I don't consider myself to be overly frugal. I do think that I try to be a good money-manager, but I have a long way to go in that area. There will always be people who do a better job than I do; and always people who waste more than I do. I was over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and she posted on the differences between being "cheap" and "frugal". I do not take offense at the word cheap, and I like to consider many of my purchases to be frugal. However, she did point out that cheap means "stingy or miserly", so I guess if you go by actual definition, it is an insult. I tend to think of cheap as gaining something you paid less for than its actual value. That seems to be more the definition of "frugal". In that vein, the majority of the clothes I buy, and many other things, do qualify me as frugal. I will say, some of my pet peeves are cheap people. Some of my top "cheap" people gripes are:
1. People who collect Halloween candy for their infants (3 months or less). If you offer them candy and they accept it, that is one thing. But to ask for candy "for the baby" who won't even be able to eat it in 6 months is ridiculous! We aren't fooled, we know who will actually be consuming those treats.
2. People who don't chip in equitably for a gift, but want equal recognition. If everyone is giving $5 and you only give $2, that is wrong. Cough up the other $3-it won't break the bank, or don't give at all. On the other hand, don't expect money for common courtesies. If you are eating dinner in my home, don't demand that I reimburse you for the soda you brought. Think of it as a hostess gift.
3. Re-using gift bags until they are trashed. I routinely re-use gift bags. Especially baby shower ones! However, if a bag is wrinkled, torn or otherwise "used" looking, I pass. I have received several gifts in seriously used looking packaging. Why not just skip the gift wrap and add a bow? Try harder to keep it nice, or don't re-gift it.
4. People who manipulate the system. If you can use coupons and get something for free, terrific! But don't try to bend the rules (example: stacking coupons at stores where they do not do that). Also, people who would be irate if they were overcharged, but don't try to rectify it when they are undercharged. Be honest- many times I will tell a clerk that something I purchased cost more and they will just tell me not to worry about it. I have been honest and still received the lower cost.
5. People who use old carseats. If you are poor, I am sorry. You can get good deals on new carseats. I am not talking about dirty carseats, but the really old ones. I saw one the other day that had to have been at least 7 years old. That is not safe. Carseats have a 5 year expiration date for a reason: they are constantly updating the safety standard. And they wear out! Find a good used one from a friend, ask your church for help, get one from the hospital. I am sure they have charities for this type of thing. It is too important to not use caution!
6. People who lie or deceive to get a better deal. Don't say your 12 year old is 10, just so they can eat off the kids' menu. Don't pretend you have someone with you so you can get an extra free sample. Don't eat 3/4 of your meal and then claim there was a problem (when there wasn't) so you can get it for free. Ugh!
7. People who don't tip on a service for what is it worth versus what they paid for it. If I get my hair cut at the salon academy I tip on what I would normally pay for that kind of haircut ($30) instead of the $12 I am actually charged. I still get a good deal! Also, if you are at a restaurant and you split a meal, pay for a tip based on the cost of the whole meal-not just half. Your waiter had to do just as much work as for two meals, even though you ate less. You will still save money (and calories!).
Do you have any pet peeves about cheap people? I know I will think of more, but these are the ones that came to mind. Frugal is good; cheap, I guess, is just rude!
P.S. Due to an abnormal amount of spam, I've closed commenting on this post. Please leave some comment love on a different one if you are a real person. Thanks!