The things we do save a buck.
The saying “waste not, want not” can be very valuable. However, as with most idioms of wisdom, it can be taken too far. Especially if it means putting up with severely unpleasant experiences simply to save a buck or two.
A person on Reddit by the username @Bull56Dozer recently asked the online community to share their own “well I paid for it, not letting it go to waste” moments and their question received a ton of responses. As it turns out, many, many humans would prefer to endure the uncomfortable (even consume the questionable) rather than potentially waste money.
A lot of the anecdotes were, perhaps unsurprisingly, food related. Considering that food inflation is at nearly 10% as of April 2022, it makes sense that people might want to milk every penny, even if that means drinking milk past the expiration date.
Plus, we do have a huge food waste issue. According to the World Food Programme, nearly one-third of all food currently produced globally is wasted each year … enough to feed 2 billion people. With those alarming statistics, I find myself choking down cereal that’s flavor is … interesting at best.
Of course, money fears could also be at play. Finances is a major source of stress for many people, if not manifesting into a full-blown phobia. Even those who are currently secure could still have been affected by growing up in poverty. As Leah Brookner, MA, MSW, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University, explained in an article for Health, the trauma of childhood poverty—even when experienced well into young adulthood—can negatively shape the way we think. Luckily, she adds that with awareness, this is a challenge that can be overcome.
Maybe by making light of some of the measures we go through in the name of frugality, we can bring in some of this awareness, while still keeping our spirits lifted. After all, when given an optimistic spin, these moments can make for some funny stories. And time spent laughing is never wasted, right?
Without further ado, here are 14 of the best responses:
1. How could Oprah lead them astray?
“The worst cake I ever had was $30 for two slices…It was my mom’s birthday and she wanted to go to this gourmet cake place that was every girl’s tea party fantasy on the inside. The cakes were even Oprah recommended which was the reason my mom knew about it. We go to eat it, and the cake is…..awful. And it’s not just, oh it’s not my taste, like the cakes just tasted bad...."
When you have your gross cake and have to eat it tooGiphy
"...We still ate them because they were $30 but I had to buy my own frosting to get through it.” – @signaturefox2013
2. When cheapness leads to closure
“Planned a weekend away with the guy I was dating, it was for his birthday. We would go to a theme park and stay in a hotel. But in the meantime we decided to break up. We still got on that trip, cause we already booked. At first I thought it was going to be a bit awkward, but it turned out to be really fun and a nice way to close things off.” – @vonne_F
3. ...and all they got was this lousy T-shirt
“Ran a marathon where I hit the wall at 25k. The remaining 17k I was just repeating to myself that I had paid for this and I was going to get my finisher T-shirt no matter what. Absolutely miserable 2 hours.” – @donut-or-do-not
4. Did somebody order a free feline piercing?
“My cat was pissed at me (I may have been egging him on) and bit my ear. In fact, he pierced my ear. My daughter cleaned it up for me and added a nice diamond-stud earring…I’m not a guy for earrings, but as long as I had a piercing, I’ll wear an earring for a little while at least…the hard part was done.” – @Southern_Snowshoe
Lucky it was his earGiphy
5. In dad's defense … should the turkey die for nothing?
“My dad burnt the thanksgiving turkey to the point were if he had left it 5 more minutes he would’ve burnt the whole house down… still forced us to eat it tho… worst thanksgiving to this day…” – @MemeVY
6. When the term "cheap date" becomes a little too literal
“Went on a date for Valentine’s Day and they offered to buy me a coffee beer at the restaurant. Horrible. I’m pretty sure they just made it with half black coffee, half stout and mixed it together in the glass. If I had purchased it myself, I would have noped out, but I managed to choke it down.” – @CONFETA
7. Mom never has to know
“I decided to try making a big batch of slow-cooked shredded pork tenderloin with smashed potatoes because my parents had this huge tenderloin in their freezer that they weren't going to use. I had never cooked pork before, I'd never thawed meat before, I'd never used a slow cooker before…. What could possibly go wrong?
I severely messed it up …the pork came out tough and way, way over-seasoned with pepper, to the point that was its only flavor, and the worst part was that there was enough meat for ten work lunches, most of which I had to freeze so they wouldn't go bad. I kept forgetting to thaw them in advance, which often resulted in the potatoes still being cold in the middle after reheating because I didn't want to hold up the microwave at work.
So for two whole weeks, I had over-seasoned, tough shredded pork and cold, under-seasoned potatoes for lunch at work. Why did I not stop this chain of events at any point or throw the food out, you may ask? Because I knew my mom would lecture me about it…and I've always been too cheap to pay for delivery.” – @RinTheLost
8. When you're a bookworm on a budget
“When I was younger not only would I compulsively finish any book I started, but I would also finish any series it was a part of.” – @tehKrakken55
However, this person did have a one-time caveat:"I read Twilight to see what the fuss was about, and got a third of the way into whatever the hell the third book is before I looked at myself in the mirror and said 'You do not have to finish books you don't like.'"
9. Sticking to the bitter, bitter end
“I try to be very careful with my money. So I usually only get coffee from Dunkin or Starbucks as a treat to myself lol. I order the same thing every time. French vanilla cold brew with cream and no cold foam. Today for some reason, it was so bitter and terrible I could barely stand it. No cream, no French vanilla and even a bit of the coffee grounds were still floating around in there. I paid 3.50 for it …so I drank it. Lol.” – @ItchyInvestigator174
“Current college course. 7 and a half grand in debt for almost the rest of my life and I’m just there for the experience.” – @_Frog_Enthusiast_
11. When thriftiness leaves you feeling salty
“Overly salty peanut butter chocolate cake…..I can still feel the salt burns on my tongue after just the first slice. No amount of milk, whipped cream or fruit helped but that salt. Ate every last crumb of that cake. Took me only two weeks. It was a 6” cake.” – @GeneticExperiment626
12. Because those pants WILL come back in style!
"Most of the items of clothes in my closet unfortunately. I don’t like them so I don’t wear them but I can’t bring myself to throw them out because, well, I paid for them.” – @agentPheasant
Hmm..what will I not be wearing today?Giphy
13. When it affects you're health, there's a problem
“Medication for my ADHD. On paper, should’ve been a great fit, but it turned me into a zombie. And I don’t say that lightly, I couldn’t tell you what happened those few months…At the time i also had undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety, which can be severely exasperated by high doses of many ADHD meds. I was taking a 35 mg does which is pretty high for ADHD meds. So when I wasn’t a zombie, I was having serve panicking attacks. The anxiety and zombification was so bad it counteracted the benefits of the medicine. Yet, I kept with it for FOUR MONTHS because they were expensive. Stupidest thing I've done. Four months I'm never getting back. Btw I got a better much lower and effective does now.” – @Agitated-Salad-894
14. Saved the happiest ending for last
“My mom bought me a 1 year gym membership ( I was 16 ) I didn't want to go to the gym at all . But she told me try it out once and see what happens , I was angry at the time but I figured 'well I cant cancel it and the money's already been paid, I'll see what happens.' Here I am talking to you, 100 pounds lighter. I love my mom.” – @Mission-Pickle-2846