10 Signs You Are Visiting a Tightwad’s House

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10 signs of a Tightwad

*Note there is a difference between a tightwad and a cheapskate.

Have you ever visited a home and wondered if you could talk about saving money? Here are 10 signs that you have entered a tightwad’s house.

10 Signs You Are in a Tightwad’s House

  1. When the seasons change instead of a trip to the mall for new clothes, one makes a trip to the storage shed to retrieve the box labeled with your size. No store bags lying around the house.
  2. When you notice items used in a different way like a china cabinet holding school books, or a kitchen cabinet going sideways to fit about the refrigerator.
  3. The cars in the driveway clearly have almost 200,000 miles and weren’t manufactured in this decade.
  4. When you can’t find paper towels or napkins because the cloth napkins are stored in the silverware drawer.
  5. The popcorn doesn’t come in a bag with directions for the microwave.
  6. There is homemade dishwasher soap on the counter.
  7. Dinner leftovers are stored in plastic containers to be frozen for packed lunches.
  8. The thermostat in the summer is set to 84 degrees and in the winter set to 67 degrees. Settings are for temperatures to not sweat or freeze to death.
  9. An assortment of cups assigned to each kid and left in designated spot to be reused throughout the day.
  10. Hardly any magazines lying around the house but the ones you do see are most interesting.

When a tightwad way of life becomes the normal, it’s easy to forget what things you do to save money. People often ask me what are some of my tricks for saving money…I usually draw a blank on the answer. Doesn’t everyone have cloth napkins in their kitchens?

Really it takes time to incorporate different lifestyle changes. When I first got married we ate at restaurants almost 3 to 5 times a week. My husband and I still talk about when the kids move out maybe we can go out to eat once a month. Well maybe we will.

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  1. Love it! I’ll add the Ziploc bags hanging to dry. My kids think I’m nuts.

    • Stacey says:

      So a Christmas present would be a nice new box of Ziplocs? I may or may not have put them in stockings.

    • Chris says:

      Good grief, my family does all of your 10! As well as your friend’s ziploc bag suggestion too…..:)
      Hubby’s car is an ’89 with 210K miles! And ppl say both Mom and Dad HAVE to go out to work? Love the “no store bags around.” Never even realized that but yes, rings true also.
      Garage sales are awesome for almost anything too! We’ve been raising a family for 13 years on one salary. I left when my oldest was born and never went back….no cable TV, no dinners out, tent camping when we travel, grocery coupon clipping it can be done.
      Thanks for a true and fun post Stacy!

  2. Katey says:

    Kindred spirits! I use kitchen towels instead of paper towels. Drives hubs nuts 🙂

    • Stacey says:

      I have a drawer full, I figure I do laundry every day…might as well throw in the towels.

  3. I must be a tightwad 😉 love it

  4. Funny, I didn’t even think any of these things were strange 🙂 I guess I’m a tightwad.

  5. I am most definitely #1,2,3,4,7,9,10. However, I have never really thought of myself as a tightwad. Just thrifty and resourceful. 🙂

    • Stacey says:

      No, it seems a lot of people think the term “tightwad” is a bad thing. I learned most of my tightwad skills from the “The Tightwad Gazette” a long time ago. The term has stuck with me over the years. I always thought “cheapskate” was the bad term. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Kelly P says:


  7. Your list proves it – we are a tightwad household! I have the Tightwad Gazette books, but I originally subscribed to her newsletter, way back when. Funny to see how things we’ve been doing so long are now becoming fashionable.
    I confess – no homemade dishwasher detergent here. I wasn’t impressed. I do keep homemade laundry soap on hand, though 🙂
    Thanks for your list – love it!

  8. Koneta Andrew says:

    Total tightwads here! My hubz drives a 1996 explorer with over 300,000 miles on it, I have a 2000 minivan with 250,000. The bonus is NO car payments. We have a great mechanic who keeps us on the road. I recently made homemade dishsoap, as soon as I am out of regular laundry detergent I plan on making that too. My son recently asked me for a pair of black shorts….”Mom just go to goodwill and get them” I love the song thrift shop because it makes popping tags cool. Thanks for the list…it rocks!

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