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This is a question False Economies

Sometimes the cheapest option isn't the right one. I fondly remember my neighbours going to a well-known catalogue-based store and buying the cheapest lawnmower they stocked. How we laughed as they realised it had non-rotating wheels and died when presented with grass. Tell us about times you or others have been let down by being a cheapskate.

(, Tue 24 Jun 2014, 12:42)
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We have two horses
and recently paid the GDP of a small country to have one of them covered (shagged, in other words) by a certified stallion. Clearly he was good, as the mare was soon pregnant, and a foal was duly delivered on time and healthy, or so we thought. She was fine whilst on mother's milk, but when introduced to solids developed a bad case of acid reflux. Rather a messy job for our Italian stable lad, who was heard to exclaim "Hey! this-a foal's sick onna me!"
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 18:55, 14 replies)
Welcome to the Cheap Meats
I'm a big fan of cooking on a budget. I love turning out a perfectly edible lasagne and then revealing that each portion cost less than a ready-meal. However, one day I went too far. I tried to cook with Sainsbury's Value Mince.

"This stuff is a bargain!" I thought, as I plopped the nondescript pack into my basket. "Presumably it's cheaper because they don't spend money on fancy packaging" I convinced myself, assuming that their normal own-brand mince came in cartons designed by Banksy. And so I took it home and prepared to make the cheapest chilli con carne ever, and to astound my family with the revelation that it only cost a quid.

At this point I'd like to say a big Hello to everyone who's about three paragraphs ahead of me here. Yes, I probably should've known.

What a twat. As soon as I opened the pack, I realised this wasn't one of my wisest purchases. Where normally you'd find minced beef, I saw an explosion in a guts factory. Bright red strands of god-knows-what mingled with huge clumps of gristle, and all was liberally decorated with little sections of white tube which I imagine used to transport bodily fluids. The packs of good-quality mince boast of coming from the prime cuts of beef; I dreaded to think which parts of the cow I was looking at. Probably the broken dreams. And anus.

"So you threw it in the bin and stuck a Fray Bentos in the oven, right?" I hear you ask. Of course I didn't; I refused to be beaten by a tray of hoof. I soldiered on with the recipe. Of course, instead of simply tipping the beef into the pan, I had to be a bit more selective. And so I spent something like half an hour picking through this carton of takeaway autopsy, hooking out all the nasty-looking bits, removing the little (and not so little) bits of tube, running the Squish test on anything I wasn't sure about (i.e. if, when squished with a fork, it behaved like a lump of rubber, it was out). All in all, about half the pack made it to the pan.

So I ended up spending twice as long as normal making a very small chilli. And I decided against the big reveal at the end. I realised it probably wasn't wise for me to announce that they'd just eaten ground-up ringpiece.
(, Wed 2 Jul 2014, 1:23, 9 replies)
Missing Buttons
I bought a low cost typing thing for my pc but, not long from when I bought it, a vital button was faulty and did not work.It is a bit of a pain not having a working button by W and R as it is vital for many common words.

Omitting that button in my writing is hard and it is as if I am talking funny (though I do not).

Moral - Do not by a low cost typing thingy for your PC.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2014, 13:58, 11 replies)
More Poundland Mayhem!
A large chunk of my now completed Community Service Order involved me having to assist a group of mentally-disadvantaged weirdos with their weekly shopping. Part of this exceptionally painful process included a trip to Poundland/PoundStretcher/PennyWise - or whatever the fuck it was called.

Once inside, my group would run amok, gleefully piling all manner of crap into their baskets, then rushing to the tills, they'd pull out handfuls of pound-coins from their cagoules, thrusting them at the frightened checkout girls.

One particular chap knew exactly what he wanted and each week he dragged me to the same corner of the shop, point repeatedly at the same sign and then proceed to wet himself with excitement (which wasn't as awkward as it sounds, as he wore adult diapers).

'Looooook...' He'd drawl at me, 'Here they are!'

And there they were:

- Broken Biscuits 10 Packs for £1 -

Underneath the sign, in a vast, bathtub sized bucket, there were hundreds of squished, half-opened and virtually inedible packets of biscuits. All the famous ones were there, bourbons, custard creams, chocolate fingers, the malt ones, the Nice ones. Our friend would gather up armfuls and dump them into his own basket-on-wheels thing (you know, the type old ladies drag from shop to shop).

Every now and then he'd stop, call me over and thrust a packet of biscuits in my face.

'Looook, perrrrfect!' He'd say, 'This one has NO brokens!'

And he was right, one or two out of every fifty packets was indeed perfect - a full, unopened and almost definitely, unbroken packet of biscuits.

'These are worth TWO POUNDS,' He'd yell, 'They're CADBURY.'

This scene was repeated every week - and probably still is - except for one day, when I decided to interrupt his Rainman-esque routine to question the logic of his purchases. You see, he'd buy at least £10 worth of broken biscuits each time, then return home, throw away the properly broken crap and just keep the 'No Brokens'.

'Do you know for the same money, you could buy at least five packets of brand-new biscuits?' I asked him, 'This would save you a fortune AND ensure you only had perfect biscuits.'

But he wasn't having any of it, launching into a twenty minute diatribe, he explained at extraordinary length and in extraordinary detail about this one time at the pound shop, when EVERY packet in the tub was completely, to a crumb, unbroken.

'Shut it!' I cried. 'Enough already! Can't you see that's just a fool's anomaly?'
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 23:55, 9 replies)
Bought my daughter an inexpensive pair
of roller boots from Aldi. All the wheels fell off within a week
Damn cheap skates
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 15:46, 4 replies)
Baby alarms
We bought one of these. It didn't work - she still got pregnant.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 15:16, 2 replies)
Stag Doo
Before going on my mate's stag doo, we all decided to buy "hilarious" plastic breasts to wear.
Most bought some made of sturdy rubber but I went for the cheapest, fragile plastic, ones.

Not surprisingly mine fell apart almost immediately and I had to look on jealously at all my full breasted mates.

That's right. They were false economy comedy falsies.
(, Fri 27 Jun 2014, 12:47, 8 replies)
your all cunts.

(, Thu 26 Jun 2014, 13:25, 11 replies)
Years ago...
...I invested in a massive, yet utterly fictional, property portfolio. Fucking enormous it was, despite existing entirely within the confines of my own imagination.

In the short term it was far cheaper than a real one, but in the long run it turned out to be substantially less lucrative.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 13:50, 3 replies)
Poundland strikes again
Looking for a cheap carabiner clip-on compass to take on holiday (I keep breaking them), I saw that Poundland (Brighton) had a key-ring 'survival whistle' with a small compass on it. Tried a few, and saw they all pointed in different directions. Picked one out that seemed to point the right way, then after second thoughts decided to turn it a few times...

Turns out every single one of them was pointing not north, but towards the metal key-ring through the end of the whistle part; they'd all got a slightly magnetised key ring loop. Genius. Uri Geller should shop there...
(, Tue 24 Jun 2014, 16:24, Reply)
Shambles is a gay spaz and loves it up his bum-bum from other gay spazzes

(, Thu 3 Jul 2014, 1:00, 2 replies)
Sancerrely Yours
A pearoast, but appropriate.

A good few years ago I was mooching around my local Asda (unfortunately the only store near enough to home to make shopping there worthwhile) when I spotted a boner feedy bargain - bottles of Sancerre for under a fiver. Partial as I then was to a spot of white, and having recently discovered this particular grape (whilst knowing fuck-all about wine in general), I took all the remaining seven bottles off the shelf and gleefully put them in the trolley.

At the checkout all went smoothly until I saw the price of the wine was almost twelve quid a bottle. I pointed out the error to the cashier, but she was having none of it. "That's not what it says here" etc, etc.

So naturally, I asked if she could call the manager. She didn't, but brought over her till supervisor, who again tried to insist that the wine was correctly priced. Now I'm not big on trading standards, but one thing I do know is that if a shop displays goods as being at a certain price, then they have to be sold at that price. We went over to the shelf, I showed her the ticket that said a fiver a bottle. She saw it, noted it, still insisted their price was right.

Anyway, I stuck to my guns - to the extent that I flatly refused to move from the till until I got that wine for the price stated. I warned people not to form a queue behind me, since I could be some time. They went through the store hierarchy one by one, even brought over the head of the wine department (a snotty, rat-faced turd who insisted that Asda would "never" sell wine of this quality at such a price.) who all insisted the till price was correct. I kept telling them that this was against the law and asking for the manager. My g/f (patient, long-suffering and now my wife) was, as she kept telling me, mortified by the carry-on, muttering through gritted teeth "Just leave it, just leave it". Bollocks I would just leave it. This had gone way past the point of no return.

Eventually the manager arrived and (as I knew he would) heard a brief summary and simply said "Give it to him for a fiver." What else could he do?

So I got eighty-four quid's worth of wine for thirty-five pounds. I marched out of that store to the sound of trumpets ringing in my ears. A triumph for the common man, I thought. Victory for the oppressed Sancerre-swilling masses, I thought. A blow to the pockets of a grasping bastion of capitalism, I thought. The last laugh was mine.

Until I opened the first bottle and found it tasted like cat's piss. "Serves you fucking right," said the other half. I know - I should have taken it back, but the moment had gone and I couldn't be arsed. Oh, well...
(, Tue 1 Jul 2014, 22:34, 51 replies)
Stop the Presses - Pissing in ones own mouth proves very costly
TODD Carney has been sacked after a shocking lewd picture of the NRL player went viral on social media overnight.
The image allegedly shows Carney in the toilets of Sutherland Shire nightclub Northies urinating into his own mouth, an act also known as ‘bubbling’.

Cronulla Board members decided this afternoon to terminate his $650,000-a-year contract effective immediately, despite having three years remaining, according to the Daily Telegraph.


(, Sun 29 Jun 2014, 11:54, 10 replies)
I was at this beach festival a few years ago and looking to score some MDMA. I found this weird little bloke who'd set up a grotto in one of the old caves that went back into the cliffs and he was selling what he claimed was the next best thing to MDMA you could get whilst still being legal.

It seems that you only had to alter the chemical structure by the smallest amounts to bypass the laws as they are based on detailed analysis of the compounds - hence all these 'plant food' type drugs hitting the head shops.

If you actually break down something like MDMA down to the molecular level, you discover all kinds of different elements that you wouldn't believe were there - Aluminium? Selenium? Fluorine? Get rid of one or two of these and it will still get you munted without breaking the law.
This little guy, and he was little, no more than four foot if that, had created a batch of MDMA and taken out the fluorine and aluminium and claimed it was still just as good. So I decided to take a punt on it.

Then he gets all proper weird on me. He insist he will only do the deal by shouting into the cave and replying to the echo. He says it's down to some archaic law about a confession based on reflected sound being inadmissible in court, so if we were overheard somehow it wasn't us, it was the sound bouncing back from the depth of the cave...Yeah...weird little guy.

So we did the deal. I took the stuff and danced the night away. It wasn't quite as good as normal, but I gues it was a F Al less echo gnome E
(, Sun 29 Jun 2014, 11:53, 4 replies)
Cheap ass shredders
As happens over time, one tends to collect a lot of personal documents and being somewhat of a pack rat my Mom had loads. Eventually, the day came and it was time to dispose of a whole load of these documents. Now the question came how best to dispose of it all. Mother had a few options available; send the papers to a company that specializes in shredding, buy a shredder, DIY shredding AKA tear it up yourself, or throw it away.

Sending the papers to a company for shredding was too expensive. There was too much of this crap to tear up ourselves. The information in these documents were too steal worthy to simply throw away. This left buying a shredder the only real option. So a trip to the local Rymans it was to look at shredders. Now there were a load of options for different mechanical shredders varying in different prices. Now for my mother this was all too expensive so what does she opt for? A cheap ass hand crank shredder for a fiver. Her justification, there wasn't that much to shred, just two bags worth really...

Back home, she unpacks the shredder and begins shredding documents. This was working fine until about the fifth load of papers were inserted into the shredder. By this point, I should point out that the blades were already beginning to go quite dull and the hand crank was laboring. I estimate that by about a third of the way through the first bag, the hand crank shredder was already destroyed. Mother was of course disappointed and all I could say was that's what you get for buying a cheap as shit shredder.

The shredder for a fiver story is one that I now bring up anytime my mother is choosing to be a cheapskate for no good reason.
(, Sat 28 Jun 2014, 2:14, 11 replies)
Second class post.
Some years ago I was arranging travel for children going to residential holidays. This involved spending many hours on the phone to The Trainline, then sorting scores of tickets into neat little piles and packaging them up, with instructions, for the escorting staff.

The last time I did it, everything was ready about three weeks in advance and I handed them over the the chap who ran the organisation for posting. Did he post them? Did he hell. He kept the envelopes on his desk for two weeks, "in case there were any changes" (there weren't, and it would have been easy to send amended instructions or more tickets if there had been) and then, with three days to go, he posted them. Second class.

The result was inevitable. Only one packet of tickets arrived on time, and replacements for all the others had to be bought at short notice - so no advance purchase deals.

Total cost to the organisation: a shade under £500

Total savings from using second class post: £1.62
(, Fri 27 Jun 2014, 7:38, 1 reply)
Generic drugs
I'm a pharmacist in real life, and I'm going to answer this question wrong.

Whatever you think of the morality and ethics of large drug companies (clue: they don't have any), they invest massive amounts of money in developing new drugs. Most drugs never make it to the market, and quite a few of those that do are withdrawn somewhere down the line when unfortunate side-effects come to light.

To protect that substantial investment in research & development, there is an extended patent on each successful drug, so the company that developed it is the only one allowed to market it. They make the most of that by charging as much as they like for it, so they can recoup those costs and make a tidy profit before the patent expires (after 7-10 years, usually). Then any drug company can manufacture it.

An example of a drug that recently came off patent is sildenafil. Until it came off patent, any pharmacy that dispensed a NHS prescription for sildenafil was reimbursed for the branded product, Viagra. When the patent expired, generics manufacturers started making it. Because they hadn't spent decades investing in research and development and clinical trials, they could charge a hell of a lot less for it than Pfizer does, and the price the NHS pays for sildenafil was substantially reduced as a result.

So, the generic version of a drug is a lot cheaper than the branded version. The NHS likes generic versions to be prescribed, so that it costs a lot less to pay for drugs prescribed to patients. The generics are identical, and subject to the same tests and quality assurance. They're just cheaper.

Sometimes, patients insist that they have to be given the brand.

Very occasionally, there might be a clinical reason why someone needs one particular brand of their medication. Perhaps they have an adverse reaction to one of the other ingredients, or the formulation (e.g. they can't swallow one brand which comes in round tablets, but they can cope with another brand which comes in oval tablets). This, however, is true in a vanishingly small number of cases.

Usually, it's some cunt with a massively inflated sense of entitlement - who is almost invariably very well-off - who insists that they have to get a particular brand of medication because they've twigged that the other one is cheaper, and therefore doesn't work.

They're wrong.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 18:37, 44 replies)

(, Wed 2 Jul 2014, 13:01, 9 replies)
I bought a Stylophone.
Not recommended. The stylus itself smelt like fish.
(, Mon 30 Jun 2014, 15:55, 3 replies)
No Junk Mail stickers.
So, you stick one of those stickers on your mailbox.
Rest easy that you've saved the planet from some horrible scourge. Right?

The pamphlets and catalogs are printed. They're sent to a distributor who then sends them to the people who collate them for your area and then hands the catalogs out to the people who then shove it in your mailbox.

Most organisations have to pay their local councils a hefty fee in order to send bulk stuff to a recycling depot. On the other hand they can chuck it in a bin and either claim it as a tax debit or at least write it off as a tax loss. Either way they can still make money off the loss rather than having to pay fees to the local council.

Of course the onus really lies with the person delivering your junk mail. They've been given enough paper to fill all of the mailboxes in their/your area. Any mailboxes that say "Don't fill me" they could send back to their distributor. And the distributor could send those catalogs back to the warehouse where the printer/owner would have to pay their council.
Or the deliverer could just chuck all the extra paperwork in the bin. Where it then gets picked up to become landfill. Rather than being recycled, because that would cost money.

In short - recycle your catalogs. Preferably by putting them through a 5 pound hand shredder to then donate to your local abandoned pet haven. That way everything you didn't want to get cause you couldn't afford it will be shat upon by innocent fluffy animals - that should make you feel better about yourselves, yeah?
(, Sun 29 Jun 2014, 8:49, 45 replies)
An old urban legend, told to me in good faiith
So this guy goes to Edinburgh university and decides that (this in the time of student grants) food is frankly too expensive to bother with, so he buys a hundredweight of porridge oats and lives on porridge for the whole term, having calculated that it's a decent healthy source of calories, fibre and protein.

Three months on, Scotland has its first case of scurvy since WWI.
(, Sat 28 Jun 2014, 19:02, 17 replies)
There was that time
when I was supposed to be buying a briefcase-load of depleted uranium from a Nigerian trader I bumped into down the pub, and he insisted on being paid in gold bullion. Now I looked into gold bullion and it's a bit expensive and hard to get hold of, but what I did find was a Fisher Price My First Arms Deal set, which came with some nifty little gold bullion bars in fetching yellow plastic.

So I went down the pub again on the Friday, as we'd arranged, and showed him the little bullions bars and asked him if they'd do. He said "You're having a laugh, aren't you? These are made of plastic." So I said "You've got me there. I thought the crap lighting in here might make them look a bit more real, you know?" He laughed and said "I can get you some depleted Play-Doh for 'em if you like." We guffawed heartily and bantered on into the night like old friends, until I spilt his lager and lime, at which point he tore off two of my fingers with his Fisher Price Junior Secret Policeman pliers.
(, Sat 28 Jun 2014, 12:20, 1 reply)
"these are £1.49 each or 2 for £2"
"but you don't like them!"
"i know, but that's really cheap!"
(, Fri 27 Jun 2014, 15:52, 1 reply)
burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr.

burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr
burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr burr.

burr burr, needless to say I had the last laugh.
(, Fri 27 Jun 2014, 11:03, 4 replies)
Car tyres. Tyres are not all the same.
Always bought cheap brand makes of tyre called things like 'Kumho' and 'Jingzboing' just to get through the MOTs. Then one week after an unexpected bonus in the pay packet, treated myself to some Bridgestones for the driving wheels (FWD).

Holy crap. What a difference spending an extra 50% on the boots makes.

All this time I've been blaming the lazy ass designers of my car for cheaping out on the suspension geometry, the garage for fucking up the tracking, the road menders for not resurfacing and the engine makers for lightening the block by casting in aluminium (less weight on the steering and driving wheels), that Rover 216 was a fucking handful in the wet and more than 5 degrees either way in a downpour would result in slidey understeer straight towards the nearest tree or crash barrier.

Nope. Me and my cheap ass tyres. You're attached to the road by four hand-sized patches of rubber anchoring a ton/ton and a half of metal at 70-80-90mph, sometimes in rain. Get decent tyres. Even if it's on a cheap ass car like a Rover 216. Might save your life.
(, Thu 26 Jun 2014, 17:57, 22 replies)
I was less than impressed at an impressionist's attempt to rip off the presenter of Name that tune
Yep, a false O'Connor meh
(, Thu 26 Jun 2014, 15:25, 2 replies)
Some of you may recall that, a few years ago, a lesbian disguised herself as a boy to find a girlfriend.
Her and her partner entered into a sexual relationship and using a cheap dildo managed to keep the truth hidden. It eventually came out after the girl realised what was going on and the woman who started the whole charade was arrested, put on trial and eventually spent some time inside.

The victim only ever issued one statement regarding the whole affair.

"I can't believe it was a falsie conning me."
(, Thu 26 Jun 2014, 13:11, 4 replies)
I wanted to learn to dance to impress a posh bird
the waltz at a Society wedding to be specific, so I had a series of lessons. In Vienna. Yes I know, but I was smitten.

At the big event the bride, groom and guests took to the floor. Before long I realised that there were titters and sniggers and muttered comments directed at me. It was my terrible attempt at doing the waltz that attracted their derision. All that money on dance lessons wasted.

That's the story of my Valtz ignominy.

Hey, I tried, OK?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 18:05, Reply)
The older generation...
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, swear, 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!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2014, 9:03, 8 replies)
At Christmas I bought a lobster from Lidl
It was 'fresh frozen' and only £9. Looked like a great value.

Came to use it and once I'd thawed it, it turned out that in the big packet (about a foot long) was a load of ice containing a tiny lobster, still in its shell.

So I got 2 table spoons of lobster for £9
(, Tue 24 Jun 2014, 14:14, 6 replies)

This question is now closed.

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