I didn’t think I qualify as frugal, given how much money I spend to make my life easier (disposable diapers instead of cloth, take-out several times a week for lunch or dinner, generous use of air conditioning in Southern California heat, etc.). But maybe I qualify as semi-frugal, since I do regularly practice Dawn’s Frugal for Life Habits. I almost always research big purchases (I didn’t research my new stroller but I am currently researching our next car seat – and I thought I knew what I was doing with the stroller). I also look for less expensive alternatives, and I’ve always got my cell phone out for the calculator function when I’m shopping (yes, that’s me standing in the baby aisle figuring out the cost per diaper). And I ask myself if I can use something I already have or if I really need/want what I’m buying. On the other hand, I prefer buying new (cars especially – I just don’t trust myself to buy a reliable used car and I don’t have a mechanic I can trust that much either) and I’ll spend money because I like things to look nice (we’ve just purchased some new bedding for that reason – our old bedding was dark blue; this brightens up the room considerably).
I agree completely with Dawn that developing frugal habits is key to being frugal. And as the habits become second nature, you’ll see the result in the bottom line of your net worth.