Kechi means cheap or stingy. Even if you were a big spender back home, here in the world’s most expensive country, you may have found yourself gomi (garbage) hunting, doing kiseru (cheating on your train fares), or waiting for an hour before the supermarket closes in order to get a discount when they mark the prices down on perishable items.
Here are some phrases that will lower your social standing but raise your bank balance:
“Awa nashi de” This is what you say if you don’t want them to put a head on your beer. Awa means foam and nashi means nothing. This one can have mixed results though. Sometimes they will just ignore your request or bring you a beer without the head but only partially filled.
“Makete moraemasu ka” literally means “Can you lose for me?” and is used whey you want to get a discount. Makeru means ‘to lose’ and morau means to receive. Use this expression in discount, second hand and small shops but not in department stores.
“Omori” This wonderful word will get you a heaping helping of ramen, soba or curry for just one to two hundred yen more than the regular price. “Miso no Omori” means a large bowl of Miso Ramen. I used to know a perpetually hungry Australian who would say, “Omori wa deskimasu ka?” no matter where he went and often got an extra-big portion for the regular price. It’s amazing what a gaijin can get away with.
“Tenjihin o kattara, yasuku narimasu ka?” Tenjihin means a floor model. You are saying, “If I buy the floor model, can you make it cheaper?”
“2割 ” Have you ever seen a sign like this in the supermarket? A lot of people don’t understand it at all or think that it is just a 2% discount, but it actually means 20% off. Multiply the number in front of the kanji by ten and that’s the amount of the discount. An even better kanji to learn is 半額 (hangaku), which means half-price. You can see this at McDonalds where the hamburgers and cheeseburgers are half price, and also at Mr. Donuts where they often mark certain types of donuts with this kanji and offer 50% off.