As a "professional cheapskate" people like to tell me their tips to save money. I love hearing them. But I make a point never to try to "outcheap" someone by telling them where to get it cheaper, unless they ask. And I never scold them if I think they've crossed a line into "crazy cheap."

When Twin Cities' residents Julie Miller and Robin Herbst wrote the "The Cheap Book" in 2008, they were surprised at how many people took offense to their book. One person commented on Amazon.com that their book ($10) is a "total ripoff." It "slaps the face of anyone serious about saving money or living the frugal liefstyle." 

Another person at Amazon says the book makes "a mockery of people who cannot afford anything."

Ouch. Apparently, we cheapskates can't see the humor in our ways. 

I liked not knowing if Herbst and Miller were making fun of cheap habits or embracing them. In the "about the authors" note in the book, the two write about encouraging their cheap ways growing up together in....Edina.

Now that's funny. Cheapskates from Edina. Miller describes herself as being from the wrong side of the tracks in EAST Edina. Now she's a director at Best Buy. Herbst, from WEST Edina, grew up in a very nice household but with a cheap father who is a doctor. As adults, both live very comfortable lives while still staying true to their cheap ways.  For example, they both re-use Ziplock bags. Herbst even washes them and puts them on a drying rack on her granite countertops.

What's funny is that while the local authors practice truly cheap habits such as re-using Kleenex or cutting open the toothpaste tube for one more hit, they also are wine snobs who frequently pay $40 or more for nice bottles of wine. Miller paid $189 each for a couple of bottles of Cristal to celebrate the publishing of their book.

Now that's something that this cheapskate admires. I like to see people splurging on something that makes them happy. I'd also like to see people not passing judgment about how someone else spends her or his money. I can't speakl for the rest of you, but I'm an inconsistent cheapskate. I'll add water to liquid soap to make it last longer, but I'll pay $110 for a Theory shirt on clearance at Neiman Marcus because I like the fit. Go figure.