Look, it’s well established that I will go the extra, gross mile to save money. But I’m not “Extreme Cheapskates” cheap, where I’m reusing dental floss or making multi-use toilet paper.
I’ll definitely do some things that another person might turn their nose up at, though. I consider my bread perfectly edible once I’ve torn off any little spots of fuzzy, green mold. I’m a garbage picker. And I’ve bought secondhand shoes on Facebook.
So, of course, an article on Money Crashers, outlining “9 signs that you’re a miserly cheapskate,” caught my attention.
Let’s see how we measure up under other people’s frugality yardsticks, shall we?
• You brew more than one pot of coffee with the same grinds. Really? This is a sign you’ve gone too far?
I’ve never done it, but only because I really don’t drink coffee. I have, however, used my teabag beyond an inch of its life.
• You reuse paper products. True cheapskates believe that disposable paper towels, napkins and tissues are a waste to begin with. That’s what rags, cloth napkins and handkerchiefs are for.
Unlike my grandma, I don’t wash out used paper towels and hang them to dry. But if I have a napkin or paper towel that has a lot of clean space on it, I will reuse it (and reuse it and reuse it) before throwing it away.
• You spend the whole day grocery shopping. The author says you’ll spend more on gas than what you save on groceries. But with everything so close in Western New York, I doubt that is really a problem.
I admire those of you who will shop ALDI, Tops, Wegmans, Consumer’s Beverage, Budwey’s and wherever else in order to get the best prices for everything on your list. The best I can do is stagger my trips so I pick up certain things at one store one week, and at another store the next week.
• You hang onto broken things that you’ll never repair. OK, this is one I can get behind. For years, I kept things that I swore were in perfectly good condition – aside from the fact that they were IRREPARABLY BROKEN.
Seeing how long I held onto those things without fixing them made me realize I would never fix the next broken thing, either.
• You work on your cars yourself – even though you don’t know how. What, is this girl psychic? I just finished YouTubing “how to change brakes and rotors.”
I probably won’t really attempt to do the work on my own, though. Probably.
• You ignore expiration dates. Heck yes, I ignore expiration dates! Manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration have said the label dates are simply a guide and that they represent when food is at its peak freshness rather than when it goes bad.
• You’ll take anything when you dumpster dive. I’ve only done it a couple of times, but what a rush! Yes, I did grab some dumb things, but you would not believe the perfectly good merchandise stores throw in the garbage.
• You crash weddings for the free food. I’ve never done this, but only because I didn’t think of it first.
Just kidding. I would never barge in on a family’s special event like that. I did, however, crash plenty of receptions in the student union at UB while I was in college, pretending to be a member of whatever organization was sponsoring the free spread.
• You jump into the water after your golf ball. I don’t golf. But if I did, I’d be impressed by anyone who did this.