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!