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Home > Blog > What things are you cheap about?
Out of Our Minds
Saturday, October 16, 2004 6:03 PM
What things are you cheap about?
Anita Sharpe on Life

I have a friend who will drive many miles out of her way to avoid paying the 50-cent toll to use a road that would shave at least half an hour off her daily commute. I know a multimillionaire who drives all over town in search of the cheapest gas. Another friend always recycles gifts and has been known to give the same presents back to the people who originally gave them to her.

In my case, I kept my $40 annual Costco membership current for years primarily so I could get a great deal on paper towels and trash bags. But I couldn't set foot in the store without spending at least $200 on other stuff.

One thing I have learned over the years is that being cheap is almost always expensive.


6 comments

anita - 11/19/2004 4:57:04 PM
Dane -- What a harrowing story! (but sounds like a fairly happy ending.)We are about to wrap issue #2 and will turn our attention to issue 3 after. I will put this in my futures file -- meanwhile, anyone who has story ideas can post them on worthwhilemag.com/ideas/

thanks!
Dane Hooper - 11/19/2004 4:50:44 PM
I am an old fart who was pretty successful in the ad agency business for 25 years, until I had a coronary and my wife (who had complex epilepsy) chocked to death on a piece of meat when home alone. Then I started a new career in residential real estate. No transactions for six months but ended up top salesperson for the top Century 21 in Illinois for 1982-3-4-5 and in 1986 was honored as a Centurion . . . then went to RE/MAX and was 100% Club for 11 years before being admitted to the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame.
I've semi-retired now with my retired school teacher wife in a new house next to an old 150' long, 11' deep pond in very rural Wisconsin.
Is your new magazine interested iu my writing up how I did it for a story? I have written a Real Estate Sales Idea BOOK titled 'How to Become a BIG FISH in a little pond.'
Interested?
920-648-2367
Dane Hooper - 11/19/2004 4:46:05 PM
I am an old fart who was pretty successful in the ad agency business for 25 years, until I had a coronary and my wife (who had complex epilepsy) chocked to death on a piece of meat when home alone. Then I started a new career in residential real estate. No transactions for six months but ended up top salesperson for the top Century 21 in Illinois for 1982-3-4-5 and in 1986 was honored as a Centurion . . . then went to RE/MAX and was 100% Club for 11 years before being admitted to the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame. IS MY STORY WORTH READING?
Bibi - 10/20/2004 12:30:10 PM
I'm with Kate on never paying retail for clothing. I live in Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I love great consignment and thrift shops. You can look like a million bucks without spending it. Department stores give me the creeps...

As for holding on to things...I've been trying to recycle my old favorites (in good condition) for women in domestic violence shelters. It has made the parting process much easier and it's for a good cause.
Curt Rosengren - 10/18/2004 3:41:18 PM
My indulgence in the joys of cheapness aren't so much in the purchasing side of the equation as they are in holding on to things. There's a standing joke with my dad - who I don't believe would ever willingly throw an article of clothing away if my mom didn't accidently turn them into dustrags - of saying, 'What do you mean? There's *plenty* of good wear left in these.'

I have a pair of slippers that has been the source of much eye-rolling among my friends. They're leather slippers that I've had for years. The slippers themselves are still in good shape, but the thread holding them together has blown out in several places. I always figured that I would just sew them back up, so I've never gotten rid of them. But I also never remember to get some heavy duty thread to do the job. So my feet ramain well ventilated (and I do mean *well* ventilated) when I wear them.

I actually just got a new pair of leather slippers for my birthday, which means my old slippers go into the closet to await their repair.

Guess this means it's finally time to throw out the even older pair of slippers I repaired with duct tape.

Yes, I know. Sad, but true. It's the Rosengren curse.

Still plenty of good wear left in that.
Kate - 10/18/2004 10:15:05 AM
While I believe in spending money to 'gain' time to focus on things that matter more, one cheap commandment I have always lived by is: 'For clothes, thou shalt never pay retail.'

Thanks to a combination of thrift shops, visits to clever copiers like H&M and Dots, clothes swaps and an eye for a 'real' sale, I can indulge my loves for fashion and variety while savoring the thrill that comes from a truly excellent bargain find.

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