Written March 19th, 2012   

Extreme Cheapskate?

I finally got around to watching the first episode of the TLC show Extreme Cheapskate. I recorded it back in February, and my husband wasn’t home on Saturday night, so I thought I’d watch (he would NOT like this show!).  Apparently, this show is now going to be a regular series.  I for one can’t wait!

TLC shows are often kooky-kooky, and this one is no exception.  But if you love livin’ La Vida Cheapo, this is a fun ride.

The Cheapskate ideas in this episode ranged from mild to wild.  Mild: Cut open the “used-up” toothpaste tube to scrape out every last bit of toothpaste before throwing it away.  Yep, I do that.  Doesn’t everyone?  Then there is the Wild: Go around a restaurant and ask perfect strangers if you can have their leftovers (which you  then scrape into the styrofoam take-out container you just happen to have handy).  Wow.  That’s cheap.

Since this is “Reality” TV, I think it’s perfectly ok to take a lot of this with a huge grain of salt.  But, still, it’s fun, and also it makes you think:  “How far would I go to save a buck?”  Everybody has a different answer to that question, of course.

Interestingly enough, four of the demonstrated Cheapskate actions were things I mentioned I would never, ever do to save a buck in a post from almost three years ago called A Few Things I Would Never, Ever Do to Save a Buck.  Maybe they read it and it gave them some ideas.  Well, more power to you, I say.

Some observations, though, which made me think: There were three couples featured, and in each relationship there was one Extreme Cheapskate and one Extremely Tolerant, good-natured spouse.  (Try to guess which one I am).  Also, all three couples lived in very attractive, comfortable, neat and organized homes.  No extreme hoarding, despite the dumpster-diving.  And they all appeared to be enjoying life and having a good time.  One couple had six young children with a stay-at-home mom, and another ran a dog rescue from their (nice) home.  They can afford to do the things they REALLY love and want to do because they are so cheap.

I think of myself as a Tightwad, but I’d never go to some of these extremes.  Right?  Well….the other day I refilled my husband’s tiny travel-size toothpaste from the big one.   He needed to buy another one, but I just hate to spend .97 on those little tiny things!  Hmmm…maybe I do have the Heart of an Extreme Cheapskate!





Tags: Frugal Ideas

6 Responses

  1. Dawna Says:

    I love your catch phrase….livin’ La Vida Cheapo! you should get a trademark on that one! LOL

  2. Tessie Says:

    Hey, you’re on to something! That would be a good name for a blog. I give it you. Happy Birthday! (Wow, I’m cheap).

  3. Michael Petrella Says:

    Hi Tessie!

    Love this post. I’m the casting director for the aforementioned TLC program (among others), and thought I’d reach out. We are, in fact, producing 8 episodes like the pilot (though they’ll be half hour programs instead of a full hour) and we’re looking for a bunch of cheapskates to feature on the program. If you’d like to be considered — or know others who would make excellent candidates — don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I’m happy to walk you through the process.

    Keep up the great work — I love the look of this page!

  4. Steven Says:

    Oh good … I was wondering how my life could become even MORE frugal :P

  5. Tessie Says:

    Hi, Michael!
    Wow, I’m glad to hear straight from the source that there is more to come. Yay! This is definitely a show who’s time has come. I for one can’t wait to Watch and Learn from the Titans of Tightwaddery. Oh, and thanks for liking the look of my blog. This is the work of my husband, he’s a wiz (but not a Cheapskate! Well, sometimes he is. Heh).

  6. Tessie Says:

    Oh, Steve, there’s always MORE ways to be Frugal!

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