Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 214412 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6767
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #585 on: April 16, 2013, 07:31:07 PM »
If you live in a big university town, you could probably furnish your whole house with cast-offs at the end of the year.

Hoo boy on that one! 

I remember a family gathering during move-in week at the University in Madison WI.  I swear that I saw the truck from the 'Beverly Hillbillies' with the rocking chair on top pull up to the curb near a dorm. 

MIL thought the scene was a gigantic yard sale. We almost had to physically restrain her from asking
 the people unloading the stuff how much they wanted for some Christmas tree decorations. 

MIL is usually pretty good about thils sort of thing but the scene was so surreal she went little tharn.   

Minmom3

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #586 on: April 16, 2013, 07:48:04 PM »
I once saw that someone was throwing out what appeared to be a perfectly good white dresser, and knowing that my daughter wanted one for her room, I grabbed it and took it home.  We inspected it carefully for woodworm or anything nasty, and it seemed fine - the only trouble was, it wasn't white.  It was a pale pink.  My very un-girly daughter professed unhappiness at the colour, and my husband ended up promising to paint it blue.   But hey, free dresser!

First, however, he had to strip off the old paint (I can't remember why he couldn't just paint over it, but there was a reason).  Then he had to prime it. Then he had to paint it.  It took several days and roughly $100 worth of supplies.    So much for "free"!

The next time one of our daughters asked for a dresser, we went to Ikea.  :D

On the other hand, the quality of what you spiffed up may have been much higher than something new.  My mother has an Ikea dresser that hasn't handled her moves at all well.  It's falling apart.  I have an old dresser that cost much less than her Ikea dresser, that I found at a consignment store.  That dresser has come through far too many moves with no damage at all, and it's really well made with dove tailing and no staples anywhere in sight!  I like old furniture a whole lot!   ;D
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4410
    • My blog!
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #587 on: April 16, 2013, 08:21:34 PM »
I'm not generally a big fan of IKEA's sparse style, but I have to say that the IKEA dresser we have has held up much better than our "nice" furniture.  We actually feel really bad for our bedroom furniture, because with 7 moves in 4 years, the poor dressers have gotten really banged up.  :(  Two of my girls have IKEA dressers, though, and those look almost new.  One girl has a similar style dresser that we got off craigslist, and it looks okay on the outside but the drawer bottoms are falling out and need to be fixed sometime.  I am *so* looking forward to living in one place for 4 years and not destroying all of our property by moving around.

Moralia

  • That's just tacky, tacky, tacky!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2225
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #588 on: April 16, 2013, 08:28:54 PM »
I hereby nominate my friend's DH. I posted about him and his tantrum to my mechanic, who I had recommended to him, recently.  Some other examples of his cheapness include:

Wearing his undies even though they are holey and stained;
Only getting a haircut when he has a coupon, and said haircut WIHTOUT is $10
Has a coniption if she or their son need to go to the dr., since their copay is $30. HE never goes, and HIS parents don't even have health insurance, so he doesnt get the need for it 
He also had a fit when she bought their son his first pair of shoes, saying the $30 or $40 was unnecesasry, that she could yave gotten cheaper ones at Walmart.

He is beyond cheap, irrationally and obessively so. He refused to entertain the notion of buying a new car until they could pay cash. NO ifs, ands, or buts. Which is his choice, but by doing that, chose to pour $$ into an old car that eventually died (which was the subject of his childish tirade), because he REFUSED to have anything to do with a car loan.  Nevermind they HAD the $$ to buy one, but as it would have drained most of their savings, he refused. And now is going around saying "we should have gotten rid of it a long time ago" yes due to his stubborness and cheap ways, he didn.t

He also doesn't know very much either; he is convinced that the mechanic caused their elderly car's transmission to fail, simply by replacing the starter the day before. and nothing you say to him will convince him that is not the case. nevermind the car was pushing 14, and already had a replacement tranny. Oh no. in his mind, since the mechanic was the last to touch it, it was HIS fault.

Anyone want to take bets on his never having the transmission fluid changed because of the "unnecessary" expense.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5851
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #589 on: April 16, 2013, 10:13:24 PM »
I'm not generally a big fan of IKEA's sparse style, but I have to say that the IKEA dresser we have has held up much better than our "nice" furniture.  We actually feel really bad for our bedroom furniture, because with 7 moves in 4 years, the poor dressers have gotten really banged up.  :(  Two of my girls have IKEA dressers, though, and those look almost new.  One girl has a similar style dresser that we got off craigslist, and it looks okay on the outside but the drawer bottoms are falling out and need to be fixed sometime.  I am *so* looking forward to living in one place for 4 years and not destroying all of our property by moving around.

I understand! My parents have some Ikea stuff that is 25 years old and still looks good (bed, dresser, sofas, etc). All the drawers open and close beautifully, the bed is tight, etc. I remember that I was kind of happy when a pipe burst and soaked my Ikea desk, as it was still going strong. I wanted a larger one but I knew my parents wouldn't just throw out a functional piece of furniture to replace it.

Amasi

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #590 on: April 17, 2013, 02:07:40 AM »
Finally finished this thread so now I can post!

My family is riddled with hoarders, and in their case I don't think it's so much about the money as much about never throwing anything out, but the behaviour seems to fit in with a few of these stories. Most of these things happened during my childhood and teen years when I was still living with my parents.

The gross:

- I wanted jam on toast one day, and discovered the jam in the jar had become absolutely blanketed with a layer of bright blue mold. My mother told me to just pull the mold off and eat the jam. I decided I wasn't hungry (and yes, the jam had to go back in the cupboard)

- We were eating pizza one night and my brother put his plate down to go to the loo. While he was gone, one of the cats jumped up and started licking his slice. We shooed it away, and my mother suggested we simply not mention it to him so he would eat the slice anyway. We told him.

- My sister volunteered for a neighbourhood trash cleanup. She mentioned they had found discarded used syringes during the event. My father requested that next time, she remove any needles from the syringes and bring them home to him. I very stridently protested that she should NOT do that.

Attempted thrift:

- My father decided to dry out tea bags so that they could be reused. He left them on a tray outside and forgot about them. They were rained on repeatedly and went mouldy. They were there for months.

- Neither of my parents could resist raiding any skip (or dumpster) they came across. As other posters mentioned this is genuinely thrifty. However, they would take literally anything good, whether it had use to them or not. I remember my humiliation as a teenage girl being forced to run back and forth carrying piles of old crockery out of one skip despite my protests that we didn't need it. As I predicted, it was dumped in out garage, and has still not been touched 10 years later.

- This one might make me sound a bit bratty. All our clothes were freebies or from op shops. That's genuinely thrifty and I still get almost all my clothes 2nd hand. The problem was that our clothes were hideously ugly, ill-fitting, either damaged and repeatedly patched or damaged and not repaired at all, and often not even clean. I generally looked like a homeless clown, and by the time I got old enough to realise I stood out, I just felt awful. I don't think I would have survived high school had it not required a uniform (which was also ill-fitting, damaged and often dirty, but at least I looked kind of the same!)

The bait n switch:

Many of my family members can't bear to throw anything away, so now that I have my own place they employ certain methods to get me to take things they don't want (so I can keep them in my house!)

- My aunt texted me asking if I liked a certain kind of food. I turned to someone who was with me and said "watch this, she's going to try to give me expired food". I texted back truthfully that I did like it. She replied that she had recently bought some and found out she didn't like I, would I have it? Ashamed to have made that assumption, I told my friend I'd been wrong, and my aunt that I would take the item. Her response? "I'll bring it over! Also, have some expired [similar item]!"

- Shortly after my grandma passed, my same aunt texted me to ask if I wanted one of her rose bushes. My grandma was well known for her roses, so I thought that would be a wonderful thing to remember her by, and very generous of my aunt. It was only after she dropped it off on my doorstep that I discovered the plant was very very dead.

- Same aunt sold me a freezer (yeah I paid without seeing it, silly me) on behalf of my great uncle. When it arrived, it was full of maggots, and also didn't work. I still haven't figured out how to get rid of it.

- When I bought my own house a couple of years ago, little did I know I was embarking on what I feel were the most stressful three months of my life. My family were overjoyed because that meant I would be upgrading from tiny one room flats to a WHOLE HOUSE, and could therefore be 'gifted' all the unwanted junk from my parents' (6 bedroom, 3 living space, 2 garage, packed to the seams) house, my aunt's house, and my grandma's house (she was selling and moving into care). Never mind my house is SMALL, I should take wholly inappropriate items of furniture like 12 person dining tables and enormous wall units. They were literally measuring spaces in the new house to PROVE that furniture i didn't need or want WOULD fit, regardless of my protests. My mother took to dumping piles of junk on my tiny flat's doorstep when I wasn't home. I was trying to pack for the move, and every time I got somewhere, more stuff showed up. I couldn't walk around without tripping over old ugly light shades or expired foodstuffs. I had no car so by myself I had no way of getting it to the dump or op shop. I would sit down in the chaos and just cry because this was not what I wanted for myself. I had visions of arriving for the first night in my wonderful new house and not being able to open the door for junk.
In my mother's defence, when I confronted her about leaving stuff when I wasn't there, she did apologise, stop doing it, and take some of it back away. I think she genuinely didn't realise how she was affecting me until I told her.

Love my family, and they are awesome in other ways, but will probably always battle with them over the issues of "stuff" and "waste".

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11702
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #591 on: April 17, 2013, 04:07:24 AM »
Amasi, I assume it was a chest freezer?  I've seen people on my local Freecycle asking for non-working freezers to store grain in (presumably for in a barn) because it helps keep vermin out.  If you're within driving distance of a rural area, you may be able to find someone who will come pick it up!

This isn't really my cheapskate story, since it happened before I met DH, but FIL has (and apparently has always had) a strong cheapskate streak.  MIL has a strong passive-aggressive streak, which makes for some interesting dynamics sometimes.  Apparently once upon a time when DH was young, FIL went to Costo or Sam's Club or one of those big "bargain" stores and discovered you can buy split pea soup by the crate - 48 times the regular package size.  Incidentally, he's the only one in the family who likes split pea soup.  MIL proceeded to serve him split pea soup every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two weeks.  (FIL later canceled his Costco membership.)

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11702
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #592 on: April 17, 2013, 04:16:00 AM »
(just remembered . . .)

FIL comes by his cheapskateness honestly - his mother (DH's grandmother) is the same way.  Both FIL and GMIL have had rental properties their whole lives - FIL at least tries to fix them up, but GMIL's are the "rent is $50 a month" types.  (Seriously - she rents some of her trailers for $50/month.)  At those income levels, there's often a lot of turnover in renters, and renters up and leave their possessions on a semi-regular basis.  I'm not sure exactly what the legalities are (I think they're obligated to keep the stuff for a while, then they can get rid of it), but FIL and GMIL both love to pick through left-behind items.  GMIL, in particular, gives them as Christmas gifts.  This year I got a chipped toy tea set (too small for my daughters to actually play with), an old-style cradle for Bittybartfast (missing slats on one side, missing one of the legs, and at this point Bittybartfast was already six months old and too big for a cradle), and a bell missing the clapper.  It still beats what GMIL gave MIL last year, though - a grimy makeup bag with half-used makeup in it of unknown origin  :-\

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4410
    • My blog!
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #593 on: April 17, 2013, 08:32:54 AM »
Amasi, I assume it was a chest freezer?  I've seen people on my local Freecycle asking for non-working freezers to store grain in (presumably for in a barn) because it helps keep vermin out.  If you're within driving distance of a rural area, you may be able to find someone who will come pick it up!

This isn't really my cheapskate story, since it happened before I met DH, but FIL has (and apparently has always had) a strong cheapskate streak.  MIL has a strong passive-aggressive streak, which makes for some interesting dynamics sometimes.  Apparently once upon a time when DH was young, FIL went to Costo or Sam's Club or one of those big "bargain" stores and discovered you can buy split pea soup by the crate - 48 times the regular package size.  Incidentally, he's the only one in the family who likes split pea soup.  MIL proceeded to serve him split pea soup every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two weeks.  (FIL later canceled his Costco membership.)

I forget if I told this one before, but when my husband was little, there was some sort of promotion that if you sent in enough labels from baked beans, you could get an apron.  My MIL really wanted that apron, so the family ate baked beans.  And more baked beans.  And more baked beans.  And MORE baked beans.  To this day, my husband will not eat baked beans.  But MIL got her apron!  (One day as an adult, my husband asked her what had ever happened to the apron, and she said she got rid of it.  His reaction was... priceless.)  I should mention, though, that MIL is not truly a cheapskate, this was just one incident.  :)

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8684
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #594 on: April 17, 2013, 09:21:41 AM »

This isn't really my cheapskate story, since it happened before I met DH, but FIL has (and apparently has always had) a strong cheapskate streak.  MIL has a strong passive-aggressive streak, which makes for some interesting dynamics sometimes.  Apparently once upon a time when DH was young, FIL went to Costo or Sam's Club or one of those big "bargain" stores and discovered you can buy split pea soup by the crate - 48 times the regular package size.  Incidentally, he's the only one in the family who likes split pea soup.  MIL proceeded to serve him split pea soup every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two weeks.  (FIL later canceled his Costco membership.)

OH this made me laugh. Yes, a bit PA on the part of your MIL, but FIL really did kind of ask for it by buying something only he liked in such a huge quantity.

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7360
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #595 on: April 17, 2013, 10:03:50 AM »
My FIL is a pretty good cook, and often makes sausage gravy for breakfast. One day, he bought a food service size 5# can of sausage gravy. It is just he and MIL who eat breakfast at their house. The can is still in the pantry, and I am leery of being invited over for breakfast.  :P

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1297
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #596 on: April 17, 2013, 10:17:30 AM »
Quote
I would sit down in the chaos and just cry because this was not what I wanted for myself. I had visions of arriving for the first night in my wonderful new house and not being able to open the door for junk.
In my mother's defence, when I confronted her about leaving stuff when I wasn't there, she did apologise, stop doing it, and take some of it back away. I think she genuinely didn't realise how she was affecting me until I told her.

Love my family, and they are awesome in other ways, but will probably always battle with them over the issues of "stuff" and "waste".

Amasi, honestly my heart just goes out to you. My mother has a mild case of what yours does and it has affected me to where I start getting twitchy when I feel like I'm accumulating stuff (oddly I feel compelled to get 'stuff' and then am always talking myself out of taking it).

I think I've told this story before on this board, but a friend of mine's mom (I'll call her Mrs. Collyer) is a serious, bonafide hoarder.

She had a home, packed to the brim with cr@p and was buying trailers and filling them up with even more cr@p at an alarming rate so that when it was determined that Mrs. Collyer needed to be moved, she had six trailers packed to the ceiling with junk. Some friends from my friend's place of worship asked her to help pack and clean to which my friend, knowing her own mother, demurred. They pressured her to help, as this is her mother, but she informed them, "I will clean, I will NOT pack anything." Okay, fine.

At one point during the clean-up/pack-up, one of the friends found a massive supply of twist-ties. Enough to fill nine (9) black garbage bags. Friend saved one sandwich bag's worth of twist-ties (why?) and bagged up the rest and threw it into a rented dumpster. Mrs. Collyer, watching such waste, fell down and had a seizure - to the surprise of everyone BUT my friend.

The sad part is that hoarding, from what I've read, is one of the most difficult compulsions to treat because it is almost impossible to convince the hoarder that what they're doing is not normal.

My FIL is a pretty good cook, and often makes sausage gravy for breakfast. One day, he bought a food service size 5# can of sausage gravy. It is just he and MIL who eat breakfast at their house. The can is still in the pantry, and I am leery of being invited over for breakfast.  :P


Wha...?

Pantry is not a word I usually interchange with refrigerator. Is it open?

Midge

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #597 on: April 17, 2013, 10:25:04 AM »
If you live in a big university town, you could probably furnish your whole house with cast-offs at the end of the year.



I remember a family gathering during move-in week at the University in Madison WI.  I swear that I saw the truck from the 'Beverly Hillbillies' with the rocking chair on top pull up to the curb near a dorm. 

 

Yep, we call it "Hippie Christmas!"

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #598 on: April 17, 2013, 11:29:53 AM »
My late MIL was the cheapest person I've ever met. Mean cheap. Everything revolved around her cheapness. My dh is in no way that cheap, but occasionally the apron strings will tighten invisibly from the great beyond and he'll try something. (Try, because I don't let that ghost of my MIL win.) For example, he's a great fan of coupons. He got to the point where he would only go to restaurants for which we had coupons. He'd actually eat food he didn't like at restaurants he didn't like just to use a coupon! Or we'd spend more money in total than if we went to another, cheaper restaurant without a coupon. Made no sense except that the value lay not in the food consumed, but in the  money saved.  He couldn't get that it's not really a savings if you don't want what you're eating! He couldn't get it because that's how he was raised -- the enjoyment or value of something lay not in the experience, but in the (often false) savings you got from using coupons (or in my MIL's case, outright stealing, such as taking all of the donuts and teabags from a motel's breakfast tray.)

Last straw: one night we went to a restaurant and when we got there, he realized he'd forgotten the stinking coupon. He wanted to drive back home to get the coupon which was a 30 minute round trip, so that's a gallon of gas or $4. The coupon was for $5. Also, we had timed our arrival at this restaurant to arrive before the Friday night rush. If we went in right now, we'd be seated immeditely. If we put our names in 30 minutes from now, we'd end up waiting 90+ minutes to be seated. So was the wait worth it to save ONE dollar? He pouted for a while at which point I pulled a buck out of my purse and handed it to him.  He  took a look at my face and decided to wise up. We then had a conversation about how the value of coupons is only real if you want to actually eat at that restaurant on that occasion and if it doesn't cause more trouble than it's actually worth. Every once in a while, the apron string tightens, however, and I need to yank it loose or I'll end up eating food I don't want at a restaurant I don't like.

- When I bought my own house a couple of years ago, little did I know I was embarking on what I feel were the most stressful three months of my life. My family were overjoyed because that meant I would be upgrading from tiny one room flats to a WHOLE HOUSE, and could therefore be 'gifted' all the unwanted junk from my parents' (6 bedroom, 3 living space, 2 garage, packed to the seams) house, my aunt's house, and my grandma's house (she was selling and moving into care). Never mind my house is SMALL, I should take wholly inappropriate items of furniture like 12 person dining tables and enormous wall units. They were literally measuring spaces in the new house to PROVE that furniture i didn't need or want WOULD fit, regardless of my protests. My mother took to dumping piles of junk on my tiny flat's doorstep when I wasn't home. I was trying to pack for the move, and every time I got somewhere, more stuff showed up. I couldn't walk around without tripping over old ugly light shades or expired foodstuffs. I had no car so by myself I had no way of getting it to the dump or op shop. I would sit down in the chaos and just cry because this was not what I wanted for myself. I had visions of arriving for the first night in my wonderful new house and not being able to open the door for junk.
In my mother's defence, when I confronted her about leaving stuff when I wasn't there, she did apologise, stop doing it, and take some of it back away. I think she genuinely didn't realise how she was affecting me until I told her.

Love my family, and they are awesome in other ways, but will probably always battle with them over the issues of "stuff" and "waste".
A few years ago, before the show Hoarders, there was a show called Clean House starring Niecy Nash. One episode involved a young married couple and their house, overrun with "treasures" her family kept dumping on them. It sounded as though the family were all hoarders and now that there was new "free" space, they were going to fill it up. As an example, I remember someone had been driving along the highway and had seen a golf bag and stopped, picked it up and brought it to their house. The clubs were all bent and totally unusable. They felt like they couldn't get rid of it because it would be "mean" or "rude". Niecy pointed out that her family was being incredibly rude and presumptuous to foist junk, BROKEN junk, on them and take over their home as a dumping ground. And honestly, the house and yard looked like a dump, a real dump.  Niecy basically told them to grow spines and refuse to allow this behavior to continue.

(In our case, a few years back, my FIL mailed us (at great expense) some "treasures" when he moved from his large house to a condo. We had neither asked for nor wanted these treasures. In fact, we had refused them when he offered them to us originally. They do not remotely come close to matching our decor, plus there were dust collectors and I'm allergic to dust. They were large and bulky and we have very little storage space in our house. So I sold them at a garage sale. He was not happy about it, but got over it when his 2nd wife pointed out that he had tried to give them to us before and we had refused, so he'd knowingly foisted an unwelcome burden upon us and that I was smart to make money off of a burden.)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 11:35:53 AM by Cami »

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7360
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #599 on: April 17, 2013, 11:46:40 AM »

My FIL is a pretty good cook, and often makes sausage gravy for breakfast. One day, he bought a food service size 5# can of sausage gravy. It is just he and MIL who eat breakfast at their house. The can is still in the pantry, and I am leery of being invited over for breakfast.  :P


Wha...?

Pantry is not a word I usually interchange with refrigerator. Is it open?

It is a very large can, still sealed, but I can't imagine the expiration date hasn't passed. He has had it for at least 3 years.