Saving Money Ethically

Posted on May 14th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

In the past we’ve talked about couponing ethics, but I think you can take the ethics of saving money even further. Ethics are simply defined as a set of moral principles. There are several things that I won’t do to save money, but you may not agree. We’d love to hear your take on these things that I won’t personally do, but I do have friends who would consider these things ok. Where do you draw the line? Let us know!

1. Don’t take food into the movie theater.

I just stepped on some toes huh? I won’t lie, I gave our theater the rights to name our next child. They are so expensive. I think the markup on food at the movies is around 900%. But the rules is no outside food or drink. I had an economics professor in college tell me it was ethical to pay for a ticket and stay all day at the movies as long as you kept buying food. He said theaters make their money off concessions more than anything so they don’t care. I think he was just trying to not spend money, but I digress. If a business has rules, I think you should follow them.

2. Don’t share soda at a restaurant if you order water.

Restaurants are another place that marks up their sodas. You’ll spend around $2.50 for unlimited refills that cost them around $.10. I do break my rule if you pay per refill because it’s no different than buying two, but if you are only paying for one, only one person should drink it. This also applies when eating at fast food places and bringing back the cup you used at your last visit. They mean free refills from the same visit.

3. Don’t lie about your kids age.

I won’t lie, I am so tempted to do this because I think the age restrictions are dumb, but again if it’s a rule I stick to it. People do this at amusement parks all the time. Twelve and under will be one price, so you may be tempted to take a couple of years off your 14-year-old, but if they are going to enjoy the park, pay their admission. Same goes for restaurants. If your kid is too young to eat off the kids menu, try splitting a meal with them to save money instead. Again, I understand the temptation. We went on a cruise and paid $200 for my 6-month-old to do nothing but ride around his stroller. I made sure to get whatever food he could eat though because he was getting some of what we paid back!

4. Don’t steal toilet paper from hotels.

But please do take the shampoo! I don’t have much to add to that. Leave the TP where it belongs. Besides we Thrifty Divas tell you how to get it for cheap all the time anyway!

5. Don’t steal internet.

One time I was logging onto the internet at my home for the first time and I noticed in the list of wireless networks, one called “not yours”. I got a chuckle from that. Yes, if the person doesn’t put a password on their network, they are asking for you to steal their internet. But if you plan on using the internet for your own enjoyment or even business purposes, you should buy your own.

What do you think about our list? Agree, disagree? What do you think?


  1. Jodi Bradshaw May 14, 2012

    so why is it ok to take the shampoo but not the tp? i understand that you’re not suppose to take food in, but we bring our own candy sometimes but still purchase a drink. and we buy the largest size of drink because you get free refills. so we share and get it refilled.

  2. Brie May 14, 2012

    I agree with you on everything but the theaters. For me it depends on the theater and how much you pay for the ticket. For instance the family owned theater from the town i grew up in that only charges $4 a ticket and doesnt get much business i wouldn’t feel right sneaking food into, but the theater from the town i live in now that is a part of a chain of theaters accross the country that gets a lot of business and you pay about tripple to see the same movie there i dont feel bad sneaking food into that theater.

  3. Barb May 14, 2012

    I have to admit we do not go to the movie theater very often. It is just too expensive. But I will admit I have taken food into the theater. The prices they charge are highway robbery. Also the options they provide are truly unhealthy.

    It is really just better to stay home and watch it on DVD. I sometimes miss the big theater environment, but in the end it really is not worth it.

  4. Jill Wagenaar May 15, 2012

    I sneak food in to theatres. Their prices are outrages!! I don’t take T.P. from hotels. I agree on that. I make sure I refill my soda so I feel I am getting my moneys worth. I have taken a cup to another restaurant of the same name & got soda. I don’t do it anymore because it is wrong. I have never lied about my child’s age for things.

  5. Nicole May 15, 2012

    I think movie theaters need to provide healthy options and make sure their popcorn is popped in a healthy manner. Then I would more often gladly shell out the money for the snacks they provide. I still always buy my water there though.

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