My girlfriend and I were browsing the shelves at Walmart when we suddenly heard a random voice, “That’s why they call me Mr. Cheap!” Lol! We were both a little startled as we turned to look. What we saw was a frazzly-haired older gentleman talking to himself as he was putting something back on the shelf. Apparently his friends called him “Mr. Cheap” and he did not want to disappoint by paying too much for Walmart’s stocked inventory.
Crazy Examples of My Extreme Cheapness
While this man may have had the quality of extreme cheapness, I bet I still have him beat. And, I bet that I am cheaper than most of you readers as well. Maybe even cheaper than your toothless grandma! Let me attempt to prove my case with 25 examples of my extreme cheapness:
#1. I Save Money on Heat by Setting the Thermostat at 63 Degrees – Many people set their heat at 70 degrees in the winter. At that temperature I could walk around in a T-shirt, which just seems a little too hot for the winter. At 63 degrees I’m saving money and get to wear my neato sweaters! 😉 Oh, and at night I let the temp get down to 55 degrees because I’m under a blanket anyway!
#2. I Drive a $2,500 Car Even Though I have $17,000 in the Bank – I have purchased nicer cars in my life, but the novelty always wears off and I’m left wanting something else. A couple of years ago I bought a $2,500 Honda and it has been the best car ever! Great gas mileage, hardly any repairs, and cheap insurance – it’s my dream car and I love it!
#3. I Pay $0.00 For Cable – I have never paid for cable in my life and I really don’t mind being without the channels. I listen to baseball on the radio, watch the Lions on Fox (the only channel I get with my antenna), and watch movies and shows through Netflix (which is a mere $8 a month).
#4. I Rarely Go Out to Eat, and Only Spend $15 When I Do – Restaurants are such a rip-off that I typically avoid them entirely. When it is absolutely unavoidable, I order cheap and drink water.
#5. I Avoided a Driving Range Date For the Entire Summer – I’m not proud of this one, but I fessed up to my girlfriend last week so now I can safely tell you. I was trying to get Liz into golf last summer, but she got more gung-ho about it than I thought she would and immediately wanted to go to the driving range to practice. At $6 per person, that would have been $12 gone in a matter of 20 minutes or so. I avoided it all summer because I didn’t want to spend the money on golf balls that I couldn’t keep. It’s sad I know, but I told you I had extreme cheapness!
#6. I Borrow Instead of Buy – Instead of owning various tools that I only use once a year, I borrow from friends and family. Instead of renting a car when mine breaks down, I borrow my parents (and gift them with a gift card and a full tank or gas – it’s still much cheaper than a rental). And, when I decided to start lifting again, I borrowed some dumbbells from my friend (he clearly wasn’t using them anyway). You get the point. I borrow when I can to save money and space.
#7. If I Have to Buy, I Buy Used – If I find myself borrowing something too frequently, then I start looking for one to buy, but certainly not from a retail store. Nope. Instead, I look for a great deal on a used item. In fact, almost every single item in my living room was purchased used: the couch, the piano, the coffee table, and the Christmas tree!
#8. In the Last Two Years I Have Spent Less Than $200 on Vacations – When I absolutely had to get away from the daily grind I drove my gas sipping Honda and pitched a tent in a campground. In total after 2 or 3 vacations, my bill is still less than $200.
#9. I Refuse to Pay For a Lawn Service or Snow Removal – I am 29 years old and am in good shape. There is absolutely no reason for me to pay someone else to do my yard work for me. I own a reel mower (you know, the old school kind from the 1950’s) and a shovel. I’m all set.
#10. My Favorite Hobby is Making Money – Money has always intrigued me. There are so many different ways to earn it and sometimes you can actually earn money with money. It’s fascinating! When I started this blog in 2010, I coupled my fascination with earning money and telling others about it with this blog! It keeps me out of trouble, keeps me learning, and it provides me with a few bucks every month!
#11. I Paid a Total of $16 for my Glasses and Lenses – About three years ago my dog got a hold of my glasses and absolutely ruined them. I needed a new pair but definitely didn’t want to fork out another $200 for the next pair. So, I took my search online and found Zenni Optical. $16 later and I had an entirely new pair of glasses (frames and prescription lenses included!). I still wear these glasses today.
#12. I Have Never Spent a Dime on Music – By growing up in the Internet age, I have learned to never spend money on music. When I was young, I used to download music illegally (as we all did!), but these days I am content with Pandora and Youtube for my free tunes.
#13. I Dig Toast Out of My Toaster with a Spoon – One side of my toaster stopped popping up about 6 months ago. Instead of getting it fixed or buying a new one for $25, I decided to just keep a wooden spoon handy to dig them out with. When the toaster stops toasting, then I might consider getting a new one.
#14. I Spend $32 a Week on Groceries – I basically eat the same thing every week and my weekly grocery bill is typically around $32. Here is a list of what I buy as well as the approximate cost per item:
- 2 dozen eggs = $3
- 2 gallons of milk = $5
- 3 boxes of Raisin Brand Crunch = $6
- 2 loaves of bread = $3
- 1 dozen English muffins = $2
- Lunch meat = $1
- Cheese = $1
- Pizza = $2
- 1 dozen granola bars = $3
- Bananas = $2
- Granola = $2
- Yogurt = $2
It is extremely basic, but it is plenty for me to survive on!
#15. I Always Ask For a Discount – I ask for a discount everywhere I go. Just by asking, I have received a discount off a regular priced item at stores like Big Lots, Menards, and Best Buy! Oh, and I ALWAYS ask for a discount at thrift stores. Sure, the price is cheap to begin with, but it can always be cheaper! 🙂
#16. I Avoid Working From Home to Save on Heat – As a financial analyst, I work on my computer a lot and do not get pulled into too many meetings. For this reason, I could really work from home at least two days a week. However, I avoid this because it would cost me $5 or more to heat my house each day in the winter time. Instead of bumping my heat up to 63 and work from home, I would rather drive the short distance to work and keep my heat at 55 while I’m gone.
#17. I Rode My Bicycle Everywhere Last June to Avoid Gassing Up My Car – I made a goal for myself to avoid the gas pump in June, so naturally, I rode my bike everywhere! After putting over 300 miles on my bike in a single month I accomplished my goal! Sometimes extreme cheapness is kind of fun! 🙂
#18. I Got My Work to Pay for Grad School – Somehow I managed to find a company that would actually pay for my grad school if I decided to go back and get my MBA. It was pretty much a no brainer, so I started classes again and finished my MBA back in April.
#19. I Extend the Life of My Dress Pants With a Sharpie – Instead of throwing away pants when the belt loops start to fray, I take out a black Sharpie and draw on the gray frayed part of the loop. It’s cheap, easy, and my pants suddenly look like new again.
#20. I Never Buy Clothes Without a Discount Code – You should know that I would never pay full price for anything. But, even if something is on sale it doesn’t mean that I can’t save even more money on that item. With Retailmenot.com or BradsDeals.com, I can often find another discount or free shipping.
#21. When My Shirts Wear Out I Use Them as Rags – Most people donate their clothes when they get sick of them. I wear my clothes until they start getting holes in them, and then I use them for outdoor rags when I work on my car or lawn equipment. I keep my shirt for a longer period than most and I don’t ever need to buy rags!
#22. Before I Take My Car Into the Shop, I First Fail at Fixing it with YouTube’s Help – For some reason I always think that I can fix my own car by watching a YouTube video and doing exactly as they do. Honestly, this hardly ever works, but I still always give it a shot to try and save money.
#23. I Pulled a Dresser Out of the Dump and Still Use It Today – I have enough money in the bank to buy over 100 dressers, but I would much rather pull one out of the dump. First of all, it’s free, and secondly, it gives me a great extreme cheapness story!
#24. I Regularly Singe My Arm Hair on my Grill – My grill has a starter, but it’s been broken for years. To light it, I need to use a click lighter and stick it down into the grill grate. When it catches fire, it poofs a huge fireball at me and almost always singes some hair off my knuckles and my arm.
#25. I Drive 30 Minutes Out of the Way for Free Golf at a Crappy Course – I could golf near my house for $10, but I would rather spend $2 on gas and drive an extra 30 minutes for free golf (my parents have a membership that extends to their kids). Yup, every time, and I will do this next summer as well.
So what do you think? Did I beat out Mr. Cheap? How about you? Do you have extreme cheapness?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.