equal number in all times to come.

Translations

economical, avoiding waste, thrifty

French

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. miserly, avoiding waste

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Frugality is the practice of
  1. acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner, and
  2. resourcefully using already owned economic goods and services, to
  3. achieve a longer term goal.

Strategies for frugality

Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing free (as in gratis) options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

Philosophy

Frugality in the context of certain belief systems, is a philosophy in which one does not trust, or is deeply wary of "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual.
Different spiritual communities consider frugality to be a virtue or a spiritual discipline. The Religious Society of Friends and the Puritans are examples of such groups. The basic philosophy behind this is the idea that people ought to save money in order to allocate it to more charitable purposes, such as helping others in need.
There are also environmentalists who consider frugality to be a virtue through which humans can make use of their ancestral skills as hunter-gatherers, carrying little and needing little, and finding meaning in nature instead of man-made conventions or religion. Henry David Thoreau expressed a similar philosophy in Walden, with his zest for self-reliance and minimal possessions while simply living in the woods.

References

frugal in German: Sparsamkeit
frugal in Zeeuws: Zunig'eid

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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