Since Stoke were promoted to the EPL in 2008, they have actually had the third highest net spend on transfers in England, after Man City and Chelsea. Far from working on a shoestring budget, Pulis has actually spent and wasted a shed load of money over the last few years on players with little to no resale value. He has barely generated any money for his club from player sales. If they don't finish in the top 10 season for the first time since they were promoted, you could actually say that they have underachieved given their resources and backing from the Coates family/Bet 365.
At least when Bolton and ourselves were criticised for playing, direct, ugly football a few years back, we had good quality flair players like Okocha, Tugay, Pedersen etc who could turn it on now and again. Plus neither of us spent anywhere near as money during those periods as Stoke have done over the last few years.
Although that may be true of Stoke, when it comes to the matches Pulis seems to be a near genius, his club always give all they can, and their system is very effective, 9 matches now without a loss, best in Europe probably.