43 Cheapskates So Cheap, Calling Them Frugal Would Be A Compliment, As Shared Online

43 Cheapskates So Cheap, Calling Them Frugal Would Be A Compliment, As Shared Online

"Hey, lookie here, I saved $3 from a $12 dollar purchase!"

No, you lost $9.

Now, lost might be too strong of a word, but one that definitely stresses the idea of necessity. Do you really need it? And when you start asking yourself that, you might fall into a backward spiral and frugality might turn into just plain ol' cheapskate.

And there's a myriad of ways how that can manifest. Take this Reddit thread for example. Someone there asked when does "frugal" cross the line to "cheapskate"? and folks kept on going with the various methods, tactics and straight up rooster moves people can pull just to avoid paying... well, anything, really.

Scroll down to check out the best and most spot-on answers, and while you're at it, share some of your experiences, thoughts, or just straight up social commentary in the comment section below!

More Info: Reddit


My step-dad is the biggest, most embarrassing cheapskate I know so here are a couple examples of the most extreme things he does:
-reuses paper towels by hanging them out to dry in my mom's front yard
-uses free tires off of totaled cars whenever one of ours needs replacing (which, if you think this is a good idea, I've had two near death experiences to prove otherwise)
-rewashes my siblings disposable swim diapers, again hanging them out to dry in the front yard
-uses wash clothes as toilet paper and only flushes for #2
-puts bricks in the toilet tank so it uses less water, leaving the toilet constantly smelling like p**s
-refuses to use A.C. at anytime while living in South Florida and counts down from 3 when anyone opens the fridge
-refuses to purchase gifts for anyone unless they were procured at a garage sale (meaning he often leaves my mom and his kids high and dry for birthdays/holidays/anniversaries)
-constantly pulls over on the side of the road to dumpster dive: his favorite finds are a pair of temperpedic slippers (ew!) and a wooden futon which I'm afraid to be in the same room with
-when a door hinge broke in one of my siblings rooms 5 years ago, he refused to pay for a replacement and instead hung up a shower curtain (still there to this day)
-tries to sneak home food from buffets, after paying for his meal with a coupon

And my personal favorite...
-asking patrons at a restaurant if they're finished with their food mid-meal so he can take home the leftovers

Basically, if your frugal actions are making the people in your life embarrassed or uncomfortable, you've gone too far.

Image credits: modestlymousie


Frugal is doing a year's worth of research to buy the best priced, longest lasting air conditioning unit available to the average consumer.

Cheapskate is not letting anyone actually use it. In Texas. In the summer.

Dad please I don't want to die of heatstroke at 20 years old.

Image credits: arivin12


So you know how when you have a get-together where people will be drinking, most people bring a few drinks to share, right? Or contribute in one way or another? Bring some beers, or a bottle of booze, or mixers, whatever?

I buy a huge bottle of vodka, my friend brings ice, and we ask our notoriously cheap friend to bring some orange juice so we can all enjoy some screwdrivers.

Upon arrival this m**********r pulls out an 8 oz recycled Poland Spring plastic bottle that he filled like halfway with some orange juice.

And it should be noted that this friend of ours is by FAR the most wealthy of ALL of us.

Yeah, cheapskate.

Image credits: SkinnyTestaverde


When you avoid your share of the Bill. When you inconvenience others to save money. When you go to even moderate lengths to justify either one of these behaviors.

Frugal folks make PERSONAL consumer decisions that have Long term money saving benefits. Cheapskates pass their bill on to others.

Image credits: I_assed_you_a_Q


Being frugal is about taking more control over your money. Being a cheapskate is your money taking more control over you.

Image credits: PhoneSteveGaveToTony


My grandpa will buy a roll of paper towels (like the cheapest single roll you can get) and then have my grandma rip off each sheet and cut that into fourths for "napkins"

Napkins that are already napkins cost like.... 5 cents more than the roll of paper towels.

It takes her like 2 hours because she's becoming arthritic.

Nobody else sees why this is stupid.

Image credits: mini6ulrich66


I had a roommate who was very practical. She picked up *any* change she found, even just pennies. She opted for cheaper options on anything where it didn't significantly diminish the quality. She even built a tiny house because she didn't believe that she really needed to spend much on a place to live. It worked well for her.

Then, there was my *other* roommate- conveniently, at the same time, all three of us were living together. Aside from thieving, getting actual furniture from the literal dumpster, and a whole bunch of other goodies, the story of *how* I came to live with him is probably the best story to showcase his nature.

There was him and two other guys living in the apartment before I moved in. There was another friend of theirs staying on the couch while he was looking for a job and a place to live. He was staying there for free, no biggie.

I was homeless at this point and had been sleeping in my car in the middle of winter (below freezing at night), so I jumped at the opportunity to sleep indoors, even if it meant having to sleep in an uninsulated garage. I could just toss on a few extra blankets.

My future roommate comes up to me after a week and he proceeds to tell me I owe him $200 for rent to stay in the garage. I ask him why I'm paying more than he does (per week) to sleep in a room without heating/air, a bathroom, and filled with cigarette smoke fairly often. He says that he and the other roommates talked about it and they decided I couldn't freeload, and I needed to get that money to him ASAP.

Now, he wasn't the one who paid the bills. I asked the 'head roommate' about it later that day, and he told me there was no discussion about 'freeloading' involving me and that I could basically pay him $50 for the month *if I felt like it.* I did pay him gladly, and that was that.

Tl;dr- I had a roommate who picked up pennies and lived very practically, and in constrast a roommate who tried to take advantage of my situation while I was homeless.

Image credits: Empty_Insight


When the time you waste or the quality of life you lose are worth more than you save in money.

Image credits: MarsNirgal


I knew a guy once who'd buy a package of lightbulbs or batteries, take the fresh ones out, replace them with the dead ones then return them to the store claiming they didn't work and get his money back.

That guy hadn't legitimately bought lightbulbs or batteries in years.

Image credits: llcucf80


Frugal is compromising and cutting out extra things in your life. Cheapskate is squeezing pennies on things you actually need.

For example washing all of your clothes at once, maybe once or twice a week and using a dollar store detergent is frugal. Wearing your clothes into the shower to wash them and you at the same time is cheapskate.

Image credits: lemonylol


When they won’t chip in for a birthday cake but demand a piece.

Warning long rant incoming!

In a previous job I organized cakes for people’s birthdays. Voluntary to have a cake on your birthday, some people did opt out, that’s cool. Also voluntary to donate for cake.

What wasn’t cool was everyone chipping in $2 for said cake and this one b***h. Who I shall call Big B****y Bertha - BBB for short.

BBB had worked there for years, same role, same daily tasks, you know the type. BBB believed that her “seniority” afforded her perks. She never paid for a damn cake!!! BBB would be first in-line for a slice tho, a big slice, aka twice the size of everyone else.

So I monitored for 4 cakes, BBB didn’t give me a cent. I discreetly asked around if this was normal for her, was she experiencing hardship? Nope, BBB had always been like this.

So I waited, next cake I sent the usual email but also included “to ensure everyone who contributes receives a piece of cake I will be noting who donates. You are still welcome to come sing happy birthday but if money isn’t received by x date you will be unable to have cake.

Then the glorious day came! BBB made a beeline for me (swear that b***h could smell cake from the carpark).

We sang happy birthday, then I started cutting, I had my list, those people get the first pieces. Birthday person get to decide what was done with the leftovers, because there would be leftovers!!!

BBB pushed into the front of the line.

Me: BBB you didn’t donate so no cake for you sorry (sickly sweet smile on my face).

BBB: I need my cake now, I have important things to do. I’ll give you money later.

Me: that’s not going to work, I brought this cake with the budget of donated money (side note I would chip in my own cash if donations were low)

BBB: this is not appropriate, this is discrimination! I’m reporting you to my manager.

Me: ok, do what you need to do. Please move aside or get back to your important work.

BBB: storms off hollering about cake and discrimination.

Cut to 4 hours later, I’m called into a meeting with BBBs boss, my boss and the boss for the entire site.

To summarize BBB accused me of discrimination based on her weight. I shamed her by not giving her cake.

It was then I produced my email (which they were all on), the spreadsheet where I had noted who paid and when and the cake receipt.

Those 4 cakes I monitored, I’d done the same thing.

I’d love to say the bosses collectively tore BBB a new one and she was on thin ice. They didn’t and she wasn’t.

There was however an email sent to everyone advising that from now on when people gave me a donation for cake they also needed to sign next to it. Then once the due date had passed I was to scan and email it to management.

I did this for 3 glorious years, it was a pain in the a*s for everyone concerned but BBB never ate free cake on my watch!

No one gave her a piece from their leftovers, it became an unwritten part of induction.

I’ve been out of that company for over 10 years, BBB is still there, so are some of my friends. B***h still doesn’t get free cake!

Image credits: Pascalle112


When you own a restaurant and refuse to buy a knife sharpener or working air conditioner and your employees pass out from heat stroke and almost cut their fingers off cutting raw fish.

Image credits: Sapiendoggo


My grandma once bought me and my sister USED UNDERWEAR from a garage sale for Christmas. The worst part? She has a LOT of money. My dad was pissed.

Image credits: mo799


My grandpa after he served up ice cream he bought, would smooth it out the best he could and care his initials into the top of it to make sure none of his kids took more than he thought necessary. He also would fill almost empty jam jars with water shake it up and drink the mixture just so he wasn't throwing away any food.

He did a lot of stingy stuff, but these two stories stand out the most to me.

Edit: I forgot another good one, my mom as a kid got a nasty gash on her knee and my grandpa after examining it determined it needed stitches. Instead of doing what a normal person would do and take her to the hospital, he turned on the stove and heated up a sewing needle, and was going to stitch my moms knee back together with sewing equipment before his wife intervened and made him take my mom to the hospital. This I don't think was because he was cheap (which he definitely was), but he also has this attitude that if you can do probably do something yourself there is no reason to pay for someone else to do it.

Image credits: RIPGeorgeHarrison


I have a relative who is too cheap to pay for trash service or to buy a dryer so she takes all of her trash and wet clothes over to her father's house. This is a woman with a family and a house, not a starving student or something.

So yeah, that.

Image credits: Peaches_for_Me


1 ply

Image credits: JareBearKin


My wife refused for years to buy a Costco membership, while simultaneously forbidding me from buying things like bread and milk from anywhere but Costco. She'd insist that I ask a friend with a membership every time we needed the smallest things. Her mom started gifting her a membership every year for Christmas so she'd stop demanding her to take her to Costco twice a week.

Image credits: righthanddan


Frugal: not eating out at a restaurant

Cheapskate: eating out at a restaurant, but leaving $0 tip because "sorry I can't afford to tip"

Image credits: chriberg


Frugal people go above and beyond saving money, they logically limit expenditures and try and maximize income.

Cheapskates illogically limit expenditures and try to maximize income, and probably 75% of the time they are doing this to subsidize a personal expense.

Limiting your monthly expenditures to save up for a trip, college, or a slush fund for some unknown expense down the line is frugal.

Rationing an entire family's worth of electricity, water, and single use products so you can blow $450 on a part for your hobby car is a cheapskate.

Image credits: Cpu46


I knew a guy that, while ordering in line at Chipotle, would ask for "extra chicken but just enough where it's not considered a serving of double chicken". Come on, man.

Image credits: Texas_Tucker


Frugal - buying your clothes at secondhand stores and looking for gently used and well taken care of items.

Cheapskate - wearing hand me downs with stains and rips in them because "they still cover you."

Image credits: Mr_Vorland


Frugal: Ordering cheap items on the menu

Cheapskate: Ordering anything on the menu, then purpotedly claim you forgot your wallet, you'll pay me tomorrow, your credit card doesn't work, your puppy ate your money...

Image credits: mannyrmz123


“I know it’s 90 F outside, but the air conditioner cost money to run” says my roommate/landlord who makes six figures living in a ranch house

Edit: we have A/C in the house but he has the thermostat locked up and the only key and added some clarification

Image credits: overcookedpopsicle


When you waste significant amounts of time to save money. I'm thinking of those people who drive across town and wait in a long line to save five cents a litre on gas.

Image credits: anon


Friend of my mom's who had money and was in no way struggling at all would rinse off and reuse coffee filters, you know, the common ones that cost like $1 or so for a 200 count box.

Image credits: scottiebass


When a customer orders a single espresso in a large cup & then uses an entire carafe of milk at the condiment bar.

Bonus points if they bring that beverage back to the register & want it 'microwaved'.

Image credits: monkeyeighty8


when you ignore a cost/benefit analysis and always opt for the "cheaper" option.

Image credits: orange_cuse


Frugal is ordering water.

Cheapskate is ordering water and a bowl of lemon slices so you don’t have to pay for lemonade.

Image credits: Ratchet1332


Frugal is taking half your meal home from a restaurant to eat for lunch tomorrow. Cheapskate is taking half your date’s meal home from a restaurant to eat for lunch tomorrow.

Image credits: badwolf504


Frugal: Saving the three ketchup packets that the restaurant had put into your carry-out bag but that you didn't need for that specific meal.

Cheapskate: Grabbing five dozen ketchup packets from the condiments counter at a restaurant, and taking them home so that you won't have to buy a bottle of ketchup for a few weeks.

Image credits: SoSadSoBlue


Refusing to let professionals install electricity at your new (mobile) home. So instead, running the hot wires underground through shallow hand digged ditches.

Image credits: twopacktuesday


When you start arguing expired coupons


My god damn step mother. I don’t live at home anymore thankfully but she drove me f*****g nuts. We would keep McDonald’s cups from when we went out to eat “because they’re our germs we can drink from them at home so we don’t have to waste water washing clean cups” and then shed f****n reuse zip lock bags that had f*****g meat in them and other gross not reusable things. I’d go to do dishes and start throwing away or recycling the zip lock bags and she’d get on to me and pull them out of the trash and wash them and reuse them. I ate at home a lot less after that.

This one is more a personal affront to me because I don’t like when my foods touch but it’s also frugal turned cheap. She would make oatmeal whenever we bought ground beef and brown the beef with the oatmeal, and then freeze said oatmeal beef combination “because it stretches the beef further”. Pardon me for not liking spaghetti and oatmeal linda

Image credits: iceicechase


When the collection plate is passed at church, and a wealthy parishioner puts in a $5 bill and asks the usher for 4 dollar bills back "for change."


Frugal is watching what comes in and adjusting what goes out accordingly.

Cheap is squeezing nickels while dollar bills fly out the window.

Image credits: SuzQP


To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, a cheapskate is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Yes, you might save a penny on the price of fuel if you drive five miles out of your way... but what does that cost you? Time you could be doing something else? Relaxing with your loved ones? Enjoying yourself?

Yes, you could cook all your meals at home... but what about the social aspect of the occasional dinner out with friends? What about that nice, juicy steak cooked to perfection by a professional chef? No, you'll have the chicken, even though you don't really enjoy it as much, because the chicken is cheaper.

Frugal is knowing where you can cut down on things that just aren't worth it, so you can enjoy the things that are even if they cost a little more. Cheapskate is when it's all about the cold, hard cash value.

Image credits: Portarossa


I know a wealthy lawyer who refuses to take showers at home because he doesn't want to use hot water - he goes to his local YMCA instead.

Image credits: MrFishpaw


For me, purposely getting yourself destitute so you can live off others.

My cousin's ex-husband was a social worker. He would tell stories of how he would have his clients (families he was case workers for) that were on the cusp financially sign up for the highest cable/satellite package available. He would then lump that in to their monthly expenses to push their outgoing to incoming money ratio high enough to qualify for all sorts of government programs (welfare, Section 8, etc.).

He also made a comment about how he couldn't wait to knock up my cousin and get her to quit working so he could get her on WIC.

He was a obese, lazy, pervy piece of scum and I was never happier than when that marriage fell apart (thankfully w/no children).


Agreeing to play Credit Card Roulette at a dinner, but then throwing a hissy fit and demanding another shot because your card was picked.


I had a babysitter who I think crossed the line from frugal, to cheapskate.

She would only shop at Goodwill, and if her daughter wanted some shoes, she'd have her put the old shoes on the rack, put on the new shoes, and walk out the door.

Also, most of her daughters coloring books were picked up while dumpster diving. Like, half the pages were already colored, but we still used them.

Edit: Yes, I know she was a theif. I just thought she was a cheapskate for stealing from Goodwill of all places. This was the early 90s, so their shoes were only $1. You can't pay for $1 shoes?! It's the only place I ever saw her do that. She was a little crazy though. Thankfully her daughter didn't pick up on those habits.

Image credits: michonne_impossible


Frugal is taking tons of extra ketchup/sauce packets at a fast food place.

Cheapskate is taking the industrial sized toilet paper rolls from the bathroom at said fast food place.


It's time to pay and the restaurant can't split the bill. If everyone's meal ranges no more than $2-$3 then it should be no big deal for everyone to throw in an even amount.

Had a person turn what could have been an even split into a half hour adventure so that the pay was "fair".

If I get cheese sticks and you order stake then that's one thing; but do not waste everyone's time with petty nitpicking. It is usually friend's who are bad with money that do this too. They do not save their own money when they should be so they have to make sure they get their due returns whenever someone else's cash comes into play.

Image credits: SocietyEff


A guy I work with only brings in lettuce on his lunch break and then eats peoples left overs.

Image credits: StinkyGreenFiend

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