They don't call some people penny pinchers for no reason. These people are willing to do anything to stretch a dime, even if in the normal human eye they're just wasting time.
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"Saw a guy take money from the tip jar to pay for a muffin like it was nothing. Poor cashier was in shock I guess because she didn't say anything.
And this was from a cafeteria in an office building. The guy who did this was wearing an expensive suit."
"I didn't see it, but I experienced it. My friend dropped a jar of jelly, and it broke. He scooped up the parts that weren't touching the ground into some Tupperware. I came over after work, and he asked if I wanted a PB&J. A couple bites in, and I find myself chewing on some glass...
He wasn't careful while scooping up his jelly and there was glass mixed in. He still wanted to keep the jelly; it wasn't until I called him cheap that he finally threw it away.
Bonus story: One time he gave me some deli meat because he didn't like the way it tasted only he didn't give it to me he sold it to me for $2. It was a good deal, and I was about to buy some anyways but who the heck sells deli meat to their friend?"
"My dad and I were driving home on a Saturday after going out for lunch. His car was low on gas, and we passed a gas station advertising gas for something like $1.50/gallon. He said, 'the other gas station down the road is usually cheaper,' so we skipped that one to go to the next one.
The next gas station was advertising at $1.52/gallon. Dad swung around and made a U-turn to go back to the first one. We get stuck in about 35 minutes of traffic on this short two-mile road due to an accident that just happened. By the time we get back to the first gas station, they changed their price to $1.55/gallon.
He cursed and we went home without getting more gas that day. The vehicle was at empty by the time we got home."
"I used to work in a meat department. The main manager was really good at selling stuff the right way. One of the lower managers though was all about profit. He'd undercut steaks, sell steaks for more than they were worth, like selling chuck steak as 'ribeye' or selling really lean ground pork as ground veal (~$10 more a pound). We'd also have a bone in lamb stew meat that was like 95% bone.
The worst thing he'd do though was put day or two old ground beef in with the fresh stuff so it would all mix around and he'd sell it and act like it was all brand new. So gross and so wrong. I wouldn't listen to him if he told me to do that. I'd rather throw stuff away and err on the side of caution. He was the cheapest jerk I know."
"My dad can be cheap to the point it's disturbing:
-He would purposely purchase foods that came in glass jars, like salsa, so that it could be washed out once eaten and used as a drinking glass.
-He would plan meals around what was in the Scratch-N-Dent (clearance, marked down shelves) at groceries stores. You don't want a chili dog for dinner? I got ten cans for 35 cents a piece!
-He had a stand-alone freezer that was full of nothing but old bread and breadcrumbs. There was so much that the bread acted as an insulator and even started molding in the freaking freezer and he still tried to save it. My family waited until he was at work one day and just dumped it at the edge of the yard and scrubbed out said freezer.
-He would bring home as many soy sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, sugar packets as he could and not only that, but he'd bring home plastic silverware if we went out to eat; he would ask the servers for extras for this reason!
-It drove me up the wall when I was living at home because he would disable the heated dry function on the dishwasher to save on the electric bill. He would also watch the washer and dryer like a hawk. We weren't allowed to wash our clothes on anything but COLD, and he would take your clothes out of the dryer if he felt they were in there long enough. Nothing like going to work in still wet jeans that smell like mildew!
-Despite the fact that both his wife and daughter are asthmatic and sensitive to the cold, he would always change the thermostat to 60F (15.5C) to save on heating costs. It took a few trips to the ER with my mother before he finally knocked that crap off.
-He would put the water heater on the 'Vacation' setting. When you're in a house with five people in it, and it's on the vacation setting, the first person of the night (or morning) to shower was the lucky prick to get five minutes of hot water, and after that, it was good luck, Chuck. For nearly three years the only time I got a hot shower was if I stayed over at a friend's house.
-If I drove his car, I was forbidden from running the AC. Even after I bought my car, he tried pulling that crap. I had the AC going, and he was with me. He shut off my AC and started rolling down windows saying, 'I didn't need it.' I rolled the windows back up and locked them, cranked the AC and reminded him that I was the one paying for the gas and car."
"I worked at a car dealership. 1 or 2 times a week vendors would bring in doughnuts. We had a big fat slobby service writer who, when he saw them walking up with doughnuts, would take them and put them in his cabinet so he could bring them home to his wife at lunch.
I noticed him do this one morning, so when he was speaking to a customer, I took the dozen and put them in the showroom by the coffee where they are supposed to go. They were for our customers. Anyway, he told the service manager that I broke into his desk and stole his and his wife's lunch. The manager called me in. I explained. He got written up for taking the customers doughnuts. The boss said he had been wondering why no one brought doughnuts anymore. On a side note, a month later he had a heart attack. Karma. That will teach him to be a maple bar bandit."
"My brother is incredibly cheap! I don't think I've ever seen him pay for a gift for someone outright. He is always re-gifting. Last Mother's Day, I saw him give the Red Lobster gift card to my mom that he had just got as a gift for his birthday from his son a month ago. It's not just the fact that he re-gifts that upsets me, it's his selfishness that I can't stand.
Upon my mom opening up her card and seeing the gift card to Red Lobster fall out, I knew immediately that he had re-gifted again, so I said, 'Oh wow! Now you both will have to go to Red Lobster and use your gift cards together sometime! Didn't you just get one for your birthday, bro?' I love calling him out on his cheapness!"
"I worked for a short time as a luxury travel agent, and agents get tons and tons of free stuff all the time. Every day there would be vendors set up in the conference room for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks, which we got for free, we just had to listen to the vendors' pitch.
This would go to some of the old-school agent's heads. The agents in the office next to mine were notoriously cheap, especially the 60-something-year-old boss. They would push their way into the conference room, throw their business card in the general director of the poor vendors, and take as much food as possible, multiple plates piled high. I'd pass their office, and the food would be just sitting out on the desks uneaten. The boss was known for showing up at vendor-sponsored dinners and events with his wife (uninvited), and they'd bring plastic ziplock bags and fill them with food from the buffet to take home. He made a ton of money, so it wasn't out of necessity, he was insanely cheap and entitled.
My favorite story about him was that our company used to go around the offices some Friday afternoons in the summer with an ice-cream cart, and everyone would grab something, one each because we're freaking adults in a professional workplace. Not this guy. He filled a manila envelope with like 20 ice creams, labeled in PROPERTY OF [NAME] DO NOT TOUCH!!!! and put it in the office freezer. My sassy coworker used to steal ice creams from the envelope all the time for our office just to spite him. She said it tasted so good."
"Every week, my daughter and I do pizza night from Little Ceasers. It's cheap, it's filling, and she likes it, so it's a win-win. This guy comes in and asks if they have any sausage pizzas ready. They tell him they've just put one in, and ask if that's what he wants. He does, so they ring it up, and he pays. Then when the pizza comes out, he says 'What do you mean sausage? I ordered pepperoni. If I'm going to have to wait I want some free bread.'
The new shift manager who had just come in agrees and takes care of him, all while the other employees and I are sitting there in shock that this dude had the stones to do that to get a $3 order of bread free. After he walks out, and I get my pizza, I talked to the employees and said 'I heard him order a sausage pizza, I watched you ring him up for sausage. I'm not nuts am I?' They had all seen/heard the same."
"Growing up, I lived across the street from a lovely park that had this huge sprinkler running all summer for the kids to enjoy. I also had this cheap neighbor that everyone hated (we'll call him Mr. Zelinski) who would come down every morning in his swimming trunks with a bar of soap, a bottle of shampoo and towel to wash there so he could save money on water at home.
Ugh, everyone hated that guy. I always remember my grandpa joking that old Mr. Zelinski hung out in the parking lot at the farmer's market to pick up all the produce people dropped because he was too cheap to buy his own."
"My grandmother, as she didn't own a computer, had to mail in all her bill payments. One month she didn't get her water bill, or it was delivered to someone else by accident. Whatever the cause, her next bill was for both that month and the previous month and included a late fee that was less than the cost of a stamp. For the rest of her life, she skipped the bill one month and then paid both the next because she saved a few cents by using just one stamp instead of two. This was a woman who had somewhere around a $1 million in the bank when she died."
"I once moved in with two girls. We lived in an apartment. They had a rent arrangement where they had divided the rent by the square meters of their respective rooms, and they paid their shares on the penny. Might not be that cheap, but it struck me as a bit odd. Anyway, after a while, I started noticing things. When they went shopping, they would divide the cost of two cartons of milk 60/40, as one took milk in her tea but the other one didn't. Many little things like that, but the winner was when I noticed that there all of a sudden were two toilet paper holders in the bathroom. It turns out one of them thought the other one used more and they mutually decided they would each have their own setup. That's when I realized I didn't quite fit in there."
"I'm part of a friend group of three. We've all been buds since countless after-school detentions in high school, and now we're in our late-20s.
Well one of us, let's call him L, is a cheap jerk. One fine afternoon we walk into a bar and L's girlfriend approaches the bartender to order a drink. L sees his opportunity and slides over to his lady to ask if she'll order him something and is quickly denied because he is a cheap prick. L then proceeds to approach me and ask the same question only to be denied once more, rinse and repeat on our other friends. Finally, L let's out an audible sigh and pulls out his wallet and buys himself a $1 can, then proceeds to complain to us that he is trying to save for something stupid. The bartender buys his girlfriend's drink and says to dump him.
This other one has happened countless times. We'll all be outside having a smoke and L proceeds to try and bum off of any and everyone in sight. Once he is denied by everyone, because he is a cheap jerk, he will once again let out a loud audible sigh and get his own smokes out of his car less than ten feet away. His excuse is always 'Well I was saving these; smokes are expensive!'
This jerk has two cars, one of which has $10,000 of race components on it with multiple sets of wheels, multiple extremely high-end computers, etc, and he won't even pay for his girlfriend's lunch and will usually try to get her to cover his half as well.
L always tries to disappear outside if we haven't split our bill yet. L tries to bum any and everything you can bum. L wouldn't buy his girlfriend back if she was held hostage for any more than $12.50 and he'd probably ask us to foot the bill first.
The most aggravating part is L is always buying expensive luxury crap like $4,000 drones just to mess around with and thinks because he wants to buy something everyone else should pay for his everyday expenses and he is 'saving.' L is also convinced he was the poorest kid at our high school and had it rough. Hey jerk, poor kids don't get the real electronic lego trains for Christmas. Blow me."
"I was standing in line at a Wal-Mart once, around Christmas time. Painful as that already sounds, the lady in front of me started arguing about the price of a bottle of shampoo. She says it is on sale for $1 less than the price shown when it rang up.
After two or three phone calls to the department and at least five minutes, I spoke up and said, 'Lady, I'll give you a dollar if we can move on here.'
She looked at me with a straight face and said, 'OK.'
I was not expecting that. Neither was the manager who was there by then and ended up just giving her the $1 discount."
We took her to a huge family reunion picnic one year, and rather than cook on the terrible BBQ thingies in the park (always covered in bird poop, so pretty nasty) we brought in several huge buckets of KFC and coleslaw, etc.
Later, after everyone was done eating and we were all just chit-chatting and visiting, I saw my great-grandmother sit herself down, pull several Ziploc bags out of her handbag and start filling them up with the leftover chicken. She put the bagged bird right in her purse, looking quite pleased with herself. She saw me looking at her and just shrugged, 'There's enough in here that I won't need to cook anything for a week of dinners. Nothing wrong with that.'
What could I say? So long as she refrigerated it correctly, it would probably be OK to eat. But she did complain that her purse smelled like chicken for weeks after.
When she died, we found three giant totes of all the clothes we'd ever bought her for Christmas and birthdays, tags still on. She refused to wear new clothes when her old ones hadn't quite disintegrated enough to be tossed out."
"My grand-uncle still lives in my parents' house. He worked until he was 65 and saved everything he could. He had no kids, no known partner/relationship.
He would pee in a bucket beside the toilet. Once the bucket was full enough, he'd put it all in the toilet so it would flush itself and he would save money on the water bill.
Neither I or any person in the family below the age of 50 has ever recalled receiving a gift or even a happy birthday from this guy. No one knows how much but the closest estimate is that he likely has about $4-5 million."
"My grandfather had a firmly held belief that any drink served in a restaurant should cost no more than 10 cents per glass.
So if the restaurant charged 1.50 for a sweet tea with free refills, he would sit there until he'd drank at least 15 glasses. Nobody else could leave until he was done."
"My dad is one of those people who is 'idiot cheap' - i.e., will buy something extra to get free shipping but will spend $10 more than if he'd just paid for shipping instead, and be very proud of himself the whole time for 'saving so much money.' Anyway, his most recent idiot-cheap moment was when he realized he needed a chainsaw because the one that he had wasn't big enough to cut the logs he was cutting. When he went to the store to buy one, they were having a sale on a particular brand and size of chainsaws. The chainsaw in question was smaller than the one he currently had, but it was ONLY $250. So he bought it, took it back to the woods and the logs he was trying to cut, and realized it was far too small to do the job. So he went back to the store and bought another, bigger chainsaw for something like $700.
He was telling me this story, and I was like 'Well did you return the other one?' He told me no because he got that one on sale and had saved a lot of money on it."
"After completing months-long training for our new job, the people in my class (about 15 of us) pitched in $2 apiece to buy a gift for our trainer, who was technically our boss. This guy - let's call him Rob - refused to donate because he felt like this violated a rule against giving a gift above a certain value to your immediate supervisor. Rob was already pretty unpopular among the group, so they were very openly insulting about how they viewed this decision. I didn't hear the conversation, but I believe they called him 'ridiculous' and 'cheap' and probably a few other things.
Rob immediately went to the supervisor to tell her that he thought he was being mistreated for doing what he believed to be the right thing. The supervisor, of course, returned the gift and said she didn't want to cause a problem.
So basically he ruined a gesture for our boss over two dollars."
"I was in Scarborough with my two friends, who I am going to call Paul and Lee because those were their names.
Now Lee was renowned for being a tightwad, but the following astonished and amused me in equal measure: We were playing penny falls in one of the arcades on the seafront, and Lee won a large number of pennies on one of the machines, like an XL drink cup's worth. Paul, being one of life's perennial losers, runs out of coins and asks Lee if he can borrow one.
'C'mon mate, I want one.'
'Yeah but it won't be just one will it? You'll want another and another after that.'
At this point I interjected 'Well to be fair mate, that is still only pennies,' but he wasn't budging.
And that was it. He stood there with a massive cup overflowing with pennies and refused to lend even one to our luckless mutual friend. The final punchline came some weeks later when I was around Lee's house for the first time and discovered his bedroom was full of XL cups filled with various coins.
Tightest jerk I ever met. But he did have some extremely strong continental smut, and this was a time before the internet, so I overlooked his miserliness."