Penny-pinching taken to the extreme
New TV programs have been zapping viewers with increasingly far-out formats designed to make them stand out from the teeming throng of safe and predictable program types. Topping our list in this regard this month is “Extreme Cheapskates,” which obsessively searches for individuals or families of tightwads that are prepared to do anything and everything just to save a few bucks—or cents!
Last week, the tightest penny-pinchers of the lot were the members of a family that saved on dental floss—by reusing it, handing a length of floss down, from one family member to the next! —Now, we’re all for cost-cutting, but this is just too much! What will they think of next, reusing toilet paper?!
Another contestant on “Extreme Cheapskates” was a housewife who did everything to reduce her family’s consumption of electricity. She found out that, in their town, the electric company charged 50 percent less for power consumed at night, when most people are presumed to be asleep. So, she altered her entire work schedule to do as much of her housework as possible in the middle of the night!
That’s right: While everybody else slept, she activated the washing machine, vacuumed the entire house, and even cut the hedge outside her house with an electric shearer! Neighbors who were rudely awakened by the noise she was making thought she was crazy—but, no, she was just being too obsessively frugal for her own good—crazy, like a fox!
A third contestant shared her “extreme” moves to save a few cents here and there: She cut her family’s furniture budget by opting to live in an empty house, with all of her family’s activities—from sleeping, eating to cooking—done on their home’s floor. Now, we know that some space-strapped Japanese families also try to live “minimally,” but they at least have tatami mats, futons, etc., not just a bare floor in an empty house!
In addition, the super-frugal housewife shared her tip for not having to buy new bars of soap—by gathering little bits of used soap and forming a new bar out of them! That sounds really smart, but the mix of scents emanating from her newly bathed family members could be most confusing to sniff!
Finally, there’s the mom who tries to spend as little as possible for special events, like her young son’s birthday party. To get a venue for free, she convinces an old folks’ home to agree to “host” the party, so her son’s young friends are dumbfounded when they attend the party along with a bunch of 80- and 90-year-olds—not a congenial and copacetic mix of guests, you’ll agree!
In addition, she saved on buying a new birthday cake by making-do with old scraps and slices, given a fresh coat of icing!
What about party balloons? She got free promotional balloons with a store’s logo on them, and convinced her poor son that “nobody will notice”!
Due to these and other shameless cost-cutting ploys, she was able to throw a party for 20 people for just $20—or, for only a dollar per head!
A “depressingly awesome” feat, you’ll agree!
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