Marsha of Hot Water Bath combined a post of frugal thought with instructions for actually making good rice and beans. As she says, it was never intended to be punishment food, and it's no less frugal or financially virtuous to eat well cooked and served food (even if it's inexpensive) than it is to slop up some "Minute Rice and a can of store-brand beans, doled out to the miserable hoards looking forward to the day when mom is allowed by [that person's] advice to buy a steak (with cash!) and they can all be happy again."
Not being in the U.S. or maybe not in the right church circles, I must admit I had never heard of that particular financial advisor until fairly recently. Fascinating, though--these things do seem to go in and out of fashion. I remember two girls in my Guide company (ca. 1978) saying to our leader, "Oh, our Mom's doing the More with Less Cookbook thing," and the leader nodding her head. As always, there's the freedom, exhilaration of feeling like you've done the right thing, but also the danger of ascetism, the struggle between external and internal purity, the feeling that if you give in and do such and such, buy such and such, eat such and such, you have just lost the Battle Between the Dark and the Light forever--oops, got a bit out of hand there. (Think hair shirts, right?)
I was always most impressed by the story that Buddhist vegetarian cook Edward Espe Brown told about visiting his grandmother, and eating her M&M cookies because she'd made them with love. It would have been so easy to hurt her feelings because of a principle...and look at the more recent story that Brown himself tells here about food--I just found this accidentally while I was looking up his name. He ends it this way:
"Come to your senses. It is not the things of this world, be they chocolate or brown rice, that lead you astray. Losing your way comes from giving no mind to what is present while chasing after imaginary pleasures which are illusive and unobtainable. To wake up is to know what is already yours."