(A). A skinflint: a man of small savings; economy carried to excess like one who pares or shaves off very thinly the rind of his cheese instead of cutting it off. The tale is well known of the man who chose his wife out of three sisters by the way they ate their cheese. One pared it- she (he said) was mean; one cut it off extravagantly thick- she was wasteful; the third sliced it off in a medium way, and there his choice fell.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894