AskDefine | Define frugality

Dictionary Definition

frugality n : prudence in avoiding waste [syn: frugalness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /fɹuːˈgæləti/, /fru:"g

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.


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.


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

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abnegation, austerity, austerity program, canniness, care, carefulness, chariness, cheeseparing, constraint, denial, economic planning, economicalness, economy, economy of assumption, economy of means, elegance, false economy, forbearance, forehandedness, frugalness, golden mean, good management, husbandry, law of parsimony, management, moderateness, moderation, nothing in excess, parsimoniousness, parsimony, pinching, providence, prudence, prudential administration, renouncement, renunciation, restraint, scrimping, self-control, self-denial, self-discipline, self-mastery, self-restraint, skimping, soberness, sobriety, sophrosyne, sparingness, stinting, temperance, temperateness, thrift, thriftiness, tight purse strings, unwastefulness
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