• Extreme Cheapskates & Photos from the Weekend

    November 18, 2013

    Good morning and happy, happy, happy Monday!

    We had another low-key weekend around here, but it was so nice and much-needed. Here are some photos from it!

    photos_from_the_weekend

    Clockwise from top left:

    • Poor Murphy just wasn’t feeling Sunday morning and stayed in bed for hours. His life is so hard.
    • On Friday night, Mal and I ordered pizza, salad, and spinach artichoke dip from Bertucci’s. It was an epic dinner.
    • A CrossFit friend, who works for Frito-Lay, gave us a few party size bags of Cheetos, so Mal and I have been chomping on them all weekend.
    • I ate my first pumpkin oatmeal of the season, and it was so delicious!
    • Mal and I went to Rustic Kitchen for lunch yesterday. I ordered a hot chocolate. Mmm!
    • I drank my first Sugar Sleigh Ride tea of the season! I sipped it while reading this week’s issue of US Weekly.
    • Lunch on Saturday afternoon was from the Whole Foods hot and salad bars. So yum!
    • Saturday night’s dinner included “organic” mozzarella sticks.
    • Murphy gathered acorns for the long winter ahead and then chewed them up all over the living room. #butthead

    On Saturday afternoon, I got sucked into an Extreme Cheapskates marathon. Has anyone else watched this show? It basically profiles people who are super frugal and shows just how far they’ll go to save (literally) a penny.

    extreme cheapskates
    [source]

    I thought this show was totally fascinating. I could not stop watching it, and I must have watched 5 or 6 episodes in a row. Of course, some of the things I watched were a little too out there for me (i.e. sharing floss, dumpster diving for food, using cloth toilet paper that is then washed and reused), but I actually got a few great ideas from these extreme cheapskates:

    • Using dryer lint as a fire starter—apparently, it’s really flammable. The guy on TV packed it into a cardboard toilet paper roll and then lit it to start a fire in his fireplace. I definitely want to try this!
    • Sudsing up your car right before it’s about to rain for a free rinse from Mother Nature. I love that this saves you time and energy too!
    • Cutting open your toothpaste tube after you’ve squeezed all you can out of it. I actually do this with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and face wash—you’ll get an extra week’s worth of product!

    Watching Extreme Cheapskates also reminded me of a number of frugal things that my family did when I was growing up. My sister and I lived with my mom, who was completely normal with her money-saving ways. She clipped coupons, shopped sales and flea markets, and took us to thrift shops to go clothes shopping. My dad, however, was a bit more “extreme” with his frugality (although, it was NOTHING like what I watched on TV over the weekend). My sister and I only stayed with him on occasion, so here are just a few things I remember from our time at my dad’s house:

    • To save money on shampoo and conditioner, my dad told my sister and me to use bar soap to wash our hair, which, of course, was, um, awesome when it came to detangling long hair. My mom was not happy about this!
    • To save money on toilet paper, my dad instructed us to count out 4 squares of toilet paper per trip to the bathroom. (I assume this was for #1s, but who knows? I’m pretty sure I didn’t abide by it.)
    • My dad almost never bought anything new. He’s a tinkerer and good with his hands, so he was always repairing or creating things from what he had around the house. At one point, I remember he somehow hooked up a vacuum to a vent in the kitchen, so he could just use the hose when he wanted to vacuum and not drag out the whole vacuum cleaner.

    Questions of the Day

    Do you have a frugal family? Did they do anything “extreme” when you were growing up?

    Do you consider yourself frugal now? What are some “extreme” or (just semi-extreme) things you do to save money now?

    P.S. Just got word from Reebok that they’re planning to offer some really great Black Friday promotions. Stay tuned for details!

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    { 75 comments… read them below or add one }

    Amy November 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    My mom was frugal when I was young but it was more out of necessity. She was a single mom of three girls and her frugal ways meant we never went without. She was the queen of butter and cool whip tubs for leftovers like tuna noodle casserole, a meal she could afford. We got to eat out maybe twice a year and we would get two meals to split between the four of us and we never paid full price for anything. My mom was a proud woman and still is! She may have been frugal but I never wanted for anything and she did it all on her own and despite being eligible for government assistance, it was never an option in her book. She would have rather been frugal!

    Reply

    Kelly M November 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    @Amy: That’s awesome. I work a program where you see many people take advantage of gov assistance. It’s nice when people work for their money.

    Reply

    Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. November 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

    That show is crazy. I’ve only seen it once, but some of the things that are done are way out there! We actually save the dryer lint in a tube for our friend’s fireplace (we don’t have one of our own). It works pretty good!

    Reply

    Dana November 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I finally came across this show last night and got sucked into four episodes. I’m all about saving money/deals/coupons but yeah–this was wayyyy beyond extreme. It quite honestly was the best comedy hour of the night! I couldn’t help but think, “this can’t be real.’ The pregnant woman dumpster diving for prenatals….dumb and sooo not sanitary. And the couple looking to purchase 1 coffin when one of them dies, and when the other goes, they just place the other on the already dead person….And the mom who gardens and vacuums at 4am….eek!!!

    There was more…but it’s just truly captivating that people really will go to great lengths to save a buck. I believe in living within your means, yet still having some nice things. It’s called space it out/time/saving/and moderation. :)

    Reply

    Niki Mosier November 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I totally got sucked into that show too! I agree they might have played it up for TV a bit, but there were some good tips.

    I wouldn’t call us frugal, but we try our best not to buy things new unless its necessarily or not sanitary to buy it used. We save plastic bags and use them for pet waste, do the dryer lint thing for fires, etc.

    Reply

    Danica @ It's Progression November 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    My husband is obsessed with Extreme Cheapskates right now…I watched 2 episodes with him but can’t watch anymore…In a sense, it reminds me to be more frugal as well, but mostly I’m just overwhelmed with concern for these people! I mean, did you see the one with the woman who didn’t buy toilet paper and well, took care of things herself? And she hadn’t bought clothes in like 10 years? It’s a little concerning, and I worry about them! There’s a line between being frugal and just not being hygienic anymore!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats November 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I saw this show a couple weekends ago too!! It was CRAZY! In the episode I watched, the whole family shared bath water to cut down on bills, and used crumpled up newspaper instead of toilet paper. EW!

    Reply

    Colleen November 28, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I really like the show because it reminds me not to be too frugal, and not to get lost in the details of life while losing sight of the big picture. There are many wonderful frugal people and being frugal has great attributes, but from every episode I’ve seen so far, the folks on this show always take it too far. They affect their friends and family with their extreme behavior.

    Reply

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