While financial prudence is undoubtedly a virtue, some parents take frugality to such extremes that their habits have become the subject of online amusement and ridicule. From reusing teabags to washing and reusing disposable cutlery, these practices, though seemingly comical, can border on the cringe-worthy.
The stories shared by the children of such parents are not only amusing but also offer a lighthearted perspective on thriftiness.
A user asked on a forum,”children of cheapskates, what are some of the ridiculous things your parent/s have done to save a couple of bucks?” and here are some of the weird answers:
1. The Freebie Obsession
From clipping coupons to shopping sales, everyone loves a good discount. But what happens when saving money becomes an obsession?
“When my dad moved into his house, he had a guy come over for a free demonstration for a water filter that goes under a sink. The guy used a soap bar for his demonstration and left it when he was done. My dad called at least four other companies for a free demonstration to keep the free bar of soap, and he never intended to have a water filter installed. He does things like this, which worsens as he ages. But I just let him do his thing.” a Redditor said.
2. Her Mother’s Failed Attempt At Scoring Discounted Bus Tickets
Some parents will go to ridiculous lengths when it comes to saving money. One woman’s attempt to pass off her teenage sons as young children for a bus ticket discount hilariously backfired.
“My mother tried to convince the ticket seller that I was six years old (actually 12) and my brother 12 years old (actually 19) to save six bucks for a hop in hop off bus ticket. My mother did not get the reduced price, especially because my brother was smoking a cigarette.” said one.
3. The Art Of Regifting
For some families, regifting is an art form. From missing jackets reappearing as Christmas presents to receiving childhood gifts as an adult, one man shares his family’s hilarious tradition of reusing presents.
“I’ve been getting regifted presents for Christmas since I was a kid. And not like presents from other people that were then given to me. No. We’re talking about my favorite jacket going missing for six months only to be found under the tree as one of my presents. Just had my 30th birthday- gifted a Swiss Army knife I had when I was a kid.” a user shared.
“This reminds me of my brother. For my 18th birthday, he stole the parcel my boyfriend sent me and tried to pass it off as a gift that he got me, still in the package marked from my boyfriend.” another added.
4. When Reusing Goes Too Far In Home Refurbishment
When it comes to saving money, every nail counts. One man’s obsession with reusing nails during home refurbishment led to painful consequences for anyone using his workshop years later.
“When my parents had the family home refurbished, Pa would carefully extract the nails from the ripped-out woodwork with a claw hammer, hammer them straight again, and put them in tins for reuse and new nails. For years afterward, every third or fourth nail you used from his workshop would bend like a banana on the first wallop from a hammer, and you’d hit your thumb.” said one.
5. Driving For Pennies
“My father would drive across town, several miles out of the way, to save 2 or 3 cents per gallon of gas. He would also drive 60 miles to the casinos for a “free” meal but be too cheap to go a restaurant and buy one.” a user added.
6. Penny Pinching Parenting
These anecdotes showcase the extremes some people will go to save money, including buying used underwear and reselling gifts for their children. Frugality can have its drawbacks.
“My mum used to buy my underwear from second-hand stores then my parents would spend money on cigarettes/alcohol. I must have been the only 13-year-old who went to school in a small used maternity bra.” said one.
“Ex-wife was a frugal spender and always tried to save or make extra money where she could. After our divorce, my family would still gift our children clothes on the holidays and their birthdays, until I found her selling the clothes on Craigslist and then go to the goodwill to get cheaper clothes for them.” another added.
7. Using Relationships For Holiday Gifts
Some people will go to great lengths to save money during the holiday season, and for one person’s mother, that included dating wealthy men solely to receive lavish gifts for her children to open on Christmas morning. This extreme frugality has left a lasting impact on the family.
“Mom would date richer guys around the holidays so we could have Christmas presents to open.” a user added.
8. When Birthday Gifts and Gaming Dreams Fall Short
“My brother and I used our own money we saved up together to buy the ps2 when it came out along with Red Faction for a game. Our dad said it didn’t look any different graphics-wise to our ps1, so he took it back and pocketed the money.” said one.
“My dad returned a video game I got on my bday so he could buy it cheaper from the middle east (there was an Arabic language option). So after playing a little bit on my birthday, I had to wait another week until it was delivered.” another said.
9. Eating Ant-Infested Cereal
The experience of eating ant-infested cereal serves as a poignant reminder of the financial struggles experienced during childhood. It reflects the lengths parents may go to provide for their children.
“I used to get ants in my cereal boxes, and my mom still made me eat it. They don’t do that anymore, but it made me realize how financially stressed my parents were until ten years ago.” said one.
10. Sunday Starvation
“My dad wouldn’t let us eat on Sundays; we had to fill up on free samples from Sam’s Club. It wasn’t very comfortable. He isn’t even hurting for money; he’s just selfish with it and spends hundreds on himself (computer parts, games, in-game purchasing etc.).” said one.
We hope you enjoyed reading the frugal folly of cheapskate parents.
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.