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Your Take: What Does Thrift Mean To You?

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David Blankenhorn's Thrift: A CyclopediaDid you know that it’s Thrift Week?

In celebration of National Thrift Week, I want to know, what does Thrift mean to you?

To me, thrift always seemed like one of those old fashioned words from a bygone era. I always equated it to frugality, where you are smart about your money and trying to get the most out of every dollar. Thrift was virtuous and consumerism was evil. Since that era, which I think ended sometime in the 70’s or 80’s, we’ve replaced thrift with consumerism. Saving was replaced by borrowing.

I was especially interested to learn that thrift referred to more than just saving money and spending wisely. It also referred to working hard and giving back to the community, two points that are once again coming back into fashion (along with saving and spending wisely). I think we’re seeing the pendulum swing back away from frivolous borrow & spend and swing towards thrift. I think it’s a good sign. What do you think?

Templeton Press, the fine people behind this push to bring back thrift, have generously offered to give away three copies of David Blankenhorn’s Thrift: A Cyclopedia. Leave a comment sharing what thrift means to you and you will be entered to win a copy of the book. This contest will close at noon on January 30th.

The contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winners, Diane, Caitlin, and Audra, we hope you enjoy your new copy of Thrift!

{ 110 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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110 Responses to “Your Take: What Does Thrift Mean To You?”

  1. Melanie says:

    There is nothing wrong with being thrifty! It can save our environment 🙂

  2. Jodi says:

    To me, Thrift means getting the best deal you can! Thanks for the giveaway! The book looks really interesting.

  3. Terra Heck says:

    I’m proud to say that I’m thrifty. I routinely use coupons and scan sale ads. I, for the most part, only buy items that are on sale. I also donate a lot of items to charity so they can be used again by someone else. It means making the most out of your money and resources.


  4. Rachel R. says:

    I’ve not heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting. My definition of thrift is doing/getting the most I can with what I have.

  5. Dana says:

    Thrift means not spending more than you have to.

  6. Audra Marie says:

    Thrift to me means using my resources and creativity wisely. 🙂 The book sounds interesting.

  7. ToilingAnt says:

    Thrift means not wasting money on things that don’t matter to me, so that I have enough leftover for what does.

  8. Chatak says:

    Thrift means spending money wisely on required stuff.

  9. Jordan says:

    Thrift makes me think of three things: Bolivia, my parents, and my children.

    Bolivia: I am from the U.S. but I lived in Bolivia for two years. I will never forget the poverty: so many people living on so few resources. Of the many lessons I won’t forget, I definitely learned that where much is given, much is required. My attempts to be thrifty are a byproduct of this lesson. When I succeed at being thrifty, I feel grateful for everything I have.

    My parents: I grew up on a ranch in Mt. where my dad was a college professor and my mom stayed home with all seven of my brothers and sisters. I do not know how all eight of us children survived on a college professor’s salary. But, if we were poor, we were the last ones to know. My parents worked day and night to stretch every dollar. Sometimes I would see my dad in a white shirt and tie in the dumpster at the hardware store – they always threw away perfectly good wood that could be used for mending fences, building tree-houses, or even heating the home. I could provide a thousand similar examples.

    My children: Just as I watched my parents, I know that my children will watch me. I want to practice thrifty habits so that they know how to independent and how to be grateful. I am not perfectly thrifty, but seeing the tough times we live in makes me want to redouble my efforts.

  10. Hilary says:

    Thrift means getting what you NEED (not necessarily what you want) for what something is worth.

  11. Colleen says:

    To me, thrift means not making educated decisions about purchases and knowing the difference between a want and a need.

  12. Jennifer C says:

    To me, thrift means the ability to use something to its fullest, without waste. Thanks for a great giveaway!
    jjdragonfly [at] gmail [dot] com

  13. Aila D. says:

    TO me it means stretching a dollar and saving where you can, but not refusing to spend on something worthwhile.

  14. Lisa says:

    Thrift means to me being able to make do with what you have, being gentle with the enviorment and recycling all you can in the home, meals, everything..

  15. Lisa in NM says:

    Thrift to me is not buying what you don’t need, finding the best deal when you do have to buy something, and shopping thrift shops and similar places first. I also think it means making what we can with our own hands, improvising, renovating and recycling, and not wasting money, resources, time, etc.

  16. Colleen S says:

    Thrift is using wisely and being resourceful and creative.

  17. Nicole says:

    Thrift is using resources wisely and not being frivolous.

  18. Lisa L. says:

    Thrift means I go to the “green store” to buy an old but really good looking and working lamp instead of going to a box store and buying a cheaply made
    lamp with no character.

  19. Lois Price says:

    Thrift has been a family value for at least four generations as I have been handed down my great grandmother’s sampler (made by her own hand as a young girl on a background of burlap, no doubt from a gunny sack) which has been our family’s words to live by:


  20. Chantelle says:

    i think thrift means being wise an=bout how you spend your money and using things out of what they are normally used for. What a great prize! Thanks for sharing.
    chantellesabino at mac dot com

  21. Jamie says:

    Thrift means living beyond our means and being smart with money. Without being thrifty, we wouldn’t be able to afford most of what we have. I’d love to have this book because I think there is always more to learn. Thanks!

  22. gahome2mom says:

    Thrift means sacrificing — it’s a good word. lol

  23. Sue says:

    thrifty is being sure you need the item, not just want it.

  24. oona b says:

    Thrift means not just wanting instant gratification, but being willing to wait and earn the money for something. Pay cash!

    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  25. Thrift to me means being a good steward of the things the Lord blesses us with and not wasting them.

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