On the other hand, a quick look in Webster's dictionary defines frugal as: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful. So, don't be confused... there is a BIG difference in the two.
Being frugal can be a good thing. It's become a lifestyle for many and seems to have origins rooted in the Great Depression. Parents pass down traits to their children and several generations later, we have frugal living as a lifestyle choice and no longer a necessity. Many books have been written on the topic which tout increasing your quality of life by simply not being wasteful. Two of the more popular titles are "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road map To True Riches" by Jeff Yeager and "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Money" by Steve & Annette Economides.
We're all creatures of habit and changing our routines is more mental than physical. Change doesn't have to come all at once though. Start small. Simple items such as using your banks ATM machine as opposed to mall kiosks will save you $2-3 per transaction. Clipping coupons and mailing in rebate forms is pretty straight forward. It will require a little of your time. But, the rewards add up.
Unfortunately, it is during difficult economic times that we become more expense conscious. This is something we should be doing everyday - not just in good & bad times. Have a rainy day fund (i.e. emergency fund), don't spend money if you don't have it, save for an upcoming purchase and know where each paycheck is spent.
Good financial planning starts with smart money decisions.