Author Topic: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories  (Read 18190 times)

cbr shadow

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Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« on: October 24, 2012, 01:05:47 PM »
In light of MMM's recent blog post "Frugal Vs. Cheap", I thought it would be fun to see examples of habits that you or someone you know has.  If you're on this website you are probably frugal in one way or another, but are you accused of being cheap in some way?  Do you have friends/family that do things that you consider crossing the line?

1) I have a friend that will go through the drive-through at Mcdonalds/Burger King/Wendy's ect. and wont order a drink.. then when he picks up the burger that he ordered/paid for he'll say "Would you mind giving me a free large coke?"!  I've been in the car when he has done this before and it's VERY awkward, but I've never seen him get denied!  Usually it'll be awkward for a second and then they'll say "...surrrre..." and give it to him.  No shame! haha  Technically it's not stealing since he asked for it and they gave it to him, but it's definitely cheap!

2) Another friend will sneak cans of beer into bars in his jacket/pockets etc.  I'm all about drinking before going to a bar so that you dont have to purchase as much, but it's a little embarassing when he's drinking a beer that is so cheap that they dont even offer it there (Natural Light!) and he's drinking it out of a can!  I've never seen anyone ask him to leave though.


Lets hear your stories!

Done by Forty

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 04:58:56 PM »
A few months ago I found myself unlocking my car door with my key, and locking my car door before shutting it, so as not to have to replace the tiny battery in the FOB so often by hitting the "lock" and "unlock" buttons.  Except that when I shut my car door too forcefully, my car alarm would honk at me, drawing looks from passers by and neighbors. 
 
Then I realized I was going through this rigamarol to save myself, literally, a couple dollars every couple years.  Cheap.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 05:08:32 PM »
A friend went to a fancy event with a group. A guy there refused to order the wine because he had brought his own. So he paid a $25 corkage fee on....wait for it....Charles Shaw, aka Two Buck Chuck. That's a facepalm moment.

Dee

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 09:12:58 PM »
I was thinking deciding whether particular behaviours are frugal, cheap or theft would be a fun party game... maybe if we come up with enough examples here, we'll see if these categories are controversial or if there is consensus about which group various behaviours fall into.

As for an example from my own life, the other day, I bicycled to the library. I noticed a mitten by the bike path and thought it was sad someone had lost a mitten...until I saw what seemed to be the second mitten in the pair. Hmmm. Interesting. I biked on by. When I rode back, I noticed them again. I figured they hadn't been freshly dropped since they were still there. So I inspected and found them to indeed be a pair with no obvious defects. In fact, they were Denver Haynes, a brand sold at Mark's Work Wear House. And in good shape. So I tried them on. And they fit. So I kept them on and rode away.

And I've left it at that but... I'm conflicted.... I didn't really need a pair of mittens (though I could use a pair, because these things tend to go missing and it's hard to have too many) so I'm not sure if I should keep them. I could drop them off at the Salvation Army or other charitable drop off. If I knew for sure they would wind up with someone who needs them more than I do, I would gladly donate them. But since they fit me and I could use them, I also think there's a good argument for thinking that mine were the right hands for them to wind up in.

So, I'm not sure whether I feel cheap for picking up something that wasn't mine or if I feel frugal for putting something discarded to good use. I'm pretty much on the fence about it.

inthebiz

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 09:27:03 PM »
Just yesterday I went to a local salad place for lunch because I was running behind in the morning. I fully intended on purchasing a meal there, but realized I wasn't willing to pay $8 for a salad that's probably mediocre. So I noted the ingredients for the salad that was most appetizing at the time and went to the grocery store across the street. For the same price as my fast food salad, I had lunch for two days with the same great (if not fresher) ingredients.

Of course I did get a couple of comments in the break room with a bag full of grocery items when "there's a salad shop across the street!"

kkbmustang

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 09:45:33 PM »
When I was just out of school, the Hubs and I finally had two incomes, so we would go out to eat from some friends of ours from time to time (to join them and their new friends from work or wherever). Without fail, we'd be invited to a large group event and while we ordered modestly, we'd end up footing the bill for all of the cheap bastards who "forgot" about those three extra martinis they ordered, or neglected to factor in tax and tip on their bill, or had to leave early so threw in a $20 on their $20 entree and drinks and called it a day. Not wanting to leave the waitstaff totally screwed (as we had previously been said waitstaff in a former life), we'd pony up the difference. Usually $150 or so. Nothing ticks you off more than being put in that situation. After it had happened more than once, we reduced our socializing with the suspects and/or requested separate checks. It's not our responsibility to bankroll people who obviously can't afford the restaurant they are inviting people to dine at.

kudy

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 10:03:35 PM »
2) Another friend will sneak cans of beer into bars in his jacket/pockets etc.  I'm all about drinking before going to a bar so that you dont have to purchase as much, but it's a little embarassing when he's drinking a beer that is so cheap that they dont even offer it there (Natural Light!) and he's drinking it out of a can!  I've never seen anyone ask him to leave though.


Lets hear your stories!

I've been known to bring my flask of whiskey bowling, to the movies, sometimes to a bar - is that cheap? I guess maybe it is.

fiveoh

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 09:00:16 AM »
When I was just out of school, the Hubs and I finally had two incomes, so we would go out to eat from some friends of ours from time to time (to join them and their new friends from work or wherever). Without fail, we'd be invited to a large group event and while we ordered modestly, we'd end up footing the bill for all of the cheap bastards who "forgot" about those three extra martinis they ordered, or neglected to factor in tax and tip on their bill, or had to leave early so threw in a $20 on their $20 entree and drinks and called it a day. Not wanting to leave the waitstaff totally screwed (as we had previously been said waitstaff in a former life), we'd pony up the difference. Usually $150 or so. Nothing ticks you off more than being put in that situation. After it had happened more than once, we reduced our socializing with the suspects and/or requested separate checks. It's not our responsibility to bankroll people who obviously can't afford the restaurant they are inviting people to dine at.

This happens to me all the time!   I hate it!  There are also a few friends of mine that will use the "Can you cover me this time and I'll get you next time" line or "I'll pay you back later".  These really annoy me.   Usually when I try to remind them later to pay me back and/or pick up my drink/meal/whatever they act like i'm being cheap and shouldnt make a big deal about it.   We have one friend that loves to spend money and act like he has money(even though I know hes almost broke most of the time), he had the audacity to order a gift for my wifes bday and then make me pick it up and pay for it(I'll pay you back HAH!, guess who never did but he still gave her the gift "From him").   

I've learned to just say no or try to avoid these situations but sometimes I feel like this puts a damper on my social life. 

igthebold

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 09:15:12 AM »
Examples of cheap that come to mind:
Stealing condiments from fast food restaurants, being stingy with friends, asking for a free coke at a McDs ;), broken window syndrome (letting broken things "fester" in your home or other places).

Examples of frugal that come to mind:
Teaching yourself and your children not to want as much stuff, ordering water for yourself, learning things, DIY, buying quality items when you need the item to begin with, preferring production to consumption, bringing a flask, using the library.

cbr shadow

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 09:46:07 AM »
Wow there are some great examples here..  I think some of you guys need to drop those friends!

I have a similar situation where another couple invited my wife and I out for sushi.  We agreed, but found out once we were in the car that we were going to a high-end sushi bar downtown which is very expensive.  That's fine, my wife and I could just order less and still have fun with the company of our friends.
My wife and I ordered conservatively, but still enjoyed our meal.. ended up spending $51 total between the 2 of us.  I saw a coworker across the restaurant and went to say hello, during which time the bill came and the other couple just said "split it on both cards" to the waiter.  My wife was too shy to speak up, so we ended up paying $100!  Our friends had several glasses of wine, several large platters of food, and just went all out, spending almost $150.  My wife told me on the way home that had happened.  I'm not ever going to bring it up with the friend, but I'm definitely not going to dinner with them again.  In the end, my timing to walk away from the table was poor, my wife should have spoken up, and my friend knew exactly what he was doing when he sadi "split the bill".  Oh well - live and learn.

Keep the stories coming!

projekt

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 10:02:35 AM »
It sounds like many of you have "users" in your life. I personally would have a discussion with them and tell them that you don't appreciate their behavior. It's one thing to be "cheap", and try to bargain more than you deserve from a purveyor, like the free coke people. But it's totally another to abuse your friends for the privilege of financing your lavish lifestyle.

igthebold

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 10:28:31 AM »
Here's a simple scenario that helps me illustrate the difference to myself (American context):

Cheap: Buy a Groupon, order the bare minimum, and tip based on the cash outlay.
Frugal: Buy a Groupon, order a normal meal, and tip based on the total before the Groupon, plus a little.
More Frugal: Don't buy a Groupon. :)

cbr shadow

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2012, 10:55:25 AM »
The groupon reference was spot-on! 
The only Groupon I felt like a Cheapo on was when I started my new job and didn't sign up for dental insurance correctly, so went a year without it.  I foudn a Groupon for an inexpensive cleaning at a dentist that's about 45 minutes from my house.  I bought the Groupon and got the cleaning, but they were pushing HARD for me to sign up for more procedures and to buy a 'package' of cleanings for a discounted price.  I didn't sign up because I was getting health insurance a few months later, but felt bad!

mindaugas

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2012, 10:58:29 AM »
I re-use old kleenex.

AJ

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 11:16:52 AM »
"Cheap" is one way to describe friends who stick you with the bill - but I think a better word is "rude" or "inconsiderate". I think that is the theme with the "cheap" stories - at least the one's I look down on. They are either rude or theft*.

If Done By Forty wants to use his key rather than waste batteries, that's fine with me. Maybe even a bit amusing. Same if inthebiz wants to buy lunch from the grocery store rather than pricey sandwich shop. No problem. Its when someone else starts imposing on those around them that we get into bad territory. Sticking your friends with your bill is borderline stealing as well.


*btw - I would say that pressuring employees to give you free soda for no reason is just using social engineering to steal rather than other more common tactics.

nofool

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 11:27:03 AM »
When I was just out of school, the Hubs and I finally had two incomes, so we would go out to eat from some friends of ours from time to time (to join them and their new friends from work or wherever). Without fail, we'd be invited to a large group event and while we ordered modestly, we'd end up footing the bill for all of the cheap bastards who "forgot" about those three extra martinis they ordered, or neglected to factor in tax and tip on their bill, or had to leave early so threw in a $20 on their $20 entree and drinks and called it a day. Not wanting to leave the waitstaff totally screwed (as we had previously been said waitstaff in a former life), we'd pony up the difference. Usually $150 or so. Nothing ticks you off more than being put in that situation. After it had happened more than once, we reduced our socializing with the suspects and/or requested separate checks. It's not our responsibility to bankroll people who obviously can't afford the restaurant they are inviting people to dine at.

This happens to me all the time!   I hate it!  There are also a few friends of mine that will use the "Can you cover me this time and I'll get you next time" line or "I'll pay you back later".  These really annoy me.   Usually when I try to remind them later to pay me back and/or pick up my drink/meal/whatever they act like i'm being cheap and shouldnt make a big deal about it.   We have one friend that loves to spend money and act like he has money(even though I know hes almost broke most of the time), he had the audacity to order a gift for my wifes bday and then make me pick it up and pay for it(I'll pay you back HAH!, guess who never did but he still gave her the gift "From him").   

I've learned to just say no or try to avoid these situations but sometimes I feel like this puts a damper on my social life.

Holy crap! What kind of people are you guys hanging out with?! I wouldn't be able to put up with those shenanigans. Every single one of my friends are trustworthy, particularly with money. In fact, in our group of friends, people have loaned each other upwards of $1000+ at a time, and nobody has ever screwed anyone else over. People are just as considerate in restaurant settings-if one person doesn't order as much, everyone else makes sure that they get a separate check. It's just fair!

Masha

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2012, 11:30:41 AM »
In restaurants, My DH and I will sometimes share an entree, especially when travelling. Partly to save money and partly to avoid wasting food. We'll often order 2 salads though, and we do tip generously.

When its just us, this feels frugal.....but with some friends, it definitely feels cheap. [shrug] Oh well.

Ohh....the "split the bill down the middle" thing makes me crazy. I really try to carry cash to avoid such absurdity...


Jack

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 11:32:54 AM »
I think using the keyless entry is more frugal; I've seen car door locks wear out and break.

kkbmustang

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 12:58:14 PM »
When I was just out of school, the Hubs and I finally had two incomes, so we would go out to eat from some friends of ours from time to time (to join them and their new friends from work or wherever). Without fail, we'd be invited to a large group event and while we ordered modestly, we'd end up footing the bill for all of the cheap bastards who "forgot" about those three extra martinis they ordered, or neglected to factor in tax and tip on their bill, or had to leave early so threw in a $20 on their $20 entree and drinks and called it a day. Not wanting to leave the waitstaff totally screwed (as we had previously been said waitstaff in a former life), we'd pony up the difference. Usually $150 or so. Nothing ticks you off more than being put in that situation. After it had happened more than once, we reduced our socializing with the suspects and/or requested separate checks. It's not our responsibility to bankroll people who obviously can't afford the restaurant they are inviting people to dine at.

This happens to me all the time!   I hate it!  There are also a few friends of mine that will use the "Can you cover me this time and I'll get you next time" line or "I'll pay you back later".  These really annoy me.   Usually when I try to remind them later to pay me back and/or pick up my drink/meal/whatever they act like i'm being cheap and shouldnt make a big deal about it.   We have one friend that loves to spend money and act like he has money(even though I know hes almost broke most of the time), he had the audacity to order a gift for my wifes bday and then make me pick it up and pay for it(I'll pay you back HAH!, guess who never did but he still gave her the gift "From him").   

I've learned to just say no or try to avoid these situations but sometimes I feel like this puts a damper on my social life.

Holy crap! What kind of people are you guys hanging out with?! I wouldn't be able to put up with those shenanigans. Every single one of my friends are trustworthy, particularly with money. In fact, in our group of friends, people have loaned each other upwards of $1000+ at a time, and nobody has ever screwed anyone else over. People are just as considerate in restaurant settings-if one person doesn't order as much, everyone else makes sure that they get a separate check. It's just fair!

We don't hang out with these people anymore. :)

okits

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 11:53:56 PM »
I think the sticking-other-people-with-the-bill or shortchanging/using-friends thing is an asshole move.  Way beyond the "cheap" territory.

I've started cutting my own hair.  It's funny; I don't publicize it to the people around me, and while I'll get support from this community I'm pretty sure anyone other than full-blown Mustachians will think that's a little cheap. 

When I splurge at work and buy take out for lunch I'll try to save half to get a second lunch out of it.  That probably seems cheap to my co-workers (if they notice) but I think eating moderate portions and lowering my average-cost-per-bought-lunch are good things.  Plus, it's nice to stretch the catheter-and-bedpan convenience to last two days.  :)

simonsez

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 06:19:32 AM »
Long before I became cognizant of how much money I was blowing on very fleeting things, I cut my own hair.  I've been doing it for 10/11 years, since I was a soph/junior in high school when I realized I'd rather spend my extra lunch money on .........booze than the occasional haircut.  I won't speak for the female sex but I don't understand why guys would pay for haircuts.  It's not rocket science and you only need to try it a few times before you become comfortable with scissors in either hand, cutting what you can't see directly, and using clippers at various angles.  I even convinced my wife (took a little persuasion) I didn't need to go somewhere for my "wedding haircut".  In case I do/did miss a spot in the back, I always have/had a wife/mom or dad to take 30 seconds and fix the problem area. 

I don't go out of my way to tell anyone I cut my own hair but when I hear someone complaining about spending $20 or having to go somewhere for a haircut, I'll always offer to do it for free at my place.  I got some weird looks at first but most of my friends know by now I'm not joking and have been cutting my own hair for awhile.  I did it in college for a few friends that lived down the hallway in exchange having a beer or two while doing it.

If it is cheap in the eyes of society, 'meh' is my response.  I guess I miss sitting back and having someone else wash my hair but honestly the skill set to cut hair, at least guy's hair, is nothing that most can't do equally as well on their own.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 08:50:17 AM »
Interesting. My dad used to cut my hair, and I never considered it cheap (he is nowhere near mustachian). It was just for convenient to have him do 3 haircuts in a row once every couple weeks than booking 3 appointments for each of the kids. I now do most of the work myself, and then have someone take a second look and clean out neck hair and whatever imperfections I left. Also, many girls just don't trust the hairdresser, and would rather have their besties do it.

Cheap college student move: eating out 4-5 times a week and never having money to buy beer. C'mon.

unitsinc

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 09:05:22 AM »
Cheap college student move: eating out 4-5 times a week and never having money to buy beer. C'mon.

You must definitely have your priorities right. Eating ramen 4-5 days a week so you WILL have beer money.

cbr shadow

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 10:16:34 AM »
In college I thought I was being "frugal" by eating out 2x per day at Mcdonalds or KFC.  At Mcdonalds I'd get the $1 double burger (3 of them) and drink water.  At KFC they used to have "snackers" for $1 so i'd get 3 of those and a water.  My roommates at I would do this quite often twice daily.  Gross..

Also I used to eat Ramen by the CASE!  I'd buy it from Sam's Club for like 10 cents each.

unitsinc

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 10:22:56 AM »
In college I thought I was being "frugal" by eating out 2x per day at Mcdonalds or KFC.  At Mcdonalds I'd get the $1 double burger (3 of them) and drink water.  At KFC they used to have "snackers" for $1 so i'd get 3 of those and a water.  My roommates at I would do this quite often twice daily.  Gross..

Also I used to eat Ramen by the CASE!  I'd buy it from Sam's Club for like 10 cents each.

I thought it was pretty much required by law to live like this during your school years.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 10:30:28 AM »
I used to eat ketchup and mustard sandwiches in college when I was poor.  They tasted kind of like hamburgers.  LOL!

cbr shadow

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 11:16:27 AM »
Also a friend of mine would buy mcdonalds burgers in bulk when they had 39 cent burger day.  He'd fill his whole freezer and thaw/microwave them when he was hungry.  Even my broke college ass had the audacity to call him cheap.

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 02:16:01 PM »
It's stories like these that made me glad I had a kitchen to use when I was in college (I was in a fraternity at a tech school). We may not have made the most healthy things some nights for dinner, but it was definitely cheaper cooking for ourselves.

kkbmustang

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 03:12:21 PM »
It's stories like these that made me glad I had a kitchen to use when I was in college (I was in a fraternity at a tech school). We may not have made the most healthy things some nights for dinner, but it was definitely cheaper cooking for ourselves.

I lived in the sorority house for two years in college. Meals were provided Monday through Friday lunch. Weekends = on your own = ramen noodle spaghetti, frozen cookie dough and toast. Or the 99 cent burritos or meximelts at Taco Bell. Usually after a night of drinking and dancing. Money spent on drinks. Dancing all night burned the calories.

spider1204

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 04:10:09 PM »
I felt pretty cheap today, we had a company sponsored event at the horse races, and it came with a voucher for food.  I had a hard time spending 4$ on an ice cream cone even if it was being paid for by someone else.  When I discovered that they were actually giving you back change in the form of cash I just bought the cheapest thing on the menu and pocketed the cash.  Cheap or Frugal?

I Love Cake

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2012, 08:06:32 PM »
I was thinking deciding whether particular behaviours are frugal, cheap or theft would be a fun party game... maybe if we come up with enough examples here, we'll see if these categories are controversial or if there is consensus about which group various behaviours fall into.

As for an example from my own life, the other day, I bicycled to the library. I noticed a mitten by the bike path and thought it was sad someone had lost a mitten...until I saw what seemed to be the second mitten in the pair. Hmmm. Interesting. I biked on by. When I rode back, I noticed them again. I figured they hadn't been freshly dropped since they were still there. So I inspected and found them to indeed be a pair with no obvious defects. In fact, they were Denver Haynes, a brand sold at Mark's Work Wear House. And in good shape. So I tried them on. And they fit. So I kept them on and rode away.

And I've left it at that but... I'm conflicted.... I didn't really need a pair of mittens (though I could use a pair, because these things tend to go missing and it's hard to have too many) so I'm not sure if I should keep them. I could drop them off at the Salvation Army or other charitable drop off. If I knew for sure they would wind up with someone who needs them more than I do, I would gladly donate them. But since they fit me and I could use them, I also think there's a good argument for thinking that mine were the right hands for them to wind up in.

So, I'm not sure whether I feel cheap for picking up something that wasn't mine or if I feel frugal for putting something discarded to good use. I'm pretty much on the fence about it.

Dee, keep the mitts and don't think about it anymore. Sure someone else needs it more than you but you can say that about your bike too-and you're not giving that away. The mittens now belong to you-enjoy and keep your hands warm. It's going to be a cold winter!

Done by Forty

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2012, 08:19:03 PM »
I felt pretty cheap today, we had a company sponsored event at the horse races, and it came with a voucher for food.  I had a hard time spending 4$ on an ice cream cone even if it was being paid for by someone else.  When I discovered that they were actually giving you back change in the form of cash I just bought the cheapest thing on the menu and pocketed the cash.  Cheap or Frugal?

Frugal, and smart, too.  You got paid to eat free food at a place specifically designed to take money out of your pocket.  Rad!

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2012, 08:34:40 PM »
When I was just out of school, the Hubs and I finally had two incomes, so we would go out to eat from some friends of ours from time to time (to join them and their new friends from work or wherever). Without fail, we'd be invited to a large group event and while we ordered modestly, we'd end up footing the bill for all of the cheap bastards who "forgot" about those three extra martinis they ordered, or neglected to factor in tax and tip on their bill, or had to leave early so threw in a $20 on their $20 entree and drinks and called it a day. Not wanting to leave the waitstaff totally screwed (as we had previously been said waitstaff in a former life), we'd pony up the difference. Usually $150 or so. Nothing ticks you off more than being put in that situation. After it had happened more than once, we reduced our socializing with the suspects and/or requested separate checks. It's not our responsibility to bankroll people who obviously can't afford the restaurant they are inviting people to dine at.

I HATE THAT! GRRRR

We always get separate bills.  I was in San Fran last month for a girls weekend, and one of our friends would order 3 or 4 overpriced drinks with the meal, and then stiff the server on the tip.  It drove me absolutely nuts, but for some reason, it seems that American restaurants don't want to do separate cheques.  If someone is going to be cheap, I hate having people think it was me.

needmyfi

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2012, 09:02:47 PM »
I have to confess that I have, on more than one occasion, gone plant shopping with spendy plant geeks.  If I see a plant I have been interested in, I will praisethe virtues ofthe plant until I convince my companion of its irresistability, and my friend can no longer live without at least one of these fantastic specimens in her own garden.  If it thrives, then in a few months, I get cuttings and propagate it. Yes I have been called on it, no I probably won 't stop. That being said, I am known for being very generous with anything I can share from my own garden.   Cheap cheap cheap.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 09:10:12 PM by needmyfi »

cats

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2012, 09:58:47 PM »
So, I have a concern about avoiding cheapness, maybe a few of you all with freeloading friends can advise :)

I've recently moved in with a friend and we've decided to split cooking duties and adopt a "what's yours is mine" approach on food/groceries.  So far, it is working out well, but it's only been a month.  My concern is that I'm going to wind up either cheaping out on groceries/household supplies and that I will then feel resentful, or that she will inadvertently wind up cheaping out and that I will feel resentful.  She tends to buy more spendy groceries than I do, though she does also really like my cooking :)

So far I am implementing some rules for myself like, if she buys groceries that I would not buy for myself (i.e., fancy ice cream, individually packaged cheeses), I'm not going to eat them (unless she explicitly offers them), or if I use something up, I will replace it.  I'm also tracking my spending and if I notice my grocery spending going up I will definitely be rethinking things a little.  But I'm wondering how others have handled this gracefully and kept it from becoming an issue?

kaeldra

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2012, 12:43:12 AM »
My gramma's mantra was "A blind man would be glad to see it!" I think the mismatched/good-enough garage sale finds and crappy DIYs was mostly frugal, with a few 'cheaps' thrown in.

I think frugal, although minorly infuriating: She loved puzzles and would buy them at garage sales, but most of the time they had at least a couple pieces missing so it was always a challenge to figure out if you had dropped the last piece or it was just missing :)

Penny wise pound foolish: she'd drive all around the county in hunt of the cheapest groceries, hitting up three or four different stores in three or four different towns half an hour drive apart. Funny thing was, she'd always show up at our door with a huge bag of baking bananas: "These were such a good deal I couldn't resist! But I bought too many so you need to take the rest." She did the same thing with garage sale finds - couldn't resist a good deal even if she didn't need it :)

kkbmustang

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2012, 09:38:12 AM »
So, I have a concern about avoiding cheapness, maybe a few of you all with freeloading friends can advise :)

I've recently moved in with a friend and we've decided to split cooking duties and adopt a "what's yours is mine" approach on food/groceries.  So far, it is working out well, but it's only been a month.  My concern is that I'm going to wind up either cheaping out on groceries/household supplies and that I will then feel resentful, or that she will inadvertently wind up cheaping out and that I will feel resentful.  She tends to buy more spendy groceries than I do, though she does also really like my cooking :)

So far I am implementing some rules for myself like, if she buys groceries that I would not buy for myself (i.e., fancy ice cream, individually packaged cheeses), I'm not going to eat them (unless she explicitly offers them), or if I use something up, I will replace it.  I'm also tracking my spending and if I notice my grocery spending going up I will definitely be rethinking things a little.  But I'm wondering how others have handled this gracefully and kept it from becoming an issue?

I sort of had this issue once, although said roommate was my brother. When I was a first year law student, my brother was a freshman in college.  My original roommate dropped out of law school at the same time my brother dropped out of his fraternity leaving me without a roommate and him without a place to live. So, he moved in.  What happened over the next few months was that my grocery spending tripled. Clearly, my 19 year old brother ate way more than I did.  I didn't say anything, but mentioned it to my parents in conversation over Christmas break. Since I was no longer on the parental payroll and counting my pennies, they were kind enough to reimburse me for his whopper of an appetite (he was still on the payroll).

Spring semester, we changed the rules. My food is mine. Your food is yours. Unless I specifically told him he was welcome to whatever I offered. That solved the problem.

nofool

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2012, 12:51:05 PM »
So, I have a concern about avoiding cheapness, maybe a few of you all with freeloading friends can advise :)

I've recently moved in with a friend and we've decided to split cooking duties and adopt a "what's yours is mine" approach on food/groceries.  So far, it is working out well, but it's only been a month.  My concern is that I'm going to wind up either cheaping out on groceries/household supplies and that I will then feel resentful, or that she will inadvertently wind up cheaping out and that I will feel resentful.  She tends to buy more spendy groceries than I do, though she does also really like my cooking :)

So far I am implementing some rules for myself like, if she buys groceries that I would not buy for myself (i.e., fancy ice cream, individually packaged cheeses), I'm not going to eat them (unless she explicitly offers them), or if I use something up, I will replace it.  I'm also tracking my spending and if I notice my grocery spending going up I will definitely be rethinking things a little.  But I'm wondering how others have handled this gracefully and kept it from becoming an issue?

I also encountered this while I was in school. It is easiest and cheapest for all to have everyone buy their own groceries. However, there are certain things that we agreed to share-flour, aluminum foil, etc. We created a common area for that section, and whoever used up the last of it would be responsible for replacing it. If someone was going to be doing a whole lot of baking, they would just offer to buy the next round of shared baking ingredients.

My current roommates and I also purchase our own food, but we are always generous with our cooking. We figure that it evens out in the long run. Some days I come home from work too tired to cook, and my roommates will offer me their food. If they're sick, I'll go out of my way to make some homemade chicken noodle soup for them and purchase Gatorade or whatever else they need. At the end of the day, we're all friends and we all care about each other. The difference of a few bucks here and there is negligible.

liquidbanana

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2012, 02:02:37 AM »
I've snuck natty lights into bars before. And vodka. I don't know if that is admitting to being cheap or a poor alcoholic.

Never heard of the free coke at McDonald's thing. For a while I was going to sonic for happy hour to get half off drinks. It was like our "fun time out" because we lived in a tiny town with nothing else at all to do. We would get like $.50 drinks. Then on the receipt, I'd usually get an offer to get a free drink if I completed a survey. So I always completed the survey. And then I would go back for my free drink and get another receipt with a free drink for a survey thing. So I was going to sonic all the time and getting tons of free drinks or $.50 drinks and nothing else. After a while I was feeling kinda cheap.

I agree the "split the bill" thing is an asshole move. I would not be "friends" with people like that.

There used to be this like hipster site (I really don't remember what it's purpose was) in the 90s called buddyhead. Acutally, it probably is still around. But it had a section called "Buddyhead Scams" that basically listed ideas of how to rip off stores. Like I remember one suggestion was to buy books from a dollar store for $1 each, then take them to Barnes and Noble and ask to exchange them for their retail price which was more in the $20 range.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:10:58 AM by liquidbanana »

Khao

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2012, 03:46:53 PM »
Wow there are some great examples here..  I think some of you guys need to drop those friends!

I have a similar situation where another couple invited my wife and I out for sushi.  We agreed, but found out once we were in the car that we were going to a high-end sushi bar downtown which is very expensive.  That's fine, my wife and I could just order less and still have fun with the company of our friends.
My wife and I ordered conservatively, but still enjoyed our meal.. ended up spending $51 total between the 2 of us.  I saw a coworker across the restaurant and went to say hello, during which time the bill came and the other couple just said "split it on both cards" to the waiter.  My wife was too shy to speak up, so we ended up paying $100!  Our friends had several glasses of wine, several large platters of food, and just went all out, spending almost $150.  My wife told me on the way home that had happened.  I'm not ever going to bring it up with the friend, but I'm definitely not going to dinner with them again.  In the end, my timing to walk away from the table was poor, my wife should have spoken up, and my friend knew exactly what he was doing when he sadi "split the bill".  Oh well - live and learn.

Keep the stories coming!

In Québec (don't know about the rest of Canada) it's nearly impossible for servers to not ask if/how they should split the bills. IT MAKES LIFE SO MUCH EASIER! It's just common here that everyone pays for their own things or couples pay together. Even when I'm going to the restaurant with only my girlfriend we get asked if it's 1 or 2 bills. I love the fact that I'll probably never be in your situation!

Sparky

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2012, 07:00:48 PM »
Cheap: Too cheap/lazy to get a haircut for 4.5 months. I was too cheap to spend 5 dollars on a haircut, and proceeded to wait until I hit a country where it was like 1 or 2 dollars for a trim.... I looked terrible!

Frugal: Refusal to own a washing machine or washing bucket. I was using the toilet to wash my clothes for a few months and my bar of soap. Still do it on occasion for small loads of laundry....

keith

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2012, 09:47:29 PM »
I was using the toilet to wash my clothes for a few months and my bar of soap. Still do it on occasion for small loads of laundry....

That sounds absolutely gross. At that point, why wouldn't you just use a sink?

grantmeaname

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2012, 01:21:22 PM »
Ewww? Washing clothes in a toilet? That's pretty solidly into cheap territory.

Nords

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2012, 01:50:38 PM »
I was using the toilet to wash my clothes for a few months and my bar of soap. Still do it on occasion for small loads of laundry....
That sounds absolutely gross. At that point, why wouldn't you just use a sink?
Ewww? Washing clothes in a toilet? That's pretty solidly into cheap territory.
Hey, lighten up on Sparky until we learn how to handle the flush rinse...

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Frugal Vs. Cheap - Stories
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2012, 01:56:13 PM »
I'm hoping he means the toilet tank, and not the bowl...  It he's using the bowl, I think that would be counter-productive.