Essential Stinge Viewing: Extreme Cheapskates

I am in Perth at my parents house, spending Christmas enjoying my cats, free food cooked by my mother and some quality time on the couch with cable television. I love TV so much and so have spent far too much time channel surfing in the name of ‘catch ups’ because I rarely sit on my couch at home, mostly because it’s actually the most uncomfortable couch ever!

It was during one of these channel surfing sessions that I discovered Extreme Cheapskates on a channel called ‘Discovery Home and Health’ (in the USA it airs on TLC). Of course, I was immediately drawn in by the name alone, it spoke to me, it said: ‘Georgia, you can learn so much about being a better cheapskates by watching this amazing, educational programme!’

Well, I couldn’tve been more wrong. Yes, it was educational… but not in the way I expected it to be. I always thought I was a pretty good cheapskate, and I am, but man these people take the term ‘cheapskate’ and take it to a whole new level of special. One guy fished an empty popcorn bucket and soft drink cup out of a rubbish bin because he knew the cinema offered free popcorn and drink refills. Ew. Just… ew.

He also reused paper towels and paper plates by hanging them out to dry! (Um, it’d be cheaper to own fabric teatowels and proper plates and just wash them, idiot!) Oh and this guy isn’t poor! Most of these people aren’t poor, they’re just cheap!

This dude showers in his clothes to save on the cost of running a washing machine.

Another man starts his 1985 ute with an Allen key because the ignition broke and doesn’t own toilet paper – nope, you wash your bum with the water from the tank on top of the loo. Yeah, I know this is sterile water, but geez asking your guests to do that is a bit rich! He also collected water from the local creek and boiled it to ‘save 99cents’ – which is what tap water costs. Hey dude, using your stove to boil the water probably costs the same.

This guy does his laundry in his dishwasher with the dishes!

While some of these people’s ideas weren’t half bad – like putting a bar of soap in a sock and using that to help create foam faster when washing your hands, and never saying no to a free refill – they were both batshit bonkers and I honestly cannot wait to watch more episodes! I am a failure of a cheapskate and I need to improve! Plus, if you really watch properly, you can learn a thing or two from these people, even if it’s just to remind you that your frugality isn’t so bad after all… at least you’re not pulling popcorn out of the rubbish bin!

Of course, being the stinge that I am, I don’t have pay TV at my own apartment in Sydney and I’m sure you don’t either, so in the spirit of the show itself, I recommend checking it out on YouTube. I renounce my throne, these people really are the kings and queens of stinge. All hail ye cheapskates!