It's easy to understand tactics that people use in order to save money. But some frugal folks can be a tad bit stingy when it comes to spending money on things that they actually need or could afford...
Not Wanting To Pitch In For The Boss’s Gift…
“After completing months-long training for our new job, the people in my class (about 15 of us) pitched in two dollars apiece to buy a gift for our trainer, who was technically our boss. This guy—let’s call him Rob—refused to donate because he felt like this violated a rule against giving a gift above a certain value to your immediate supervisor. Rob was already pretty unpopular among the group, so they were very openly insulting about how they viewed this decision. I didn’t hear the conversation, but I believe they called him ‘ridiculous’ and ‘cheap’ and probably a few other things.
Rob immediately went to the supervisor to tell her that he thought he was being treated unfairly for doing what he believed to be the right thing. The supervisor, of course, returned the gift and said she didn’t want to cause a problem.
So basically he ruined a gesture for our boss over two dollars. And no, he was not interpreting the rule correctly; that rule applied to individual gifts.”
Cleaning The ZipLock Bags?
“So a few years back my family ran this project where they would take children from Ireland from both religions and stay for the summer in my town of Saint John, Canada. It was supposed to show how multiple religions can co exist with out any issues.
Anyway one of the chaperones was staying with us, she was a gal in her 50s late 40s so she would like to help around the house as much as possible and I noticed one time after she loaded the dish washer that the thing started leaking, I opened it up and found that a few zip lock bags ended up clogging the drain, well I thought how in the heck did these get in here? I didn’t think much of it until till the next day I caught her putting about 6 or so more in it. So, in my most polite manner, I asked her what she was doing. She replied cleaning the bags.
I was sorta in disbelief! I said to her ‘Well usually, here, we just throw them away after they are used. ‘After that, she stopped putting them in the washer. Like are zip lock bags expensive in Ireland? Or was she just extremely cheap? Probably not the most sanitary thing to be recycling”.
Making The Most Of The Casino’s Buffet…
“A guy that I used to deal poker to played in high stakes games. Games where people bought in from $2000 and higher. Also when you play poker, the room would give you $2 an hour that you could use to buy food. This guy played every day for hours and hours. Probably had over a $1000 on his player’s card he could use for food. There was a spot by the room where people would go and put their food away when they were finished eating.
When there were a few plates built up, he would go over to that section of the room and grab a plate of leftover food and go through all of the plates and make a full plate of the food that people had not finished.
It was one of the strangest/disgusting behaviors in a casino I have ever seen and I’ve seen some crazy stuff in a casino. He would rather eat other peoples leftover food rather than spend his comps and get something he wanted.
He drove a Jaguar and lived in a gated community on a golf course…”
Stealing The Waiter’s Tips?
“When I was a kid of about 7 or so, my parents took me along once when going out to dinner. I can’t remember why they brought me instead of having a baby sitter. It was made very clear that I had to behave myself or else.
It was with a neighbor who was the sports guy on a small local TV station and was recently divorced (this is where I learned about the term). I made it through the night without spilling anything thanks to some Hot Wheels smuggled in my pockets.
My Parents paid for the dinner and the sportscaster made a big showing about paying the tip with cash (this is where I learned about how the tip helps the waiters and waitresses). They sat and talked while I tried not to fidget.
When it was time to leave my parents got up and the sports guy went to use the men’s room. Before we were out the door I realized I left a couple of nice hot rods on the table and told my dad I had to go back and get them.
Back in the dining room, I saw the sportscaster scoop up the tip money and stuff it in his pockets with a scowl on his ugly mug…but he was oblivious to me watching from the doorway.
I went out to where my parents were waiting and didn’t say a thing. Silently hoped the pretty waitress had a kid that would like my toy car.”
The Brazilian Dinner With The Mooching Friends
“A friend was notorious for being cheap, at parties or pot lucks where we all brought food to share she would monitor how much people took of what she brought and would scold them for taking too much. Would also bring Tupperware and bring home all the leftovers not even giving people the chance to take their own food home or worse, she would start piling the food in Tupperware halfway through the party. We finally called her out on it and stopped inviting her.
Before we stopped hanging out with her a big group of us went to a Brazilian steak house for a celebration of our friend. We all agreed to pay for ourselves and split our friend’s tab because that’s what normal nice people do. My friend and I had actually won gift cards to the restaurant at an event we were at and were going to pay for everyone and at most people would only pitch in for a tip. Soon as we got there cheap friend makes a big deal about separate tabs and making sure the server knew she was only paying for her and her husband and 1/8th of our friend. Totally ridiculous. We say nothing about the gift cards at this point and all of us except the cheapos are ordering drinks and an appetizer and she is losing her mind about the 1/8th she has to pay for our friend. Cheapos are drinking water.
We have a great time anyway and the bill comes and she’s livid that our friend had two drinks and a dessert she has to pay an 8th of. (None of the rest of us gave a care we were there to have fun and celebrate), and I tell her I’ll pay her 8th and she is visibly relieved and going on and on about it ‘just being fair’. I tell the server that I’m paying for everyone but the cheapos and hand over the gift cards which were even enough to cover tip since we didn’t have to pay for cheapos dinners. The look on their faces were priceless. They couldn’t believe we wouldn’t pay for theirs and kept saying how unfair it was. Never went out to dinner with them again.”
Using A Payphone?
“Once our phone was out (landline, before cell phones were as common as they are today. We were among the many who didn’t own a cell phone). I do not recall the reason. Either it was shut off due to non-payment or it needed a repair.
Mother needed to make an important phone call and wanted me to drive her to where there was a payphone. BUT she wanted to use a payphone that charged only 25 cents for a call. This was around the time that many pay phones had increased their prices from 25 cents to 50 cents.
I warned mother that while I knew the locations of many payphones in town (the closest one was at a gas station which was a short two-minute drive away), I didn’t know which phones charged 50 cents and which ones still charged at the old cheaper price of 25 cents. Mother had me drive her all over town looking for that elusive pay phone that charged only 25 cents for a call. I took her to several gas stations (including the one closest to us), the mall, the library, the train station, a couple of mini malls, etc.
Each and every time I took her to a phone, she’d get out of the car, go to the phone, see that it charged 50 cents, and come back to the car full of vinegar, yelling at me how the phone charged 50 cents. I would remind her that I already told her that I didn’t know which pay phones in town still charged only 25 cents.
Geez, I just wanted to go home! So halfway through this nonsense, I offered to give her the additional quarter out of my own pocket so that she could make her call. Heck, I even offered to give her the full 50 cents. Instead, she just barked at me, ‘I AM NOT PAYING 50 CENTS FOR A PHONE CALL!’
Anyways, we were still driving around when mother spotted a pay phone in the parking lot of a fast food joint. She pointed to it and told me to pull in so that she could see what the pay phone charged. It charged only 25 cents for a call. Hallelujah, our search was over. Mother made her call and returned to the car triumphantly telling me, ‘See? I told you there was a phone that charged only 25 cents!’
I didn’t tell her this, but in her quest to find that 25 cents a call payphone, we burned up several dollars worth of gas (this was when gas was around 1.50 a gallon). And the drive back home from that fast food place was going to cost about an additional 50 cents worth of gas, easy. All to save a lousy twenty-five cents on a payphone.”
Spending His Money On Luxury Items Only!
“So I’m part of a friend group of 3. We’ve all been buds since countless after school detentions in high school and now we’re in our late 20s.
Well one of us, let’s call him L is a cheap dude. One fine afternoon we walk into a bar and L’s girlfriend approaches the bartender to order a drink. L sees his opportunity and slides over to his lady to ask if she’ll order him something and is quickly denied because he is cheap. L then proceeds to approach me and ask the same question only to be denied once more, rinse and repeat on our other 4 friends. Finally, L lets out an audible sigh and pulls out his wallet and buys himself a $1 Pabst blue ribbon, then proceeds to complain to us that he is trying to save for a new video card so his computer can run 2 at once. The bartender bought his girlfriend’s drink and said to dump the dude.
This other one has happened countless times. We’ll all be outside having a smoke and L proceeds to try and bum off of any and everyone in sight, once he is denied by everyone, because he is a cheap guy, he will once again let out a loud audible sigh and get his own cigarettes out of his car less than 10 feet away. His excuse is always, ‘Well I was saving these ones, cigs are expensive!’
This dude has 2 cars, one of which has $10,000+ of race components on it with multiple sets of wheels, multiple extremely high-end computers etc. Won’t even pay for his girlfriend’s lunch and will usually try to get her to cover his half as well.
L always tries to disappear outside if we haven’t split our bill yet, L tries to bum any and every thing you can bum. L wouldn’t buy his girlfriend back if she was held hostage for any more than $12.50 and he’d probably ask us to foot the bill first.
The most aggravating part is L is always buying expensive luxury stuff like $4000 drones just to mess around with and thinks because he wants to buy something, everyone else should pay for his everyday expenses and he is ‘saving’. L is also convinced he was the poorest kid at our high school and had it rough, dude, poor kids don’t even get the real electronic lego trains for Christmas…”
No Christmas Presents For Him?
“Last Christmas my father-in-law bought himself a card table and chair so he could play board games at our house and then he told us it was our present.
Before we were married my guy lived across the country and was saving to move in with me where I was going to school. His lease ended in the end of November and he was moving to where I was the first week of January. So he stayed with his parents for just over a month. He goes downstairs for Christmas morning with presents for everyone.
He didn’t have any presents under the tree for himself. His parents said not charging him rent was his present.
It’s odd because they’re really nice and sweet people but they don’t value material things. It’s just that when you don’t have material things and you skrimp and save to buy other people things, you expect a certain level of your investment back. They had nice things they bought for themselves.”
The Consistent Cafe Customer…
“I used to work in a cafe, and to say we got the strangest customers is an understatement.
There was this lady, who would come in, only when it was someone new on the till. She’d ask to ‘try our coffee of the day’ in a small cup but didn’t want to pay for it like she’d ask for like an ounce or coffee, and then she’d add her own water.
So: Free coffee? CHECK
Next: She’d order a cookie; she’d sit, eat some of the cookies, wait until someone NEW was on till. She’d go by and say, ‘The cookie was incredibly dry, I’d like my money back please’…because we’re busy, till person obliges without asking too much. They’d then see her sit back down, and finish her goddamn cookie. She came so infrequently that it was really hard to pinpoint her, and we weren’t always on the lookout. But she always would get a free coffee (watered down, but still), and a damn cookie for free. It ticked me off WAY too much because no one else seemed to remember it was the same lady every time. BAH!”
Saving Money At WalMart
“I was standing in line at a WalMart once, around Christmas time. Painful as that already sounds, the lady in front of me started arguing about the price of a bottle of shampoo. She says it is on sale for $1 less than the price it rang up as.
After 2 or 3 phone calls to the department and at least 5 minutes, I spoke up and said, ‘Lady, I’ll give you a dollar if we can just move on here.’
She looked at me with a straight face and said, ‘OK.’
I was not expecting that. Neither was the manager who was there by then and ended up just giving her the $1 discount.”
Free Popcorn At The Movies?
“We have a movie theater in my town that had been around since my mom was a child. It plays movies that just stopped playing in the ‘real’ cinemas even though they’re all Malcos.
Well this theatre, when I was a kid, was 2$ flat for admission. This is where I learned how to get free drinks and popcorn, as they were ridiculously higher than traditional cinemas due to the low ticket price and kids stealing free drinks and popcorn.
We would walk into a movie that just finished find the large cups and buckets, the only ones that allowed refilling, take them into the bathroom wash them and ask for refills at the counter. Did this for years and years…
The price has since gone up to 3$ and they have those people checking tickets now. I used to watch countless movies there on a single ticket eating my popcorn and drinking my coke out of some guy’s greasy trash.”
Overdrafts At The Pharmacy
“I used to work retail pharmacy. A man came up 5 minutes before the end of my shift for his meds. We have a rule that if the order is over $55 the customer has to pay at the pharmacy counter instead of taking it to the store register. We also have a rule that they can only check out at the pharmacy register with 5 items or less.
The man’s Rx was like $60 so I informed him of the rule. He was like, ‘Oh that’s fine. I’ll just check out my stuff here.’ Proceeds to bring up an entire cart full of groceries. I inform him of our other rule, and he starts cussing me out saying he can only use his card once and needs to pay for everything together.
I keep telling him that I don’t make the rules, but if I let his Rx leave the pharmacy without payment, I could lose my job. He’s screaming verbal abuse at me and accusing me of trying to steal his medications from him. All the while he’s shouting about how he can only use his card once.
As it turns out, he wanted to overdraft his card so he could pay for groceries and his medications. He only wanted to do it once so he wasn’t charged two overdraft fees.”
Prescribed Glasses As His Present?
“My parents are both very cheap, but my Dad is especially not-generous.
One summer day when I was maybe 13 years old, my Dad finally agreed to take me to get my eyes examined. To his surprise, I did need glasses (he insisted I wouldn’t). He reminded me that he had only agreed to get my eyes examined, not to actually buy me glasses. So if I wanted the glasses, I would need to have them be my birthday present. I really wanted to be able to read the board in school, so I agreed. My birthday is on Christmas, and I always got a combined gift.
So now I had to wait a year and a half to get my next present, and I knew it was my fault because I chose the glasses. I understand that parents can’t always pay for things, but there was something especially cheap about turning buying me glasses into an excuse to not need to get any presents a full six months later. I don’t really talk to my Dad anymore.”
Changing Her Mind If Someone Else Pays!
“One of my coworkers is probably the cheapest person I know.
She’s a nurse and, I know for a fact, she makes nearly twice what I make per hour.
Anytime we go out for lunch and she asks for a different side or whatever, if the server tells her there’s an extra charge she’ll say, ‘Oh, nevermind then’ and makes it super awkward. For something that costs literally $1-2 more.
Whenever I go out to get coffee or whatever for the office, she’ll say no when I ask if she wants something unless the boss or someone else happens to be paying for it. If I say ‘__ is paying for it’, she’ll change her mind and say she wants something.
A year ago I moved to the same city as she happens to live, and unfortunately I kind of pass through her area on my way home. It’s gotten to the point where she basically expects a ride home (she doesn’t drive), and she will wait until her bus has already left and I’m on my way out the door to ask me for a ride.”
Taking Advantage Of The Travel Agents And Their Food?
“I worked for a short time as a luxury travel agent, and agents get tons and tons of free stuff all the time. Every day there would be vendors setting up in the conference room for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks, which we got for free, we just had to go listen to the vendors’ pitch.
This would totally go to some of the old-school agent’s heads.
The agents in the office next to mine were notoriously cheap, especially the sixty-something-year-old boss. They would push their way into the conference room, throw their business card in the general director of the poor vendors, and take as much food as possible. Multiple plates piled high. I’d pass their office and the food would be just sitting out on the desks uneaten. The boss was known for showing up at vendor-sponsored dinners and events with his wife (uninvited), and they’d bring plastic zip lock bags and fill them with food from the buffet to take home. He made a ton of money, so it wasn’t out of necessity, he was just insanely cheap and entitled.
My favorite story about him was that our company used to go around the offices some Friday afternoons in the summer with an ice-cream cart, and everyone would grab something. One each because we’re freakin’ adults in a professional workplace. Not this guy. He filled a manila envelope with like 20 ice creams, labeled in PROPERTY OF [NAME] DO NOT TOUCH!!! and put it in the office freezer. My sassy coworker used to go steal ice creams from the envelope all the time for our office just to spite him. Tasted so good.”