The TLC reality show Extreme Cheapskates gives you an inside look at the most outrageously frugal people around. Recently, my twin sister told me I was a money hoarder, but my saving habits would be laughable to these extreme cheapskates. Many extreme cheapskates embarrass family members with their crazy saving techniques. They do everything from eating out of the trash to reusing tissues!
Here are 10 crazy ways Extreme Cheapskates save money.
1. Eating Roadkill – A mother and daughter drove around their town looking for roadkill. For the price of the gas, they might have been able to make a nice meal instead. Is this really frugal? Would hunting, in the long run, be a cheaper more sanitary option?
2. Buying Expired Groceries – A woman bought expired groceries at a thrift store and then served it to her children and their friends. She bought cheese that had expired two years prior!
3. Dumpster Diving – Many of the episodes show the extreme cheapskates dumpster diving, looking for food. At times, they have even served the food they’ve recovered to guests without disclosing where the food came from.
4. Cooking Lasagna in the Dishwasher - In Cheapskate Stephanie’s episode, she cooks lasagna by putting it in the dishwasher with her dirty dishes. The lasagna is cooked, and the dishes are clean, but guests complained about the “watery” lasagna. How much money did this really save?
5. Rationing Children’s Food – A mother rationed the food she gave to her young children. She went as far as counting cheerios and waffle segments.
6. Reusing Odd Items – On the show, people have reused everything from leftover food to paper towels, tissues, and dental floss. According to extreme cheapskates, nothing should be used once.
7. Asked Strangers at a Restaurant for Their Leftovers - A man took his wife to dinner and asked other diners if he could have their leftovers instead of buying his own meal!
8. Foraged For Salad Greens at a Local Park – Wouldn’t a personal garden be a better idea?
9. Donated shirt to Goodwill to Save on Dry Cleaning - A man donated his favorite shirt to Goodwill so they would dry clean it and bought it back for $1.
10. Free Samples and Free Condiments - The cheapskates take advantage of any free items they can get their hands on. This includes free samples and fast food condiments. Instead of buying condiments, they refill old containers by taking hundreds of the free condiment packets at fast food chains.
What I found most unfathomable about the show, was surprisingly, not the saving techniques. I was more shocked that many of the extreme cheapskates had no reason to be so frugal. In fact, many of the cheapskates are very well-off. Some were even millionaires! Does it make sense to continue being so frugal when you have no need to be?
As a writer for BargainBabe.com, I appreciate the importance of being frugal, but I won’t be becoming an extreme cheapskate anytime soon. In my opinion, living this way would greatly reduce my quality of life and would not be worth the savings. What do you think?