"I've got a friend who is generally the source of many unbelievable cheapskate stories.
He bought a coffee machine, a few years back, you know Keurig capsule ones, because it would save him, something like six cents per cup of coffee compared to getting his coffee at the local coffee shop. Considering he drinks about five cups a day, he figured he would pay for the machine in saved money after a year or so?
I kid you not.
Now, it gets worse. Whenever we went to his house, he would ask if we wanted coffee. We quickly learned to say no, because he would serve us coffee, and ask us to pay for it, the cost of the capsule, electricity, and water, and when we protested in disbelief, his retort was, 'It's cheaper than in the store!'
I kid. you. not."
"I was working in a restaurant in Montreal and the staff decided to all have a picnic and a few drinks together. We all pitched in to get steaks, salads, and drinks. I invited a friend that didn't work with us and he showed up with a potato. Yes, one potato. He drank the drinks, ate salad and steak. Oh, and he ate his potato too."
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"My friend went to stay with a new boyfriend who she met on eHarmony. They had met a few times before, talked on the phone loads, but hadn't spent that much time together. On her first night there, he poured them each a drink. She was exhausted, and only drank half of her glass before she was ready to go to bed. He put the glass with the remaining drink in the refrigerator.
The next morning with breakfast he pulled the glass out of the refrigerator. She didn't touch it. Again he put it back in the refrigerator. Again that night for dinner, he pulled the glass out and ended up putting in back in the refrigerator. At this point, she wasn't drinking it on principle.
The next night, they went to a function at a hotel. She did have a drink there, and he tipped a dollar to the bartender. When they got home, he pulled up Quickbooks and entered the dollar into his budget.
She left the next day. Yep. He pulled out the drink as she was packing to go. She finally snatched the glass and downed it in one giant gulp. She said it was disgusting. That's the last time they ever saw each other."
"My grandmother lived very meagerly. She had a rent-controlled, one-bedroom apartment in the 'projects' of Brooklyn.
Some of the things I remember her doing:
She would grab napkins from restaurants and bring them home, so she didn't need to buy napkins or paper towels herself.
At fast-food places, she would put 30 packets of ketchup in her purse, and bring those home too. She filled her ketchup bottle at home with them. The same for mustard, mayonnaise, many other things.
She never failed to stop and pick up a penny if she found it on the ground.
She saved and re-used everything from paper bags to newspapers, somehow she found another use for them.
When I became a young teenager, I started to realize just how thrifty she was. At times it embarrassed me, at times I begged her not to bother with that penny in the middle of the busy street.
But when she died in 1988, she left us enough money to put me and my brother through five years of college each, including room and board, books, and incidentals. The total was over $80,000.
Thanks, Grandma. I now realize it took you a lifetime to save that much."
"I used to work as a waiter at a country club. I had a woman tell me she was done with her plate so I cleared it off the table. When I returned to ask if they wanted dessert, she asks 'Where are my leftovers?'
I calmly responded that she had no food left on her plate. Her response, 'Oh, I wanted you to box up the skin from my baked potato so I could give it to my dog.'
Requested to see the manager. $80 bill completely free of charge. To this day I swear she had it planned the whole time."
"I meet with three buddies at a very nice bar/restaurant: let's call them Bob, John, and Travis.
John has been going to this place for years, and the owner is an extremely close friend of his. Because of this, we get comped drinks all night. Maybe $100 worth of free booze between us. Great times, right? No. Why?
Because Bob is a cheap, cheap, cheap guy.
As we're drinking our tails off, free of charge. We're also ordering food to make up for it. Pasta. Chicken. Fish. The works. But Bob? Bob isn't happy because Bob doesn't want to pay for anything. So what does Bob do? He asks for the 'special appetizer' for $10, but asks the owner to make it 'dinner sized.' The owner responds, 'Do you mean that you want the dinner instead of the appetizer?'
All right. So we pig out. We drink our tails off (Bob's wasted). We wait and wait, and wait for Bob to eat a table-sized platter all by himself (Thanks, Bob). Then we get the bill. As I've noted above, it's about a hundred dollars less than it should have been and were all thrilled. Well, all of us except for Bob. Because Bob's meal is $19 instead of $10. As John reminds him that he drank his weight in free drinks and begs him not to make a scene, Bob proceeds to go up to the owner behind the bar and throw a huge fit about the $9 he should have saved on his 'special dinner-sized appetizer.' The owner is stunned. John is furious. Travis hates confrontation, so Travis slinks out the door.
I'm just a wallflower.
Bob slams his fist on the counter. Bob points at the chalkboard. Bob whines and whines and whines he doesn't have the money to pay the extra money (though he works a really cushy job and eats out three times a day). He calls the owner names. He cries. He actually cries. Then he sits his bloated tail down, pitches in $10, and refuses to tip.
And he smiles. Smiles
And that sets John off. John flips out, calls Bob every name in the book, and makes a go at me for trying to cover Bob just to get us the heck out of this place. He gets up on his chair. He throws handfuls of money in Bob's face. Women are stunned. The owner is laughing. Travis is looking in the window. And I'm stuck, with Bob, as John finally pays the bill, tips his friend $100, and stomps outside (sending Travis flailing down the street).
We don't eat with Bob anymore."
"I've got one friend who discovered that if you take a large popcorn tub or soda cup out of the trash, empty it and bring it back to the concessions counter, they'll refill it for you for free.
To me, this was the cheapest thing I'd ever seen.
Then, another friend decided that he'd skip the middleman and just brush the top few kernels from the tub and directly take and eat popcorn from the theater trashcans."
"Was going to have a movie night with some friends. This one guy is a complete miser, told him to bring around some drinks and party food. He doesn't bother with any drinks (says he forgot), and just brings around his dinner (that he's just bought from Tescos) that he wants to cook. Which he does, in my kitchen. Of course, he drinks the drinks that we all supplied. Halfway through the film, he gets up and leaves, saying he doesn't like the movie."
"When we were doing union negotiations at my company, we were at an offsite so the company bought us lunch every day. The union side instead of buying lunch gave the bargaining council a stipend to buy lunch with, like $20 a day. Apparently one of the guys on the union side insisted they go to Costco every single day and eat a $1.50 hot dog and samples instead of going to a restaurant so he could pocket the $18.50. I have no idea why the other guys were ok with that since they complained a lot about how the company side was eating Applebees while they just ate hotdogs."
"When I lived in Paris after college, my housemate and I were really poor.
She worked out how much everything costs in each supermarket and would go to three supermarkets to get the best value from each (fruit from one place, meat from another etc).
She doesn't like sugar in her coffee, I do. Whenever we went for coffee (€1.50 espresso) she would take the extra sugar packets for the coffee I'd have at home.
This didn't bother me at all, they're the perfect serving size.
Her mom came to visit us and just went out and bought us a bag of sugar."
"I went for a meal with a group of about six friends. When it came time to divvy up the bill one friend said he hadn't got cash on him, but if we all chipped in the cash for our share he would put it on his card. He was also very keen to ensure we all put in a decent tip.
Our friend went up to the bar to pay, but unfortunately for him, another member of our party went to the restroom at the same time and was surprised to notice him paying in cash. We called him out on this, and it turned out the stingy cheapskate was using our tips to cover his part of the meal.
This chap has forevermore been ribbed as having short arms and deep pockets. He is trusted by no one!"
"A school friend's dad made her bread sandwiches because he didn't want to 'waste money' on pointless fillings when the bread would swell in your stomach with water. Oh, and those sandwich fillings were a part of the capitalist machine that rules us all."
"My dad and his friend went grocery shopping, and they were filling their grocery carts full of all kinds of stuff. Then they decided to drink the free coffee from the coffee machine. After they were done, they put all the groceries back where they belonged and left without buying anything.
My dad said he wouldn't mind actually buying coffee at an actual cafe, but he said the coffee at the grocery store tasted better. Probably because it was free."
"I waited tables at a restaurant in Austin, and we had TAZO flavored hot tea. (It's a semi-fancy tea brand.)
Anyway, I didn't even notice this, but my manager did: a woman I was waiting on emptied a whole caddy of tea packets into her purse. My manager opened her bill on the computer and rang up like 30 hot teas, which was well over $100. He printed a check and told me to drop it at the table.
Of course, the lady flipped out over it, and said 'What the heck is this?' I guess he was waiting for her to say that, because he instantly, very loudly, shouts across the restaurant: 'It's for all the tea you stole; the tea that's in your purse! Did you think you were at a buffet?'
It was hilarious and totally uncomfortable at the same time. I'll always have a movie of that moment saved in my head."
"I had a notoriously cheap college roommate. I invited him to a minor league baseball game with some friends. My buddy noted that he'd been missing for probably 15-20 minutes. We eventually found him walking around polishing off the last sips left in abandoned drinks cups."
"I was a waiter in college. One day, I worked a table of 20 from the same family. We had a server station right behind the table hidden from view.
After I dropped the check, I went back to the server station to wait for someone to pay. There was a gentle argument between the two of the men at the table about who will pay the bill. The discussion ended in 'I'll pay the tab if you leave the tip.'
Well, I ran the credit card and brought back the receipt. The guy paying the tip took the check holder, pulled his wallet out, and said 'is this $100 bill good?' as he placed a crisp $100 bill in the check holder. They all sat for a few more mins and then broke to leave. The guy who put the cash in for a tip waited until everyone headed out, and as I stood there ready to collect the check, he took the $100 bill back out and put it back in his wallet, in front of me.
This jerk wanted everyone to know he was tipping $100 dollars and then stole it from me before I could collect it leaving me nothing."
"I worked at Wendy's one summer when I was in high school. This one guy would come in and order a large size of fries. Dump half of the fries in a bag and come back and say that he wanted fresh fries and that these ones tasted too stale. I only caught what he was doing because I had noticed that one of the times he complained the fries had just come out of the fryer."
"My boyfriend was a waiter, and he told this story to me:
Dude and his girlfriend come into the restaurant asking if they're hiring. They fill out applications and decide to eat dinner while they're there. Boyfriend tells him the specials. Dude asks the difference between a sandwich and a meal. Boyfriend says a meal comes with more but it costs $12 instead of $6. Dude scoffs and acts like no one in their right mind would pay the $12.
The dude then orders water with extra lemon. Boyfriend brings him two lemons. Dude asks for more.
When the time comes for the check, boyfriend can clearly see from the register (this was a very small, mom and pop type restaurant) that the dude has a bunch of cash in his wallet. Like, multiple $20 bills. Yet, the dude asks his girlfriend to pay the bill because he doesn't have any money.
After my boyfriend told me the story I asked if there were empty sugar packets on the table. My boyfriend said yes, but was confused. I had to explain to him that the dude made his own lemonade but only paid for water. Boyfriend died laughing."
"So I used to work as an assistant for this rich video studio owner, and he takes the cake in my book. One day we were hosting a video shoot for a documentary, with some fairly famous people in attendance. He asks me to go down the street and pick up some sandwiches for the crew; sure, no problem. But right as I'm about to leave, he calls me back, and says, 'Oh, and pay with the money that's in the top drawer of the desk to your left.' I open the drawer, and there are no bills, just a bunch of loose change. I mention this, and he just gives me a blank stare for a few seconds, then says, '...and? So what's the problem?' So yeah, I went and bought $50 worth of sandwiches, and had to spend 20 minutes counting out nickels and dimes to pay for it."
"In Norway, we have this system of recycling called 'pant' where if you give back plastic bottles and cans you get a small amount of money back. Say one 1.5-liter bottle cost 30 NOK and you get 2.5 NOK back.
You 'pant' your bottles and cans by putting them into a machine (can be found in most grocery stores), and when you're done the machine gives you a little receipt with the amount you can cash out at the counter.
Pretty recently, four or five years back, Norway got rid of its lowest value coin, which was 0.5 NOK. So what happens then if your amount is .05 NOK something? It gets rounded up to the next whole number. You might see where this is going...
I was at the grocery store to just quickly pant some bottles one day, and this older man in front of me was taking way too long panting his bottles. Reason for that? He would insert one bottle, then get the receipt which said 3NOK instead of 2.5NOK and would do that with every single bottle. Mind you he had like four plastic bags of them.
He must have been there for 10 minutes for something that would normally take one minute. All for that tiny, meaningless change. 0.5 NOK is $0.06. Assuming he had maybe forty bottles, he made $2.34 getting the individual receipts instead of just one where all are added together. Stingy jerk."
"For one semester, we added a third roommate to our apartment. One night we invited him to join us for the weekly two-for-one chicken-fried steak special at a local restaurant.
When the bill came, he said his steak was the 'second' one and so it was free.
That was the last time we invited him along."
"A guy we were sort of friends with at university was the worst. He used to carry around a calculator and use it to calculate the difference between the cheapest drinks per milliliter.
One time, we all chipped in £3 for a drink that was £2.97 and he demanded his change, which the guy who bought it had given to the bartender as a tip. We all pelted pennies at him throughout the night and he picked every single one up.
One time, a bunch of us were making fajitas together and two of us didn't want to have the steak strips (which the guy insisted on getting because they were cheaper) so we bought chicken instead. This guy ate all the chicken and no steak.
One night of pre-drinking, he came to the party and said he didn't have any drinks. We reminded him that the supermarket next door was open for another hour and he said he'd go in a few minutes. Guess what? He waited an hour and then tried to get drinks off the rest of us. I gave him one drink and then saw him drinking out of my glass when he thought I wasn't looking.
The same night as the drink incident, the queue for the bar was really long, so we gave him money to get drinks. I gave him £2 for my two drinks and he came back and said they were £3 so I owed him a quid. Out of spite, I said I had no change. The next morning at 9 a.m., he turns up at my door (45 mins away from where he lived, he had no other reason to visit either) and says that he'd written in his notebook that I owed him a quid and asked me to pay up.
This guy was super broke once, so a friend gave him 10 packs of instant noodles to keep him going until he got his student loan. Fine. Two weeks later, the friend who gave him the noodles was visiting and said, 'Oh, I'm skint mate, do you mind if I have those two packs of noodles you have left over?' Stingy guy refuses of course and had hidden them when we went back to his room later in the day.
I don't know why we hung around with this guy. To be honest, I think he just turned up to things without an invite. He barely spoke to me since."
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