Penny-pinching to the extreme.
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"Last night this happened at a fair. The man at the front of the line for ice cream offered to pay for all the kids in the family behind him because he was taking awhile. He gave the booth $40 bucks and said what was ever left over should go to the charity (the church was running the ice cream booth). The people with the kid's ice cream totaled $21 and they insisted for the change back. It wasn't even their money!! When the lady refused she asked for the manager!"
"I lived with 3 other people during my Junior year of college, and one of them insisted on keeping the AC off in the summer and the heat off in the winter (even though we lived in campus housing and didn't pay for any utilities) just so she could prepare herself for the following year when she would be living on her own in an apartment and never using it to save money.
I got fed up, found the manual for the thermostat online, and set it to never be allowed to go above a certain temperature in the summer and never go below a certain temperature in the winter."
"My grandparents lived through the depression. They waste nothing. Their freezer is a menagerie of ancient treasures. Last year we ate Thanksgiving at their house. My mom did all the cooking, but my grandma contributed a couple of desserts. One was a marshmallowy jello sort of thing with pistachios. When we got done eating, she proudly declared that it had been sitting in the freezer since 1996. She was afraid we'd find out and would waste it by not eating it."
"A few years back, my (now ex) boyfriend asked me to go camping with him and his family. I had never been camping before and was really excited about it. We were going to stay on some islands in the middle of a lake, and the week before, his mom made us all come up with recipes and throw in some cash for the food we'd be eating for the week. I didn't have a problem with this and we came up with some awesome pasta dish ideas.
When we got there, however, she changed her mind and decided no, she wanted to eat out in the town nearby every day (we were out camping for a week, and we had also brought a cooler packed full with the ingredients for each meal). Nobody warned me of this happening and well, as a 15-year-old, I didn't really think I'd need money when camping. Just the complete basics.
After she realized I didn't bring any money with me, she screamed at my boyfriend for about an hour about how she shouldn't have to treat his guest, how he's going to have to pay for all the food I eat this week and how she expects this never to happen again, all while I sat crying in my tent nearby.
Needless to say, every time we went out, I had a water with the cheapest meal on the menu. Even if it was something I knew I didn't like.
Worst camping experience of my life."
"My 13-year-old daughter was invited to a small birthday party at a mediocre chain restaurant for her best friend. The girlfriend is over here quite often and regularly eats dinner, breakfast, lunch etc. if she is here, and sleeps over about twice a week during the summertime. She's been included in trips to the amusement park and water park nearby (We have season tickets, but there is always something to eat, funnel cakes, etc.), movies, and the occasional trip to Dairy Queen and I've never asked to be paid or have her pay her own way. We treat her as one of our own. Imagine my disgust when my daughter calls me from the restaurant bathroom, nearly in tears, telling me that they just told her she will have to pick up her own check- after dinner and desert have been served. (Check was like, $13.00)
The guy actually said separate checks to the waitress, but my daughter didn't know what that meant. She had a few bucks on her but she was short about five bucks. The other girl's father told my daughter that she would 'have to stay and wash dishes or something' and got real ugly with her like she mislead them or something. I have the parent's cell phone numbers, called him and asked him real nice like if he could spot her ten bucks until he brought her home, and I would pay him back. He refused and made it like somehow my daughter and I were scamming him. He suggested that I call the front desk and square it away, because they were leaving, and were going to leave my daughter there if she couldn't pay so he wouldn't 'Have the cops chasing him down on his daughter's birthday.'
I did call the front desk, gave them my credit card, included a healthy tip, and told my daughter I would be there to pick her up in ten minutes, don't go anywhere. When I got there, clown was trying to get my daughter to leave with his family, now that the bill was paid. His daughter was in tears. Needless to say, it got ugly.
As I pulled up to the restaurant, I saw my daughter inside the front door with clown pointing out in the general direction of the parking lot, as if telling her to get in the car. His wife and the girlfriend and their other kid were out on the sidewalk. I had about ten minutes or so between the phone call and the arrival, so I was able to clearly think about things before I got there. I opened the door and strode up behind him, and it took every fiber of my being not to slap him on the back of the head. Ruby Tuesday Hostess picked up the phone...probably dialed 9-1- like she was getting ready to try to prevent Armageddon or something. My daughter was looking down at the floor shamefully, embarrassed, not knowing what to do. She had been crying. I just said "Get. In. The. Car." She looked up, then got that huge relieved/happy/DADDY! face on. She literally ran to my car.
Keep in mind, I did 22 years in the Army. I am 6'2" tall, and just a hair under 230 lbs. No, I am not in the same shape I was when I was in the Infantry, but still, I am not slouch. I am at least 6" taller and I outweighed the guy by 50 lbs. There was nothing to prove or be gained by stomping a mudhole in his chest and walking it dry. To be honest, I really really really wanted to.
I stood there for a moment, looking at clown. I didn't want to move. I almost felt like if I did, the fragile calm I had imposed on myself would shatter and I would just go nuts on him. So I just stared. For a moment, I didn't realize I was completely blocking his path do the door. He started to say something, but it came out as more of a dry squeak, like he had just sucked the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag dry. In the clarity of the moment, this served to channel my rage into something like a deep contempt, and I relaxed a bit, still staying silent, and acting as if I was patiently waiting for him to say something. He just sort of croaked...and moved as if he was going to try and squeeze past me. All I did was take a sudden deep breath, and that froze him shaking in place.
"You made my daughter cry." I said, very, very, quietly. "For no reason. I would have paid you back...as I have paid for your daughter many times without reservation or expecting to be paid, even when she did have a few dollars on her."
Then his wife burst in behind me, and summed it all up nicely in a shrill, almost screeching voice. "Clown, You are lucky he isn't beating you like he owns you right now. Take us home. We aren't going anywhere with you." She turns to me and said, "I am SO sorry. I don't know what to say. Stuff like this is why we are getting a divorce."
I just turned and walked away, got in my car and left.
The very next day, my daughter's friend came over. She tried to apologize. I told her that it wasn't necessary. I took them out to lunch. My treat."
"My dad is a physics professor at a university, which if you know of this breed of humans, none of this might surprise you.
He, I swear to all that is sacred, goes to the cafeteria on campus and makes a meal out of the free condiments (Mexican style chip salsa, chopped onion packets, crackers, etc.). Then, he'll call me to brag about it.
Another one he does. He found a store that sells expired food for a ridiculously low price. He said he spent $20 and now has microwaveable popcorn for life.
My dad never buys new tires; he buys used ones that the shop keeps when people replace them. He gets the tires for super cheap after negotiating them (like $15-$20). The best part is that he avoids driving to not waste gas so much that the tires actually never wear out; they just rot.
When he feels like splurging, he will buy a pork shoulder which is a lot of meat for about $7-$10. He cuts off all of the meat and grinds it along with free condiments from a cafeteria into a cylinder shape that he wraps with shopping bags from a store. Then, he freezes it. When he wants some, he slices some pieces off like patties and sautés them...in its own oil of course. This will last him months.
One time he called me while I was cooking. He asked me what I was making, and I said that I was cooking spaghetti. He said that spaghetti is about 3x's the price per mass as rice and throwing away my money.
He doesn't use toilet paper, just water, which is actually cleaner anyway.
I'll add more as I keep remembering them."
"Went to dinner with some friends and their friends, it was a really nice Japanese place and we all had a fantastic meal. When it came to pay, we all kinda threw in roughly what we owed with enough spare for a tip, except for one lad who was being tighter than a gnat's behind making sure he was only gonna pay exactly what his meal was to the cent and nothing more. So the receipt comes back and there's a good bit of change left over for a tip, but since the staff went above and beyond for us because some of us had special dietary requirements, needed to make sure things were gluten free and all kinds of picky or awkward things, we wanted to throw in a bit more on as well. Well, this guy was shocked, he couldn't fathom us leaving a tip! According to him, we were throwing away our money, and the food was already overpriced. We didn't really think much of it, because this is Ireland, and tipping is generally not the done thing here.
Well, you know what this guy does? When we're all leaving and getting our coats, he goes back to the table, and grabs the big tip we had left for the staff! I guess we all thought he had forgotten something, or just didn't notice, but we didn't find out until later what he had done when we were having drinks in the pub. He said something along the lines of 'I should go out for dinner with you lot more often, I came out with more money than I went in with!' What really pissed us off was that the way he said it, he was so proud of himself. We were all absolutely livid, but he said 'sure you didn't want it anyway' and was acting like we had just tossed our money in the bin. I haven't spoken to him since then, and I'm glad to see that he has never been invited out with this particular group again.
I saw him again in a different restaurant maybe a year ago, looked like he was out for a work event or something, all guys wearing suits. I nearly wanted to walk up to their table and announce to them that he's a thieving loser who steals tips and they should all keep a close eye on him, and tell the staff the same thing. I really wish I had done it."
"When I was a little kid I used to spend summers at my grandparents' house, and one of my chores was to set the table before dinner every night. Whenever we were having company over for dinner, I was instructed to use 'the good napkins.' That meant the napkins that didn't have restaurant logos printed on them.
We only went to restaurants when my grandmother felt she could come out ahead on the deal, and there were many ways to accomplish this. She clipped coupons, of course, but that was kids' stuff. Anytime she did anything for someone, she'd get them to take her to dinner to 'return the favor.' She had an enormous purse, which generally came back stuffed with napkins and food from the buffet. She didn't see much point in going to any restaurant that didn't at least have a salad bar. One year, when my mother and I offered to take her to dinner for her birthday, we ended up having to drive over an hour to get to a Sizzler she hadn't been banned from."
"In my department where I work, I always have a small basket of candy (jolly ranchers, tootsie rolls, life savers) out for my customers. Most are most appreciative and ask 'are these free?' and take one, maybe two and thank me for the candy. Then there are some customers..who just walk up and take HANDFULLS of the candy. Once I had an older man dump the entire thing into his man purse, look straight at me and walk out."
"At my local Dunkin' Donuts you have to ask the workers specifically if you want a packet of sugar/Sweet 'n' Low or one of those little half and half containers because the senior citizens in the area used to come in and take them all so they wouldn't have to buy them in the store and the workers had to take them all away."
"My aunt, who is fairly wealthy (she and her husband both work, no kids, own multiple houses), is the cheapest person I've ever known. When she goes to the grocery store when the family is up visiting my grandmother, she'll keep the receipt to give to my grandma so she'll pay her back for it.
This is the worst one, though. Lots of family was going up to visit grandma again, and my aunt (who lives in Georgia) asked my dad to buy butter (in Virginia) and bring it up to New Jersey where my grandma lives because apparently butter is cheaper in Virginia."
"I worked in a Subway and an evil woman came in one day. It was busy and she took forever to order asking a million questions and complaining about everything while an entire line is behind her.
She gets to pay but 'oh, I don't have enough money for that!' The nice old man behind her offers to pay for food sincerely and she thanks him.
She goes to sit down, then gets up, complains to us while there is still a busy line about wanting to turn the ceiling fans off (never been off the 3 years I worked there)
To finally kick it off, she gets back up before leaving, orders two more footlongs, and pays for it no problem with the same wallet she said she had no money in. We were all shocked at this evil woman."
"My economics teacher in high school once told us that he adopted two Chinese girls instead of having his own kids because statistically, Asian girls eat less, so he would be saving a lot of money in the long run. I believe his exact quote was 'When we go to McDonald's, they can split one hamburger, and it's still better than the gristle they were eating in China! What a deal!'
This didn't strike me as being quite so racist until some time later..."
"I work at a hardware store. Someone came in needing parts for gas line repair. Once I got him set up with all the pipe and fittings, I asked if he had the right tape for it (you need a special type of Teflon tape to have a perfect seal and prevent gas leaks), he replied, 'No, can you get me some?' I grab the tape and he asks why I grabbed the yellow tape ($4.99) instead of the blue tape ($0.99). I told him that the blue is for a water line, and using it could very likely cause a gas leak. After trying to convince him (for 10 minutes) to just spend the $4 extra on something that would likely save his life, I walked away. I come back from my break, turns out that the guy put back all the black iron (gas) pipes and fittings, and got the galvanized steel (water) pipes and fittings (a total of $15 cheaper) and blue tape. Two weeks later there was a story on the news about a guy who's house had a gas leak and exploded. Luckily, the man was out with his family at the time, and no one was injured. I'm not sure if it was the same man from the store, but it's likely."
"My first best friend in like first or second grade invited me to spend the night at his house. When it was time to brush our teeth I realized I had forgotten my toothbrush. He told his mom about it and I thought I was in luck when his mom brought us a brand new toothbrush but she opened it, handed it to him, and told him to give me his old one. I was skeptical, but I used it."
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"I have a friend who is full-on gluten intolerant. However, he's SO CHEAP, that he'll go to ANY LENGTHS to avoid paying for food (or anything else!)...
When he found out he could dumpster unlimited bread in San Francisco, that became the staple- nay, the entirety- of his diet.
He spends his days moaning in agony as his insides churn and roil, suffering from constant fiery diarrhea... yet he continues to eat his glutinous meals merely because they're free!"
"My best friend in middle school wanted to go to Outback for his birthday, so his parents and 4 of friends loaded up and drove the 45 minutes. We all order our food and an order was placed for an appetizer of cheese fries that we would all share. The birthday boy goes first and he gets a HUGE portion literally 2/3 of the cheese fries and makes sure to take all the cheese with it. All that was left were the remnants, no big deal ,i'm cool it's free food anyway. When the time to pay comes the dad asks me and the other kids for 20 bucks each. I ask why, he says well for your portion of the appetizer, your food, your drink and for the birthday boy's food as well. I flat out refuse, and he threatens that maybe you should call your mom to drive 45 minutes to pick you up, I was 14 at the time."
"I went to a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law at a Filipino restaurant. Along with my wife and I, four of her friends were there. The friends ordered a MOUNTAIN of food for the table. There were seven of us there, but if there were a dozen, we couldn't have finished it all. This was a bit irritating right off the bat because while I was happy to pitch in for her birthday dinner, I didn't want to pay twenty percent of a feast from Westeros. It would up being over $200 worth of food.
So then the check comes, and I pitch in my credit card, and three out of the four friends turn into statues, except the oldest gentleman, who offers something like fifteen bucks. I grab the bill and divide it by five leaving out the dishes and drinks that my wife and I ordered for ourselves and tally it up, saying what everyone owes. Crickets. I remind everyone that they were the ones who ordered this giant mound of food in the first place, half of which is going to go to waste.
To prevent awkwardness, my mother in law grabs the bill and runs off (leaving my credit card) to go pay it. My wife prevents me from stopping her and causing a scene. I quietly lay into the three deadbeats at the table, for letting an elderly woman on a fixed income pay a $200+ bill for her own birthday dinner. I lose it and call them 'moochers,' and whoah, suddenly there's that scene everyone was working so hard to prevent, with them screaming at me and me screaming back. The restaurant owners understandably intervene and toss all of us out.
I go back in and apologize and explain what happened. The restaurant, to their credit, knock 40% off the bill out of nothing more than kindness (Salo-Salo Grill in Las Vegas, y'all) and cancel the charge on my mother-in-law's card, and I picked up the rest (which was still quite a bit, but I felt a lot better about it)."
"When my grandmother was still alive, she would come and visit once or twice a year, this despite her having all sort of medical complications like osteoporosis and kidney dialysis. She really loved her son. Anyway, whenever she arrived, she had a bag of frozen Olive Garden breadsticks with her for us kids. At that time of my life, I went 'Eww gross.' But now that she passed, I asked my dad why she kept doing that. Answer: 'When she took you to Olive Garden once, you said to her that you really liked those breadsticks.' I was shocked. Turns out gramma wasnt so much cheap as old, weird, and crazy-in-love with her grandkids."