Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Extreme Cheapskate?

Okay, first off, I do not watch that show (anymore), because frankly, some of those people are flipping disgusting.  I do not want to live in a world in which dental floss is re-used.  *shudder*

Now, there are things that I spend money on, without reservation.  The cats, for one.  I firmly believe that once you take a pet into your home, it is your responsibility to care for that pet, for better and for worse.  (See:  Pony, the five-thousand-dollar cat.)  Also?  Vacations.  When I go on vacation, if I want the lobster, I'm ordering it.  If I want to buy the giant wooden flamingo, I'm doing it.  If I want to go sky-diving (okay, that's never going to happen, but you know what I mean), I'm buying the ticket.
But!  I do have some ... cheapskate-ish tendencies.  I'm not proud of it, and sometimes I wonder if I'm a little too thrifty.  I spent many years on the low end of the income scale, and am still not that far from the bottom, so saving money any way I can is second nature to me by now.  But am I too cheap?  You be the judge:

Instead of buying individual bottles of soda, I buy two-liter bottles, and fill up smaller bottles with them. 

Same with snacks for work.  Instead of buying snack-size packs, I buy the big bags and parcel them into baggies.  Oh, and it goes without saying that I brown-bag it.  ALWAYS.

AND I do the "buy the family-pack of meat, portion it out, and freeze it" thing.  Of course.

I can't use up a loaf of bread before it goes moldy, so I freeze it in eight-slice portions and thaw as needed.

I've never had a manicure, or a pedicure, or a massage.  Well, no massage mainly because I don't like being touched by strangers.

The vast majority of my clothes comes from thrift stores.  I also buy furniture at antiques stores; I just picked up an awesome, solid wood, french-provincial style, five-drawer dresser at an antiques store for seventy bucks.  I do have my limits; I will not buy underwear or swimwear (oh, ICK) or upholstered furniture (I do not need bedbugs, thankyouverymuch) used.

Okay, so, the topper has to be garbage service.  My town does not offer municipal garbage collection, so you have to hire an independent hauler, the cheapest of which is twenty bucks a month.  Well, unless I have a ton of fosters, I only put out one bag of garbage a week, which means it would cost FIVE BUCKS A BAG to get rid of my garbage.  I'm sorry, NO.  So!  The city where I work has a pay-as-you-go garbage removal system where you pre-pay for specially marked garbage bags, fill them, and put them out to the curb, as opposed to paying a monthly fee.  The special bags cost seventy-five cents a bag.  Hmmm, do I want to pay five bucks, or seventy-five cents, to get rid of my bag of garbage?  Yep, that's right, I buy the city bags, and my garbage comes to work with me once a week and goes out to the curb at the office.

How about you?  Are you cheap, or are you Dolly Levi?  ("Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow.")  Enquiring minds want to know.


bridgett said...

There are things that I don't spend much money on (haircuts, clothing, handbags, shoes) that other women seem to dump a lot of money into...but I spend the money I save on things like tickets to live dance performances and private school tuition for my kid. To me, the "moving potato chips from a big bag to many little bags" and "freezing meat from the family pak" is just something I've done since I was a kid. It doesn't register as a special thrifty thing because it takes so little effort to save dollars I can use elsewhere on things I like more.

~~Silk said...

I'm with you and Bridgett, and I am very comfortable financially. I didn't get there by spending a fortune on hair, nails, fake boobs, and showy things. I'm not interested in paying to impress others. I've bought most of my furniture and pretties at auctions, almost all shoes come from Shoe Town. I hit sales. Some of my clothes are 30 years old.

[Yeah, I bought a fancy car four years ago, but that's after driving used cars and tin cans all my life. Now that the warranty and maintenance plans are ending, I'm thinking about trading it in for something cheaper to maintain. The Chevy Camero convertible is real purty, and it's almost a straight trade.]

We shouldn't sneer at people who do pay for crap. The crap sellers have to live, too. So that's just money going around in sideways circles.

James P. said...

Lord, girl, your energy just astounds.

Can we see a photo someday of the new/old dresser you bought?

Domestic Kate said...

Like you, I pick and choose my thriftiness. I hated that I had to pay a separate fee for garbage pickup when I lived where you do (or nearby).

I usually don't have cable (we're splurging now because our antenna doesn't do crap where we live now). I don't do mani/pedis unless it's someone else's idea. I do get massages, though; I consider massages to be along the lines of exercise and good diet.

Currently, I'm trying really hard to find the best deal on groceries. I don't know why I'm obsessed with cheap groceries, but I am. Actually, I'm trying to be more conscious of my spending habits in general right now. But I tend to splurge more when it's for someone else. I've overdrafted my checking account by donating to a scholarship fund for students. I'll spend a lot on a gift if I know that the person really needs or will appreciate it, but I have a hard time splurging on myself.

rockygrace said...

But ... but ... Bridgett, you're a professor! Everybody knows that professors make the big bucks, and that's why college tuition is so expensive! *ducks*

~Silk, one thing I will not do is drive a junker. I've been stranded on the side of the road too many times to play that game anymore. That said, I'm fairly sure that my Hyundai Elantra would be not be considered a luxury ride.

My boss always drives either a Mercedes or a BMW. He's always, "Yeah, they cost more, but they'll go for 300,000 miles!" The problem with THAT argument is (a) He beats on his cars, so he never gets much more than 100K out of one, and (b) Oil changes alone are like a hundred bucks a piece. Yikes.

but yeah, I'm not knocking people who DO like to spend money. I just can't afford it. :)

Ginny, I'll try to get a pic of the dresser. JUST FOR YOU. :)

and Kate, I like shopping for other people, too. Is fun!

~~Silk said...

I think that what "we" recognize and a lot of people, including those who reuse dental floss, don't, is that there's a difference between price and value.

rockygrace said...

Amen, ~~Silk.