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!