Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 213263 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #435 on: April 08, 2013, 02:22:13 PM »
Wheeitsme, I thought about the same extract!

I'm actually facing this right now with the purchase of an electric kettle.
I don't really have money to throw around, I would rather not spend more than the minimum, but this could potentially be the kettle I would keep for years and years, so I have to kick myself to go for the middle price range/ good construction and not the cheapy one.
Plus it will be a 100% my kettle (until SO realize that heating water is soooo much faster this way) even if it's not at my place.
Next 'battle', a toaster! Actually, next battle is having my SO do something about kitchen storage place, then buying myself a toaster.

I would call myself a frugal person, but with no personal income and not wanting to clutter myself with knickknacks, it's not a bad thing :).
I do have to remember to allow myself to spend on myself sometimes..

I know how you feel. I do the same thing. If i can get away with soemthing on the less pricy side, i got fo rthat. but if its something I know I will use on a regular basis, i will spend a bit more.

Case in point: i wanted a new crockpot but i really don't use it all that often. so I got a rather inexpensive one, with no timer, and minimal settings.

I also wanted a new teakettle. I know i could have gotten a cheapo one, but i use it every day for both tea and coffee, so I got a very nice Chantal one, at TJ Maxx so discounted ,but still wasn't cheap. But I use it and need it to hold up.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #436 on: April 08, 2013, 02:45:40 PM »
Well the reason the stacking perplexed me is because while I was shopping at Weis the only store coupons I got were for Weis brands.  The ones that were printed up at the register were labeled as manufacturer coupons.  So I wasn't sure how people were able to stack store coupons with mfr. coupons when the mfr. coupons were for name brands and the Weis store coupons were for just the store brands.

I wonder if the coupons printed at the register are considered store coupons even if they say manufacturer coupons on them?

I have store cards for both Weis and Martin's, so the club savings is also beneficial.  I like Martin's circulars though since they have worthwhile coupons and not just the pharmacy coupons every week which doesn't always do us much good since I get mine at Target.

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Amara

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #437 on: April 08, 2013, 02:56:28 PM »
I almost never pay attention to coupons because I don't get newspapers and the stuff that comes in the mail just hits the recycle bin as soon as it can. However, I like bargains like anyone but don't think of myself as cheap either. For me, it's not just the money but the time and effort and product.

I buy 40-roll packs of toilet paper; the quality is good but not of the ultra- soft variety brand names boast about. However, having traveled in Europe (including Eastern Europe at the time) and having experienced various types I have to say any American type is preferable. I also buy oversized packs of paper towels. I buy these crazy sizes because not because they are less expensive overall, though they are and that does matter, but because I hate to shop, I hate to run out of essentials, and I like having a couple of overflowing cabinets of these things.

But for me, "cheapskate" or "bargain hunter" refers to more than money. It's quality of life, however each of us defines that. I am a fan of Amazon where I can get my toothpaste and bar soap less expensively than in the stores--and have it delivered for no shipping cost! A major WOOHOO. I save in more ways than one. But I would never, ever drive around to multiple stores to "save" money. I consider that a complete loss.

ETA: At least fifteen years ago, possibly twenty, when Lands' End was still an independent retailer, I purchased a pair of leather rain boots lined in fake fur. They had been heavily discounted at the end of the season, down, if I remember correctly, from $140 to about $65. I kept watching them come down and at this point I feared I would lose out if I waited any longer. So I bought them. They have been the most comfortable shoes I think I have ever worn. And they are still good. They do need a bit of repair to the top but the bottoms are still in perfect condition. A few years ago I was talking with someone at work who believes in the cheap method. She was horrified to think I paid that much and boasted that she got hers for maybe $20. I did point out how old mine were at that point and that in terms of money I was far ahead. (In fact, I think they may last another twenty years with another trip to the shoe repair shop.) Different ways of thinking. Interesting that.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:03:25 PM by Amara »

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #438 on: April 08, 2013, 02:57:33 PM »

The irony is that the boots theory works both ways.  To give my real-life example which actually involves boots, I always wear "hiking boots" for footwear because I like the way they work for me.  I put that in quotes because there are $25.00 cheapies and $500.00 extreme-o boots, and since I wear them all the time they wear out a lot faster than hiking boots normally do.  The thing is, I figured out that a good set of boots lasts 3-4 times as long as the cheapies, so it would seem that they would be the better investment.  But the problem is that the good boots that last that long are $150.00, so they'd have to last six times as long to be worth it, and the big plus is that I always have a reasonably new backup pair of boots.

This is only one example, but there are plenty of situations where the extra quality doesn't justify the extra cost, so it pays to consider the balance in all things.

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bloo

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #439 on: April 08, 2013, 03:26:37 PM »
I almost never pay attention to coupons because I don't get newspapers and the stuff that comes in the mail just hits the recycle bin as soon as it can. However, I like bargains like anyone but don't think of myself as cheap either. For me, it's not just the money but the time and effort and product.

I buy 40-roll packs of toilet paper; the quality is good but not of the ultra- soft variety brand names boast about. However, having traveled in Europe (including Eastern Europe at the time) and having experienced various types I have to say any American type is preferable. I also buy oversized packs of paper towels. I buy these crazy sizes because not because they are less expensive overall, though they are and that does matter, but because I hate to shop, I hate to run out of essentials, and I like having a couple of overflowing cabinets of these things.

But for me, "cheapskate" or "bargain hunter" refers to more than money. It's quality of life, however each of us defines that. I am a fan of Amazon where I can get my toothpaste and bar soap less expensively than in the stores--and have it delivered for no shipping cost! A major WOOHOO. I save in more ways than one. But I would never, ever drive around to multiple stores to "save" money. I consider that a complete loss.

I'm right there with you. I like a deal as much as the next person, but my time is worth a lot to me. I do the exact same things with toilet paper and paper towels ("...but because I hate to shop, I hate to run out of essentials, and I like having a couple of overflowing cabinets of these things.")

Generally, we don't eat processed food and the last time I checked a newspaper for coupons, they still weren't giving coupons for things like meat, cheese, produce or milk. These things go on sale or they don't and I try to plan menus around what's on sale, if I can.

My daughter is really into makeup now and is quite an artist at applying it. I've been purchasing cheaper eyeshadow sets for her to practice with, but when it comes to buying foundation and concealer and primer, I spring for quality brands I like. I buy Wet-'n-Wild's lip glosses at $1.68 each (gorgeous colors with a good deal of pigment that feel great on my lips), but it goes over a $10 primer and $8 lip pencil. With my makeup I do weird combos of cheap/pricey. I told my DD that the primers and foundation and mineral veils are what you spend your money on and then the inexpensive colors will look beautiful on top. Kind of like how a cheap paint looks great over the best quality primer or discount carpet performs well on a high-quality underlayment.

As far as clothes, I do a combo of thrift stores for dresses and blouses/skirts and jeans (you can find amazing stuff if you're an odd size) but my 'play clothes' usually come from Gander Mtn. All my Columbia clothes are in excellent condition, some more than 10 years old. My snowboarding pants, $150 ten years ago, look brand-new and now my 14 year old daughter is wearing them! I invested in a lot of Under Armour when I took up running and it looks great, fits great and I can't destroy it. I always snag shorts, running pants or a top on clearance when I can. My DD and I share a Columbia jacket that is a shell/liner combo that retailed for $190 at the beginning of the season and was on clearance for $45 when I bought it. We can't ruin it and we are hard on clothes. Bought it 4 years ago.

I try to be frugal in the sense that I try not to spend money unless I need to, but when I need to, I want to get the best quality I can afford so that it will last. We just spent $300 on a cooler. A cooler, I tell you. The same size in an igloo brand that went for $70. But for what my DH will use it for, it'll need to be replaced every year, whereas the $300 can probably be handed down to my grandkids.

Financial Advice Columnist Liz Pulliam Weston had an article on stinginess. There was a quote from it that I'm not sure is hers or someone else but I thought it quite profound:

Frugality is what you are willing to do to save money.
Stinginess is what you are willing to do to others to save money.

My own cheapskate story is about my friends Rick and Dina. Normally when they went out to eat, they'd share a meal, an appetizer and an alcoholic beverage. In the US food portions in a lot of restaurants make this quite doable even if there's a share charge. They always did this.

When we were going out with them we made it clear we were treating them to dinner to thank them for something and you'd have thought they won the lottery. Dina said to Rick, right in front of us, "Order whatever you want, they're paying." They each had a couple of drinks and each ordered the most expensive meals on the menu and each got dessert.

Now, I was unaware that when someone else is paying, it's not out of the norm that they might order for you. We never handled treating someone else that way. But for people so frugal when the bill was on them, to become quite lavish when your friends are paying...it just left a bad taste in my mouth. When someone is treating me I always go inexpensive to middle-of-the-line (and that's after asking them to recommend something). This is on top of the fact that they used to not tip and no one wanted to go out to eat with them so one of our other friends had to sit down with them and explain the importance of tipping. Dina was also the type to 'forget' her wallet...a lot. Throw that all together and they just left the impression of being cheapskates. 

*new*mommyagain36

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #440 on: April 08, 2013, 03:42:41 PM »
My DH has an older family member who does exhibit many cheapskate traits.
She is known as the "kooky" one and we all love her but she:
 - carries own tea bags and sweeteners in her purse (it's a large, sectioned tote).  These items she has taken from restaurants and put in the back pocket of her tote bag.  She will literally empty the sweetener dispenser into her bag and take 6 teabags from the chest every restaurant, every time.
 - rinses paper towels and pins them to an indoor clothesline in her basement.  Uses them when dried.  Same for plastic baggies.
 - saves every plastic bag she gets while shopping.  She has 1000's of them, tucked into other bags, in her pantry.
 - bathes once a week, shampoos once a week (even in the summer months)
 - only flushes once a day, regardless of what's in the toilet, she "saves up" and flushes before she goes to bed.
 - stockpiles hotel toiletries and asks you to do the same when you go on vacation, then bring them to her
 - there are stories of her taking 1-2 rolls of TP from the Wal Mart bathroom on several occasions.  She carries a large tote bag and family members have witnessed this.
 - her magazine basket contains only those sample magazines that you can pick up in Dr waiting rooms.  They all say "sample copy - take one!"
 - she includes a "holiday wishlist" in her Christmas Card every year.  It includes toiletries, deoderant, toothpaste, etc, non perishable and canned food items, household paper goods.  You feel like it's the church food bank wishlist not a personal gift list.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #441 on: April 08, 2013, 03:50:52 PM »
For clothes, I buy new. At my size, there's only so many places I can shop, and even fewer that I like. I am, however, very good at milking discounts - buying on clearance, sales, coupons, rewards certificates, you name it. I routinely pay half or less for my clothes.

I looooooooove purses. Mega love. I have quite the collection. And I recently learned that someone keeps donating really awesome, expensive purses to my local Goodwill store. If I ever find out who, I am sending them a thank-you card!

Coupons I don't do much - as a PP said, they tend to involve a lot of processed foods, and not much meats/fruits/veggies. But there are some that I can use, and thankfully I get those via my store loyalty card - Kroger makes it very easy by mailing me out coupons every quarter or so, and you can load electronic coupons onto your loyalty card via their website or phone app. Those I like!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:52:48 PM by jedikaiti »
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Twik

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #442 on: April 08, 2013, 03:53:18 PM »
This is acceptable:

Quote
her magazine basket contains only those sample magazines that you can pick up in Dr waiting rooms.  They all say "sample copy - take one!"

This is theft:

Quote
- there are stories of her taking 1-2 rolls of TP from the Wal Mart bathroom on several occasions.

Theft goes beyond kooky and into criminal, or at least mental illness which drives someone to commit criminal acts.

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nuit93

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #443 on: April 08, 2013, 03:55:08 PM »
My DH has an older family member who does exhibit many cheapskate traits.
She is known as the "kooky" one and we all love her but she:
 - carries own tea bags and sweeteners in her purse (it's a large, sectioned tote).  These items she has taken from restaurants and put in the back pocket of her tote bag.  She will literally empty the sweetener dispenser into her bag and take 6 teabags from the chest every restaurant, every time.
 - rinses paper towels and pins them to an indoor clothesline in her basement.  Uses them when dried.  Same for plastic baggies.
 - saves every plastic bag she gets while shopping.  She has 1000's of them, tucked into other bags, in her pantry.
- bathes once a week, shampoos once a week (even in the summer months)
 - only flushes once a day, regardless of what's in the toilet, she "saves up" and flushes before she goes to bed.
- stockpiles hotel toiletries and asks you to do the same when you go on vacation, then bring them to her
 - there are stories of her taking 1-2 rolls of TP from the Wal Mart bathroom on several occasions.  She carries a large tote bag and family members have witnessed this.
 - her magazine basket contains only those sample magazines that you can pick up in Dr waiting rooms.  They all say "sample copy - take one!"
 - she includes a "holiday wishlist" in her Christmas Card every year.  It includes toiletries, deoderant, toothpaste, etc, non perishable and canned food items, household paper goods.  You feel like it's the church food bank wishlist not a personal gift list.

Ewww!

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #444 on: April 08, 2013, 04:03:20 PM »
I'm kind of the opposite of some folks who'll gladly drive all over the place to save money - if I could find one store, ONE, that stocks every single grocery item I'm looking for so that I don't have to drive a lot, I'd be more than happy to pay a bit extra. 

My daughters are vegan and vegetarian, and I can't find all the stuff I'm looking for at my neighborhood grocery store, so I usually end up having to go to at least two different places.  When I'm tired and grumpy, I always find myself thinking "Man, I'd pay 10% more if I could only find all this stuff under one roof."

Emmy

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #445 on: April 08, 2013, 04:27:20 PM »
The irony is that the boots theory works both ways.  To give my real-life example which actually involves boots, I always wear "hiking boots" for footwear because I like the way they work for me.  I put that in quotes because there are $25.00 cheapies and $500.00 extreme-o boots, and since I wear them all the time they wear out a lot faster than hiking boots normally do.  The thing is, I figured out that a good set of boots lasts 3-4 times as long as the cheapies, so it would seem that they would be the better investment.  But the problem is that the good boots that last that long are $150.00, so they'd have to last six times as long to be worth it, and the big plus is that I always have a reasonably new backup pair of boots.

This is only one example, but there are plenty of situations where the extra quality doesn't justify the extra cost, so it pays to consider the balance in all things.

Virg

This is true.  And I think that a truly frugal person thinks about that balance.

If those boots have a famous logo on them, I imagine most of the cost is for that particular brand name instead of quality.

The best way to shop is for value in my opinion.  In other words, I like to get the most use/enjoyment for the price. 

lady_disdain

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #446 on: April 08, 2013, 04:30:29 PM »
The irony is that the boots theory works both ways.  To give my real-life example which actually involves boots, I always wear "hiking boots" for footwear because I like the way they work for me.  I put that in quotes because there are $25.00 cheapies and $500.00 extreme-o boots, and since I wear them all the time they wear out a lot faster than hiking boots normally do.  The thing is, I figured out that a good set of boots lasts 3-4 times as long as the cheapies, so it would seem that they would be the better investment.  But the problem is that the good boots that last that long are $150.00, so they'd have to last six times as long to be worth it, and the big plus is that I always have a reasonably new backup pair of boots.

This is only one example, but there are plenty of situations where the extra quality doesn't justify the extra cost, so it pays to consider the balance in all things.

Virg

This is true.  And I think that a truly frugal person thinks about that balance.

If those boots have a famous logo on them, I imagine most of the cost is for that particular brand name instead of quality.

The best way to shop is for value in my opinion.  In other words, I like to get the most use/enjoyment for the price. 

Very true!

The idea behind Terry Pratchett's story remains: the rich have the option to buy the best value (whether $50 boots or $75  hiking shoes) while the poor have to make due with the cheapest, even if it isn't the best value and they know it.

finecabernet

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #447 on: April 08, 2013, 04:35:10 PM »
The ex-friend who, when we were throwing a bridal shower for our mutual friend, wanted to charge the guests for their lunch. I was completely horrified at the thought, and the other bridesmaid (the bride's SIL) and I put our foot down against that idea. The ex-friend stomped out of our meeting and she and the SIL hated each other throughout the rest of the wedding festivities.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #448 on: April 08, 2013, 04:41:14 PM »
My great uncle Tyrone was a notorious cheapskate.

Whenever there was a potluck family gathering, hed announce that he was going hunting or fishing to provide the meat.  Hed show up with a couple of dead song birds :o or a few minnow-sized fish.  The womenfolk were expected to clean and cook his contribution.

He borrowed a significant sum from his parents.  When his father died, the widow and 14-year-old son were left with less than $10 in the bank.  Tyrone never repaid the loan.

He did loan money to his daughter to buy a house, but the first month she received a bill with an exorbitant interest charge.  His daughter called her mom in tears, and Aunt Ethel quickly put an end to the interest fees.
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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #449 on: April 08, 2013, 05:00:59 PM »
I used to have a friend who didn't like to pay the cost of making phone calls from her home phone (land line), so if she called you, she would immediately make an excuse like "The line is full of static on my end, can you try calling me back?" Then you would call her, and she'd be happy to talk for an hour, now that you were footing the cost of the call.

Years ago, I worked in an office where the manager was incredibly cheap (and he was pretty well-off having made very good money in his field).  That manager then transferred from our office to another office in the same county but different area code (so any calls from our area to that area would be toll calls).  I remember answering the phone in our office once, and it was his daughter.  She immediately asked to be transferred to the office where her father was working so I transferred her (not thinking anything of it).  She called again a few minutes later and immediately asked me to transfer her again.  That was when I realized that she was calling from their home (which was in our area code) and calling our office to be transferred so their phone bill wouldn't reflect the toll charge (it would be billed to the company).  I thought that little trick our old manager taught his daughter was really rather beyond cheap.

A former boss' wife used to come into his office every day after work and call her daughter from there. When he was finally fired, the overall phone bill for the institution went down about $400/month.