When Cheap Is Too Cheap--Our Mistake

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 by Jen · 2 comments

When I read Christina's post on the Stingy Scoundrel, I thought, "She's talking about me!" I'm kind of ashamed to admit what we did, but I figure, might as well get it all out here.

We live about 20 minutes from the MSP airport, so we often serve as airport taxi for my retired parents who take trips fairly often. We really don't mind at all, we have a great spot to park an extra car, and we like spending time with the Grandparents in our home.

So on Saturday afternoon, I was picking up my Mom from the airport, and I realized that I didn't have enough ground beef (with extra person) to make the hamburgers I was planning, and I didn't want to stop at the grocery store. So while on the phone with my husband, I told him to take some chicken breast out of the freezer and we would have hamburger and chicken breast. He wasn't too excited about this option, but I was going with it.

The problem was I really didn't want to cook, and my husband didn't really want to cook, and Highway 494 was closed at 35W, so my 20 minute trip to the airport actually took 60 minutes.

So when we got home at 5:45, I was tired, but I knew I didn't want to spend money on take out. So I asked my Mom, "Would you pay for Chinese take-out since we picked you up from the airport?" And of course she said "yes." At the time it seemed reasonable--we were hungry, we wanted food, we didn't want to pay--what were we thinking!

Here my Mom was a guest in my house and I asked her to pay for dinner. I really can't believe I did this. Yes we are trying to save money, and yes, my Mom knows about our frugal ways, but that just isn't an excuse. I am 37 years old, and my Mom should not have to buy me food in my own house! Plus, I should not treat a guest this way! I'm pretty disgusted with myself.

So before I planned my grocery shopping for the week, I took the $35 out of my fund to give back to my Mom (yes--$35. We never would have spent this much on take out if it were our money!) with a huge apology--"Our actions were soooo uncool!"

I should have just stopped at the grocery store. And bought another pound of hamburger. At full price. It would have been cheaper and smarter and my integrity would still be intact. Live and learn--we all make mistakes.

Thanks for reading!


2 comments to "When Cheap Is Too Cheap--Our Mistake"
  1. Jen - you had me laughing out loud! I believe that may be something I have done in the past, too.... fortunately, my parents and I are close enough that she will tell me I'm being a cheapskate and need to pay my own way! LOL! Thanks for the smile today! I don't think you're a stingy scoundrel... I think you're human! :-)

  2. Thanks for the comment Christina! My Mom knows I'm a cheapskate and she's always helping me out--and I let her. She sends me home with food after we've been at our house. She supplied me with lots of free produce from their garden (rasberries, squash and pumpkins, homemade jam, and just this week she bought me yeast at Sam's Club (I owe her $4.50).

    It was the fact that I ASKED her to pay our way rather than her offering. Because we helped her out with the ride home, I knew she would feel obligated! So not cool of me--even if she is my Mom.

    But it's all good, and I know my Mom will understand! Can't wait to get my yeast!

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