Are you the person who swipes extra napkins from fast food restaurants to use at home?
Do you cut open your toothpaste tubes to get the last tiny bit of toothpaste out?
Here are some cheapskate things I’ve been known to do:
- Use ketchup from condiment packets for making meatloaf.
- Rescue a perfectly good football out of a dumpster.
- Sew a toddler’s ripped underwear.
- Cut dryer sheets into fourths to make them last longer.
- Dug through the trash for a missing coupon.
- Wear clothing and shoes older than my children.
I’m willing to be a little cheap about things if it doesn’t harm anyone else. (Therapy will help the children cope!) I get a bit of a thrill when I can find a great deal, get a freebie, or re-purpose something.
But there are certain things I’m not cheap about:
Giving. You can be a cheapskate and still be generous. Being a cheapskate gives you a little more financial wiggle room to donate to good causes.
Medical care. If any of us are sick, we do what we need to do to take care of ourselves. Sometimes it’s a doctor visit, some over-the-counter meds, or take-out dinner.
Safety. It’s important to always have the right safety gear (i.e. bike helmets, car seats, life jackets). If something is wearing out and doesn’t seem safe anymore, it gets replaced.
Coupons and freebies. I don’t use multiple addresses so I can get extra stuff. If a company doesn’t put a print limit on a printable coupon, I don’t print 40 of them. (Maybe only 10). I won’t try to push a coupon through that has expired or isn’t for the right product just to save a few pennies.
Time. We’re all busy people, but it is important to carve out some time to be with family and friends.
My mom says she doesn’t like the word “cheapskate.” My goal is to take some of the stigma out of the word. I think you can be a cheapskate in certain areas of your life, and not in others. It’s all part of being “frugal.”
So humor me… how cheap are you? What things make you a cheapskate? When are you not a cheapskate?