Cheap must be in the genes (AND jeans)

You may recall my post several days ago about the shame I endure for the sake of a good bargain.  (Click here if you missed your chance to laugh at me and feel better about yourself.)  Well, it turns out that my “frugal” characteristic is a product of both nature and nurture.  It runs in the family.  My mom still rinses out Ziploc bags so she can reuse them.  And the only time I ever wore brand names growing up is if they had acid spills on them and we could buy them as “seconds” at some sketchy bargain basement.  Don’t get me started on the refilling of brand-name cereal boxes with generic tasteless substitutes and thinking we wouldn’t notice.

Well, my younger brother Greg lives in Tennessee and each year their newspaper hosts a Cheapest of the Cheap competition.  He’s been a finalist for the last three years.  This year, the cheap effort that won him honor was to avoid the cost of tennis lessons by posting videos of himself playing tennis on and soliciting free advice.  Well, apparently all the stars posing as blue-light specials aligned themselves correctly in the universe because he won!  What did he win at a Cheapest of the Cheap celebration?, you might ask.  Well, get this.  He WON A THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!  (Okay, so it was really $999.99, but still!)

Here is a link to the newspaper article honoring him for his extraordinary cheapness:

Bad economy brings out the cheapest of the cheap: Check out the 50 top money-saving tips from this year’s contest

And here he is ladies, straight from his high-falootin’ newspaper photo shoot.  (Sorry, he’s taken. Wink, wink, Melinda!)


So congratulations, Greg.  I know you’ll probably need most of that money for tennis lessons, but if you’re feeling generous. . .  I could really use a new pair of jeans that don’t have a cow poop pattern on one leg, and mom might benefit from a Costco-sized box of Ziploc bags.  Just a thought.

I bet you folks have some awesome cheap stories.  You sure won’t win a thousand bucks here, but share your wisdom as a public service.  What money saving strategies work for you (or did you have to endure as a child)?