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The 7 best penny-pinching ways of Ikea's Ingvar Kamprad

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A man of economy

Ikea store Shutterstock

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the man who's made his fortune providing the masses—sometimes via less-than-ethical, scandal-attracting means—with bargain, assemble-yourself furnishings and cheap, if, again, rather dubious, Swedish meatballs is a bit of a cheapskate.

But then one considers the fact that Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has billions—with a 'B,' guys—and has been rather obscenely wealthy for many decades now, and it makes every thrifty choice a bit confusing again.

According to the UK's Daily Express, which recently wrote all about the frugal life of "Mr. Ikea," Kamprad apparently went through his spendy phase in the 1960s—Porsche, fancy suits, and all. Ten years later he had abandoned it for crinkled clothes and chewing tobacco. "He wanted to appear a man of the people, one of us," wrote Kamprad's former assistant. Here now, the seven most cost-conscious ways of Ikea's man of economy:

7. "Arriving at a gala to receive a Businessman Of The Year Award he was at first refused entry because he had come on the bus."

6. Instead of dining at fine restaurants when he's traveling, Kamprad will drop into a nearby Ikea and enjoy a $4 plate of Swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam, and mashed potatoes. Also: he takes home the salt and pepper packets.

5. Those people who come in wielding allen wrenches to put together your Ikea haul? Kamprad forgoes the fee: "he assembled every stick of Ikea flatpack furniture in it himself." Of course, that could mean he has not a single shred of particleboard inside—that or he's using furniture-assembling robots—but somehow that seems unlikely.

4. Speaking of his home, his main abode in Switzerland is no mansion; rather, it looks like a modest, (above). (Though he also has a country estate in Sweden and a vineyard in Provence, so let's not give him too much credit.)

3. Ikea "co-workers" are told off if they don't use both sides of a sheet of paper or leave the lights on when leaving the room.

2. Much like fellow billionaire Larry Ellison, Kamprad is rich enough to own an airline...but he flies economy on budget airlines.

1. He drove a 15-year-old Volvo—"She is nearly new, just 15 years old, or something like that," he once said—until he was convinced that it was probably dangerous to continue doing so.