General Question

Harp's avatar

Nominees for the Penny-Pinchers Hall of Fame?

Asked by Harp (19142points) June 11th, 2008

What examples of extreme frugality have you come across?

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

There is and has been always my mother and the infamous tea bag. After her cuppa, she would put the used bag in the refridge. Days later we used to find these dried-up dead objects in little dishes. And of course, if one made tea with them, all you’d get would be the tannic acid.

And she still has Max Factor make-up from 1932–33, saved from her two years in the MGM movies..(Financially my mom could afford fresh tea and eye shadow…she has the little box w. the mirror on the lid and the teeny brush.)

witchhazel's avatar

I had a roommate back in college that was as cheap as they come. She bought everything from Walmart because it was cheap. Things like furniture, electronics ect. Then when the furniture would break down after a short peroid of time she would wonder why. I tried explaining that if you want quality, you have to pay more for it, but it fell on deaf ears. Nothing against people who buy their stuff at Walmart, but it is made cheaply.

Gailcalled’s mother reminds me of my grandparents. I think that most people that grew up or lived in the depression era are like that. They would take crackers and sugar packets from resturants, wouldn’t throw anything away because they might need it later (even if it was broken), kept aluminum foil, plastic bags, ect.

bearfair's avatar

My ex-boyfriend told me this story about his uncle Timmy: When uncle Timmy and his family would stay in a hotel, he would take out the cardboard core of a roll of toilet paper and put it back on the holder, and then take the toilet paper to use at home. He would do this every day they stayed there, so at the end he’d have three or four free rolls of free toilet paper.

Also, where his parents live you can get free refills of popcorn at the movie theater. His dad would save old popcorn containers, bring them into the movie, and then about 20 minutes into the movie would bring the empty container to the front to get a “refill”.

I love these stories. Like gailcalled’s mother, they can afford both toilet paper and popcorn, but why pay for them when you have these awesome little schemes to get them for free?

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

I have nothing to add, but I wanted to actually say “Great Question!” instead of just clicking the link. :)

Trustinglife's avatar

Fun to read the stories… what was the motivation to ask the question, Harp? Just curiosity?

Harp's avatar

Curiousity, yes, but sparked by a recollection of two guys I worked for in the pastry biz. At one shop, there was a switch on the main electrical panel of the kitchen that controled power to a vent hood (there was a separate switch that actually turned the hood on, so this was just a switch for the circuit itself). This main switch had a tiny LED that lit up to indicate that it was on, but the boss insisted that it be turned off every night because he didn’t want to pay for the electricity that the LED burned.

Another guy I worked for used to go dumpster diving behind the supermarket to salvage old fruit to make his ice cream. One of us would then spend an hour sorting through it and trimming off as much mold and mush as we could (we inevtably trimmed off far too much for his taste)

gailcalled's avatar

The Depression era mentality IS interesting. When I was living at home and after my father started to run his own company, he bought my mother a fur coat. She (in the fur coat) drove us around in her Mercedes (rented from the Co. for $1/year) and looked for a parking meter that already had (in those days) a nickel in it for the hour. I used to go purple with fury -

Today I took my 93 year old mother to lunch. She insisted in taking 1/3 of a quesadilla and a t. of sour cream home. I was calm…so I guess that I have learned something over time.

boffin's avatar

I’m drinking Milwaukee’s Best… $11.95 a 30 pack…
What more can I do?

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