what’s the difference between “cheap” and “frugal”?

11 Answers

  • Mama Pastafarian
    1 month ago

    Cheapness is the same as being stingy with money. You worry about spending every penny, and look for the way to get through every situation with spending either no money or the least money possible, even if it costs more in the long run.

    Frugalness is looking for the best way to spend the money so that you get maximum value for the least amount of money. It’s a way of saving money on the things that don’t matter so that you have the money to spend on the things that really do matter in life.

    Cheap would be to buy a pair of wornout shoes at a yard sale for $1 even though they don’t fit correctly and will fall apart after only being worn a month or so. They shoes don’t fit correctly so they will cause foot pain and possibly cause foot problems.

    Frugal would be to spend $50 on a pair of shoes that fits correctly and will last for a long time. The shoes feel good when worn, and don’t cause foot problems.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    To me Cheap is somebody who has the money to buy something, but buys the cheapest thing/item possible.

    Being Frugal is somebody stretching their dollars to the max. If they buy the cheapest item/thing possible because that is all they can afford, then that is frugal.

    Being cheap is worse than being frugal. Frugality is a necesity, Cheapness is optional.

    That’s my two cents.

  • eriayasha
    1 month ago

    cheap Audio pronunciation of “cheap” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (chp)

    adj. cheap·er, cheap·est

    1. Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.

    2. Devalued, as in buying power: cheap dollars.

    3. Achieved with little effort: a cheap victory; cheap laughs.

    4. Of or considered of small value: in wartime, when life was cheap.

    5. Of poor quality; inferior: a cheap toy.

    6. Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible: a cheap gangster.

    7. Stingy; miserly.

    fru·gal Audio pronunciation of “frugal” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (frgl)


    1. Practicing or marked by economy, as in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. See Synonyms at sparing.

    2. Costing little; inexpensive: a frugal lunch.


    Being frugal means making smart spending choices.

    Have you ever noticed how frugality is often confused with being cheap? Isn’t it a shame that those who choose to live frugally are sometimes accused of being selfish and stingy?

  • DG
    1 month ago

    Basically “cheap” means you have more than enough money to spend but just won’t, and “frugal” means you don’t have much money to spend, and are trying to conserve the little bit of money you do have.

  • Miro
    1 month ago

    Frugal is a nicer way of saying cheap 🙂

  • TR
    1 month ago

    being frugal is just investing your money wisely to get the best value out of it. You can still buy good quality things but just chose to perhaps buy it on sale or at Marshalls or Canal Street. Being cheap means to buy things irregardless of their quality just because that’s what you’ve always done. You’re not necessarily doing it to save money, it’s just your mindset. You feel that your money could be used for better things and don’t allow yourself to indulge.

  • ockristy
    1 month ago

    Frugal can have a positive connotation. Like thrifty or careful with their money. Cheap has more of a bad connotation. Like “Your so cheap.”

  • Haveitlookedat
    1 month ago

    A cheap person will not spend money on anything even things that their life depends on.

    A frugal person will not spend money on anything, unless their life depends on it.

  • howie
    1 month ago

    frugal is thrifty smart implying spending money with a sound reason. cheap is just that of less value implies less quality for the same dollar

  • SB
    1 month ago

    Not a heck of a lot of difference. Tight-wad is another term that means the same thing for people who would hang onto a penny until it cries.

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