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What makes an undervalued and thoughtful gift?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I remember some people of rather limited imagination calling me a cheapskate after reading my blog post. Well, at least I did not "re-gift".

I know someone who orders canned green tea at coffee shops all the time. He says it is a healthier option compared to carbonated soft drinks. 

Well, I told him that canned green tea has lots of sugar too and that they are not necessarily much healthier alternatives. (AK can be very sensible about food too, you know.)

Anyway, for his birthday, I gave him a box of green tea. I told him that he just needs to bring a tea bag a day to work and he would be able to save $30 a month from not ordering canned green tea during lunch! His office has a hot water dispenser, I am sure.

Definitely a healthier alternative with lots of anti-oxidants and no sugar too!

When I told a friend what I did, he said I was a cheapskate! 

Oh, dear. Why did he say that? Actually, did you think the same way? 

Now, now, you can be honest with AK. I promise to listen.

Anyway, I told him it was a $80 gift! That puzzled my friend. He wondered if I bought some atas green tea from Japan. 

No, of course I didn't buy expensive green tea from Japan.

Then, what did I do? I explained:

Well, that box of green tea (which is a product of Japan, by the way) costs me a bit more than $5.00 and has enough tea bags to last about 2.5 months. 

So, the recipient of the gift is going to save $75.00 in those 2.5 months assuming that he pays $1.50 for a can of green tea during his lunch breaks (i.e. 50 days x $1.50).


In fact, if the habit grows on him, he would continue to save money during his lunch breaks forever.

The gift might not be costly but it is worth a lot more than it looks. 

It is an undervalued and thoughtful gift from AK. 

Remember the difference between price and value?

Well, I hope my friend appreciates it.

Related posts:
1. The price of convenience.
2. Genmaicha.


Sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

The foundation of what you have today is based more on your frugality than investment acumen.

It is also one that cannot be shaken by the vugalrities of the market.

I wonder what is the tone when "cheapskate"
Is mentioned? Maybe he is joking...

We fiancial bloggers are all wealthy people. We have enough for our needs and some extra for investment. Let's hope our wealth foundation is not based on money alone.

Frugality that allows Generosity to others, which is what u are doing in terms of charity etc. In that is cheap, so be it. Lol

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

It was a close friend and he said "cheapskate" with a laugh. LOL. That said, the recipient of the box of green tea was not a close friend. ;p

Close friends know that I would spend money on whatever I think is worth spending on. For example, I would buy pretty pricey hand lotions because the cheap ones leave a waxy feeling on the skin. I would give these lotions to friends too because I like to share good things with them. Strange, you think? I don't know. I am just me. :)

Anyway, this blog post isn't supposed to be about me. Well, maybe it is about me but its primary purpose is to show that we should not judge a gift by the price but by the thought that has been put into choosing it. ;)

BP said...

You can get the non sugared ones in can form too. Anyway Can green tea tastes best when consumed cold. Its Not the same thing.

I drink both types btw... Lunch time i drink the cold can one. Office hours i drink the teabag ones.

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

What would spending "more" money on closed ones be strange?

Talking about gifts, indeed it's not about value. When I left my previous workplace, just a simple gesture on walking up to me and talking to me, and telling me I will be missed touched my heart.

Another colleague invited me to taste her home-cooked home with some others ... That is really a mermory I cherish till now.

My department teachers gave me a M. Blanc Pen. I was very shocked as the teacher who organized my farewell party is my closed colleague and knowing how scuttle head I am, will always misplaced pen. I will
Never dare to use it.

My colleague said ya, she know but her bosses insisted we have something more "presentable" and they think when I sign off using this pen, it is very "say been". So Indeed I used it and I lost it. .... Sigh...

But the sketch book is still with me. I know actually which corner of the office it is lying ...

My friend told me the pen costs about 500 dollars. I say give me cash la. Lol

Nasty hor...

AK71 said...

Hi BP,

Yes, sometimes, I would throw a couple of tea bags into my 2 litre jug at home and chill the tea in the fridge. Then, I would have cold green tea the whole day. A fairly inexpensive treat compared to buying bottled sugar free green tea. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your story with us here as well as how absent minded you are with pens. LOL. ;p

No lah. I just thought it might be strange to some readers that I would actually spend money on atas stuff no matter who the stuff is for. -.-"

Money is a tool. I do understand this. However, like with all tools, it should be used in the most appropriate manner to have the best results. :)

Unknown said...

Dear AK,

Regarding sugar, maybe you can try dark muscovado sugar?

If you are more adventurous, you can make a trip to the "Holy Site of Singapore" - Mustafa. Look for organic jaggery. I have only tried the normal jaggery due to being cheap. I am sure the organic version is the "Holy Grail" of sugar.

NTUC sells green tea for 80 cents for 20 tea bags, just for info.

MK - don't know much, want to learn more said...

Hi AK,

I'd take being labelled a "cheapskate" by crazy consumer-driven people as a badge of honor.
Something like being called "stupid" for not taking bribes by dirty politicians :P

Anyhow, i found that it is a waste of time trying to convert these hyper-consumers & brand-driven folks. Good too else the companies that i invest in won't be having fat profits!
Should be grateful for such folks neh :P

Clement Quek said...

Hi AK,
Sorry for being out of topic.. Can you advise how we purchase gold as an asset and the most economical way of doing so..
Thank you and happy weekend,,

AK71 said...

Hi Unknown,

Thanks! I will keep an eye out for the stuff you mentioned. :)

Hmmm... 80c? I must go take a look. I am quite particular about the tea leaves being from Japan and also not having staples on the tea bags. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi MK,

I know what you mean. Someone recently told me that if more people are frugal like AK, then, Singapore might lose 0.5% in GDP growth!

I am so stunned like vegetable! -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi Clement,

If you are buying physical gold, I would suggest the 1 troy oz bullion coin as a nice balance of affordability, value for money and portability. I get mine from UOB. :)

Here is an old blog post from more than 5 years ago where I mentioned buying gold from UOB:
Gold at US$1,210 an ounce.

owq said...

I'm sure he's joking but I'm not sure who's the real cheapskate here. I mean, paying more money for less quality? Paying for the metal and the water? I would call that a rip-off. Haha

Anonymous said...

AK cheapskate :) At least, add a double walled glass mah!

It's like this, we can be frugal blah blah, but we cannot
assume all others will be like you mah...

you told close friend its value of $80? or bday boy?

GP Blogger said...

Hi Ak, That was a nice thing you did there with a valuable gift for your friend.
I hope to have a few friends like you.
Thanks for sharing

AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

What is a double wall glass? I cannot buy what I don't know. I only use mugs at home. :)

Oh, remember this? Some of my stuff (Part 3) ;p

I told my friend the box of tea was worth $80, not the birthday boy. -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi GP,

Thanks. Happy to have someone appreciate the gift (and the thought behind it). Haha. ;)

E H said...

AK, your close friend is telling you his impression of you. But he/she tactfully disarmed it with a laugh.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

I am sure that is the same impression many people have of me. I usually laugh when people tell me what they think too. ;p

If the person is someone who matters to me, I might take the trouble to explain my actions but, most of the time, I don't bother. :)

Anonymous said...

i dun noe why using openID give me such a weird name.

double wall glass, the fairly atas glass/cup that has a vacuum in b/w.
holds hot / cold drinks pretty well. give the man tea bags, he drinks
tea for a mth, give the man a atas cup, he drinks tea for life. :)


if close friend thinks so, many others who doesnt know you well, confirm
label you as such lor. i rather AK give fren tea bags with atas tea cup,
give a lesson in value, gain a close fren (from bday boy) and walk away
with good feelings "AK is frugal to himself, but generous to friends" ;)

where do we all submit our bdays to get freebie tea bags? :D

AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

I don't know about giving people a glass or a mug or something like that. My feeling is that they end up collecting dust whereas I am pretty sure tea will be consumed. I hope so, anyway. -.-"

I am rather generous with friends and family, actually. Like I shared with Mike in an earlier comment, money is a tool and I want to make sure that it is used appropriately to give the best results. ;p

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