The Thrifty Life: Tales of Cheapskates

For those who are extra frugal, every penny counts. Being a cheapskate is a way of life, even for those who have plenty of cash to spare. These individuals are always on the lookout for the best deals and ways to stretch their money. They take pride in getting the most out of every purchase.

If you’ve never met a thrifty person, buckle up because we’ve got some hilarious stories to share. These tales come from individuals whose parents were notorious cheapskates. Take a look and get ready to laugh!

1. A Clever Trick for a Free Bar of Soap

User: [deleted]
When my dad moved into his new house, he had a man show him how to use a water filter that fits under the sink for free. The man showed him how to do it with a bar of soap and then left it.

Dad called at least four other businesses to get a free lesson just to get the free bar of soap. He never planned to have a water filter put in. This is something he does that gets worse as he gets older. I didn’t stop him, though.

2. The Paper Towel Paranoia

User: TheCommonStew
My dad saves all of his paper towels. Even though I’m 21, he still wants me to ask for permission before I use them. He doesn’t want me to waste them. At one point, I thought they cost $100 per roll because he was so worried about them being wasted.

He always buys the cheapest option, even if it ends up costing him more in the long run. One time, my girlfriend and I accidentally spilled a gallon of milk in his house. She grabbed a roll of paper towels and used the entire thing to clean up the mess.

When my dad found out we used a whole roll, he looked shocked and disappointed. It made me feel guilty for helping her. He didn’t say anything to us, but his expression said it all. He’s definitely serious about not wasting anything.

3. The Penny Pincher’s Extreme Measures

User: notronbro
Oh boy, my dad takes frugality to a whole new level. He hangs his clothes outside to dry because he doesn’t want to spend money on power. He does this no matter the weather, even when it’s freezing cold.

Whenever my sisters and I clean out our rooms, he’d go through our trash to find “valuable” items like money or cardboard that we discarded. He’s obsessed with finding the cheapest gas prices. I once sat in the car with him for half an hour while he drove around town in search of the lowest-priced gas.

And get this, his favorite way to go down a hill in a car is by putting it in neutral, opening the door, and using his foot to push himself downhill. It’s a wild sight to see! One time, we went to Burger King, but I could only get chicken fries because a burger was deemed “too expensive”.

4. The Master of Return Policies

User: halfadash6
My dad is a genius when it comes to taking advantage of store return policies. He once returned a set of outdoor chairs that we had for eight years. They were worn down from the weather, and some pieces were broken. But Costco took them back and he used the money to buy a new patio set. Unbelievable!

5. Grandma’s Frugal Ways

User: Acetylene
When I was a little kid, I used to spend summers with my grandparents. One of my responsibilities was setting the table before dinner. Whenever we had guests over, I was instructed to use the “good napkins”.

These were the napkins without any restaurant logos on them. My grandma only took us to restaurants when she knew she could get something out of it. She was a coupon aficionado, always finding ways to save money. Her purse was always filled with napkins and leftover food from the table.

She refused to dine at any restaurant that didn’t have a salad bar. One year, when my mom and I wanted to take her out for her birthday, we had to drive for more than an hour to find a Sizzler that she hadn’t been banned from. Talk about dedication to saving money!

6. When Toilet Paper Rolls Get Out of Hand

User: Askin_Real_Questions
My dad found a store that sells those big industrial rolls of toilet paper, like the ones you see in shopping malls, and he decided to move us there. These rolls were the size of three or four regular ones. But having them around made me feel embarrassed when I had friends over.

7. The Unbeatable Sears Guarantee

User: stone_opera
When my grandparents got married in the late 1940s, they registered their gifts at Sears. Back then, most items came with a “lifetime guarantee”. Since then, my grandma has moved multiple times, but she still keeps every flattened box and warranty for every appliance they bought.

A few years ago, I accompanied her to Sears to get a new iron. She brought along all the boxes and papers from the 1940s. To our surprise, Sears kept their promise and gave her a brand-new iron! She’s so thrifty that she hasn’t had to buy a new appliance in over 60 years. It’s impressive, but I can’t help but wonder if all the other cheap old women are taking advantage of those lifetime guarantees too.

8. The Budget Home Renovation Adventure

User: InVultusSolis
My dad is always looking for a bargain. It’s hard to choose just one story because there are so many. He only cares about the price tag and doesn’t consider anything else. For example, if a six-pack of toilet paper costs $5 and a twelve-pack costs $7, he will always choose the six-pack…

You can imagine how his approach plays out when it comes to bigger purchases. When I was about eight years old, he bought a house. In my area, $110,000 could get you something pretty good back then. But my dad ended up buying a run-down house for $89,000. It was built in 1947 by someone just as cheap as my dad.

Every single door and window in the house was unique, and it still had the original asbestos siding. The interior had no finishes, except for a bathroom door without a lock. The kitchen had no drawers or countertops. The living room floor was just plywood, and the bedroom on the first floor was covered in unraveled linoleum. It’s safe to say that my dad “saved” $21,000 when he bought the house, but he’s had to spend a lot more on renovations since then.

9. Beating the Heat on a Budget

User: cerem86
I’m from Georgia, and it gets incredibly hot and humid there. But my dad wouldn’t turn on the air conditioning until it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. He bought Styrofoam pads with metal foil on one side and insisted on placing them in all the windows and doors to keep the heat out and save money on cooling.

We also had a natural spring in our city where you can drink the water for free. During the hot summer days, there would be a line of people waiting to get cold water. My dad would show up with 32 five-gallon bottles to fill “just in case the spring dries up tomorrow.” Talk about being prepared!

10. A Surprise Inheritance

User: [deleted user]
My parents had a lot of nice things, but I never seemed to have much for myself. When my grandma passed away, my parents took my inheritance without saying a word. All I got from them every year was a $50 Walmart gift card. It was tough. I didn’t even have a phone of my own.

But one day, while my parents were on a cruise, I received a letter. It had a clear instruction: “Do not open when they are around.” I quickly checked my surroundings and tore open the envelope. The words on the paper shocked me: “Hi Mary, this is your real dad. I’ve been working hard to recover the money your grandma left for you. Come to the address provided, and let’s make your life better by claiming what’s rightfully yours.”

11. The Unexpected Gift Card

User: [deleted user]
My grandfather was known for being incredibly cheap. When he passed away, I inherited a gift card worth $30. For some reason, I decided to use it instead of giving it away.

To my surprise, when I handed the card to the cashier, her face turned pale. She couldn’t believe what she saw.

Cashier: “That’s not possible. Where did you get that?”

Me: “Uh… My grandfather had it.”

The cashier’s excitement was palpable as she shouted for everyone to hear. Apparently, the gift card was part of a secret contest that had been going on for ten years in the store. And I was the lucky winner! The gift card had a million-dollar prize that had gone unclaimed for years.

This unexpected windfall changed my life in an instant. My grandpa’s “stingy” gift turned out to be a fortune that would shape my future.

Being a cheapskate doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally splurge on your loved ones. A small treat or a thoughtful gift can show them that you care. Remember, it’s not about spending a lot of money, but about making moments memorable. So go ahead, share these hilarious cheapskate stories with your family and friends!