Monday, July 11, 2011

Princess and the Freeze Dried Pea is a word that I have always cringed at. As far as I was concerned, the definition of frugal was, "neglect." Being frugal sounds like you won't have enough to be comfortable. Going without to save a few pennies.

Looking it up in the dictionary didn’t help either.  “Thrifty” was just another word I had to look up. That was a little better, “to use ones resources wisely.” This sounds more like creativity than neglect.

In Spanish, you say “they are living beyond their means” by saying, “Viven por encima de sus posibilidades.” This translates to, “live above their possibilities.” It is about bringing comfort with the resources available. You really don't need twelve mattresses to get a comfortable nights sleep.

Perhaps frugal needs a better definition. One that makes those who feel they are being frugal proud. Maybe it could be, “to creatively provide for those you love with the resources available.”

It is not about neglect, but actually making your resources go further so MORE people can have their needs meet. That is something to be proud of. What would your definition of frugal be?


marci357 said...

To receive the best value for your money according to individual needs.

Linda said...

That is a good definition too!

Vicki in UT said...

I like the term "provident living"--making the best use of your resources.

Linda said...

Love it! Provident living is a great term.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Neglect is NOT the same as frugal, by any means.

Words have changed in meaning a lot over the years.

In Webster's 1828 dictionary, Webster defined frugal in this way:

FRU'GAL, a. [L. frugalis. See Fruit.]

Economical in the use or appropriation of money, goods or provisions of any kind; saving unnecessary expense, either of money or of any thing else which is to be used or consumed; sparing; not profuse, prodigal or lavish. We ought to be frugal not only in the expenditure of money and of goods, but in the employment of time. It is followed by of, before the thing saved; as frugal of time. It is not synonymous with parsimonious, nor with thrifty, as now used.


1. Prudent economy; good husbandry or housewifery; a sparing use or appropriation of money or commodities; a judicious use of any thing to be expended or employed; that careful management of money or goods which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; that use in which nothing is wasted. It is not equivalent to parsimony, the latter being an excess of frugality, and a fault. Frugality is always a virtue. Nor is it synonymous with thrift, in its proper sense; for thrift is the effect of frugality.

Without frugality none can become rich, and with it few would be poor.

2. A prudent and sparing use or appropriation of any thing; as frugality of praise.

FRU'GALLY, adv. With economy; with good management; in a saving manner. He seldom lives frugally, that lives by chance.

I love that he says, "Frugality is always a virtue."

Linda said...

Very insightful! Thank you for your comment!