I guess to some people cheap and frugal are the same thing, but at least to me there is a big difference. Cheap means always searching out the lowest price, over all else. Frugal means learning to shop wisely, so you know what things cost and what is of good quality. Spending money on a cheap piece of clothing just to have it fall apart in your washer on the first or second wash to me is pointless, and aggravating when you then have to find its replacement.
When I go shopping, I do look at the price, but I try to weigh that against the time spent to earn that money, whether I believe the item will help our lives in some way, and whether it will last if appropriately cared for. I also try not to buy something the first time I think I need it to avoid impulse buying, I try to wait a week to make sure it is something I really want to spend money on. There are plenty of guides for the best time of year to buy big ticket items, here is a listing on an article with MSN http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/TheBestTimeToBuyAnything.aspx
In general though it comes down to appropriate planning and taking care of what you already have. My husband is a godsend because he really understands electronics, plumbing, cars, and can do our home repairs, but if no one in your family can, there are FREE clinics offered regularly through Lowe's and Home Depot to help with home repairs. If you do need to hire some one to work on your home or car, please get a personal recommendation, or at least call the Better Business Bureau before giving your money to a repair company you know nothing about.