What I Learned About Saving From Extreme Cheapskates

save money

Today’s post is from Adam. He recently got sucked into the hit reality series called Extreme Cheapskates on TLC. Here are some of the things he’s learned from the show.

The reality TV show on TLC, Extreme Cheapskates, is meant to be entertainment. Most of the antics of the people portrayed on the show inspire revulsion rather than a desire to become more frugal. For example, one woman picks a cake out of the trash and serves it to her guests. Another woman cooks up roadkill for dinner.

These examples are why this show is first and foremost entertainment. Basically like all of reality TV. However, once I got past the icky stuff, I was able to pick out a few valuable lessons on saving money.

Save Through Adventurous Eating

eating out

Jeff Yeager is a self-proclaimed extreme cheapskate who appears regularly on the show, and he provides much of the most helpful advice. In one episode he serves up boiled fish heads to his guests. It’s pretty funny to see the looks of disgust on a teenager’s face as Jeff eats the fish’s eyeballs.

So this is an “extreme” example of adventurous eating. However, considering all the bizarre things people eat all over the world, opening your mind to new flavors and textures could be a fun way to save money.

If you’re constantly on the lookout for deals at the grocery store, it’s a good idea to broaden your horizons to food you might not have tried before. It doesn’t have to be fish heads, but it might be chopped liver or an item from the international aisle.

Save by Conserving Water


California is currently going through an extreme drought, and so for residents of that state water conservation may soon become a necessity. When it comes down to it, it’s possible to drastically reduce your household’s water use, and the people on Extreme Cheapskates prove it.

One simple way of saving water, as portrayed in the show, is to take a “navy shower.” This is when you only leave the water on to rinse yourself. While you lather your hair with shampoo and clean yourself with soap, the water stays off until it’s time to wash yourself down.

In Extreme Cheapskates, a woman forces her boyfriend to take these “navy showers” in a pretty demeaning way. She puts a baby monitor in the bathroom so she can bark at him if she thinks he’s using too much water. It’s hard to imagine a grown man putting up with that, but it appears he does.

Despite the brash personalities of the characters in the show, taking a “navy shower” is a pretty reasonable and effective way to conserve water. It might take some getting used to, but if it’s good enough for the navy, then it’s probably good enough for the rest of us.

My conclusion after watching a few episodes was that while I probably don’t fit the description of an “Extreme Cheapskate,” there are a few good ideas for saving money. These people have obviously taken it to the next level, sometimes to the point of lunacy. But if I really wanted to, I could follow their lead and find some great ways to cut my own spending.