My father is by no means a cheapskate. He’s always made sure to provide our family with everything we ever needed or wanted, but he certainly doesn’t take for granted the work that goes into earning a dollar. Throughout the years, he’s learned how to cut corners in order to make the most out of the resources he’s been provided (i.e. his obscene amount of free pens from Planet Fitness). These are just a few of the embarrassingly cheap things he’s done to save money while on the road to and from our family vacations. I hope you all appreciate the hilarity/genius of these shameless acts as much as I do.
1. If your child is just out of the age range for a children’s discount, lie.
No one is going to ask for your ten year old’s birth certificate. Why not reap the financial benefits? Sure, it’s a little dishonest, but far more detrimental lies have been told. Just make sure you consult your little ones before you blatantly lie about their age in public. They might correct you, and that would just be uncomfortable for everyone.
2. Even if you’re not a guest, walk right into any Hampton Inn for free coffee. They’ll never question you.
After all, hotels are all about accommodating the needs of their guests. In order to do this, you have to be as cavalier as possible. Don’t draw attention to your guilty, coffee stealing self by acting nervous and out of place. Your body language will convey that you belong there if you convince yourself that you’re entitled to a free cup of coffee.
3. Request a AAA discount even if you’re not a member.
This one can get a little tricky. Under some circumstances, you may be asked to prove your membership by showing your membership card. My father once showed his expired one, strategically placing his thumb over the expiration date. Do this if you’re feeling dangerous.
4. Go Dollar Menu or go home.
While on the road, fast food is a necessary evil. The fine dining establishment of McDonalds is always a great place to get low quality fast food. The dollar menu should be your only option. Rivals don’t have quite the selection that McDonald’s dollar menu has, and they will all make you feel equally horrible about yourself. Why pay more for an unhealthy, grease infested burger or chicken sandwich when you can get one for a dollar? It’s a win/win (or a lose/lose, depending on your outlook.) If you have guests with you, make sure they know the deal. Don’t let them so much as glance at anything that costs more than a dollar.
5. The Complaint Email.
This one is the mother of all money saving tactics. If your flight is delayed, or you don’t receive the proper treatment at hotels that you so deserve, fire out the best complaint email you can conjure up. My father once got a $600 voucher for a delayed flight, simply by being assertive and asking for compensation. Don’t be rude or inappropriate, but let the company know that you mean business. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
*Disclaimer: Use these tactics at your own discretion, preferably only if you’re shameless. The end results could be really embarrassing.