“Extreme Cheapskates” on TLC: How to REALLY save money

Extreme Cheapskates on TLC looks at the unusual (and often gross) lengths some people go in order to save money.
Extreme Cheapskates TLC

I often joke to my father-in-law that he’s so cheap, he’ll take the wrong bus if it’s free. Fortunately, I didn’t marry into a family that reuses toilet paper.

See what unusual (and often gross) lengths some people go in order to save a buck in the new series Extreme Cheapskates. The series is based on a December TLC special, which introduced a few misers and showed how they try to get something for nothing. One family, apparently convinced they live in the Soviet Union in 1990, doesn’t want to break the bank to buy toilet paper. Instead, they use cloths that are washed and reused. Another man tries to get twice as much mileage out of a toilet paper roll by separating the two-ply sheets. He also washes and reuses paper towels, and gets his wife some lovely anniversary gifts from a Dumpster. And they say romance is dead.

The six-part series airs over three weeks, with new episodes on Tuesdays at 10pm and 10:30pm ET beginning Oct. 16.

Here are the nine Extreme Cheapskates featured (from the TLC press release):

Oct. 16 10pm ET: Kay (New York City) finds most of her savings in the dumpster. Living in Manhattan means having access to fine dining, and the discarded perishables that go along with it. Kay also saves big by washing her clothes when she showers, and shutting off the gas valve.

Oct. 16 10:30pm ET: Terence (Oakland, Calif.) goes through life without spending money: he picks up loose change, doles out a tiny allowance to his family, refuses to buy furniture and never takes his family out to eat.

Oct. 16 10:30pm ET: Greg (Cincinnati, Ohio) is a Zumba instructor who only flushes his toilet once per week. Greg reuses plastic utensils, and makes money by participating in medical tests… even if it means applying ointment to his rear end.

Oct. 23 10pm ET: Victoria (Columbus, Ohio) is a self-made millionaire who obsessively keeps track of her budget, and is thrown for a loop as her boyfriend Steve moves in on a trial basis to see if he can handle her “flush free” lifestyle, which involves personalized urine jars.

Oct. 23 10:30pm ET: Vickie (Ashton, Idaho) a mother of five who refuses to shell out cash for a telephone, a television or even new clothes for the kids. Vickie hunts for road kill in order to save money on gifts for the kids.

Oct. 23 10:30pm ET: Abdul (Sioux Falls, S.D.) is the ultimate haggler. He takes pride in negotiating a cheap price for everything, from fast food, gas, and utilities, right down to the balloons and cake for the anniversary party he plans for his wife.

Roy (Huntington, Vt.) reuses his dental floss, picks through trash, and makes his own household cleaning supplies. He reuses coffee grinds several times, takes advantage of ice cream samples and gets free refills at the movies from leftovers discovered in the trash.

Ben (Austin, Texas) is very crafty when it comes to his miserliness. Ben uses his dishwasher to clean his clothes, makes his own toothpaste and uses cornstarch to keep himself cool since he lives without air conditioning in the sweltering Texas heat.

Jeff (Accokeek, Md.) has been living the cheapskate lifestyle for most of his adult life. Jeff uses his bicycle as his primary means of transportation and claims he’s saved over $50,000. He takes low-cost vacations by couch surfing and helps a family participate in a cheapskate boot camp that includes a “trash can autopsy.”


Photo: Credit: TLC


About Ryan Berenz 2045 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.