Extreme Cheapskates is a show on TLC about how the cheapest people save money.
Jeni Cox is a mother of three and tries her best to save where she can.
She likes to keep herself fit so she uses the exercise bike in the local sporting goods store. She prefers it over paying for a gym membership
Jeni uses a car to get around but she is very frugal about it as she only loads up a gallon of gas at a time to limit where she can go.
The centerpiece of Jeni's home is her swimming pool. She and her kids do not take many vacations so the pool is their vacation. However, the pool upkeep is quite costly as it uses a lot of water as well as power for filtering it.
Jeni does everything she can to save as she uses plastic jugs filled with sand to use less water through water displacement. She also uses bubble wrap in lieu of a proper pool cover to prevent debris from falling in the pool and to lessen evaporation. She also got a second hand exercise bike with a dynamo to power her pool filter.
In order to save even more water, Jeni washes her laundry in the pool as it already has chlorine.
Jeni also does her water displacement tricks in the bathroom as she placed a few bricks in her toilet bowl tank to lessen water usage.
Stephanie works as a flight stewardess for a major airline.
She uses the perks that are meant for passengers to save herself a lot of money. She brings home leftovers from airline meals. She also collects half eaten nuts from the plane and deposits them into a huge plastic container. The pillows in her home are from several airline pillows put together. The blankets in her home are likewise from airline blankets she stitched together. Her coffee filters come from airline pillow cases.
Stephanie also tries to frequently visit the lost and found to pick up any items that have been left by passengers and she also visits the unclaimed baggage center to be able to pick up goods on the cheap as these were items lost by passengers.
She even got married there in order to save money.
Her fiance and now husband Jimmy finds this behavior absurd and over the top. He still loves her though.
Karissa and Rick Parran
Karissa and Rick Parran are husband and wife but do not act like a conventional husband and wife.
While husbands and wives usually have their own set of hygienic implements and supplies, Karissa and Rick share them. They share their soap and shampoo. They share their cotton buds, razor, toothbrush and floss.
What they are doing is quite unsanitary as hygienic supplies are disposable and single use for a reason.
The couple are however competitive savers as they try to outdo each other in saving water and electricity. They spend a lot of time tallying their power and water usage.
What is disturbing is that they do not share food with each other and label their food and even hide them so the other cannot get to it.
The saving does not stop there. They visit a funeral home and avail of a plan in advance and pay for the casket to be exhumed to bury the spouse who died last.
Ron Maestri is a foodie but is hellbent on spending as little as he can on food. He rummages the trash for food he can recycle and for wine. He also forages the city for herbs to use in his culinary creations.
Ron does not spend much either for furniture and clothes. He does not have any furniture. He only has a makeshift bed made out of styrofoam peanuts, bubblewrap and wood. He has a barebones closet and only owns three shirts and two pairs of shorts. He owns no underwear or socks.
He believes that any money that does not go towards food is a waste.
Ron works for a cookware company and uses this position to get free samples of cookware from manufacturers.
Maestri holds cooking classes and teaches his students on how to prepare gourmet meals for next to nothing. Today's menu is lobster thermidor with wine.
Ron tries his best to get the ingredients for free. The greens come from weeds foraged on the streets. The condiments used come from packets given by restaurants. The lobsters come from a dumpster near a seafood restaurant. The wine also came from the leftovers in the bin.
The only thing they bought were tuna cans.
The meal is great as the lobster broth has infused the tuna with the lobster taste. The wine is also good as the blender has decanted it.
The class participants are appalled to know that their delicious meal came from the dump.
The issue with this is that dead shellfish are a source of ammonia and may have bacteria already. Not all bacteria is killed by boiling.
Goldy Locks is a musician. from the East Coast. While her band never became as big as The Spice Girls, The Beatles or The Backstreet Boys, they do get plenty of gigs and have opened for the likes of Nickelback, Ted Nugent and Maroon 5.
She was seen nationally when she worked as a manager and interviewer for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Despite her success, she still tries to live as cheaply as possible.
Her home is a former condemned clinic. She was able to get the leftover medical supplies and use the bedpans as litter boxes for her cat. She has then renovated it on the cheap by furnishing it with furniture from the dumpster or thrift store.
She also serves her band mates a mixture of leftover liquor by the bar patrons and charges her band mates money for driving them around. They also practice in abandoned structures instead of a proper studio.
Goldy also saves on hygiene by using discarded socks as sanitary pads and piggybacking laundy on her friends when they do their laundry.
© 2020 Jan Michael Ong