Extreme Cheapskates

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A show on TLC  chronicles how extreme one can be as a "cheapskate".  From eating other people's leftovers in restaurants to flushing a toilet only once a week (from reclaimed bath water no less).

What I want to know is which FW'er will come forward as having been on that show??  What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?

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i refill my rothschild lafite bottle with the $5 supermarket brand

rodimus1 (Nov. 08, 2013 @ 3:58p) |

i may have accidentally sent mail without a stamp, but put the return address as its destination.......

worm690 (Nov. 08, 2013 @ 4:55p) |

I think you can count on that.  Did you ever notice all the writers who are employed by "unscripted (aka reality) TV?"  ... (more)

Mickie3 (Nov. 09, 2013 @ 7:47a) |


I'm the one you're referring to.   /thread   /blog

Watched 2 episodes and it follows the Doomsday Preppers model: find some idiot nutcases, set them up to fail, defend status-quo.

I guess it was neive of me to think they'd find well balanced individuals who retired in their 30s to pursue their passions.

Xnarg1 said:    What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?
 

  I re-use Ziploc freezer bags.

JTFH said:   Watched 2 episodes and it follows the Doomsday Preppers model: find some idiot nutcases, set them up to fail, defend status-quo.

I guess it was neive of me to think they'd find well balanced individuals who retired in their 30s to pursue their passions.

  Why would they?  TV is entertainment, and people don't get entertained by having to question their own lifestyles.

I saw one episode where a family invited their neighbors over for dinner.  Their neighbors had to bring their own chairs because the cheapskate family didn't have enough.  The salad was clover or some other weed from the yard.  If nothing else, it was entertaining and made me think about the value of limiting expenses.

Quikboy4 said:   
Xnarg1 said:    What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?
  I re-use Ziploc freezer bags.

  I do this all the time - I reuse ziploc bags whenever they are still clean.  I used to even wash them out and reuse them if they were dirty (my mom still does) but I find that it is not worth the time.

Sounds like they are taking "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down " to another level

Quikboy4 said:   
Xnarg1 said:    What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?
  I re-use Ziploc freezer bags.

  Doesn't everyone?

most of it seems staged... I do however love the show and always tells my wife how we can save money etc... While the sharing floss one was on.. i told my wife we should do that... she said... sure but i got first... ha!

Some of the extreme retirement bloggers might be up for guest shots on that show.

I nominate myself for being rich yet serving $3 Chuck or Wal-Mart equivalent routinely when we have guests.

These kind of people did the daytime talkshow circuit in the 90s. They serve as more of a freak show than a source of practical advice.

JTFH said:   Watched 2 episodes and it follows the Doomsday Preppers model: find some idiot nutcases, set them up to fail, defend status-quo.

I guess it was neive of me to think they'd find well balanced individuals who retired in their 30s to pursue their passions.

  
I lost it when they showed a guy trying to make his own gunpowder by combining his own fermented urine (kept in a mason jar) with some charcoal ash.

Xnarg1 said:   A show on TLC                 chronicles how extreme one can be as a "cheapskate".  From eating other people's leftovers in restaurants to flushing a toilet only once a week (from reclaimed bath water no less).

What I want to know is which FW'er will come forward as having been on that show??  What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?


Yuck.  This behavior sounds unhealthy and unhygienic.  Eating after strangers sounds like an excellent way to catch colds, and maybe even herpes and other ailments.  I can't imagine how bad their homes must smell.  This goes a bit beyond extreme cheapness IMO.
 

BADADVICE said:   
JTFH said:   Watched 2 episodes and it follows the Doomsday Preppers model: find some idiot nutcases, set them up to fail, defend status-quo.

I guess it was neive of me to think they'd find well balanced individuals who retired in their 30s to pursue their passions.

  
I lost it when they showed a guy trying to make his own gunpowder by combining his own fermented urine (kept in a mason jar) with some charcoal ash.

  
That's too much work.  At 48 minutes 27 seconds in this video, a professor teaches an alternate method (also free):
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-6-high-voltage-breakdown-and-lightning/        

I once knew a person that would dig in the trash bin at the theater for a large drink cup, take it to concession stands and asked for a replacement cup (and drink) because his cup was "leaking". Does extreme cheapskates borderline ethical/moral behavior?

Xnarg1 said:   
Quikboy4 said:   
Xnarg1 said:    What does the average FW do to be a cheapskate, but maybe not so extreme?
  I re-use Ziploc freezer bags.

  I do this all the time - I reuse ziploc bags whenever they are still clean.  I used to even wash them out and reuse them if they were dirty (my mom still does) but I find that it is not worth the time.

 Ditto. Growing up our milk came in a bag. We would rinse/reuse the bag for lunch sandwiches.
I (try) reuse foil paper whenever I can.
Boil water instead of buying bottled water
Reuse/ save paper towels (ig if I used it to dry lettuce, veggies etc I will reuse those pieces to wipe a spill off the floor).
Use those 'flyer bags' (get dropped off weekly with the upcoming circulars) for doggie waste bags.

These are the things my friends and fam tease me about.
 

I'm all for being frugal, but in my mind a cheapskate is someone who is doing it at someone else's expense. Like the person who meets you for lunch and "forgets" their wallet. Every. Single. Time.

They manage to delay their "turn" to buy the next round until after half the group has left. In the gift exchange, they will regift some POS item they got at a garage sale and was last seen in a store in 2006. Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything in the interest of family harmony. Cell phone? Business ought to pay, because gee, two or three times a year they might contact him when he's not at the office. Cancelled his newspaper at home, had the business get a subscription, then takes the paper home. Gas for the car? Company credit card. Clincher was when the business owner was going on a trip to Europe, he convinced the owner that it would be great if his two kids (in their 20's!) could go along because of the amazing cultural experience they would have. And then let the owner pay everything for his two kids, knowing that the owner would never come right out and ask for reimbursement. He paid for the kids' airfare, hotels, every meal, everything. I don't think the kids took a dollar with them. And if the business has food brought in for a lunch meeting or staying late, anything and everything that's left he commandeers to take home ("Oh, don't worry, I'll clean up.")

Then last year at a holiday gathering, he actually said to me, "Retirement's a couple years away, but I got my million already." He's worth more than the business owner.

kranky said:   I'm all for being frugal, but in my mind a cheapskate is someone who is doing it at someone else's expense. Like the person who meets you for lunch and "forgets" their wallet. Every. Single. Time.

They manage to delay their "turn" to buy the next round until after half the group has left. In the gift exchange, they will regift some POS item they got at a garage sale and was last seen in a store in 2006. Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything in the interest of family harmony. Cell phone? Business ought to pay, because gee, two or three times a year they might contact him when he's not at the office. Cancelled his newspaper at home, had the business get a subscription, then takes the paper home. Gas for the car? Company credit card. Clincher was when the business owner was going on a trip to Europe, he convinced the owner that it would be great if his two kids (in their 20's!) could go along because of the amazing cultural experience they would have. And then let the owner pay everything for his two kids, knowing that the owner would never come right out and ask for reimbursement. He paid for the kids' airfare, hotels, every meal, everything. I don't think the kids took a dollar with them. And if the business has food brought in for a lunch meeting or staying late, anything and everything that's left he commandeers to take home ("Oh, don't worry, I'll clean up.")

Then last year at a holiday gathering, he actually said to me, "Retirement's a couple years away, but I got my million already." He's worth more than the business owner.

  Who do you think enjoys their life more?  I'd bet the generous business owner.

First, I'll admit I never watched the show.

Why would someone 'save' their bathwater for their toilet? Couldn't they cut out the bath water all together by taking showers somewhere else like the YMCA, Place of Employment, Public Pool, etc..? I bet they wouldn't even have to buy soap then.

Instead of eating left overs, why not target the free samples. It's not hard to sneak into a Costco or Sam's Club for premium samples.

Wouldn't it be better to snag an entire stack of the plastic bags at the grocery store instead of trying to wash out zip lock bags to reuse them.

Sometimes people struggle with the whole cost/benefit ratio concept.

gatzdon said:   First, I'll admit I never watched the show.

Why would someone 'save' their bathwater for their toilet? Couldn't they cut out the bath water all together by taking showers somewhere else like the YMCA, Place of Employment, Public Pool, etc..? I bet they wouldn't even have to buy soap then.

Instead of eating left overs, why not target the free samples. It's not hard to sneak into a Costco or Sam's Club for premium samples.

Wouldn't it be better to snag an entire stack of the plastic bags at the grocery store instead of trying to wash out zip lock bags to reuse them.

Sometimes people struggle with the whole cost/benefit ratio concept.



 

  How can you "sneak" into costco without a membership? My guess is, people don't want to pay for it. Not sure I would be willing to pay the membership JUST for the free samples....

CptSavAHo said:   
kranky said:   I'm all for being frugal, but in my mind a cheapskate is someone who is doing it at someone else's expense. Like the person who meets you for lunch and "forgets" their wallet. Every. Single. Time.

They manage to delay their "turn" to buy the next round until after half the group has left. In the gift exchange, they will regift some POS item they got at a garage sale and was last seen in a store in 2006. Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything in the interest of family harmony. Cell phone? Business ought to pay, because gee, two or three times a year they might contact him when he's not at the office. Cancelled his newspaper at home, had the business get a subscription, then takes the paper home. Gas for the car? Company credit card. Clincher was when the business owner was going on a trip to Europe, he convinced the owner that it would be great if his two kids (in their 20's!) could go along because of the amazing cultural experience they would have. And then let the owner pay everything for his two kids, knowing that the owner would never come right out and ask for reimbursement. He paid for the kids' airfare, hotels, every meal, everything. I don't think the kids took a dollar with them. And if the business has food brought in for a lunch meeting or staying late, anything and everything that's left he commandeers to take home ("Oh, don't worry, I'll clean up.")

Then last year at a holiday gathering, he actually said to me, "Retirement's a couple years away, but I got my million already." He's worth more than the business owner.

  Who do you think enjoys their life more?  I'd bet the generous business owner.

  You're absolutely right. The cousin is not exactly a miserable person, but let's just say he's not contaminated by personality.

intex45 said:   
gatzdon said:   First, I'll admit I never watched the show.

Why would someone 'save' their bathwater for their toilet? Couldn't they cut out the bath water all together by taking showers somewhere else like the YMCA, Place of Employment, Public Pool, etc..? I bet they wouldn't even have to buy soap then.

Instead of eating left overs, why not target the free samples. It's not hard to sneak into a Costco or Sam's Club for premium samples.

Wouldn't it be better to snag an entire stack of the plastic bags at the grocery store instead of trying to wash out zip lock bags to reuse them.

Sometimes people struggle with the whole cost/benefit ratio concept.



 

  How can you "sneak" into costco without a membership? My guess is, people don't want to pay for it. Not sure I would be willing to pay the membership JUST for the free samples....

  With costco gift card (cash card).

I'll admit we also save, wash, and re-use Ziploc bags. Even when they're too dirty (after washing) for re-using for food, they can still be used for non-food items.

rufflesinc said:   
intex45 said:   
gatzdon said:   First, I'll admit I never watched the show.

Why would someone 'save' their bathwater for their toilet? Couldn't they cut out the bath water all together by taking showers somewhere else like the YMCA, Place of Employment, Public Pool, etc..? I bet they wouldn't even have to buy soap then.

Instead of eating left overs, why not target the free samples. It's not hard to sneak into a Costco or Sam's Club for premium samples.

Wouldn't it be better to snag an entire stack of the plastic bags at the grocery store instead of trying to wash out zip lock bags to reuse them.

Sometimes people struggle with the whole cost/benefit ratio concept.



 

  How can you "sneak" into costco without a membership? My guess is, people don't want to pay for it. Not sure I would be willing to pay the membership JUST for the free samples....

  With costco gift card (cash card).

  Or by saying you are going to use the pharmacy (no membership required) or to buy alcohol (no membership required) or go in the exit to "get a membership" (no membership required) or just walk in the front entrance and don't make eye contact (no membership required)

I personally use the last method not because I don't have a costco membership but because I am too lazy to get my card out til I am paying.  They don't seem to care and I have never once been stopped.  

The only real limit to not having a membership/cash card is buying something.

I love watching this show.  Quite interesting, the lengths people will go to to save a buck.  I do some of those things and its fun to pick up new ideas.
Xnarg1 said:   From eating other people's leftovers in restaurants
 

Theres an app for that!  http://leftoverswap.com/   

My uncle refused to park at Newark airport for 2 days, so he drove from his home in queens to my other uncle's house in edison. And then he got dropped off at the airport. I hate sht like that.

I applied for a bunch of credit cards to fly first class to Europe with my fiancee and stay in 5-star hotels for two weeks without spending a dime because I was too cheap to pay for them.

I like the episode where the couple have a Date night and the guy rifles through the grabage and gets the popcorn and soda cups, rinses them out and joins his wife who was saving their spot. She was none the wiser.

I think that most of the things people mentioned here are counterproductive to long term wealth generation.

The savings of rinsing out plastic bags, and other similar items, usually either consume soft resources or consume other resources better spent on income generation.

For example, a plastic bag costs 1/4 of a cent. You spend 2 minutes repurposing it, 1/8 of a cent in soft resouces (those you do not see...water/soap/energy to heat the water, etc.) and maybe another 1-3 minutes in organizing the bag (keeping it separate from the new bags, etc.). If you calculate the amount of $/hr, you would be better off spending that time working.

Also, this type of activity spread trough the day distracts from goals and saps your personal energy... I would say it would be better to throw out the bags and read a book which would enhance your ability to produce income.

The bags are just an example, but I even apply this logic to most rebates... they are usually not worth the time.

I am not critiscizing... just pointing out some facts that might help someone.

Regards
SteveG

kranky said:   I'm all for being frugal, but in my mind a cheapskate is someone who is doing it at someone else's expense. Like the person who meets you for lunch and "forgets" their wallet. Every. Single. Time.

They manage to delay their "turn" to buy the next round until after half the group has left. In the gift exchange, they will regift some POS item they got at a garage sale and was last seen in a store in 2006. Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything in the interest of family harmony. Cell phone? Business ought to pay, because gee, two or three times a year they might contact him when he's not at the office. Cancelled his newspaper at home, had the business get a subscription, then takes the paper home. Gas for the car? Company credit card. Clincher was when the business owner was going on a trip to Europe, he convinced the owner that it would be great if his two kids (in their 20's!) could go along because of the amazing cultural experience they would have. And then let the owner pay everything for his two kids, knowing that the owner would never come right out and ask for reimbursement. He paid for the kids' airfare, hotels, every meal, everything. I don't think the kids took a dollar with them. And if the business has food brought in for a lunch meeting or staying late, anything and everything that's left he commandeers to take home ("Oh, don't worry, I'll clean up.")

Then last year at a holiday gathering, he actually said to me, "Retirement's a couple years away, but I got my million already." He's worth more than the business owner.

This is all the business owner's fault or generosity.

If he does not know about it, he runs his business poorly.  Most likely he does, and treats it as a non-obvious chartiy donation to his relative by ignoring it.

SteveG 

intex45 said:   
gatzdon said:   First, I'll admit I never watched the show.

Why would someone 'save' their bathwater for their toilet? Couldn't they cut out the bath water all together by taking showers somewhere else like the YMCA, Place of Employment, Public Pool, etc..? I bet they wouldn't even have to buy soap then.

Instead of eating left overs, why not target the free samples. It's not hard to sneak into a Costco or Sam's Club for premium samples.

Wouldn't it be better to snag an entire stack of the plastic bags at the grocery store instead of trying to wash out zip lock bags to reuse them.

Sometimes people struggle with the whole cost/benefit ratio concept.


 

  How can you "sneak" into costco without a membership? My guess is, people don't want to pay for it. Not sure I would be willing to pay the membership JUST for the free samples....

  Costco is super easy.  Just tell them you're going to the optical dept.  You don't need a card for that.  Or, have someone purchase Costco gift cards for you (you reimburse them, of course) then you tell the door person you're here to use your cards.

sgogo said:   I think that most of the things people mentioned here are counterproductive to long term wealth generation.

The savings of rinsing out plastic bags, and other similar items, usually either consume soft resources or consume other resources better spent on income generation.

For example, a plastic bag costs 1/4 of a cent. You spend 2 minutes repurposing it, 1/8 of a cent in soft resouces (those you do not see...water/soap/energy to heat the water, etc.) and maybe another 1-3 minutes in organizing the bag (keeping it separate from the new bags, etc.). If you calculate the amount of $/hr, you would be better off spending that time working.

Also, this type of activity spread trough the day distracts from goals and saps your personal energy... I would say it would be better to throw out the bags and read a book which would enhance your ability to produce income.

The bags are just an example, but I even apply this logic to most rebates... they are usually not worth the time.

I am not critiscizing... just pointing out some facts that might help someone.

Regards
SteveG

  
That's a very good example.  At a certain point, all the minutia savings takes away from productive or leisurely pursuits (both which can be more fulfilling and/or personally developing).
Reminds me of penny wise, pound foolish maxim.
 

I'm sure some of the aspects of the show are real....but then again this is TV and people make up things just to be on TV. I view cheapskates as people who refuse to buy anything. Wear old clothes with holes in them...worn shoes that need replacing. A car that is on its last leg and dies several times a week OR relies on other people to take them places bc they refuse to fix the car or replace it. Like someone else mentioned above....forgetting their wallet or always having someone else pay.

The people they have on the show I wouldn't call cheapskates....more like people with some type of weird OCD type behavior. Reusing floss after your wife? Eating food out of the garbage? Normal people don't do that....

sgogo said:   
kranky said:   I'm all for being frugal, but in my mind a cheapskate is someone who is doing it at someone else's expense. Like the person who meets you for lunch and "forgets" their wallet. Every. Single. Time.

They manage to delay their "turn" to buy the next round until after half the group has left. In the gift exchange, they will regift some POS item they got at a garage sale and was last seen in a store in 2006. Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything in the interest of family harmony. Cell phone? Business ought to pay, because gee, two or three times a year they might contact him when he's not at the office. Cancelled his newspaper at home, had the business get a subscription, then takes the paper home. Gas for the car? Company credit card. Clincher was when the business owner was going on a trip to Europe, he convinced the owner that it would be great if his two kids (in their 20's!) could go along because of the amazing cultural experience they would have. And then let the owner pay everything for his two kids, knowing that the owner would never come right out and ask for reimbursement. He paid for the kids' airfare, hotels, every meal, everything. I don't think the kids took a dollar with them. And if the business has food brought in for a lunch meeting or staying late, anything and everything that's left he commandeers to take home ("Oh, don't worry, I'll clean up.")

Then last year at a holiday gathering, he actually said to me, "Retirement's a couple years away, but I got my million already." He's worth more than the business owner.

This is all the business owner's fault or generosity.

If he does not know about it, he runs his business poorly.  Most likely he does, and treats it as a non-obvious chartiy donation to his relative by ignoring it.

SteveG 

 The owner knows. He lets it go because he doesn't want any confrontation and disturb family harmony. What he doesn't see is the resentment in the other family members who see one person grabbing with both hands and the owner letting it happen. But it's the owner's choice whether to continue that behavior.

I wonder if in general cheapskates (people who save money at the expense of others) are more skilled at getting others to pay for stuff or simply jump on opportunities as they see them. In other words, are they working at it or just seizing the moment?

sgogo said:   I think that most of the things people mentioned here are counterproductive to long term wealth generation.

The savings of rinsing out plastic bags, and other similar items, usually either consume soft resources or consume other resources better spent on income generation.

For example, a plastic bag costs 1/4 of a cent. You spend 2 minutes repurposing it, 1/8 of a cent in soft resouces (those you do not see...water/soap/energy to heat the water, etc.) and maybe another 1-3 minutes in organizing the bag (keeping it separate from the new bags, etc.). If you calculate the amount of $/hr, you would be better off spending that time working.

Also, this type of activity spread trough the day distracts from goals and saps your personal energy... I would say it would be better to throw out the bags and read a book which would enhance your ability to produce income.

The bags are just an example, but I even apply this logic to most rebates... they are usually not worth the time.

I am not critiscizing... just pointing out some facts that might help someone.

Regards
SteveG

  Agree with most of your comments... except for the one on rebates.  I find that they are worth my time.

kranky said:   
sgogo said:   
kranky said:   ...Or like my cousin, who got a job in his family's business as a highly-paid paper pusher, then shifted a bunch of personal expenses to the business since nobody would say anything ....
....treats it as a non-obvious chartiy donation to his relative by ignoring it.

SteveG 

 The owner knows. He lets it go because he doesn't want any confrontation and disturb family harmony. What he doesn't see is the resentment in the other family members who see one person grabbing with both hands and the owner letting it happen. But it's the owner's choice whether to continue that behavior.

I wonder if in general cheapskates (people who save money at the expense of others) are more skilled at getting others to pay for stuff or simply jump on opportunities as they see them. In other words, are they working at it or just seizing the moment?

I would advise you and the other family members to let it go too, since it does not appear to be at your expense, and the owner knows the deal.

Life is full of people getting something they do not deserve... in some cases it just isn't something you should care about.  Rather focus on the positives in your own life.

I personally think these people work at it... and they have some rationalization that its ok (ie: I work on weeknds for this guy, I dont get paid enough, He owes me for doing "xxxx" for him, etc.)

SteveG
 

yOyOYoo said:   
sgogo said:   I think that most of the things people mentioned here are counterproductive to long term wealth generation....
.... I even apply this logic to most rebates... they are usually not worth the time.
 

  Agree with most of your comments... except for the one on rebates.  I find that they are worth my time.

I do them too, but I usually think its a waste after I mail them out. 

The amount of time to do them is usually more than I expect (log onto some rebate website, fill in their forms, print their forms, track down my receipt and print/copy it, cut out the UPC, write out envelope, copy everything for your records, mail, track it, call in a few months when it did not show up, etc.).  It is a lot of soft time (you do not know how long it takes, but it can be excessive).  Then, there are also the soft costs (printer ink, stamp to mail, paper, etc.)

If its a $50 rebate, probably OK... but most are $5 to $15, and it starts to be questionable for most people.  I bet if you add it all up, a rebate takes an hour of your life.

I also add in the fact that many people only bought the product because of the rebate, and may not have really needed it.  Then it is a real waste.

Regards
SteveG

I used to think I was a cheapskate until I watched this show. Some of the things they do turns my stomach and I have to change the channel. Dumpster diving then serving it to friends for dinner? Asking people in the restaurant if they are done with their meal so he can take it home? I feel embarrassed for them.

Skipping 45 Messages...
loch888 said:   The show must be fake or the people are insane. I watched the one with the asian lady that does not pay for any furniture or disposable item (toilet paper, etc), but she owns a condo in what appears to be in a major metro. It just doesn't make sense why one would spend 300-500k for a condo but have the interior full of thrash -__- . It takes only a few thousand dollars to make a place be nice, so not sure how these people calculate the rewards of "living" and being alive.
 

  
I think you can count on that.  Did you ever notice all the writers who are employed by "unscripted (aka reality) TV?"  WTF?????  Just hope they don't pay those writers much, they sure don't earn it.

 



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