Coming in contact with someone you can tell in conversation if they are actually frugal or just plain old cheap. It can be embarrassing when out with friends, family, or co-workers, but also just sad when it comes to being cheap and trying to scam. Sure, living frugal is important if you are looking to free up extra money each month so that you can work on your finances to build an emergency fund or fund your retirement account, but it’s when you cross into the ‘cheap’ category is when things look rough. We have all had that person in our lives that you would call cheap, but let’s be sure that there is a difference between frugal and cheap, and we’d like to side with frugal.
Stealing Toiletries from Hotels
It’s nice to have a nice out at the hotel, especially if it’s a getaway, or if hotel has more of an updated bed, bathroom, and shower than you have in your own house. The hotels give you enough toiletries to get through your trip, even refilling when they’re empty, but that doesn’t mean you need to go home with the same size bottles that will not last you more than a day or two. Depending on the hotel you stay at they may not even be using brands that you think are expensive anyways, so you’re just getting essentially free cheap shampoo and soaps.
Make Way for the Free Samples
I have to admit that when I go to Costco I am going up and down the aisles to see what free samples are available. It’s a nice perk to shopping on the busy weekend, and it may even tempt me to buy a new product that I’m trying, but mostly it’s just nice to try a few things, if you can even get up there. There are those that wait in line for the product to come out of the toaster oven and load up when they come out, I have seen it a number of times.
“Put it in Your Purse”
Now this happened to me one time and I was really embarrassed when I was out and someone in my party wanted to take a pint glass home with them as it had the Beer company on it, and I guess they liked it. The problem is, I know I have too many pint glasses already, so it will most likely just be stuffed in a drawer anyways, so why even bother risking being seen walking out with a bulge in your shirt or stuffed in your carryout box as you’re walking out or find insurance can help you when you get beat up by the bouncer.
Poor Tipping Etiquette
Now having been in the service industry before, and well, having common sense, it’s always important to tip at least 20% when going out for food or drinks, but I have friends, close friends in fact, that always skimp on that and it requires those that notice to throw in a few more bucks. When it comes from someone who makes a decent salary, we had great service, but is shorting the tip, I am chalking that up to cheap instead of frugal, because you didn’t mind ordering the drinks and dinner in the first place, so you can’t be hurting for money.
Going Inside vs. Drive-Thru
Sometimes going inside the fast food restaurant when you are unsure what you want to order and can take your time looking at the menu is nice, compared to feeling rushed at the drive-thru, but it’s after you order your food is when your behavior comes into question. Let’s take Taco Bell for instance, where you can self-serve selecting your sauces when you go inside, and when you come home with a bag full of sauces just to keep for when you need them down the road is when your frugal-ness could be called into question.
Loading Up on Free Breakfast
Traveling for work I have had a few continental breakfasts in my day and I have seen plenty of people load up like it’s a free buffet, throwing their plates away with food still on it, and getting a second to try. As they’re leaving they take enough for snacks and lunch for the day, which could be a little overboard. What happened to just grabbing a muffin and coffee on your way out on your way to work. Maybe I’m just not a morning person and don’t allow myself the extra time to sit for a full meal at breakfast.