Frugal and Freegan

Everybody likes to save money, right?  In most people’s eyes, there is nothing wrong with pinching pennies here and there and being frugal. However, more controversy is being stirred up over so-called ‘freeganism’, which is frugalism taken to the extreme. Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced ‘decision’)  wrote in her “Tightwad Gazette’  about all sorts of ways to be frugal, including using things again, and again, and again; and typically, it is considered perfectly fine to be frugal. 

The controversy comes in when the word ‘freeganism’ comes into the conversation. This extreme version of frugalism includes people going literally into dumpsters to get food.  Allison Linn goes into the depths with a ‘freegan’ in her article. In her article, she speaks about the woman not buying a single piece of food except for milk and butter.

As far a frugalism goes, it mostly entails reusing things, cutting back, and buying in bulk. In “Tightwad Gazatte”, Dacyczyn talks many times about how to reuse many different things. Most people can be frugal without that much, if any, of a hassle. Because of the ease of frugalsim, that is why so many people take part.

Freeganism is much more labor intensive. It requires dumpster diving for  food, furniture, and other things. It requires no new clothes, second-hand only. As the name suggests, the more free, the better. Most freegans live off of foraging for all their needs. A point to address as well: though the title incorporates ‘vegan’  many freegans are not vegan.  Some choose to be for a variety of reasons, but they are not all.

The main differences are:

#1:  Frugalism is saving money and scrimping, Freeganism is essentially living for free off of what people throw away.

#2:  In society, frugalism in considered ‘smart’, while Freeganism is considered ‘wierd’, ‘gross’, and even ‘dirty’.

#3:  Frugalism is usually not going to cross the line in which it majorly affects other people. Freeganism decisions, have a tendency to affect other people lives, such as with the food you serve to guests, or gifts you may or may not give to people.

#4:  Frugalists tend to buy things without regreting it, because they have typically calculated the costs and understand it is a necessary purchase.  Freegans tend to have more of a regret, and almost a defeated sensation when they have to buy something.

All in all, the goal of both Frugalism and Freeganism is to save money, and spend as little as possible. One just happens to take it to the extreme. Try a method, see how you like it. Whether you pick being Frugal, Freegan, or neither, it is always possible to be money-smart and have a happy and content life.