Skip Nav
I’m a Financial Advisor — and I Rent My Home and Lease My Car
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Full-Time Freelance Writer
Remote Productivity: How to Stay Focused While Working From Home

Ridiculous Ways to Save Money

Shockingly Ridiculous Ways to Save Money

Although being conscious of your money is a good thing, going to the extreme can be pointless and even a waste of time. Business Insider share some examples of frugality gone wrong.

If you thought being cheap means always leaving a small tip or stealing packets of ketchup, you aren’t familiar with the extremely cheap.

RELATED: Money Secrets From The Amish

Extreme Cheapskates, one of TLC’s questionable “reality” shows, features penny pinchers who will amaze (and even disgust) you with how far they’ll go to save a few bucks.

Here are 10 money saving ideas from Extreme Cheapskates that I bet (and hope) you don’t try.

1. Drying and reusing paper towels

With great spills come great opportunity – to reuse paper towels, that is. Who said they were meant to be used just once?


Trash to most. Money wasted to cheapskates.

The extremely cheap can use their paper towels, wash them, then hang them to before using them again, just like Roy Haynes does on the show!

Read on for more.

2. Living without toilet paper

Forget about separating two-ply — just stop using toilet paper altogether!

Kay Hashimoto, who was featured on the show and interviewed by The Daily Mail, has sworn off buying toilet paper. Instead, she’s substituted soap, water and, errr, her hands. If that makes you queasy, her actual quote from the show is too gross to publish here.

And her savings for all of this trouble/grossness? Drumroll . . . $6 per month!

3. Collecting your own drinking water

We’ve all heard about the high cost of bottled water, but tap water costs too much now? For those that don’t want to pay $0.001 per gallon from the tap, there’s another option: Collect your own drinking water.

Free water tastes even better when you know how many pennies you're actually saving

Free water tastes even better when you know how many pennies you’re actually saving

Ben Livingston of Extreme Cheapskates drives out and fills up on water in a local creek.

4. Covering yourself in cornstarch to beat the heat

I’m not sure how or if this absurd idea even works. But for Ben (mentioned above), who lives in Austin, Texas without air conditioning, anything as crazy as putting cornstarch on your skin is worth a try to beat the sweltering 100+ degree heat.

No word on if he cooks with it after wearing it

Sure, A/C is expensive, but can’t he get by with an electric fan?

5. Eating left-behind food at restaurants

I rarely waste food, but I’d never touch diner’s plate. For Cheapskate Roy (from above), it’s an opportunity to save a few bucks. He’s not shy about dining off abandoned food from a nearby restaurant table.

Keep an eye on your food if you’re seated near a cheapskate.

6. Serving roadkill to dinner guests

If you won’t touch food left behind by nearby diners, how about snacking on a fresh kill by a fellow driver?

Extreme Cheapskates Vickie and John go out with their kids in search of a deliciously-free meal that doesn’t even require a trip to the store. After passing on a little-too-rotted corpse of a fox, they settled on a rabbit they found down the street.

This roadkill pineapple would’ve gone nicely with the rabbit.

But don’t think they’d be so greedy to keep it all to themselves. They invited over a few friends to feast on their road kill rabbit meal.

7. Asking for a dozen free samples, then not buying anything

We’ve all tried an ice cream sample or two before picking the best flavor to indulge in an entire cone’s worth. But if you don’t care about enjoying a whole scoop (and drawing the ire of a local business owner), just go for a dozen or so samples and then buy nothing like Roy does on the show.

Free samples = free dinner

For extra effect, tell your wife it’s a date and let her suffer the embarrassment (yup, he did that, too).

8. Driving a “car” (or what remains of one)

I’m on board with keeping things frugal by driving used car that’s seen more than it’s fair share of miles and may have lost a bit of it’s glimmer along the way. But you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. That is, unless you’re Ben, who takes “clunker” to a whole new level with his ride.

You couldn’t pay me to get inside this car

9. Unplugging everything when you leave the house

Phantom energy wasters like TVs, stereos, and cell phone charges suck up power when you’re not using them. While I’ll even admit to unplugging some of my devices when I leave the house, I can’t imagine unplugging everything in your house every time I leave.

That’s what Extreme Cheapskate Victoria does on the show, leaving literally no appliance untouched.

10. Flushing only once a week

Not to be outdone by the toilet paper saver mentioned above, another cheapskate (Greg) start puts the “It’s it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule to shame. No matter what it is, Greg lets it go a full week before flushing.

Oh, and when he does finally flush, it’s using shower water collected in a bucket.

What’s your favorite moment from Extreme Cheapskates?

Check out these smart stories from Business Insider:

Clever Uses For Household Items

RetailMeNot Picked An Unlikely TV Star To Blog About Saving Money

Ways To Cut Spending That Could Save You Over $1,000 A Month

Simple Household Tips That Will Save You Thousands Of Dollars Every Year

Best Foods Sold at Costco
Holiday Tipping Guide 2017
What Is Wealthsplaining?
Free Printable Wedding Program Templates
How to Save Money Each Month
Should I Buy a House?
Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner
'90s Toys That Are Worth a Lot of Money
Best Budget Bachelorette Destinations
Where to Get Free Books Online
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds