Frugal & Cheap, is there a difference? My thoughts....

I think people are often mislead by the thought that couponer is someone who is "cheap". I was just thinking that as an avid couponer, I sometimes get looks in the stores or when I mention that I coupon that aren't so nice.

I looked up "cheap" in the wikipedia and it took me to "miser" who is this:

A person who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts.

I then looked up "frugal" and got this:

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

By my own definitions....

Someone who typically hoards money/things at someone else's expense is cheap.
Someone who doesn't pay their part of the bill in full, trying to skimp on their portion.
Taking extra napkins, creamer, ketchup, etc. from a restaurant counter expecting to leave with them.
Re-gifting to get rid of something.
Living with less for no reason but to keep it all for yourself, greedy.

When you buy your friend that book she's been wanting when you found it at a garage sale in great shape for $.50.
Taking home those extra napkins from the restaurant that you intended to use, but didn't end up needing.
Re-gifting when you know that the person receiving the gift will love it!
Living with less to live comfortably within your means, with a goal of giving, retirement, college expenses, etc. in mind.

I coupon to save money for my family typically on things we would already use. I do often buy/or get things free that I can't/won't use in my household, but I do donate what I can of those items.

I'm also careful about spending in other areas, but not to the point of taking things that weren't meant to be mine. I try not to hoard, only to stockpile-although at times it seems to get away from me spilling off of the shelves :)

This is not my own defense in trying to prove to myself that I'm not cheap. I simply have noticed as I save money on things, especially with using coupons, people sometimes have that image about you, so I did a little research to find out the differences. I don't see myself as "cheap" but want to be frugal or thrifty and a good steward of the money God has given my family.


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