Children of Cheapskate Parents Share Their Insane Stories

When it comes to money, everyone has a different outlook. Some people enjoy spending freely and indulging in luxuries, while others prefer to live frugally and save for the future. While being thrifty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, being a cheapskate can have its drawbacks and affect not only the individual but also their family.

Cheapskates often find joy in getting things for free, no matter how small or insignificant the item may be. If you’ve been fortunate enough to never have shared a roof with a cheapskate, here are some crazy stories shared by people on Reddit that will give you a glimpse into their unique experiences.

1. How This Dad Scored a Free Bar of Soap with a Clever Trick

When my dad moved into his house, he had a guy come over to do a free demonstration for a water filter that goes under a sink. The guy used a bar of soap for his demonstration and left it when he was done.
My dad called at least four other companies for a free demonstration just to keep the free bar of soap and never intended to have a water filter installed. He does things like this, which worsens as he ages. But I just let him do his thing.

2. Dad’s Attachment with Paper Towels

My dad hoards his paper towels. To this day, he still expects me to ask permission to use them (I’m 21) because he doesn’t want me to waste them. I remember thinking it was $100 bucks for a roll because he was so concerned about me wasting them.
He is a cheapskate and spends twice as much money on everything because he only gets the cheapest thing that breaks or doesn’t work as well. While my girlfriend and I were at his house, I dropped a gallon of milk everywhere. She grabbed paper towels and used the whole roll to soak up the mess.
I felt so sinful helping her, but the look on my dad’s face when he found out we used a whole roll was priceless. I knew he wouldn’t yell at us because he was too polite to yell in front of my girlfriend. But, he was visibly holding back his pain, anger, and heartbreak over the “wasted” roll.

3. What a Unique Approach to Saving Every Coin

Oh my God, dads are terrible. Mine hates paying for electricity, so he hangs his clothes up outside, which would be fine if he didn’t do it year-round, even when it’s below freezing.
Whenever my sisters or I cleaned our rooms, he would go through our trash, looking for “valuables” we had thrown away (money or recyclables). He’s obsessed with gas prices, and I once sat in the car with him as he drove around town for half an hour searching for the cheapest gas.
When he wants to drive down a hill, he literally puts his car in neutral, opens the door, and pushes himself down the hill with his foot. One time, we went to a Burger King, and I was only allowed chicken fries because a burger was “too expensive.”

4. Meet the Return Policy Maestro

My father took insane advantage of the Costco return policy. He returned an outdoor furniture set we’d had for about eight years. It was weather-worn, and a couple of pieces were broken. They took it, and he used the money to pay for most of a new patio set from Costco. Unbelievable.

5. Unveiling the Frugal Achievements of My Grandmother

When I was a little kid, I spent summers at my grandparents’ house, and one of my chores was setting the table before dinner every night. Whenever we had company for dinner, I was instructed to use “the good napkins.”
That meant the napkins that didn’t have restaurant logos printed on them. We only went to restaurants when my grandmother felt she could come out ahead on the deal, and there were many ways to accomplish this.
She clipped coupons, of course, but that was kids’ stuff. Whenever she did anything for someone, she’d get them to take her to dinner to “return the favor.” She had an enormous purse, which generally returned stuffed with napkins and food from the buffet.
She didn’t see much point in going to any restaurant that didn’t at least have a salad bar. One year, when my mother and I offered to take her to dinner for her birthday, we had to drive over an hour to get to a Sizzler she hadn’t been banned from.

6. Rolling in Savings

My dad discovered where the giant industrial rolls you see in some shopping centers are sold and moved us over to that. It’s like one giant roll with about three or four normal rolls’ worth of toilet paper. I’ve never been so embarrassed having friends over.

7. My Grandmother’s Unbeatable Sears Lifetime Guarantee!

When my grandparents got married, they did their gift registry with Sears; that was back in the day (Late 1940s) when they had a ‘lifetime guarantee’ on almost everything they sold.
My grandmother has moved house almost ten times since then, but she has kept every flattened box and warranty for every appliance she got when she was married.
I drove her to Sears about two years ago to replace her iron. She brought all the boxing and paperwork from back in the 1940s to get a new one. Surprisingly, they fulfilled the guarantee and gave her a new iron!
I think it’s hilarious, but she hasn’t had to pay for a new appliance in over 60 years because she’s so cheap! She’s a Ukrainian immigrant to Canada and always insists, “Lifetime guarantee means lifetime guarantee.”
I feel bad for Sears because our family is notoriously long-lived (her father lived until 104). I sometimes think that maybe this is why Sears is doing so poorly: a ton of cheap old women cashing in on their lifetime guarantees.

8. My Dad’s Budget Home Became a Renovation Adventure

My father is pathologically cheap. I have tons of stories, but I’ll share the biggest. My dad only looks at the dollar amount and nothing else. If he sees a six-pack of toilet paper for $5 and a twelve-pack for $7, he’ll buy the $5 pack every time, guaranteed.
So you can already imagine how any major purchase goes with him. When I was about eight, he decided to buy a house. One could buy something relatively decent in my area for $110k back then. We’re talking newer cabinets, floors, interior appointments like trim, newer doors, windows, etc.
He ended up buying a low-quality house for $89k. It had been built in 1947. The guy who built the place was just as cheap as my dad. All of the windows and doors were original. It still had its original asbestos siding.
On the inside, there was no trim. No interior doors except the bathroom door, which itself had no knob. No kitchen cabinets or counters.
The living room floor was bare plywood, and the ground floor bedroom had linoleum haphazardly unrolled onto it. So essentially, my dad “saved” 21k when buying the house but has had to put way more than that into it over the years.

9. Beating the Heat on a Budget

I’m from Georgia, the land of humidity and heat. My dad wouldn’t turn the AC on until the temperature exceeded 100F. He bought these styrofoam pads that were metallic foil on one end.
We had to shove those into all the windows and exiting doorways when we had the AC on the “keep the heat out” and save on the AC. Also, our city has a natural spring. The water is drinkable and free.
So let me set this scene — There is a line in front of it. Kids wanting cold water on a hot day, moms with a pitcher to get some, maybe a guy with an empty milk jug, and my dad with THIRTY-TWO 5-gallon bottles filling them all up “in case the spring dries up tomorrow.”

These stories provide a glimpse into the lives of people who have grown up with cheapskate parents. While some situations may seem absurd or even comical, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own reasons for being frugal.
Do you have any insane stories to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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