Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Help! My Mom's A Cheapskate!

I am a cheapskate to the highest degree! iFos once told me, 'Mak ni cheapskate la!' You see, when I buy things, I don't do it compulsively out of sheer urge. I'd look around, compare prices, weigh everything out and would settle for the cheapest but with optimal quality. It could take me few days to decide buying something pricey.

For instance, buying a book. I simply love Grisham. His court drama and it's intricacies are phenomenal. His is a truly un-put-downable, page-turner, gotta-finish-whatever-happens and all the bombastic phrases used by book-praisers to make them best-sellers. So each time, he writes a new book, I'd be looking out for it. For my birthday 2 years ago my 2 eldest daughter forked out 80 bucks from their duit raya just to buy me a new-realeased hard cover of Grisham's King Of Torts. "Thanks I said but why waste on hard-covers?" I lamented, sounding almost like an ungrateful prig. "Laa, mak. It's Grisham, your favorite author and it's your birthday! Why not a hard-cover for keepsake?'
'Well, you could have gotten me something else worth the 80 ringgit. I can wait for the paper-back', I quipped. 'But Mak, when you love reading something, how can you wait?' argued iFos. 'I can wait. It's not as if the books will run out of stock or something', I answered quick. Knowing iFos, I can't never win in such debates. iFos, queen of I-must-have-the-new-release- editions-or-I'll-die-of-shame! When JK Rowlings were about to release her recent book, The Half-blood Prince, iFos made a pre-order at Kinokuniya. Never mind that it is expensive (to my cheapskate standard anyway). The only consolation? You get a H.P.'s magic wand for free. Yeah, like you can do anything magical with it, eh! And her sister too bought another hard-cover of the same edition. Why do we need 2 hard-covers of the same thing, I asked myself. Why do we need to make JK Rowlings rich when she has problems addressing her wealth and fame? Beats me.

Once in a bookstore, we saw some paperbacks of the old Harry Potter and L.O.T.R. editions at half the price of the original edition. 'Wow!' I exclaimed, 'you should have waited for these, they're super cheap!' 'Mak! I can't wait 1 year for that! That's uncalled for!' she cried bewilderedly. 'What am I to say when friends discuss about the books?' 'Well, I can wait if it means only paying half the price,' the old cheapskate retorted. I don't care if I look dumb when people discuss about what happens to Harry or his friends in his latest book.

That's why I love sales! I just love the 70%, 50%,20% cut signs. It just give me sheer satisfaction when buying discounted items. Feeling smug, it's as though I have accomplished something out of this world!

My eldest son is truly brand-conscious. iFos has labeled him as being in the league of metrosexuals. Where did he get that streak from I wonder? Here I am a cheapskate and I have a son who is the complete opposite of me! Everything must be original labels! Even cars! Cars must be BMWs! Once I was admiring the new Volks beetle. When I found out that one costs a whopping (almost) 200k, I resignedly said, 'Apalah mahal sangat. Not worth it'. And he frustratingly responded, ' Mak, if you love it, you have to go for it!' 'I might as well get an MPV of about the same price. Can fit more people!' was my cheapskate response.

Sometimes I make jokes regarding his obsessions for brands. Once, I was buying titbits for him to bring back to college during the Ramadhan. I was picking up some Oreo biscuits when I accidentally picked another brand 'Stereo' or something, heheh. He looked at me, astounded. 'Why did you pick that for?'. 'I thought you like Oreos?' I replied. When he pointed the name, only then I realized it was different. 'Laa, biscuits, all taste the same what?' Talk about brand-conscious!

Even Luqman, my youngest, is starting to show his disagreement with my 'cheapskateness'. 'Mak, belilah yang mahal sikit. Elok lagi!' Why do people think that when it is expensive then it must be good? Well, my kids do!

I don't know. Am I doing this because of trying to practice 'zuhud-ness'? But then my son will give me a different interpretation of zuhud. So the best term for my 'appalling' behavior in my kids' eyes is 'cheapskate'. Are you too?


kenakelayan said...

Hehehe I am a cheapskate too!!! *calit sikit* Kuasa to layan all these branded stuff mania...

Your eldest will have a lot of chances to buy branded stuff here at cheap prices if he makes the effort to go to duty-free centres or outlets. So we can find out for sure if he likes the branded stuff because he likes expensive stuff or because he appreciates the finer things in life... hehehe!

Re: books.. can get latest hardcover releases at 40-60% discount at amazon.co.uk. I pun pre-order jugak.. at 40% less, with free delivery to boot, on the day of release!!! Yes kuasa to get the lazy bum out of bed and beratur panjang at the store when I know the book will come to me!

But now I am a bit more lenient in terms of brand names. If I can afford it, and if it is of good value and if I think I really need it then I would just go for it. Like I would only buy certain brands of washing up liquid or softener or shoes or loo rolls or bread because those are what I am satisfied with. But I don't mind eating reduced bread loaves if I like the taste and will not membazir it.

P/s Stereo tu memang tak sesedap Oreos! I know, because I tried some (nak jimat duit)!

Nurelhuda said...

Dear me
Now I know why we resonate so well . Meet another cheapskate!
I had this clarion radio from my old wira, which I have sold since but since I had a cd changer with it , I kept the radion. So when the radio on the mercedes konked out , I made the accessory shop man shove the big clarion radio into the space left by the konked out sony. The man who is a lover of beauty and a lover of mercs said, it would spoil the looks , it is too big, what you need is a new sleek radio that will fit in with the rest of the panel. I said can you shove the Clarion into the space. He said yes, so I said , do it. I m not about to waste a perfectly good radio with cd changer for the sake of aesthetics.

Then when I was sending him back after he sent the car, he said the speakers are not good anymore..I said ok wait till I have some spare cash and he said , it is not that, it is when you want to do it , you can! Ulp!!
Don t let me carry on about shoes and bags and all.....as for the children .I give them the money , they can go buy their own branded clothes..I'll wear the baju kurongs and blouses sold by the Kampucheans in Masjid Tanah..so what if sometimes somebody wears the exact same baju as me? My daughter thinks it would kill her if that happens..

afie said...

Yikes! Mumsysss talking here. Tamau masuk campur!!!!!! *backs off quietly*

pycnogenol said...

No afie, you must come back here and bring all your friends too. Let us address this issue calmly and intelligently.
This is indeed a good topic for Ramadhan and with the Eid just around the corner, and lots and lots of shopping to do, let us all sit down for a little cyber usrah here.
On behalf of drroza, I'm now inviting Aymi, Hiyoshi, iFos, crimsonskye, hazel, lovestruck_me and the rest. I know most of you are good debaters. We are not asking you to debate here to find the winner or the loser. We just want your views.
Mummies here just want to understand you.
By the way, I am the Chairman. I promise to be fair and just to everybody.

Sunflora said...

Hehehe are you really a cheapskate or do you put value above brand names?

I am a bargain hunter too, why pay retail price when you can wait for it to go half price ;)

sunrise in the west said...

blog hopping from sentral

No laa.. I dont think u r being a cheapskate.. it is common style of shopping.. value for money, a bargain a hunter..

I go for branded only sales time hehehe

Nurelhuda said...

Dr Roza
I have to tell you this: I buy books from Abebooks.com. The books are super discounted and if you choose carefully you 'll get then brandnew even though they sell secondhand as well.They have got a super large book collection...be sure you note the shipping charges though..For me shipping usually cost more than the books themselves but I ve done my maths and they still cost less then buying them locally. To save costs, get a few from the same supplier and take note where the book supplier is since Abebooks represents book suppliers from several countries .

Tok Ki Anjang said...

Ni Tok Aki Anjang dah ingat balik sikit sikit. Kalo dengan Moyang Zali London tu rasanya awok kaloh lagi. Dulu dulu lar. Pegi pasor beli ikan longgok sebab muroh tapi bila sampai rumoh nok masok, separoh dah pecoh perut. Bila arwah komplen, dia kabor lar kalau buang hok rosok berapa ekor tu pun, masih untung. Gamoknya tu pasal lar anak anak dia tiga suku belaka.
Aki pernoh gi Supermarket dengan Moyang dulu nok beli seluar jin. Tu lar sekali je pengalaman seumur idup Anjang dapat tengok orang boleh dapat tawor harga beli kat supermarket. Tapi berjam lar sampai panggil manager dia.
Nok tau cheapskate tak nya, tengok je lar kereta dia tu. Duit beribu tapi balik balik pakai kereta zaman Tun Razak. Tayor sampai dah pancit keluar kawat besi baru lar nak tukor.
Kalo Ifos nak tunggu dia belikan buku lar, buken tunggu setahun. Gamaknya kena tunggu sampai buku Harry Porter tu ada jual pakai kilo baru lar dapat baca.
Tu lar...siapa lar boleh lawan dia.

Queen Of The House said...

I see streaks of myself in what you described, DITH. But I don't call it cheapskate. Looking for VALUE for money, shopping wisely, tak nak membazir. I can wait for the books for a year, too. But maybe that's bcos we are OLDER, we are MOMMIES, we are spending OUR OWN money.

By the way, I shop for books at Payless Books. They are really cheap there, never mind that they are not the latest bestsellers! I especially love it that I can get good cookbooks, coffee table books (these really don't have to be the latest, anyway).

bergen said...

Nope it's not cheapskate, I call it mothers know best.

crimsonskye said...

one thing i've always noticed, is how easier it is to ask for something expensive and well, branded from my father rather than my mom LOL

but if we can get something that functions and do the same thing for a much cheaper price, then why not? on the other hand, having a value added branded item (like cars, computers) may prove to be better in terms of quality.

i don't think all these are examples of cheapskating, just wise ways of managing money.

dr in the house said...

Kenakelayan-*calit* balik :). I've got a feeling he goes for the price...lebih mahal , lebih bagus..ngeh ngeh..:)

Nurelhuda- fancy us sitting next to each other wearing the exact baju kurung (courtesy of makcik kampuchea kat Masjid Tanah)..that'll be the day!

Afie- laaa...naper nak lari cepat sangat! Debate baru nak start

Pycno- thank you for being a good moderator and a crowd puller. Tapi you tak jwb soalan.

sunflora-Bargain-hunter who goes to the limit eventually becomes cheapskate, hehhe

Serendipity- Yes, buying branded goods at bargain price, that's real pleasure!

Nurelhuda- thank you for recommending Abebooks.com. Will browse

Aki Anjang- Aki, memang special betul moyang zali london, unbeatable!

QOTH- Have you ever experience this: you bought yourself something good and pricey and when your kid finds out, they try to make you guilty for not buying for them as well, some more can say, "mak beli mahal boleh ek?".

Bergen- how well do you know your mom?

Crimson- Aki Anjang will say the opposite of your first sentence.:)
I know expensive cars are expensive because the technology is worth that much. Still I wont go crazy over a small car with big engines and costs me the moon! No!

pycnogenol said...

I voluntereed to become the moderator to avoid answering the question. ;)
You dont need a crowd puller.
You are one yourself - a natural CP !!

dr in the house said...

Pycno- natural CP= chauvinist pig. hehehhah.

kenakelayan said...

drroza: if my future kids (inshaAllah) ever dared say 'mak beli mahal boleh pulak?' I woud say 'mak kerja orangnyeeeee... ni duit mak earn sendiri, bukan mintak dgn org. kalau nak barang mahal, beli sendirileee'.

ngeh ngeh. :) recently decided to get a portable cd player. In the shops the most cikai brand was 8 pounds. Campur tambang bas pergi balik ke kedai, dah dekat 10 pounds. So I looked in ebay, dapat brand new Phillips for 6.50 plus 3.50 delivery. No prizes to guess which one I went for :D.

pycnogenol said...

Crowd Puller lah doctor..... ;))

dr in the house said...

I knowlah- pull leg skit laa!

Queen Of The House said...

DITH, kenapa pulak tak pernah. Balik kerja, tengok2 my girls dah 'menerai' my makeup, my baju, my kasut. "Nak macam Mama punya" they said :0

bergen said...

I don't her at all, doc.

anobody said...

interesting topic, am a lover of grishams book as well but sanggup tunggu for paperback baru beli cuma tak faham kenapa bila harry potter, must die2 get the copy at least in the first few days. I guess it's cause dia sambung menyambung, I need to know the continuation, tunggu setahun, nak tunggu sehari lagi tak sanggup!

as for branded goods and stuffs, when we're growing up (me and my 2 elder brothers) we just wear what our parents got us. I would say, I start buying branded goods bila ada gaji sendiri, so rasa less guilty ha ha ha. It's different spending your own money and your parents. With parents kena jawab, why the need of something branded. Even now duit sendiri masih kena soal jawab. But I only splurge on Levi's jeans. other than that, tshirt 20 bucks pun jadi.

I'm amaze as well ada kids ada handphone even. rasa jealous hahahaa why do they get it so young, tak rasa sangat the hardship of how to get those hardearn moolahs =)


dr in the house said...

Rafthah- I don't give my kids the luxury of handset at young age. They only acquire those when it become real necessity after entering higher education. However my eldest son got it early as he went to MRSM (solely for communication with us, I think??)

Afie911 said...

Hahha. I guess being a mom makes u sumwut a "cheapstake". Actually i go for both brand and value and weight both the aspects b4 I buy anything. So i guess i'll just take the side stand here. Btw, I got the hp when I was in f4 i think. One of my sibs (my bro to be precise) got it at the age of 12!!! Ughhhhh. Haha.

crimsonskye said...

speaking of handphones, to me as long as i can call and send messages, well that's enough for me :)

btw drroza, i believe those 'expensive' cars (namely the imported ones) are not really that expensive because of the technology, but due to their hefty taxes. here in labuan, the price of a toyota or a honda is pretty much the same as a wira or a waja. no prize for guessing which one people would go for :)

ayumi_of_mirkwood said...


Heheh.. I'm a cheapskate when it comes to certain things.. But NOT when it comes to manga and anime (has to be in high quality, for the highest viewing/reading pleasure).. and like Ifos, I LOVE owning books once they're out! I can't wait for paperbacks!!

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