Cheap vs Frugal

Cheap vs Frugal

Key Differences between the two, but often confused

A lot of my friends think that I am ‘cheap’, when I define myself as ‘cost-effecient’; I look for deals, before making purchaes I do my research & analysis of the pros and cons of the item, I aim to not shop impulsively, but only shop out of necessity. I am reluctant to tip at restaurants, I will try to stretch a dollar where applicable, I will avoid paying for parking in downtown Toronto where possible – even if it means walking a couple of extra blocks. So this is a clear distinction to all those lames that say we are ‘cheap’ when we are actually ‘cost-efficient’ (frugal), it is best to have us around so we can advise you out of debt, chumps!

A miser or cheapskate is a person who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts. The term derives from the Latin miser, meaning “poor” or “wretched,” comparable to the modern word “miserable”.  Here are some interesting cheap people from the past:

Joseph Nollekens – Londoner generally considered to be the finest British sculptor of the late 18th century, he was also a notorious miser.

Charles Huffman was a miser from the 1950s in the U.S. He was found dead on a Brooklyn, New York street with no money in his pockets. The police traced him to a $7 per week room that was filled with bank books and more than $500,000 in stock certificates. He was characterized by Franz Lidz, in The New York Times, on October 26, 2003.


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

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 cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

You may be frugal if you evaluate the following on a potential purchase:
Unit pricing ($ per pound, ounce or item)
Shelf life (ability to store it)
Life expectancy
Versatility (does it have multiple uses?)
Functionality (is it as useful as they claim?)
Cost of maintenance
Cost and availability of replacement parts
Warranty or service plan
Quality of construction or assembly
Safety risks
– There are other great tips of Frugality at:

Now, I am sure there are some cheapskates out there, and to be ‘cheap’ would subscribe one to some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder that would perpetually create a cycle of desires to horde money and stretch a dollar to nth degree. A reluctance to spend doesn’t define ‘cheap’; it merely shows that one is responsible and careful with their allotment of money so that they get the most value out of their hard earned money. Even when I am sitting in those lofty hills in the villa, deciding which of my many hybrida or diesel cars I will drive … I will still not tip the waiter!

.:: LiBM ::.


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