I Think I've Gotten Cheap.........

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I bought husband a father's day gift because for ONCE the man bought me both a birthday gift and a mother's day gift. (yes, I nearly fainted)

    I picked up a Red Lobster 25.00 gift card at kroger to take him out to dinner. So why didn't I just take him and pay cash? Because when you buy gift cards at krogers it like triples/quadruples your gas points. So, I bought the RL gift card. AND.......I have coupons from the paper for them too. AND they have a 15.00 meal going on right now (soup salad entree and dessert).

    I think I've officially become a tightwad. :rofl:

    I bought Alex's gift on clearance. A super soaker water gun for 5 bucks. And I'm driving him to and from summer camp. (sorry gas is expensive, so it counts lol)

    I bought Kayla's at a yard sale.......The old style barbie dream home (NO cardboard, the old sturdy kind) with furniture that had been kept at a Nana's house for years, so it's in excellent shape. 10 bucks.

    I may be a cheap tightwad.........but I found a way to eat at Red Lobster so I could afford it.......and husband has to take me. (he does like to eat there) :rofl::its_all_good:
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Cheap sounds bad...you've become efficient at finding bargains.

    Enjoy Red Lobster!
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    I prefer the term FRUGAL myself. First few years, I'd always forget about DD2's birthday (it's shortly after Christmas and New Year's). I always seemed to remember when checking out at Walmart, and they had the clearance rack right by the register then. JACKPOT!

    I RARELY pay full price for any gift. Besides, the VALUE is more important than the actual cost.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I almost NEVER buy a gift at full price. Esp for christmas. If I shop online I check for coupon codes, promo codes (sometiems they come up as one but not the other) plus I use ebates or swagbucks to get things. Swagbucks will let you have a $5 amazon gift card for 450 swagbucks (earned from doing things like watching adds, using their search engine, certain deals, etc...) and to get a $25 dollar one is around 3000 sbs. NO way would I EVER get the $25 buck one. I want as much as I can out of every little thing.

    I often give items found at thrift stores, yard sales and even freecycle away as gifts. In my side of the family christmas gifts between adults are never more than $10 or $15. But we get amazing bargains because they don't have to be new.

    I get little enjoyment out of paying full price and a lot out of a bargain. Two weeks ago we went to our church thrift store and WOW! I found a 100% cashmere throw in a deep plum color with NO holes for only $7!! I have it put up for my mother's birthday gift. Though I might give it to my dad for dad's day. It is warm now but he LOVES to curl up with a thow on his lap in the winter. He won't admit it but he also loves cashmere.

    Anyway, I think being frugal is awesome. If you want good sources for books, check out the people selling books new/used on amazon. I have yet to get anything in bad shape even if the condition was "used- acceptable". I just got 7 seasons of Are You Being Served (british comedy) for husband for Father's Day. Was going to get ONE dvd but a seller had a 7 season set for just $10.

    My kids do NOT like to buy new. They use coupons, deals, ask for disounts if packaging is damaged or something is missing or discolored, and prefer to buy gifts at yard sales/thrift stores. When we walk through a mall store they will comment on the clothes being nice but not THAT nice and what idiot would pay that much for this or that. makes me proud!

    Take a look at the Tightwad Gazette. It has some awesome ideas in it.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Bargain Guru, hon, not Tightwad. Deal Maven, if you prefer that title. Nice work!
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    by the way, the Red Lobster $15 special can be order and picked up as a take out. Yep, that was the deciding factor last week when we "needed" a treat but weren't prepared to pay full price or get dressed to go out. LOL DDD
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love Red Lobster! Maybe that is where we will go tomorrow...lol.

    I got Tony a new grill from Kmart for Fathers Day. It was $100 off.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I don't think you are cheap, you are smart and make the most of what you have. I internet shop for the same reason. got a new LCD screen for my laptop for $80 and put it in myself after easy child accidentally slammed it onto the ground and broke the old one. I had enough to buy a new lap top with my settlement, but did not because my laptop works fine (even after being slammed on the ground). Now? It is portable again. I buy online as I can get way better deals and it is easier than looking at stores forever..........which I hate. got a pair of Keen slippers (a splurge) regular price about $60 or more for $30.

    and you know what? I hope you enjoy your dinner tommorrow night, in my opinion you deserve it as much as husband does.

    As for my husband? I got him 2 new pair of jeans, and let him keep the coolers and power bait he bought last weekend when normally I would have made him return it. Yep, now I know why I do not let him use the debit card. I told him he could keep it, but that it was the rest of his fathers day present.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, we wound up going tonight.

    I have to say that the 15.00 meal at RL is AWESOME. Big portions. Only thing bad was you waited between each course........soup/salad was ok, came pretty much one after the other. Soup was delicious! We had a rather longish wait for the entree. They were busy but I think waiting an extra 1/2 hr was a bit much.....which easy child's husband promptly told them. They made the kids wait for their food until we were served the entrees......stupid as 3 little ones were hungry and their patience only lasts so long. Then another 20 min wait for dessert. ugh.

    We should've picked a different restaurant though, the one by the dayton mall is always packed like sardines. With drinks.......I only paid 12.00 over the gift card as since easy child and family and nichole and family joined us (all getting the same deal with different checks) and we had to paid gratuity which was automatically added to the bill. Irked me as I would NOT have given our servers a 5 buck tip. Service was not that good.

    Was an awfully good price for a huge meal, though. Soup, salad, entree, and a fabulous desert. AND I brought home what we couldn't eat. lol

    Everyone had fun........although 2 hrs in a restaurant, not counting the 1/2 hr wait to be seated.......we were more than ready to leave when we were done.
  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I love Marshalls.

    I just got two pairs of Skechers Shape-ups for $20.00 each. Normally, they're $80.00 a pair.

    I had to buy a size up, but with my wide feet, it just means I don't have to break them in.

    I love it hear about bargains and how others got their's.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    I NEVER go out to eat on Friday or Saturday nights anymore. Sunday lunch can be just as bad if not worse. With kids, the wait and crowds are just not worth it. I prefer Mondays or Wednesdays for going out.
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Today on our way home from the beach, we stopped at restaurant. I had paid $2 for a $25 gift cert. off a $50 purchase. I just got take-out to bring home to everyone and I didn't have to cook. So that was a free $25 worth of food, plus husband got 2 water-ices (buy 1, get 1 coupon). Restaurant.com always has specials on the gift certificates, you just put in your zip code and see what's in your area. The best ones are $25 off a $35 purchase, and you wait until they go on sale for $2.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hound, sit down right now and write down any info you can remember about the servers, mgr you spoke to, etc.... Even in a PACKED restaurant you should not have a wait like that between courses. MAYBE at a super fancy make a big deal about presenting each course because it is made by some super chef and cooked individually only by him you should wait that long. Trust me - not only years working in restaurants but lots of classes learning how to run all aspects of them.

    Then you write a complaint to corporate about how your family can NOT afford to eat out except 2-3 times a year and this was a super special splurge after a hard year with your older daughter just in a major car accident and your younger daughter preg with a very difficult pregnancy. You chose RL because it used to be a family favorite and in the past special dinners were great there and service was good and you tipped extra well accordingly.

    But then you ate there on Sat and it was good food but the service was incredibly slow. NO matter what you said the servers would NOT bring food for your grandchildren but instead made them wait until the ENTREES for the adults were served. You had to wait more than thirty minutes between courses and that is really tough when you have already waited 30 min for a table and the pregnant lady is tired and her feet are swelling. You spent over two HOURS there AFTER you waited for the table.

    Then you could not even show how bad the service was because a tip was automatically added and the restaurant REFUSED to change it (they would have if you asked, so if you didn't ask don't worry about it. RL and the other stores owned by the same group all have mgrs who assume you will just accept what they say about it after a meal because you are tired and have other things to do. In groups of restaurant mgrs and servers you can always tell the ones from that group because the mgrs are stunned when customers call corporate and corporate gets upset with them for stuff like this. Plus in many areas the RL servers all wear lands' end or ll bean shirts and insist on free replacements when they trash the cuffs - many RL mgrs actually tell servers to do this, I have heard them brag about it.)

    Stress how rare it is for you to spend money eating out, how it is only for very special occasions and you don't do fast food. If you spend money on a meal out you expect it to be a real occasion and you don't think that asking for decent service, which you did NOT get, esp for the grandkids who were hungry and even after asking to have their food brought out early they had to wait until they saw the adults have soup AND salad and that is just too much for little kids, not exceptional service but decent service was too much.

    Then the restaurant heaped insult upon you by insisting that you pay a tip that was NOT earned in any way shape or form. The food was delicious, and that was appreciated, but the bad service and the rudeness of being forced to pay a tip that was in no way deserved and having to sit with cranky kids who just watned their food and the staff wouldn't allow that to be brought out early as requested ALL left you with a very bad taste in your mouth.

    Then say that you will sadly have to look for another place to have these super special family dinners the 1-2 times a year they happen, and of course you will tell your friends if mgmt cannot resolve this. you spent $$ (tally up the amt for everyone, not just you and husband) and for that amt you expected far better.

    Chances are that you will get apologies and free meals for all of you including the kids, chances are they will jsut make it for the entire check and not specify a dollar amount. OTherwise they will give you the $$ you spent plus a bit extra for your efforts and the insult of the forced tip.

    I don't mind the automatic tips on large groups because so often the servers busts her hiney and gets stiffed or maybe 5% from a big group - the bigger the group the worse the tips are - but if the service is not good I will argue with a manager until they take it off just to get me to leave. Then if a server did a good job but wasn't "our" server or came in when the earlier server left or was the first server but went off shift and someone lousy was there after, I go find that good server and give her a good tip - usually more than the automatic amount.

    One reason for auto tips on groups is because servers are charged income tax as though they made at least 8% of their total checks in tips - regardless of if they didn't. If they get tipped more and there are records, like credit card receipts, then they are taxed on that also. But if there is NO tip info they pay taxes as though they earned tips on each ticket. It may be higher than 8% now, it was a few years ago the last time I dealt with that. As big groups, esp with separate checks, tend to all assume that someone else will tip and then the individuals don't leave a tip - this can cost a server a HUGE amount in taxes esp if a place routinely handles large groups. So I understand why they do the auto tipping for groups, but if the service is not good then I still won't pay it. But I make sure if part of the staff did a good job and the main server didn't then the good people get a reward.

    But this is a situation that corporate WANTS to know about and fix. they do NOT want you, your husband and daughter's and their husband's to all go and say you had great food but lousy service to others. And that is what WILL happen. If they give you free meals again, you get to go and give them a chance to give you good service, they cut down the negative things you say AND you are likely to tell many others how corp made it right for you.

    You scrimp and save too much to get the $$ to go out for a nice dinner to let anyone slack off like that. THe mgr will likely be told that he has to shape up and get service back on track, which is needed, and it gives corp very valuable info about how things are going in the stores. For every diner who complains and lets them have a chance to make it right there are a LOT of diners who just bad mouth them.

    If you want me to look over the email, just send it via pm. I complained like this a few years ago when we went to a DOn Pablos (hard to find out here) and the food was good but service hoovered. We got gift cards for twice the amount of our meal and a lovely card on our next anniversary with another GC for the cost of the original meal - so we got 3x the cost of the meal that had bad service. This is not the norm, but it was our anniversary and the first one in three years we had been able to afford to go out and we drove 90 min to get to DP's - each way. I also did a complaint for a friend who had awful food and service at the Roadhouse Grill in our town. The store owner blew it off so I went to corporate. The big problems they had were that the food took over 40 mins for each part, including the drinks and then she went to the bathroom to help her son because he spilled a drink and her dad also went to the bathroom and the server came and took all their food - only 2-3 bites out of each plate because they had just arrived! Her mom and husband and kids tried to stop them but the server said she "had" to as they had "left". SO they paid for steak dinners for 3 people who didn't get them. Corp was furious with the owner - who stupidly verified that she made the server take their food even though it had just arrived because they had a lot of people waiting to be seated and they had been there "too long". I know a server there and corp came out and forcibly retrained the entire staff after a couple of complaints like this. They also gave the servers a phone # to call if the owner tried that tactic of taking away plates if someone went to the bathroom (owner learned this from a local restaurant that went under because things like this but the people who worked there all tried it at other restaurants in the area after they got new jobs.) or anything similar. They didn't wnat her ruining their reputation.

    My friend got a new meal from that place for the entire family plus got a gift card for the amt of the original meal. The new meal was a card that said "good for free meal and drinks for 10 people" with no dollar amount. The letter encouraged them to order drinks and desserts and all the extras.

    I HATE bad restaurant experiences. So do the restaurants. SO let me know if you want hel pwith the complaint. Cannot guarantee results, but corp won't ignore it.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would call or write the restaurant too. I had horrible service at a Shoney's restaurant one time here and that was a really odd thing to happen. I got there quite late after the dinner rush. In fact, I was probably only one of maybe six people in the whole place and the patrons out numbered the staff...lol. I was sitting in the smoking section at the time because I wanted to sit and read a book in peace for just a pleasant night out by myself.

    The server came to see me and ordered my drink...a diet coke. It came about 20 minutes later. That was the first odd thing..drink should come in a very short time when there is no one there. I saw two of the staff sitting in a booth about 8 booths up from me chatting on break. When my drinks came, the guy asked me if I was ready to place my order, I told him yes and he said he would send my waitress right over. Well ten minutes later she came. I gave her my order and trust me it wasnt any sort of specialty. It took 30 more minutes to get to me. I had also ordered dessert to be brought out when I got my food or about 5 minutes after I got my food. Oh yeah that happened...lmao. I was there well over 2 and a half hours for a meal that shouldnt have taken me a half hour to order and get served. The restaurant actually started to get ready to close while i was in there eating!

    I contacted the number at shoney's and they sent me a free meal for me and tony for one meal each for a month...lol. so each week we went to shoneys for dinner.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Susie and Janet I think I'll do just that!

    This particular RL is bad for this sort of thing. Even way back when husband and I lived in the area. I'd hoped that it had improved, but honestly it was MUCH worse. Parking was almost impossible. People standing outside 45 mins or more, not just us a whole crowd of people. I will say other customers waiting were nice enough to give both easy child and Nichole seats outside so they didn't have to stand. But it took 20 mins of burning gas just to park, which I'll also mention. That parking lot has been too small since they built the place. Going to that particular one had been settled between the girls. I'd hoped for a different one.

    We had one decent waitress, two others not worth a hoot. The one decent one did attempt to get them to serve up the kid's food early.......but they told her that it was against policy. wth? they really expect kids to watch grownups eat and get nothing?? Aubrey was so hungry and sleepy by the time her food got there she barely ate, and got so tired and cranky before it arrived that she was a handful. Brandon had eaten 3 rolls, half his mom's salad, and 2 packages of crackers for the soup before his meal got to him. Who sits and eats in front of a hungry 2 yr old?

    When I get decent service I tip big, the whole family is that way. If service had been good they'd have seen 10 bucks from each separate check in the party, more if it had been really good. We're ones to appreciate good service. easy child was a server for years. Our restaurants here in town know that we're excellent tippers and tend to bend over backward for us, even when we're all together. Actually.....we've had a time or two when servers have tried to shuffle around so they can serve us. lol But that whole pay the tip with the check peeves me off for the reason you stated Susie.........after all that easy child was in pain, her leg was swelling badly, Nichole no longer felt well......the kids were tired of sitting there, sleepy and cranky and we just wanted to get out of there.

    Bad part? If they gave us free meals to that one........they'd probably have to keep doing it. If they haven't changed in all these years......... And what really ticked us off? Used to be if you had a large group you could call them and reserve a table, especially on the weekends. Nichole tried and they told her they stopped doing that.

    The food WAS good though......and it's one heckova deal even without the coupon.
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm checking with a friend that used to work at RL to see what "policy" actually consists of. Pretty sure you got a line of bull on that. I've taken out friends with kids (back before I had one, you know, when I had money), and we always had servers ask us if we wanted the kid's food first. Not just at RL but everywhere we went.
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    you go girl! I think you're very wise and also think you should start a business; online classes to teach the rest of us how to stretch our dollars. You, Star and Susie. With the economy being the way it is there is a real need for this.
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I just gave corporate Red Lobster a piece of my mind.........and used every one of the 2000 character limit to do it!!! lol I did the kill em with kindness thing to the hilt, but made it clear I was NOT a happy camper! Driving 1 1/2 hrs and paying 150.00 for a meal........for that service is totally unacceptable!

    When I realized how much we paid TOGETHER.......it peeved me off even more.

    So, guess we'll see.

    ML I'm in no way an expert at the couponing. I'm still learning......I'm only just reaching I think 2 months at it. Necessity is forcing me to learn fast. Susie has got it down to an art form. lol And I think Star is better at it than me too.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Noppppppppe. Daisy is the expert to me.