Secrets of a stingy Scoundrel I dunno that I would say I am stingy…. but I love the game of “getting the best deal”. I am always amazed how easy it is to save a lot of money by using some very simple tactics. For instance how we save 80% on airline our airline tickets from Lincoln to Minneapolis. Again its not like I am a penny pincher and I am for sure not the guy who will drive $20 in gas around town to save 50 cents on something (thats my wife actually), but it still is amusing to see how much you can get off of the list price just by simply asking. Plus obviously I have a lot of getting free stuff… just look at the free t shirt Friday phenomenon (which we are about 1.5 years in queue).

Phil Villarreal must have picked up on this because he sent me his new book Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel. The book is subtitled “100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets” which peaked my interest because I can deal with bullet point books that don’t require a lot of comprehension.

I highly recommend the book. While it is billed as entertaining it does make you think a bit about a lot of commercial services and how they are doing business.

Here are some of my favorite funny tips from the book:

  • Dress like a homeless guy to score free food at soup kitchens
  • Smear your bar tab receipt in alcohol and water to render it illegible, thus making it easier to dispute the charge. (but can’t they just reprint it?)
  • Get two pizzas for the price of one by complaining the toppings were wrong after you ate most of the first pie. (who has not done this?)
  • “Fix” scratches on DVDs by renting movies you own and swapping them out.
  • Don’t tip while dining out, but if you do tip make sure your gratuity is equal to the amount you’d like to make out with the server.
  • When big products are released (video game consoles, new iPhones), get to stores early, then sell your spot in line to those who come late.
  • Don’t have a kid until someone you know really well leads the way, allowing you to score all their old diapers, food and furniture.
  • Encourage friends to buy expensive products by challenging their self-esteem, then borrow them.
  • Never buy a power tool you can borrow from a neighbor. And by “borrow” I mean “keep forever.”
  • When booking a flight, say you’re en route to a funeral and ask for a discount.
  • Recycle your sugary breakfast cereal “aftermilk” to delay your trips to the grocery store.
  • Stay in hostels when traveling abroad, make copies of the keys at hardware stores and come back whenever you like, as long as you check in after management has gone to sleep.

Its a very funny book.. and I highly recommend it. Its only 10 bucks on amazon. Go pick it up!

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

44 thoughts on “Secrets Of a Stingy Scoundrel”
  1. This is one of those books I would actually read, then publish online for everyone to read thus screwing with the author for suggesting such ridiculous money saving techniques.

      1. I actually had that in there in an early draft but the publisher made me take it out.

  2. Most of these tips seem on a par with affiliate programs skimming money from their advertisers.

    Basically, they are stealing.

  3. I’m guessing a lot of those won’t even work anymore. I guess unless you’re dealing with stupid people, which is quite often.

  4. 1.5 year in queue for the t-shirt friday post?

    Ouch! I send you mine just before Christmas… At least I hope you received it.. I’m sure you’d look particularly sexy wearing it 😉

  5. I’m sure the book is good for a laugh, and probably has a lot of good frugality tips, but I must admit the questionable ones, I wouldn’t do. Although I do agree with the waiting for kids thing – we SO lucked out with car loads of stuff for our boys, from all our friends who’s sons had outgrown stuff. #bonus!

  6. Speaking of stuff you get for free and whatnot, I have to ask.

    Did you get paid to post this or do you only do that in your twitter feed? Not trying to be cynical, just curious.

  7. Haha! for the point number 3, who doesn’t? Maybe the author already experience all of this..:)

  8. Hahaha (laughing), funny post. Great name for the book “100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets”

  9. As a former “pizza guy” I might suggest that you not make a habit of using the wrong topping trick more than once at any one place.. We remember those things, even more now that we can add notes in the computer about your order, and you might not appreciate the ‘extra’ toppings that come on that second pizza.. 🙂

    1. I bartended and catered my way through college. Like our friends at the pizza chains, we also remember those who don’t tip…

      I’m all for being stingy and sticking it to “the man,” but screwing over individuals is lame.

  10. “When booking a flight, say you’re en route to a funeral and ask for a discount.”

    does this ever work?

    1. Worked airline reservations years ago, a copy of the death certificate was needed (like on the Seinfeld episode).

  11. the getting a cheap flight by saying your headed to a funeral reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George tried that tactic and they asked him for a copy of the death certificate.

    He told the minister or whoever that he wanted it because he was compiling a scrapbook. (classic)

  12. “Encourage friends to buy expensive products by challenging their self-esteem, then borrow them.”

    got to try it…haha
    really save u money… 🙂

  13. This book is awesome, it’s up there with another book titled, “Steal this Book”, which shows you all kinds of tricks and tactics for setting up scams to get things for free.

    You can get a free hotel room at just about any hotel which uses keys… simply copy the key to your room… return on a slow night and go up to your room late at night.

    If the room is empty you are good. If the room is occupied blame it on the front desk. If you get caught say that you checked into your room and they gave you this key. If you lock or chain your door there is no way to get caught. Scope out hotels which use keys to see which ones can be copied.

    1. I’ve heard of that book! I love these kinds of books, as they are mostly just for a laugh, but seriously some of the stuff actually works. Like the hotel thing. Most hotels are using cards now a days though so that wouldn’t really work unless it’s a crappier hotel. But it’s still a good idea!

  14. Seems like a more accurate title would be “How to lie, cheat & steal your way to short term success.” At some point it seems likely the person pulling these cute little tricks would be on the receiving end and it wouldn’t be nearly as funny.

    1. I completely agree… not only that.. if these are the “best” out of the book, not very impressed as many won’t even work!

      Jon @

  15. Retail is for suckers.

    I’m not real hip on some of his suggestions that involve thievery though.

    Slickdeals FTW.

  16. Shoe, this is pretty sad coming from you. Seriously, you condone dressing up as a homeless guy to get free soup from a homeless shelter (doesn’t matter if someone else came up with the idea, you’re condoning it). Great way to undermine help for the genuinely homeless. Also a great way to promote the freeloading culture which just damages everyone.

    But wait – this is just a “joke” blog entry right? So I’m taking it too seriously – so it means nothing what you say? Or it does mean something? Or you’re just getting some money to promote some guy’s book?

    Whatever the reason, this is all a bit naff, mate.

      1. I think they just got upset that they are unable to make money doing something they love. So they are stuck at a dead end job with no future.
        Thus they don’t have a sense of humor.
        And thus explains why they are complaining.

        Great article shoe, can’t say I’ll buy the book because I’m incredibly broke.

  17. I love the idea about selling your spot in line. That would be awesome, especially if you don’t even NEED to be in the line to begin with. 😀

    And I’m all for children getting hand-me-downs from older children…but not diapers.

    (For those without a sense of humor, I realize the author was likely speaking about cloth or unused diapers.)


    I’m going to try that line trick.

  18. Dressing like a homeless guy to score free food at soup kitchens seems to upset some of your readers. A less scoundrel like approach is to actually do volunteer work at a soup kitchen. You’ll get to eat even more free food, with less bad karma to go along with it.

  19. Never buy a power tool you can borrow from a neighbor. And by “borrow” I mean “keep forever’ …A great points.

  20. Major retailers are really breaking down on “returners”. Beware that there is a new system, like a credit report system for returns, that they all belong to that is tracking your returns. Target now knows when you just left Walmart with other returns.

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