At my local Dunkin’ Donuts you have to ask the workers specifically if you want a packet of sugar/Sweet ‘n’ Low or one of those little half and half containers because the senior citizens in the area used to come in and take them all so they wouldn’t have to buy them in the store and the workers had to take them all away.
My aunt and uncle were visiting with their two kids. My uncle asked me if I wanted go to Friendly’s for ice cream. He bought himself and his two kids ice cream then asked if I had money for myself. I was 9 so I did not have any money. He said “too bad” and started back towards his car.
I realized, he just needed me for direction.
My dad is by far the cheapest person I’ve ever met. He would take me and my brother to eat at Costco (just samples). For my birthdays he would buy me the cheapest used games possible and leave the stickers on them ~$1.99. He makes about $200,000 a year but you would never know it.
His crowning achievement was about 20 years ago when he bought an apartment complex. Evidently there was some type of federal funding if your apartment complex was condemned and he tried to get it. Im not sure what was done to the apartments to make them so awful but I remember that we had picketers outside our house protesting the living conditions. It eventually got so bad that the government realized that the funding they were giving him wasn’t going to the people who needed it and filed charges on my dad. He spent about 12 months in prison because of it.
My mom had a boyfriend that would pull the stems off of cherries before purchasing them from the grocery store because he felt they’d weigh less without the stems and he’d get more for the money.
A group of folks went out for dinner at a convention, and several people had leftovers. When we returned, one of the people who had not been able to get out to dinner was bummed, so one of the diners said, “Well, I have some leftovers, if you’d like them.”
“Okay, my meal was $10, and there’s about half of it left, so you owe me…”
No, I am not kidding. No, it was not me.
In my department where I work, I always have a small basket of candy (jolly ranchers, tootsie rolls, life savers) out for my customers. Most are most appreciative and ask “are these free?” and take one, maybe two and thank me for the candy. Then there are some customers who just walk up and take HANDFULLS of the candy. Once I had an older man dump the entire thing into his man purse, look straight at me and walk out.
My aunt, who is fairly wealthy (she and her husband both work, no kids, own multiple houses), is the cheapest person I’ve ever known. When she goes to the grocery store when the family is up visiting my grandmother, she’ll keep the receipt to give to my grandma so she’ll pay her back for it.
This is the worst one, though. Lots of family was going up to visit grandma again, and my aunt (who lives in Georgia) asked my dad to buy butter (in Virginia) and bring it up to New Jersey where my grandma lives, because apparently butter is cheaper in Virginia.
I knew a farmer who only had one light bulb; he would carry it around with him all the time. Taking it from one room to another if he needed to.
The company I work for won’t buy us pens.
I have a cousin who invited their friend over to their side of the family’s house for Christmas dinner. She then charged her invited friend 5 dollars for their meal. Who does that?!
I work at a casino, and I am constantly amazed at how many people raid ashtrays for the last bits of tobacco in cigarette butts.
I have a friend who is full-on gluten intolerant. However, he’s SO CHEAP, that he’ll go to ANY LENGTHS to avoid paying for food (or anything else!)…
When he found out he could dumpster unlimited bread in San Francisco, that became the staple- nay, the entirety- of his diet.
He spends his days moaning in agony as his insides churn and roil, suffering from constant fiery diarrhea… yet he continues to eat his glutinous meals merely because they’re free!
Oh I have a great one! My dad was scheduled to get a hip replacement and the day before the operation I came home to find him mowing the lawn with a push mower. He was grimacing in pain, face was red. When I asked him why the hell he was mowing he replied, “I’m getting a new hip so I wanted to wear the old one out and save the new one a mow.”
At Ikea coffee is bottomless (now a cup is free with the Ikea family card) but before that it was like $2. My girlfriend’s friend, and her family, would go in and buy one cup and it would be passed along to each member to get their turn.
They would apparently be there for hours socializing over a single coffee.
At my friends house in the second grade I was only allowed to charge my Gameboy for 30 seconds because electricity was too expensive.
My aunt and uncle once brought me out to eat with my cousins. We went to McDonald’s, ordered one hamburger from the dollar menu, and split it three ways with my cousins.
Sister in law only bought a windshield wiper for the driver’s side.
My 10th birthday present from my grandmother was a single expired McDonald’s coupon.
Work dinner party, about 25 us coming, potluck. Co-worker says “I’ll bring the wine!” She brings four open bottles, each between 1/3 and 2/3 full.
My step dad keeps all the toilet paper in his room. We have 2 bathrooms and every time the toilet paper runs out in my bathroom I have to ask for a new roll which then goes on to 20 minutes of getting yelled at that I’m ‘wasting paper’ I feel like I have to apologize for pooping! If I even try to use the other bathroom I get yelled at for using their bathroom when I have my own.
I had a friend in college who never spent more than $10 a week on food because she knew when and where all the events with free food were on campus. I aspire to have that level of commitment.
My friend’s family lives in a gated community with all the rich suburb people. They have two expensive cars. Spend loads of money on clothing. But the mom applies for free lunches for her kids.
Whenever we all go out to eat as a group, my grandma’s boyfriend (manfriend? significant other?) likes to get everyone’s free lemon wedge that typically comes with their waters, squeeze them all into his, and then add a packet of sugar so that he doesn’t have to pay for a lemonade.
A friend of my dad’s goes on a shopping spree at REI before every camping trip and returns everything he bought when he gets back.
I once wore a pair of shoes until I broke through the soles. Then I wrapped them in duct tape and wore them for another month.
Edit: since everyone keeps on asking: No, I’m not a skateboarder. I just liked my shoes and was too cheap to replace them immediately.
My dad had to go to prison in Kazakhstan for a visa violation. On the way to prison after his court hearing the cops pulled into a gas station and asked my dad to chip in for gas.
My father refused to pay for my sister’s intervention because it cost too much in his mind. She died 2 years later. My father and I don’t speak.
As a waiter, living off tips, it used to astound me that the same waiters who would bitch endlessly about how cheap their customers were would almost completely stiff their bussers. They said the bussers didn’t do a good job for them. They didn’t seem to appreciate the irony of it. I always tipped mine 20% and they always took care of me.
When I was about 15, I went to Florida with my family. My mother made me stay at my aunt’s while they went to Disneyland, because she didn’t want to pay for an extra person.
My economics teacher in high school once told us that he adopted two Chinese girls instead of having his own kids because statistically, Asian girls eat less, so he would be saving a lot of money in the long run. I believe his exact quote was “When we go to McDonalds, they can split one hamburger, and it’s still better than the gristle they were eating in China! What a deal!” This didn’t strike me as being quite so racist until some time later…
One of the richer families at my high school didn’t pay the entrance fee at a fundraiser for my friend’s mom who had cancer. Stingy fucks. She’s dead (the one who had cancer) now, and for other reasons, that cheap family is not well liked anymore within the community.