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This is a question Parsimony

Hullo tapirs, guffs Richard McBeef off the internet. One of my brother's friends once cycled from one side of London to the other to get some free lightbulbs from a condemned building, a 6-hour round trip. Tell us about the meanest, stingiest penny-pinching you've witnessed.

(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 9:58)
Pages: Popular, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

scared shitless of spending anything
First place I worked at was in IT Support at a college. The head of the repair department - lets call him Tony - was well known for being tragically tight - Tony always bought his lunch in, never bought a coffee, never went for a lunchtime beer, used teabags twice, grew a beard so as to save on buying razors.

Anyway, one day a new guy is starting, and - unusually - the manager of the whole department (different fella) decides we should go out for lunch to welcome him. This was uncommon, because he was a crap manager.

Tony is shitting himself - he's actually going to have to spend money. He makes it perfectly clear we are NOT splitting the bill when we get there, as he's "not very hungry". We go to this pizza place, and like me everyone is ordering what they actually fancy: giant pizzas dripping with ingredients, beers, garlic bread - who cares. I'm only on a small wage, especially compared to Tony, but it's hardly breaking the bank.

Tony scans the menu carefully, and orders a small neapolitan pizza. Tomato and Cheese. That's not a pizza, that's a pizza base. No drink, nothing else at all. The waitress brings them out, and puts condiments on the table - parmesan, dried oregano, etc. Tony cautiously asks "Are these free?". Fuck me - the poor twat has just outed himself as being so tight that he has obviously never been to any kind of cafe or restaurant in his life. Even the waitress is laughing at him.

Tony POURS on the dried parmesan, POURS on the dried oregano until his tiny crappy pizza is buried under a mountain of yellow-and-green dust. Not just too tight to spend money, but too tight not to take advantage of freebies and utterly ruin his food. Tony, tightwad though he is, is no iron-stomach champ. He's choking on this dry dusty shit pizza, but he's determined to finish it all. Meanwhile we're sipping beer, eating large moist slices of delicious pizza each larger than his tiny beermat of a pizza.

At the end, Tony is there red faced, practically dry heaving - but looking very smug. He's out of this for a fiver despite eating a fivers worth of parmesan and oregano on top. Practically cancels the expense out! While us idiots have gone through god knows how much money on our huge lunch and beers, despite actually enjoying our meal and ready to groan home on very full bellies. The bill comes, and Tony's eyebrows shoot up in smug curiosity - "How much is it!" He's DYING to know just how smug he should be.

"Who cares," says our usually crap manager "lunch is on me."

Tony's face loses all physical support and sags into crestfallen shock - he would have pigged himself stupid and ordered more to take home and freeze if only he'd known. I don't think he spoke to any of us for the rest of the week.

TL;DR - tightwads too tight to risk money on a free lunch
(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 11:39, 6 replies)
Happened today.
An old dear came to me all flustered.

"My money! Came spilling out of my purse and some of it went under the photocopier!"

"Fear not granny", I didn't say out loud. "I've got this."

So I shifted the heavy photocopier, which was built before coaster wheels it seems, and almost put my back out moving it aside. I grunted with the effort and asked how much she had lost.

"Oh it was only 2p. There it is! Every penny counts!"
(, Sat 12 Mar 2016, 18:32, 2 replies)
When I told my Dad he was going to become a grandfather
he booked a table at a particularly posh seafood restaurant, famous for its lobsters and oysters. He drove there, and dropped his passengers outside the door (me, my pregnant wife and my elderly stepmother) before parking the car.

We ate a four course meal at a silver service table, eating lobster while watching the sun go down. There was coffee and brandy and creme brulee, and whimsical dreaming about the future of the next generation of the family brewing inside my wife. As the waiters cleared the plates, my Dad discretely put his gold credit card in the booklet to take care of the bill.

We stumbled out of the restaurant a few hours later into a bitter seaside wind that flung salty rain into our faces. "Where's the car?" asked my stepmother, looking around the restaurant car park.

"Well I didn't park it here," grumbled my dad. "Those thieving council cunts wanted three quid for parking. Three quid! I pay my council tax, this is public land, OUR land, I'm not paying three fucking quid to park on land that belongs to us all."

So we walked for 20 minutes in the driving rain, my dad propping up my nearly-disabled and tottering stepmother, me leading on my pregnant wife, through the dark miserable rain-lashed streets because "it's the principle of the thing", muttered my tight-arsed father.
(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 11:23, 7 replies)
Post-it notes
Working as a paralegal on the sandwich year of my degree at a firm of solicitors back in 1990. (Faxes were the big thing then but this firm resisted that new technology for a good couple of years; but I digress [literally just received a fax as I type this; first one in about 2 years! Spooky]).

I was tasked by Mr K to go through a set of accounts to flag up certain transactions. The accounts were literally in a big leather-bound journal and it was quite an important task as those pages then needed to be copied as evidence in some hearing or other. Post-it notes were comparatively new back then so probably quite expensive in the office-stationery scheme of things. But it was well known that Mr K was the only partner who had such things - proudly displayed on his desk in a post-it note holder. Behind him was the view of the car park which contained his classic Lotus and his Ranger Rover.

I waltzed in and asked for some post-it notes to stick on the relevant pages which elicited the response, "can't you just use cut up pieces of paper to mark the pages?". "No," replied I, "the paper might fall out and you would not know which page to copy. Post-it notes would be ideal."

After an exchange of 5 minutes or so (probably all chargeable to some client or other), I managed to negotiate the release of 3 whole post-it notes that I could, "cut up and make into smaller slivers because they are quite expensive you know!"
(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 10:20, 3 replies)
Travel Expenses
About 20 years ago for a sandwich year I worked at the local chemical plant.

Two chaps in the lab opposite found out they were both going to that year's Motor Show. One offered to give the other a lift. The day went swimmingly and good fun was (somehow) had by all. Bloke two did the right thing and offered to put some petrol money bloke 1's way.

'Let's sort it tomorrow' was the reply.

Next morning bloke 2 was about to walk over to 1 and offer some rounded-up amount towards petrol and was presented with an itemised list of expenses.

The list was exhaustive, containing 50% of petrol, 50% of a day's wear and tear, 50% of a day's RAC, 50% of a day's car tax, and other sundry items probably even more unbelievable than already mentioned.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2016, 12:56, 1 reply)

(, Mon 14 Mar 2016, 10:47, 6 replies)
Shared a house at uni
Most of us were undergrads the same age, but one bloke was older than the rest of us, doing a Masters or something. Slumming it living in the same house with us, obviously to save the cash, despite the fact he had enough to own and run a car, which for a student in 1991 made him seem like a millionaire. He only ever shopped in Netto or Morrisons late on a Saturday and bought only that stuff on the shelf that's reduced because it's out of date. I once saw him eat the non-mouldy bits of a banana that was clearly actually mouldy almost all over.

One day he came in and said "Where's my car?" How we laughed. Then called the police - it had been stolen. He was very, very lucky, however, because the rozzers later told him that the car had been found, completely undamaged, by the side of the road quite a few miles away on the far side of town. The obvious thing to do at this point was to get a cab and get over there asap and reclaim it, and this was in fact I think what I think the police suggested he do. Instead, he walked. By the time he arrived, some local scallies had rolled it over the side of the road, down a hill and set fire to it. A cab ride would probably have cost him almost five pounds.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2016, 13:31, 4 replies)
My boss asked me to design a website and corporate identity for a new client
They were an investment management company and along with the branding, website, hosting and IT infrastructure that we were supplying them with, our company was charging them hundreds of thousands of pounds which they, being completely and utterly loaded, happily paid. Out of the prospective logos I had designed for them, the one that the client really liked utilised a typeface I'd downloaded that was free for personal use but not for commercial gain. Knowing that it would shortly be plastered all over the client's website and advertising I contacted the typeface's designer and he said he was happy for me to use it in exchange for an item off his Amazon wishlist. I think I got him something for about $20 in the end.

My boss then refused to cover my expenses, telling me that "this guy on the internet" was an extortionist and that I was an idiot for giving him any money in the first place.
(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 12:07, Reply)
I once wanky wanky wanky wank wank wank wanky wanky wank

(, Tue 15 Mar 2016, 17:05, 5 replies)
The older generation
Reposting this and in defence of my father in law he's very generous with his time and grandchildren...

My father-in-law is very practically minded - he can build and repair pretty much anything having worked as a mechanic, engineer and carpenter. He has a small flat that he rents out about 30 miles from our home town and his tenant is a lovely lady who had just had a baby. The washing machine broke down so he very quickly ordered one online from Currys or somesuch.

It arrived at my father in laws the next day and he volunteered me to help fit it. I took an afternoon off work and borrowed a trolley from my neighbour who had to spend 20 minutes getting it from the back of his shed. We cleared out f-I-l's car, folded down the seats, heaved the washing machine into the back, drove 30 miles, unloaded it, carried it over soft ground, lugged it up 4 flights of narrow stairs, removed plinths from the kitchen units, spent 15 minutes trying to unscrew the hoses which were really awkward to reach, removed the old machine, lined up then shuffled the new machine into place over 30 minutes, improvised extended hoses, screwed in new hoses which took even longer than removing them, cleaned kitchen of detritus, sweat, dirty water, etc, lugged the old machine back down 4 flights of stairs, carried it over the soft ground and heaved it into the back of the car before driving 30 miles home 4 hours later.

In the car on the way back I mentioned that a lot of companies now will deliver to the correct address, install and remove the old machine. Apparently, f-I-l was very aware of this but he chose not to take that option because, "the cheeky buggers wanted £10 to install it and £10 to take the old machine away".

Oh, that's OK then!
(, Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:09, Reply)
My father (whose name is Simon) is prone to complaining
gawd he bangs on about stuff that really doesn't matter
so yes, I know all about pa Si moany
(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 14:29, 4 replies)
I went for a drink with Lighty

(, Wed 9 Mar 2016, 10:01, 2 replies)

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