What We Can Learn From Extreme Cheapskates
I know some cheapskates… My friend in Texas started talking about taking light bulbs out of her fridge and putting bricks in all her toilets. She spent an entire phone conversation talking about all these weird and interesting ways to save money. Finally she tells me that she’s been watching this show on Netflix called Extreme Cheapskates.
Well a few days go by and I decide that I need to watch an episode of this show. So I pull up Season 1 on Netflix and welcome in the crazy. I’m like an observer of a train wreck that can’t overt her eyes as much as she wants to. In a matter a week my husband and I watch all 7 episodes and the pilot.
I have to tell you that when the man started filling his old ketchup bottle with packets from restaurants, I had to laugh. I still remember feeling embarrassed when my grandmother would clean out the packets of sugar and Sweet & Low from our table at any restaurant. I don’t think that woman paid for sweeteners for years!
Now when they say extreme…they are not kidding. I want to be frugal but I am not eating out of a dumpster anytime soon. I am not picking out a refillable soda cup and popcorn bag at the movies either; I’d sooner go without. But if TLC had a show called Kind of Thrifty People not a lot of people would tune in for that. So cashing in on their Extreme Couponing success they bring in the the dumpster divers.
As extreme as many of the people are in the show there are some really good tips, that anyone could put into use, thrown in there too. For instance 2 of their extremist suggest saving the last bits of soap and putting them into a clean soak or pantyhose and using that to scrub your hands. Ok, sure, you might not want that in your guest bathroom; but what about at your utility sink or where your husband cleans up after completing your “honey-do” list? You don’t want his dirty fingers all over your pretty soaps!
Another man picks up change where ever he finds it. After a year’s worth of collecting he takes his family out to eat on purely what he found in change. Now I would take that change to the bank, and not use a plastic bag full of coins to pay for a meal…but that’s meal. Maybe you don’t want to save for one meal out; but what if you saved that same money and bought a family in need some groceries or a gift card for Christmas gifts? What lessons would this teach your children? I know I used to get a quarter from the Tooth Fairy and I was happy…I see parents giving $5, $10 or even $20 for a tooth. YIKES!
Yet another husband and father haggles for everything. Now I don’t know about you but I’m uncomfortable trying to talk down a price on most things but maybe it is worth a try. I have a family member that never misses asking about specials and coupons wherever they eat or shop; and it works about 80% of the time!
Other awesome examples:
- Biking instead of using a car.
- Paying cash for a car.
- Keep track of ALL of your expenses – know how you’re spending your money.
- Unplug any electrical appliances, computers, lamps and tvs; they still draw electricity even when not in use or on.
- Shop used, discontinued, out of season, etc. BIG savings.
- Make more, buy less.
One big lesson – quit living to impress anyone. These extreme cheapskates have gone on lavish trips, have houses that are paid in full and have found joy in the little things.
I’m not giving up my toilet paper tomorrow but maybe I’ll put a brick in the back of the toilet and unplug electrical items that aren’t in use.