Five stinkin' dollars ... that's what started a massive argument this weekend between several police officers and "Real Housewives" stars Teresa and Joe Giudice -- all because the couple didn't want to pay a tiny beach entrance fee, sources tell TMZ.
Here's the back story -- the Giudices were kickin' it on Ship Bottom beach on Long Beach Island, NJ Saturday afternoon (with roughly 30 friends and family members) when they were approached by a teen girl beach worker.
Sources on the scene tell us, the employee asked to see the Giudices' "beach badges" -- basically $5 admission tickets required to chill in the sand -- and the family flipped, refusing to "pay to go to the beach."
We're told one family member even yelled at the girl, saying, "F*** you, f*** this we are not paying for the f***ing beach. This is a joke!" Remember: 5 dollars per person.
We're told the girl started crying, and when beach PD responded ... the Giudices continued to kick up a stink, but eventually coughed up chump change.
Of course, Teresa and Joe are facing massive money fraud charges, but still -- 2 TV stars oughta cough up 5 dollars without a fight.