Precisely. Frugality implies choice. Poverty is not a choice. For me frugality boils down to a simple philosophy — a reasonable cost per use (total cost/total uses). As has been said before, it is a subjective assessment; what is reasonable for me might be unreasonable for someone else. Put simply a purchase where I cannot justify the cost per use is an extravagant purchase, the actual price of the object being a lessor factor. Usually this means paying for high quality items at a higher price point balanced by buying fewer things that I actually use. I play badminton recreationally once every few months. For that purpose a $25 Wilson racquet is value for money, while a $200 Yonex racquet is a frivolous extravagance. I play about 5 times a year, and I've had the same racquet for 5 years making the cost per session of badminton ~$1. For an occasional interest that is the most I'm comfortable paying. On the other hand I run 3 times a week averaging ~25 miles a month. Instead of skimping and buying cheap shoes on sale, I purchase custom fitted $200 running shoes. For a distance of 300 miles per year the cost per use is less than a $0.67 per mile or ~$1.3 per run, about the same as the rarely used badminton racquet! That to me is value for money and far cheaper than injuring my feet in poor quality shoes and paying for a specialist, MRI and orthotics (made that mistake and paid for it). On the face of it most people would say a $25 racquet is cheaper than $200 shoes but a quick cost per use calculation shows them to be an equivalent expense (for me). Often cheap things have a surprisingly high cost per use because they simply don't last. I'd rather buy fewer, higher quality items that provide a higher number of uses over a longer period of time. Not only is it more frugal than buying many inexpensive things I don't use, it is the more environmentally responsible way to purchase.