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5 of the Worst Cheapskates from TLC's Extreme Cheapskates Fifth Edition

Extreme Cheapskates is a show on TLC about how the cheapest people save money.

Shawn and Melanie O'Brien


The O'Briens are perhaps America's cheapest family.

They rarely buy anything new and their stuff is made mostly from recycled or repurposed items.

A kiddie swimming pool is a nice thing to have for the kids during summer.

Shawn and Melanie think its a great tool to save money. They reuse the water and wash dishes.

The O'Briens do not buy new things. They still use their cookware even though the handles are gone.

They also created a showerhead using a PET bottle. Sure, it does the job, but it looks tacky.

The O'Briens lack good furniture and their house looks awful. Their realtor has advised them to spruce up their place to encourage buyers but the couple tries to improve their place on the cheap by using carpet samples and borrowed furniture from a neighbor.

The O'Briens try to do their own open house and they do not find a buyer as the potential buyers see issues in the place.

It looks like the O'Briens' cheapskate ways have backfired on them.

Kate Hashimoto


Kate Hashimoto wants to live cheaply in one of the most expensive places in the country - New York.

Kate tries to spend as little as possible.

She tries to avoid spending or tries to acquire things in the cheapest possible way.

For starters, she cuts her own hair to avoid paying for the salon and dumpster dives for things she needs such as food and furniture to avoid paying for them. She also subscribes to free samples of things like sanitary pads, tampons or deodorant. She also tries to grab paper towels from dispensers and brings them home.

Kate rarely buys clothes and still uses worn out clothes she bought several years ago.

She thinks that toilet paper is a waste of money and just uses soap and water.

Kate also washes her clothes when she showers to avoid paying for laundry.

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When her friends came over to visit, she did not even bother to make sure they had a fan or air conditioning and fed them food from the dumpster.

Mason Roberts


Mason Roberts drives his wife Kristina crazy because of the great lengths he will go to in order to save money.

Mouthwash is antiseptic so Mason figures that he can reuse his mouthwash and save money. This is disgusting as people's mouths have plaque and food debris so this is not sanitary. Also, there are plenty of options in the dollar stores or at warehouse clubs to buy store brand mouthwash.

There was a scene where Mason called Kristina and reprimanded her for buying iced tea in a coffee shop. He explained to her that they could have had a month's supply of iced tea for that price had she bought it from a grocery.

Speaking of grocery, Kristina sends Mason off to buy a few items to make a pot of chili. Mason cheaps out and buys cheap substitutes for what Kristina wants.

Mason and Kristina also had an argument about fixing her car. He said he would have his cousin look at it so it would cost nothing. This is a red flag as this cheap move may end up killing Kristina should she have an accident.

Mason would hunt and fish instead of buying meat at the grocery. While there is nothing wrong with this, people will get tired of fish and venison. There is nothing bad about buying beef, chicken or pork from the grocery for variety sake.

The two attend the Roberts family reunion and Kristina discovers that the whole family is like Mason. All of them are cheapskates who have lives centered around saving money.

Apple Melecio


Apple Melecio is one of the cheapest moms featured in the show.

She claims to love her daughter Chloe yet refuses to spend for her. She gets Chloe's toys from the playground. These are dirty discarded toys which other kids did not want.

She makes her own baby wipes from paper towels, water and soap.

Chloe's milk comes from the breast milk from Apple's friends and co-workers.

Her changing table came from a gas station that was going out of business.

Instead of using disposable diapers, Apple makes reusable cloth diapers from old t-shirts.

Apple also scrimps on herself too. She tries to haggle down a salon to fix her hair and to wax her. She offers her own supplies to try to save money.

She also goes to a thrift store and buys used lingerie.

Melody Rose


Melody rose claims to be the "hillbilly cheapskate."

The whole family uses only one tub of water everyday. She also rations the soap and shampoo and makes them last over six months.

Having everyone use the same dirty water is self defeating though as you are just passing on dirt and germs from one person to the next. Only the first person on the queue is the only one to get clean.

Melody also does not use toilet paper and uses newspapers in lieu of toilet paper.

She also uses an LED light lantern to save on power and also snuggles with her family to save on heating costs.

In order to save more on electricity, the family manually washes their clothes instead of using a washing machine and dryer.

Basically, the Rose family tends to forego modern conveniences to save money.

© 2020 Jan Michael Ong

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