economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: What your office needs is a frugal manager who can save you money without resorting to painful cutbacks. thrifty, chary, provident, careful, prudent, penny-wise, scrimping; miserly, Scotch, penny-pinching. wasteful, extravagant, spendthrift, prodigal, profligate.
entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal. scant, slim, sparing, skimpy. luxurious, lavish, profuse.

1590–1600; < Latin frūgālis economical, equivalent to frūg- (stem of frūx produce, fruit) + -ālis -al1

frugality, frugalness, noun
frugally, adverb
nonfrugal, adjective
nonfrugally, adverb
nonfrugalness, noun
overfrugal, adjective
overfrugally, adverb
unfrugal, adjective
unfrugally, adverb
unfrugalness, noun

Economical, thrifty, frugal imply careful and saving use of resources. Economical implies prudent planning in the disposition of resources so as to avoid unnecessary waste or expense: economical in budgeting household expenditures. Thrifty is a stronger word than economical, and adds to it the idea of industry and successful management: a thrifty shopper looking for bargains. Frugal emphasizes being saving, sometimes excessively saving, especially in such matters as food or dress: frugal almost to the point of being stingy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
frugal (ˈfruːɡəl)
1.  practising economy; living without waste; thrifty
2.  not costly; meagre
[C16: from Latin frūgālis, from frūgī useful, temperate, from frux fruit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1590s, from M.Fr. frugal, from L. frugalis, from undeclined adj. frugi "economical, useful, proper," originally dat. of frux (pl. fruges) "fruit, profit, value," related to fructus (see fruit). Sense evolved in L. from "useful" to "profitable" to "economical." Related: Frugally.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
When individuals try it, they are considered frugal or maximizing their dollar.
Of course, none of this precludes the possibility that our frugal ways will
  endure even after the economy starts to recover.
Somewhere out there is an ambitious but frugal high-school graduate who wants
  to avoid a traditional college path.
We are both frugal so there have not been any arguments about money.
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