For those that are unfamiliar with the term it's not as gross as it sounds. It just means that you think very carefully about how you spend your money. I've always tried to spend my money wisely, but the last few days has really showed the extent of how far I'll go.
Every city has a few touristic sites it has on offer, whether it be a zoo, rose/Japanese garden or large monument. The majority of these rarely offer anything new and really interesting and the ones you do end up going to you do so for the sake of saying that you've been there, with a few photos to prove it. And they are usually stupidly expensive which is why only tourists go.
I often prefer to just get a feel of a new city we're visiting by strolling/biking around the different neighbourhoods, eating a awesome local restaurants and try to find free local events/fairs/festivals that are on. Our first day in Seattle we went to the 'wooden boat festival' and signed up for a free sailing lesson on a vintage wooden sailing boat. Now this is an example of just normal non tightass behaviour. Sailing lessons in Sydney are really expensive so who wouldn't jump at the chance for a free one right?
Well later that day we were walking around downtown Seattle and a guy offered us some help because we were staring at the street map for awhile. This guy ended up working for a timeshare company and asked us if we would be willing to go to a sales 'presentation' in exchange for $70 worth of tickets to Seattle's attractions. Now I would have normally walked away from these scammy-feeling deals but he was offering tickets to see the Chihuly glass garden which was the ONE paid attraction that I was willing to part money with after I fell in love with his installation at the Bellagio in Vegas. We also got the visit the space needle (like centrepoint tower in Sydney) as part of the deal.
I thought the presentation was going to be this boring powerpoint presentation in a big room full of equally tightass people and it was going to be SELL SELL SELL. But actually it was a smallish room and it was Kevin and I talking one on one to this young, friendly guy whilst eating free cake and sandwiches for 1 1/2 hours. We all knew that no timeshares will be bought that day (even though he was offering a heavily discounted rate of just $18 000) but he did his spiel, we got free cake and at the end we walked away with free Chihuly tickets. Huzzah! We also got a $25 restaurant voucher but it was an expensive restaurant we probably would spend another $50 there anyways because entrees would start at $20 or something.
So we went the space needle (which was ok but kind of boring) and Chihuly glass garden (which was stunning and of the likes I have never seen before) but this unused restaurant voucher was eating at me. There was no minimim spend on it so it would be like throwing away money if we didn't use it right? Even if we just had dessert there just to use it up? Kevin told me to forget it as it wasn't worth the effort but at the end of the day my tightassness won and I found myself rushing to this fancy pants waterfront restaurant to order two desserts and a clam chowder to takeaway 10 minutes before closing time.
I knew it would annoy them and I palpably felt how cheap I was being as I handed over the extra 25c I owed them but I have reached a point of such zen-like tightassness that I no longer care what people think of me as long as I'm saving money. To which the ultimate goal is not to hoard like Scrooge McDuck and just look at it but to put it to better use like buying as much ice cream as I want.
And since Kevin didn't even want any of the two pieces of cake or clam chowder I ended up sharing it with some folks at the hostel and bought their love through free food. One girl was eating a microwaved bagel with grape jelly for dinner for god sake and another guy was eating canned spaghetti that looked a lot like Hills I/D canned food (dog food). They were really happy about my offerings and happy to hear me yammer on about how I obtained all this free cake. And as canned spaghetti guy says "any story that ends with cake is a good one", and so ends mine. I will now go lie down to nurse my bursting belly.