Frugalistas Rejoice: Recession Is a Validation

'Frugalistas' embrace new thrifty values
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 11, 2009 11:15 AM CDT
Greg Selig, owner of Encore consignment shop, displays a Chanel jacket he is selling for $85 in his New York stores.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Shredding credit cards and buying less may sound like consumer America's version of hell, but some—especially those penny-pinchers long scoffed at as miserly—are downright gleeful. "This validates the choices I've made," one tells the New York Times. With the savings rate up a remarkable 4 points since fall, "frugal living" groups have become the rage and stylish "frugalistas" have invaded the fashion world.

Gone are premium cable packages, summer travel plans, and even high-end groceries. "It implies a re-emergence of thrift as a value," says an economics professor. Never mind that less consumption will slow the pace of recovery. "Never waste a crisis," says a Missouri consultant, borrowing a well-worn political phrase of late. She herself doesn't buy paper napkins anymore. "I love it. This is a chance for us to re-examine what's important."