"When I was a college freshman, a bunch of friends on my floor would all go out drinking as a group every weekend (like freshman always do), and 3 am Sunday morning would always find us in Denny's. Eventually, we noticed that the staff looked really annoyed whenever the 9 or 10 of us would show up, and we could never figure out why.
Until one night we caught one guy in our group taking the tip money off of the table and putting it in his pocket. Apparently, he'd been using OUR TIP MONEY to pay HIS TAB, and he'd been doing it the entire time we'd been making our post-drinking trips. When confronted, he explained how we obviously had more money than we needed (we tipped well to compensate for our wasted idiocy), and his money was tight, so he deserved help paying for his food.
To this day, he doesn't recognize that what he did was wrong."
"I did fire-breathing for renaissance fairs for a while.
One day a few friends and I are riding around before heading to the city to go to a club. George, Chris, Matt, and myself. George was driving on some country roads and I had a couple of drinks earlier. Kind of tipsy, not a huge deal.
It starts getting dark and Chris asks me if I would show him some of the fire-breathing stuff I can do. We park on the deserted road and he tosses me a can of Zippo fluid. Not my normal fuel, I was used to paraffin. I get out of the car and stand 20 feet in front of it. Wrap a stick in some cloth, coat with Zippo fluid and light it. I put a little fluid in my mouth, hold the torch up and begin the largest fireball I had ever done.
There are a couple of things to note when using Zippo fluid over paraffin. First, it is explosive. It erupted into an enormous flame. Second, the can is deceptive. It pours into the mouth faster than you would imagine. Third, it makes your mouth go a bit numb.
Here I am, deserted road, a little tipsy, enormous fireball shooting from my numb mouth. I start running out of breath before I am out of fluid. Tipsy me did not think fast enough to pull the torch away and the flame reached the reservoir of explosive fluid in my mouth. I turned into Ghost Rider for a moment.
Finally - this is where the stingy part comes in. George sees my head burst into flames and looks for the nearest liquid. Chris has a one liter Dr. Pepper. George screams for Chris to hand over the bottle to assist in putting me out. Chris looks at him, looks at me, and starts chugging the thing, rather than give it up to extinguish me. He claimed he didn't see the 6'2 flaming person outside and thought George simply wanted to steal the soda. But I didn't buy that at the time and I still don't.
Luckily the flames had cleared my head and I was able to use my coat to pat the fire out. Worst that came of it was the burnt hair smell, thinner eyebrows, and retiring from the lucrative fire-breathing profession. Apparently, when I got it out, I actually blew out a puff of black smoke Wile E Coyote style."
"I used to work at CVS and about a month after Christmas, all of the leftover Christmas stuff was on sale for 90% off. This lady comes to the counter with a bunch of stuff, including some adhesive labels for presents, the ones with the 'From: To:' and a snowman or whatever on them and they ring up $2.70, 90% off is $0.27
She says 'Oh, those are supposed to be $2.30 they are ringing up wrong.'
So I tell her, 'Oh, you have the nicer more expensive ones, but there is only a 4 cent difference so it doesn't really matter.'
She goes to the back of the store to switch them for the labels that are 4 cents cheaper. Normally I wouldn't care, but she was the last customer in the store and we were supposed to be closed 10 minutes before she got there."
"My old roommate is the cheapest person I've ever met. He would never buy necessities - stuff like toothpaste, toilet paper, soap...
One day I stopped buying everything and once everything ran out, I went to my mom's house for the week. I came back and nothing had been purchased.
When I asked him how he was wiping his behind, he pointed to the sink!"
"My mom won a radio contest with this story:
When she was a young woman and engaged to my father, they took a trip to visit his parents who lived in a small town. Now, both my dad's parents grew up during the Great Depression. They're used to saving and penny-pinching to begin with.
My dad's mother offers my mom a drink. She accepts and is given a drink with ice and a slice of lime.
Upon finishing the drink, she asks my grandmother what to do with it (i.e. put it in the sink, or rinse it out). My grandmother takes the glass from her, rinses off the ice cubes and lime, puts them in a plastic baggie, and puts them back in the freezer and fridge."
"I was drinking heavily on July 4th last year. Normally I don't smoke, but whenever I drink I might light one up. Anyway, I go over to someone I knew from high school who just lit their smoke and ask if I could use his lighter for a second. He says 'Oh come on man! Why are all these people wasting my butane!?' I just walked away.
I had never heard something so cheap in my life."
"I have this friend who is notorious for being cheap/stingy/or just generally wasting the money of others. A couple things she has done:
Last year for her birthday, she wanted everyone to go to Harry Potter World down in Orlando. Her birthday was in April, we started planning this in December. She said that she was going to pay for everyone's ticket into the park, all we would need to do is split the costs of gas and the hotel, and of course, our own food. We kept asking if she was sure she wanted to pay for three tickets, in addition to her share of everything else, as she was a pizza delivery driver and typically didn't make a lot of money. She kept insisting and pushing that she do this nice thing for everyone. She had five months to come up with the money, and the day before we leave, she says she can only pay for two tickets. Which in itself wasn't all that big of a deal, but it was annoying that she waited until the last minute to say anything. Since I made the most money, I volunteered to pay for my own ticket, in addition to the fact that I was paying for my 'share' of the hotel room even though I was going to be staying with my boyfriend in his dorm nearby.
A little background info - It's been in my experience that when on various road trips with friends, I always up spending more than everyone else on gas and such simply because I make more money. After a while it kinda gets old. Yeah, I make more money, but I also have a lot more bills to pay than everyone else. I don't live at home with my parents who pay all my bills while I work a little part-time job - I work full time, have my own place, have my own car, I pay for every single thing that I own and consume. So while I make more money, I don't have as much dispensable income as everyone else.
Now, here's where things start to go sour. I started thinking about it, and I realized that if she didn't have enough money for that last ticket, did she have enough money for her share of gas, food, etc? Was I going to have to cover for all of her expenses? I messaged her back and voiced my concerns. I explained that I didn't have a problem with buying my own ticket and even paying for a share of a hotel room I wouldn't even be sleeping in, but that I can't pay for all the gas from Virginia to Florida and pay for all of our food, and what about souvenirs? You can't go to Harry Potter World without buying souvenirs!
But she assured me that she could pay for her share of the other stuff. Well, turns out she couldn't. I spent $200 on gas that weekend, I paid for her dinner one night at the hotel, I bought her a rather nice birthday present, I bought her a nice cake. I went out of my way to make sure she had a good birthday because I am somewhat of a push-over and I didn't want her to have a crappy birthday weekend EVEN THOUGH she had five months to come up with the money that SHE VOLUNTEERED to spend.
Fast forward to December for my birthday - She didn't get me anything. She didn't even buy me one stupid drink at the bar. When everyone came over to my place to pre-game before the bar, everyone brought a bottle of something to share. She brought one, too, but kept it to herself. I understand that times get tight for some folks and I was in no way expecting anything close to what I had spent on her birthday, but she wasn't even in a good mood that night. She was detached and moody and evasive.
On another friend's birthday, she had apparently volunteered to DD everyone home from the club. At the house party, before we went to the club, she was pouting all night until someone told her that they would DD instead. Once she realized she could drink, then she was just the happiest person on the planet all of a sudden. Way to be a team player!
A couple of months ago, she and I were supposed to go see Disney Princesses on Ice. I told her the discounted tickets I got were for Wednesday, the 23rd. I told her the day and the date. She told me she had off that night, so I purchased our tickets and she said she would pay me back. Wednesday the 23rd rolls around and she's like 'Um, I have to work tonight.' I couldn't find anyone else to go with, so that was more money wasted. She said she'd pay me back, but she hasn't yet.
One last example. She texted me last weekend and said she and some friends had free tickets to a comedy club in a city 45 minutes away, and wanted to know if I wanted to go (so she wouldn't be the only female in the group). Now, I know she's in between jobs right now and she hates driving her car because she 'doesn't trust the brakes.' I had a sneaking suspicion that she just needed someone to drive her there. I get paid every two weeks and I had to make the gas in my tank last until the next payday, so I told her that. She texts back an hour later 'Oh...maybe some other time then.' Yep, she just needed a ride. I guess she couldn't have asked someone who was already going for a ride, but if I can't drive, then I can't go. Good times.
I don't even want her to pay me back. I'm over the 'money' aspect of it, but I'm tired of her being so selfish and shady and inconsiderate and WASTEFUL. Not everything we do has to revolve around money, if she doesn't have any, then just say so and we can go to someone's house to watch a movie. I understand money problems, I still have to borrow money from my parents to pay medical bills I'm behind on sometimes. Stuff happens, I know that. But she doesn't need to waste everyone else's money when she doesn't have any."
"I think my grandpa might win:
Opticians were having some sort of promotion at the mall, where they'd measure one eye for free, and if you needed glasses, you'd get a discount on the rest of the job. He got his eye measured, figured out he needed glasses, and just walked away with his single-eye prescription. Later, he sent my aunt to go buy him some glasses (as cheaply as possible) with that prescription. The glasses-makers sent her back, obviously, because they needed the other measurement. He signed a letter guaranteeing them that his eyes were, indeed, the same prescription.
When he went through a pair of glasses, he went and got new ones, but when the new ones went, he took both pairs and taped them one in front of the other, 'doubling up' his glasses, with the arms taped all along their lengths to keep them together. He still uses these.
He re-uses every sort of paper - bills, junk mail, newspaper, etc. - as writing paper. He just writes in the opposite direction to the original - so, landscape instead of portrait, for example. Or, he uses up all the margins.
He used to drive a delivery van for my uncle's bakery. He would drive like an absolute lunatic because as far as he knew, getting there sooner meant the engine was running for less time, and he was using less gas. Also, he would shut off the engine when going down hills. Every time.
He hasn't bought clothes since the 1960s or so.
The only bicycle he ever owned, which he still owns, was an absolute wreck of a beater from the 19-teens or so. So his bicycle is something like 102 years old now, though he's too old to ride it anyway, so I guess that's ok."
"There is this chick I am acquainted with who has very expensive tastes and she absolutely expects people to purchase expensive gift items for her, yet she is excruciatingly cheap herself.
When going out to eat, she will say, 'I'm not hungry, I'm just going to have water,' and then proceed to pick food off of everyone's plates under the pretense of 'trying it' to see if she likes it. She never really did it to me, as I'd probably smack her with my fork and scold her like a child, but she'd do it to most other people.
Her methods of repayment were also ridiculous, at best. Her line of thinking is basically like, 'I said I would pay you back $30 for the fireworks that I asked you to buy for me, so here is a $2 frappucino. Now we're even!' And she will not hesitate to call you a bad friend if you try and tell her that a $2 coffee is not an adequate method of repayment."
"A guy I used to hang out with, named Darren, called our mutual friend and asked him to go to the comic book store. The friend said 'no thanks,' but Darren insisted, and said he'd come to pick him up shortly. Our friend relents and goes with Darren. Halfway there, Darren turns to him and says, 'You owe me $5 for the gas down and back.' He was a miserable prick.
Another time, Darren was invited to a BBQ at my house, I was serving steaks. He had to work and could not make it. A couple weeks later, he drops by, and says he is here for 'the steak I owe him.' He was being perfectly serious.
Another time, we all decided to throw in some money, buy pizzas and drinks, and rent a PS2. So we all toss in about $15 each, Darren shows up, and says, 'I got a discount on the PS2 rental, so that counts as my share' and refused to chip in."
"My parents visited me in Sacramento from Boston. Boston has excellent public transport, but in Sacramento it's expensive and infrequent. We get on a bus and my father loses his mind when he hears that we can't get transfers and that bus fare is $2.50. He starts complaining and the driver mentions that we can get day passes for $6 each. So my dad makes us get those.
We go to Old Sacramento and hang out for a few hours. By that time we're tired and want to go back home. So we're waiting for the bus back when my dad realizes that taking two trips on the bus would have cost us $5 each, but we paid the extra dollar for the day pass.
So he made me and my mom get on the bus and ride it out to the end of the route. Then we waited for the returning bus and took that to the other end. And then we finally took the bus back to my apartment."
"I had a friend who:
1) Only ate food that he was offered for free or that he dumpster-dove for.
2) Bought the cheapest soap possible and only bathed once a week because otherwise, according to him, 'the soap runs out too quickly.'
3) Only owned one pair of shoes that he found in a dumpster three years prior and were held together with duct tape.
4) Lived off of Swiss Miss hot chocolate powder (just the powder, no added water) for a week when he couldn't dumpster dive due to being too weak (malnourishment...some friends eventually fed him for a few days to get him back on his feet).
5) Stopped having coitus with his girlfriend because he decided that he didn't feel like spending money on rubbers and therefore would simply give it up.
He also had a savings account that he had ready access to with over $10k in it!
Cheapest guy I ever knew in my life."
"I used to work at Taco Bell as a manager until last September.
Working so many hours, you become familiar with certain clientele, the orders, the cars, voices, those jerks who always say something is missing from their order when I know they're lying because you were the one who put the stuff in the bag. That kind of person.
And then there are these people: There is an older lady who comes to the drive-thru occasionally close to the end of dinner rush with her adopted Asian daughter. She will literally sit at the speaker for ten minutes asking so many questions about all the items on the menu and her daughter is her echo: everything her mom says, she says it in a voice that is ten times higher. She wants the most complicated things but doesn't want to pay for extras. She really makes me want to blow my head off, full metal jacket style. But this is the part that gets me really angry: she will tell her daughter to get out of the stinky, early nineties Buick and run in front of her car and pick up the change on the ground outside the drive-thru windows. The little girl says things like, 'Mommy there's only a nickel, do you need a nickel?'
'Yes I do!'
Hey! I dropped that stuff on accident and had to give out another one. I'm supposed to go outside and put it back in the drawer so it's not short. You cheap jerk."
"My family is definitely in the 'Scottish' stereotype. For example, my granddad would empty oil out of the car engine block and put it in the tractors, then take it out of that and put it in the lawnmower, down through increasingly smaller engines then into the chainsaw. He never understood why he had to keep replacing his chainsaws.
He also would get engine belts for free out of broken stuff or for cheap at garage sales, and we had a section in our barn that was just a wall of different engine belt sizes. One day, the belt driving the lawn mower's power assist snapped when I was mowing, and he sent me into the barn find a replacement. I couldn't find anything in the right size (it was mostly car engine belts) so I had to use electrical tape to extend the circumference of the drive wheel so the smallest belt would work. In the end, I wrapped it in twine which gave it enough friction to kinda work.
We always had a fire burning in the fireplace, year round, and granddad would burn everything he could since he wouldn't pay for garbage service (the joy of living on a farm our of the city). I think I finally convinced him not to burn so much plastic since it was really foul smelling and hurt the environment. Fortunately, the city we lived near was very into recycling, and recycling fires off the 'must save everything' neurons in his brain so he started to recycle nearly everything he could, and quite often, things he really shouldn't, like broken mercury-vapor light bulbs.
My dad isn't quite so bad, although getting him to throw anything away is like telling someone to throw money down the drain. I think it must be genetic because I catch myself doing crazy stuff like hoarding used tin foil, reusing zip-lock bags and never throwing out shoes even though they only have a couple of holes in them (and not that big, just don't wear them on a rainy day!) My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I'm much better than my dad and granddad. I guess the positive side is that I have always been good at saving cash so I can buy nice things when I want them."
"I work at a country club. These people are the stingiest bunch I've encountered.
There are two restaurants in the club, a fancy one and a mid-priced one.
On Tuesday nights there are draft specials at the fancy restaurant ($1 drafts) and two for one burgers at the mid-price restaurant. Some members like to go to the fancy restaurant, pick up their drinks and then walk on over to the mid-priced restaurant to gorge on burgers. They're technically not supposed to be doing this but we can't say NO to the members. There's one family that comes in EVERY week on Tuesdays and no other day.
The same members also like to complain about tipping.
I hate my job."