I don't want to spend too much money on phones. May I say

I am cheap with phones


I am cheap about phones

I have come across a sentence that says

I am cheap for certain things

Does that mean I can say

I am cheap for phones

or can I say

I am cheap on phones

  • Using cheap in this sense is not idiomatic in my estimation. There are a large number of expressions you could use from being economical to being mean or tight-fisted, but cheap is not normally used in that way. – WS2 Oct 20 '15 at 22:53
  • @WS2 In the United States it certainly is used in this sense. – Matt Samuel Oct 20 '15 at 22:55
  • Though a little wordier, it's more idiomatic and natural-sounding to say, for example "I am cheap when it comes to my phone". Or "When it comes to phones, I'm cheap!" Or "I'm a cheapskate when it comes to paying for phone service." – Kristina Lopez Oct 20 '15 at 23:10
  • @MattSamuel Sorry, I hadn't realised that. Cheap is used in many senses, but that's a new one on me. – WS2 Oct 20 '15 at 23:10
  • 1
    @KristinaLopez The OP seems to have thrown up one of those occasional Anglo/American howlers - like randy (an innocent boy's name in America, but having an insatiable sexual desire in Britain). Being cheap is not something any self-respecting British person would want to be accused of, let alone admit to. – WS2 Oct 20 '15 at 23:15

I would say, "I'm cheap when it comes to phones." "I'm cheap on phones" also could be used, but "I'm cheap for phones" seems ungrammatical.

  • I don't think that would work in British English. – chasly from UK Oct 20 '15 at 22:59
  • Why don't you think it would work in British English, Mr Chasly? – Tom Lee Oct 22 '15 at 2:05

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