As lovable as the Dutch are, it’s no secret that they’re stingy as heck. Offering to carpool to work and then sending you a bill, not only for fuel (fair) but also asking you to chip in on yearly maintenance costs — say what!
Dutchies really push the boundaries on what is considered socially acceptable in other cultures. But hey, they get away with it, and manage to save a euro here and there while they’re at it.
We know, we know, there are some generous Dutchies out there — but we’re sure you know at least a few of the below types too. 😉 Here are 14 of the stingiest things that Dutch people do!
1. Send a Tikkie for really minuscule amounts of money
Ever heard of a little thing called Tikkie? Of course you have, this is the Netherlands — and I’m sure you’ve all received one for 60 cents, or an equally tiny amount of money. In fact, this whole article could be about tales of absurd Tikkie’s — there are that many — but that’s for another day.
All jokes aside, Dutch Tikkie-ing is an extreme sport. Ever been to someone’s house for dinner and had them slap you with a Tikkie the next day? That’s how you know you’re in the Netherlands! Going Dutch, eh. 😉
2. Be masters of DIY
You know what they say: any accountant can be an electrician or a plumber! Wait, that’s not a thing? Well, it is in the Netherlands! Need to lay some laminate flooring? Your house needs to be rewired? Decided you want a new staircase? That’s a DIY job!
It seems like every Dutchie has these skills in their arsenal, because the other option is — GASP — pay someone qualified to do it. It’s this practical side of the Dutch that gets them through mind-blowing home renovations on the cheap.
3. Own a flessenlikker — a what?!
That thing over there that looks a bit like a spatula, what did you say it was again? Oh yes, that’s a flessenlicker — a uniquely Dutch tool loved by many across the lowlands which is used to scrape the hell out of empty bottles and jars.
If you’re anything like me, you may have never heard of a flessenlicker before. But our extensive research (a snap Instagram poll) found that the humble flessenlicker is a fan favourite in Dutch kitchens.
You might wonder why Dutchies would invest time and energy in scraping the hell out of say, a clearly empty ketchup bottle — but we’ve decided the only conclusion is that they get a thrill out of it. Scraper Olympics, anyone? 🥇
2. The “flessenlikker” or bottle scraper. This little kitchen tool helps you get every last bit of yoghurt out of the furthest corners of your tetrapak. Dutch people love “getting the dregs out of the jug”. We like value for money, we do. #Top5DutchThings pic.twitter.com/keY9dqBfvU
— Judith Kingston (@JudithKingston) May 17, 2020
4. Remove the lightbulbs and laminate flooring before they move house
We can’t understand why so many Dutch people take the laminate flooring with them when they move house. What are the chances of finding a new house that will fit your old laminate flooring? Or is that a criterion when people are house-hunting?
And don’t even get us started on lightbulbs. While Dutchies save their precious euro unscrewing each and every half-used lightbulb, the new residents will probably spend their first night huddled around the light of a smartphone — welcome home!
5. Eat bread with minimal condiments for breakfast and lunch every single day with glee
We always thought the reason the Dutch breakfast and lunch menu consists solely of bread with hagelslag and cheese respectively was that the Dutch have a bland taste palate.
Turns out, it’s actually a sneaky way to save money! Why spend €7 on lunch for a day, when you could spend that much and have breakfast and lunch for a week? Smart with money — or downright stingy?
6. Refuse to spend money on public transport or a taxi
It could be four in the morning, there could be a blizzard, they could be wearing a ball gown, or their wife could be giving birth. None of these things matter to Dutchies, who believe their biking skills are far superior to any weather phenomenon or health event.
While we’ve gotta admire their determination, there’s no denying that often it would be far more comfortable to spend €10 on a taxi rather than cycle five kilometres through a thunderstorm in a figure-hugging floor-length dress and heels. But, as the Dutch say “You’re not made out of sugar!” (Je bent niet van suiker!)
7. Retrieve half-eaten food and bottles of wine after dinner parties
Have you ever had someone over for dinner and asked them to bring an ingredient? A cucumber, for example. It might come as a shock to you to realise that they’ve left, and taken that half-eaten cucumber with them. Goodbye to your hopes of making tzatziki.
While in other places this would be considered blasphemy, it isn’t too unusual in the Netherlands. Perhaps the Dutch standard of living is so high because of all that money they’ve saved by retrieving half-eaten leftovers after dinner parties?
8. Not providing food at weddings
We all know the best part of a wedding isn’t the ceremony — it’s the food. But be warned, if you receive an invite to a Dutch wedding, make sure to read it carefully. Often, guests are only invited to the ceremony — and not the reception.
Of course, some people do go all out, and there are plenty of perfectly valid different ways to mark a wedding — but in general, the unions of Dutchies aren’t the big white wonderlands that you have in other countries. Wednesday morning, 8 AM at the courtroom is more their style. Obviously, you can’t have a thrasher that early in the morning. So you see, there’s a method to their madness — or maybe it’s just a ruse to save some cash?
9. Take food to places that serve their own
Yeah, going to the zoo can be a bit pricey, so why would you pay €5 for a snack at the on-site cafe when you could bring your own perfectly good broodje kaas in a little zip lock bag from home?
If that wasn’t bad enough, we’ve all heard the infamous myth about Dutchies flocking en masse to the campsites of France each summer. Great for French restaurants, you say? Wrong. See it would be, but Dutchies are notorious for bringing all of their own food — pindakaas, jam, and macaroni. With all the culinary wonders that France prides itself on, we’ve just got to ask ourselves “Why?”
10. Plan a surprise or romantic getaway for their significant other — and then expect them to pay for their half
Let’s just throw the social rule book out the window, why don’t we? While the Dutch are super pragmatic, romantic getaways are much less dreamy when you know you’ll be receiving your half of the bill for it in a couple of days’ time.
You haven’t even heard the worst of it yet. One of our readers told us about a time when her boyfriend bought her a gift….and then sent her a Tikkie for it later. Can it even be called a present if you have to pay for it yourself?
11. Pick one travel destination over another because of a €3 price difference in the flight tickets
Ahh, Athens would have been so nice and you’ve always wanted to go there — but Krakow is €3 cheaper. What an obvious choice! After all, are you even Dutch if you aren’t financially prudent?
P.S. Hey Dutchies, your flight departs at 6 AM from Eindhoven — have fun leaving home at 3 in the morning.
12. Prepare a single piece of meat per guest
Ever been to a friend’s house for dinner but gone home feeling kinda hungry? Yeah, it’s a Dutch thing. These damn Dutchies are notorious for cooking for the exact number of people and only preparing a single piece of meat each. Even though refrigerators were invented a century ago, there’s no place for leftovers (or people with a bigger appetite) in this society, because the broodje kaas is king.
13. Happy birthday! We hope you brought your OWN birthday cake, because that’s the only one you’ll get
It’s your birthday, gefeliciteerd! 🎉 But we’re in the Netherlands now, so there’ll be no fanfare. Don’t forget to bring your birthday cake — yes that’s right, you have to bring it yourself. Your friends and colleagues will be expecting it (because they have it written down in their birthday calendar in the toilet). But remember, everyone only gets one piece each.
While we’re on the topic, you can be certain no one will be buying you a convertible for your birthday, but maybe your friends might chip in and buy you something super useful, like a new pedal bin for your kitchen. Ahh yes, they knew how much you wanted one of those… haha nah, they just wanted to make sure the gift they got you wouldn’t go to waste.
14. Buy random things (in bulk) from the supermarket just because they’re on sale
We are convinced that many Dutch pantry staples make it onto the grocery list, not because Dutchies even like them, but because they’re always in the ‘bonus’ — or, in non-Dutch speak, on sale at Albert Heijn. Why else would people eat so many dubious-looking kipschnitzels? We can’t even prove that there’s actual chicken in there.
Dutchies will stop at nothing to get a discount and to really maximise on that saving. While most aren’t that extreme, one group of friends, after hearing that their local supermarket was selling three crates of beer for €25, brought a tractor and loaded up on €6,000 worth of beer. Now do you believe us?
If, in reading this you had a shiver-inducing flashback to a time when you encountered a stingy Dutch person, don’t take it personally. Their parents and grandparents were like that, and their kids probably will be too. It’s just the Dutch way!
What’s the stingiest thing you’ve ever seen a Dutchie do? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Khosrok/Depositphotos