Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 212660 times)

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reflection5

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Cheapskate stories
« on: March 31, 2013, 12:14:24 PM »
There’s thrifty, or frugal, which is fine.  Nothing wrong with saving money or getting something for a reduced price or even free.  But then there are situations which cross the line into cheapskate territory.  (I want to make it clear that I’m not making fun of people who can’t afford (whatever) or people who are struggling and going thru tough times, so let’s not go there.)

I saw a TV show last year called “Extreme Cheapskates”.  I don’t know anyone that extreme, but I have a story:

Soy sauce:  I was at a gathering recently and a friend had the rest of us laughing and shaking our heads about her brother.  He’s a single guy, has a good job, car, dresses nice, and lives in a nice apartment.  She stopped over to visit him, and he asked if she would like some leftover take out from a Chinese restaurant.  After she took a bite, she asked if he had any soy sauce.  He handed her a bottle and she noticed the label had been removed (scraped and washed off).  She asked him “What kind of soy sauce is this?”  He reached into the bottom compartment of his refrigerator and pulled out a plastic grocery bag full of packets of soy sauce and various other condiments.  He told her he never bought condiments (including salt, pepper, and sugar).  Instead, he always took handfuls from fast food and other take out places, then took time to squeeze the contents into bottles or other containers.

If I have leftover packets of ketchup or soy sauce I toss them into the frig, then if I forget to use them within a few weeks I throw it out.  I can’t imagine saving s bunch then ‘squeezing’ them into a bottle.  :-\

« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 12:18:26 PM by reflection5 »

NyaChan

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 12:20:21 PM »
Ah I've got lots of these.  Here's one from my Dad's side of the family:

My uncle went out one morning to pick a few items from Costco or Sam's.  He came back close to lunch time - this side of the family is obsessed with food!  But when his wife asked him what he wanted for lunch he just started laughing.  Then comes out the story of the "Treasure Hunt Buffet," as he called it.  Apparently he just went around the store trying every sampling station they had and then went around again until he wasn't hungry anymore.  He thought it was both funny and smart of him to get a meal out of it for free.

 

Thipu1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 12:33:35 PM »
The soy story is pretty extreme..  We keep good sized jars of condiments at home.  When we travel, we may try to bring a few extra packets of the things, just in case.

Soy does not enter into this equation.  The stuff is cheap and readily available.  We do refill the little table bottles of soy but we refill them from a half-gallon bottle we keep in the fridge.

MIL can save to the point of becoming a cheapskates.  We remember a family vacation.  We were staying at a time-share in Florida.  Every meal we ate in the apartment was accompanied by napkins with 'The Ten Safe Rules of Skiing' printed them in red. Every time they went skiing, MIL would open   a napkin dispenser and empty the thing.  It was a little surreal. 

When they retired, both my parents and Mr. Thipu's parents thought that they could make do with
one tea bag for two people.  Both sets of parents soon decided that wasn't the best of ideas.       
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 12:35:16 PM by Thipu1 »

reflection5

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 12:35:02 PM »
A couple of ex-coworkers bragged about how they would walk thru the lobby of a downtown hotel, find out of there was a convention with a buffet (at lunchtime) and somehow mingle and help themselves.  (I remember thinking: This is something to brag about?  :-\ )  I don’t know if they every got confronted or tossed out; if so, they would never admit it.


RingTailedLemur

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 12:36:57 PM »

When they retired, both my parents and Mr. Thipu's parents thought that they could make do with
one tea bag for two people.  Both sets of parents soon decided that wasn't the best of ideas.     

We do that.  It's fine.

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 12:41:26 PM »
I once read that the difference between cheapness and thrift is:  does your behaviour cause physical discomfort for yourself or others?    If so, you're cheap.   In that case, my mum is cheap.   One winter the cost of heating her house went up by a few dollars per month, so - despite the fact that she and Dad could easily afford it - she set the thermostat to 16 Celsius.   I was freezing during my visit and begged her to turn it up; she refused.  "Just put on another sweater!"   "I'M ALREADY WEARING TWO!"

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 12:46:11 PM »
I once read that the difference between cheapness and thrift is:  does your behaviour cause physical discomfort for yourself or others?    If so, you're cheap.   In that case, my mum is cheap.   One winter the cost of heating her house went up by a few dollars per month, so - despite the fact that she and Dad could easily afford it - she set the thermostat to 16 Celsius.   I was freezing during my visit and begged her to turn it up; she refused.  "Just put on another sweater!"   "I'M ALREADY WEARING TWO!"

Our house was like that, growing up - we didn't have any heating at all.  In the mornings you could tell when someone had sprayed their deodorant on in the freezing cold bathroom - you'd hear a shriek!

reflection5

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 12:46:52 PM »
Quote
16 Celsius

About 60 degrees F.  In winter, too cold for me, too.

Library Dragon

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2013, 12:53:48 PM »
We refused to dine out with IL's friends. None of these people were hurting financially. One set insisted on buffets and brought plastic bags and would load up.  Others would have a melt down if you ordered anything not on the lunch or early bird list. 

One BIL was treating everyone to lunch and he was told by the friends that he couldn't order the artichokes because it wasn't on the lunch specials menu.  He politely explained that since he was paying he could order what he wanted.  You would have thought he wanted to steal the food off their plates!  We were taking care of the tip and had to take it out of one pair of hands because he thought it was too much.  We had to hand it directly to the waitress that had been run ragged during the lunch.

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reflection5

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2013, 12:59:29 PM »
One of my uncles had a neighbor who repeatedly had utility shut-offs.  The guy wasn’t poor or struggling; he just choose to spend money on other things.  He had 2 souped-up motorcycles, a truck, sat in his yard drinking beer, had 2 big dogs, and talked a lot about playing the lottery.

His water got shut off.  So he came over and asked uncle if he could get buckets of water from uncle’s outside faucet (“just for a couple weeks”) and then he would pay uncle for the courtesy.  Uncle was the type who found it difficult to say “No”.  But it went on for a couple months, and at my aunt’s insistence Uncle told him he could no longer get water.  The guy gave Uncle $2.00, and tried to shame Uncle about “not helping a neighbor”.   ::)

Quote
One set insisted on buffets and brought plastic bags and would load up.

I saw a couple do that at a buffet, and the manager apparently confronted them and explained that the food at the "all you can eat" buffet was to be eaten on site.  (vs "all you can bag up and take home")
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 01:03:38 PM by reflection5 »

AylaM

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 01:16:37 PM »
My grandmother likes/liked to go to buffets and she'd go in for lunch and pay the lunch fee, but would bring a book or something and would stick around until dinner.  And then she'd eat dinner there too.  She wanted the whole family to join her a couple of times.

Most places have regulations to prevent that kind of behavior now.

gramma dishes

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 01:36:50 PM »
 :o

At any buffet I've ever gone to, if they catch you leaving with anything more than a partially eaten ice cream cone they will consider it theft.  It's been reported that there were some repeat offenders and that one buffet actually had police outside the establishment waiting for them to emerge with their stash. 

I think the restaurant declined to press charges against them, but did ban them from the restaurant 'forever'. 

Adelaide

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 01:59:05 PM »
My grandparents have a lot of money but get mad if you don't use paper towels twice. If they've only been used to mop up water, they have to be set on the counter to dry and are used again.  ::)

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 02:26:57 PM »
During my first week at my current job, I was invited to join a group at a buffet restaurant for lunch.   I was delighted to join them - less so when I saw one of the ladies surreptitiously filling up Tupperware containers she'd hidden in her purse.   I commented on it to a coworker later; she shrugged "Eh, that's just something she does." 

weeblewobble

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 04:41:01 PM »
We refused to dine out with IL's friends. None of these people were hurting financially. One set insisted on buffets and brought plastic bags and would load up.  Others would have a melt down if you ordered anything not on the lunch or early bird list. 

One BIL was treating everyone to lunch and he was told by the friends that he couldn't order the artichokes because it wasn't on the lunch specials menu.  He politely explained that since he was paying he could order what he wanted.  You would have thought he wanted to steal the food off their plates!  We were taking care of the tip and had to take it out of one pair of hands because he thought it was too much.  We had to hand it directly to the waitress that had been run ragged during the lunch.

I would have a real problem with someone telling me what I could order, particularly if I was picking up THEIR tab.  Your brother was kind for trying. :/

Also, we have learned not to trust certain family members to determine the appropriate tip.  One particular uncle thinks a quarter is an excellent tip no matter what the bill total.  He's older and I think he's still in the mind-set where a nickel would get you a cup of coffee and a sandwich.  Another is just cheap.  She thinks that any tip over two dollars "spoils" wait staff.  So even if the bill is $50+, the waiter is going to get $2. And if she catches you trying to supplement the tip to an appropriate amount, she will scold you and give your money back.  (One notable time she kept it.)