Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate – What makes someone an extreme cheapskate? Learn the best tips to take your finances to the next level!
Ever wonder what makes an Extreme Cheapskate the way that they are?
An “Extreme Cheapskate” is somebody who will do almost anything to save money. They are the kinds of people who would rather talk about finances then talk about sports, gossip, TV or anything else.
Extreme Cheapskates are slightly-fanatical people when it comes to saving money. They will come up with ways that you have never thought of in your wildest dreams to save money. They are the kinds of people who are just always thinking about number no matter what situation they are in.. In every conversation, everything winds up coming back to money in their minds.
Now, admittedly, some people might find that completely off-putting. Sometimes, talking to an Extreme Cheapskate can be almost as intolerable as being around somebody who talks baseball all the time… it gets really old if you’re not into it.
But unlike with sports, Extreme Cheapskates can teach something new to everybody.
We’re not all going to be involved in playing baseball at some point in our lives. But we are all going to be involved with money.
And, more likely than not, you’re going to be struggling with money at some point your life. That’s why we all need an Extreme Cheapskate to help show us weird and different ways that they use to save money.
No, this is not going to be a post about how you need to stop using toilet paper. (I draw the line there. I need toilet paper my house!) This is about a mindset change.
It’s about finding creative ways to save money!
There’s only so much that you can do to save money in your life. There are only so many things that you can cut out for the sake of saving a few bucks.
What you really need isn’t another list… it’s a different way of seeing your money in the first place.
With that in mind here are the best money saving hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate.
Extreme Cheapskates are budgeting control freaks.
They know exactly how much money they have in their checking account, their savings account and any other place that they keep their money at any given time. Extreme cheapskates live by a very strict budget and they enjoy that. No really… they actually like it that way!
They are not comparing themselves to everyone around them.
So many people are always trying to keep up with the Joneses. Not Extreme Cheapskates! They are just as happy with everything they have as they possibly could be. They aren’t trying to keep up with anybody. This lets them be content, happy, and cash flush.
They’re always thinking about money… and not in a bad way!
Not in a creepy way or anything, I swear! They understand that every facet of their lives involves money and so they know that they had better be making good, solid financial decisions.
They are aware that the world revolves around the use of money. And instead of fixating on getting more stuff, they are thinking about how to be financially sound and an unsound world.
They are always planning ahead.
They know that the money decisions they make today will have an impact on tomorrow and on down the line. If they need money tomorrow then they can’t spend today.
They know that if they want to afford a vacation this year, they can’t go out to Starbucks twice a day, but they CAN make their own Starbucks recipes at home. They know that if they want to have a baby, they need to learn how to have have a baby on a budget so they don’t go broke. You can count on them to have a plan for how to live on one income, even if it’s a low income.
These plans are things that anyone can do, but you need to start planning for them right away!
Related post: How to Talk With Your Husband About Money
They’re always thinking of the big picture.
Extreme Cheapskates are much more likely to be thinking long-term about their finances than somebody who isn’t an Extreme Cheapskate. They are using their money now to make sure that they have a secure future as they get older.
Even thinking much more short-term than planning for retirement, Extreme Cheapskates will not buy something if it doesn’t fit into their long-term plan. Thinking about the big picture helps curb the desire for impulse purchases.
It really helps to keep everything in perspective when you start asking yourself the questions like “will I like this decision tomorrow?” or “do I really need this?” or “will I be glad that I bought this next week?”
Extreme Cheapskates buy everything that they possibly can “used.”
I have never met an extreme Cheapskate who hasn’t bought a vast majority of their wardrobe or home furnishings at a thrift store or at Goodwill. That’s because they understand the value that comes along with buying used.
Remember, they’re not trying to keep up with the Joneses here. They’re making these decisions based on what is best for them and for their budgets. If you have to make a large purchase buying used is the best possible option.
They know to buy their cars used. And, more importantly, they know that there are still plenty of things NOT to buy used!
Related post: 10 Money Saving Challenges to Start Today!
Extreme Cheapskates are always looking for coupons and deals!
This goes along with the concept of not pay full retail price for something. They know that there are discounts available out there. You might have to wait a few days or weeks or months, but the deals are out there.
They will never go to a restaurant without a coupon. Extreme Cheapskates are the most likely people to say “I have a coupon for that!” at the checkout counter.
They’re also the most likely person to tell you about how they use Ebates to get cashback when they shop online. Or how they use Ibotta at the grocery store instead of clipping coupons.
(This isn’t their way of being a jerk. Some people for whatever reason feel like using coupons at restaurants especially is rude. But that’s what they’re there for!)
Related post: Best Apps to Save Money and Get Cashback
They know the value of time and presence instead of gifts and presents.
Extreme Cheapskates are the kinds of people who will be infinitely more excited to spend time with somebody or to have a special day together than they would be excited to spend a fortune on a birthday.
Extreme Cheapskates put a much higher value on spending time with people than they do on simply buying something. They know that if money weren’t an object, the thing that is the most important is still being around people who matter.
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember that people won’t remember what you got them, they will remember how it made them feel. They will remember the experiences and the fun that was had.
Extreme Cheapskates know that the best gifts can’t be bought. They have to be experienced. (And that isn’t a cop-out for just being too cheap to spend money on a gift!)
Extreme cheapskates buy in bulk.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but a lot of people don’t do it because they’re afraid they won’t use all the product before it goes bad. That’s where extreme cheapskates have an advantage. They know how to make things last. For example, if you buy toilet paper in bulk, you can cut each sheet into four pieces and then fold them over once so that you’re using half as much tissue per flush.
Another way to save money when buying in bulk is to combine forces with your friends or family members.
Extreme cheapskates always find ways to save on their water bill
There are a lot of different ways to save money on your water bill, but this one is my favorite. I’m an extreme cheapskate and I’ve been able to cut my water bill in half by doing this. All you have to do is buy a rain barrel.
A rain barrel is basically a big container that you can use to collect rainwater from your roof. You can then use the water to irrigate your garden or lawn, or you can use it to wash your car or dog. The best part is that they’re not very expensive- you can buy one for as little as $50.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of rain, you can also buy a pump to help get the water out of the barrel.
They know how to use coupons… all. the. time!
Are you looking for ways to save money? If so, you may want to try using coupons. Coupons can help you save a lot of money on the items that you buy. In fact, some people are able to save hundreds of dollars each year by using coupons.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when using coupons. First, make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. There is no point in saving 50 cents on an item if you can get it for free somewhere else. Second, make sure that you are organized. You don’t want to miss out on a great deal because you didn’t have your coupons with you.
Finally, be patient. It may take some time to find the best deals in your area. But once you do, you will be able to save a lot of money.
They bring lunches and snacks whenever they can
If you want to save money, pack your own lunches and snacks. This is a great money saving hack for people who are extreme cheapskates. By packing your own food, you can save a lot of money over the course of a year. Not only that, but you’ll also have healthier food to eat.
One of the best things about packing your own food is that you can customize it to your own tastes. If you’re a fan of sandwiches, you can make them yourself and save money on pre-packaged sandwiches from the grocery store. You can also pack fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day.
Packing your own food is a great way to save money and stay healthy. If you’re looking for more ways to save money, be sure to check out our other money saving hacks.
Extreme Cheapskates keep their thermostat still
If you want to save money, one of the best things you can do is not mess with the thermostat. This is a trick that I learned from my extreme cheapskate days, and it’s saved me a lot of money over the years.
The thermostat is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting energy and money. People often don’t realize how much they can save by simply not adjusting the thermostat.
I have a friend who is an extreme cheapskate, and he has never adjusted his thermostat in all the years he has been living in his house. He keeps it at a comfortable temperature all year round, and he never has to worry about his energy bill.
If you want to save money, don’t adjust your thermostat.
(I know this can be tough if you live where it’s hot in the summer or cold in the winter, but do what is comfortable but not to the point where you’re wearing blankets inside in the summer or tank tops in the winter 😉 )
They turn off the lights
As an extreme cheapskate, I have learned a lot of ways to save money over the years. One of my favorite ways to save money is to turn off the lights when I’m not using them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t do it because they don’t think it will make a big difference. However, turning off the lights can save you a lot of money on your electric bill.
In fact, according to Energy Star, if everyone in the United States turned off their lights when they weren’t using them, we could save $5 billion each year! So next time you’re not using a room, or you’re done with a task and don’t need the light on, turn it off! You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.
Extreme Cheapskates save by canceling cable and limiting streaming services
There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on cable TV every year. In fact, there are many ways to watch your favorite shows without forking over so much cash. Canceling cable TV and limiting streaming services are two great money-saving hacks for anyone looking to save a few bucks.
One way to save big on entertainment costs is to cancel your cable subscription. According to a recent study, the average American household pays $200 per month for cable TV. That’s a lot of money! If you cancel your subscription, you could put that extra cash towards other expenses, like rent or groceries.
Another great way to save money on entertainment is by limiting your streaming service subscriptions. Many people pay for multiple streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but they don’t actually use all of them.
(Note: I’m not saying to share services… but I *AM* saying that I know people who do… friends will split getting streaming services with logins for the other family or friends. Sometimes people share services to see if they like what’s inside and then buy their own.)
Extreme Cheapskates save money by using water saving shower heads
I am an extreme cheapskate. I save money by using water saving shower heads. I have three kids, and I am always looking for ways to save money. My water bill is usually about $30 a month, but with the water saving shower heads, it is only $15 a month. That is a savings of $15 a month, or $180 a year!
They save money by eating leftovers
If you want to save money, you don’t have to resort to extreme measures, like living in a box or eating nothing but ramen noodles. All you have to do is eat your leftovers.
Cooking a big meal and then packing away the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day can save you a lot of money. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save by eating leftovers just a few times a week.
Another great way to save money on food is to cook simple meals at home. Instead of going out for dinner, cook a simple meal at home and enjoy eating it in the comfort of your own kitchen. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save by cooking simple meals at home.
Extreme Things from the TLC Show “Extreme Cheapskates” that are totally STUPID (and what to do instead)
Not buying toilet paper
Everyone has a limit with what they won’t do to save money… and mine is toilet paper. We cloth diapered our kids, but this takes it to a new level.
Is it worth it to skip the toilet paper?
No. It’s $6 per month (give or take) for toilet paper. It’s sanitary, easy, and is definitely not the biggest place to be looking to save money.
What can you do instead?
My kids have a toilet paper square limit for their bathroom use. We have a 2 square for #1 limit and 4 for #2 (more if needed, obviously).
Drying and reusing paper towels
This is ridiculous. Just utterly silly.
We don’t use paper towels and haven’t for many years now. We’ve been using cloth washcloths for our napkins, hand towels, and cleaning rags. Paper towels aren’t necessary like toilet paper is (in my book at least). So by using a cloth replacement, this save money and time.
Collecting your own drinking water
Look, I’m all about that “save the earth ” and “conserve water” life… but not at the expense of getting waterborne diseases!
If you want to collect rain water to water the garden or wash the car, absolutely go for it!
However. The line gets crossed when we start talking about the people from the TLC show talking about collecting their own water from a spring to save a few cents on tap water.
I’m no biologist, but I know that I was always taught that no matter how clean a water source looks, you should never drink from it unless it’s filtered.
Personally, I use a Berkey water filter (it’s a pricey water filter, but I only need to change the filter once a year for our family). I’ll use tap water over bottled water any day. (Again, this is my hippie side plus my extreme cheapskates side coming together on this one.)
But seriously… getting a tapeworm or giardia or dysentery is NOT worth the $1 a month that using a spring instead of the tap water will save you.
Eating other people’s food!
I didn’t think this one needed to be said. But here we are.
Extreme Cheapskates regularly shows scavenging for food in many ways… but this way is just… ew.
There was an episode where someone literally was at a restaurant (probably filling up on free bread and tap water) and asked someone who was done with their food if they could have it. Like… a stranger.
My dude. That’s crossing a line.
I take leftovers home all the time…. off of my OWN plate. But this is next level.
You don’t know this person. What if they have herpes? What if they have any other communicable disease!? Even just a cold! Come on.
Mind you… this is not in a situation of needing food and being desperate. As extremely cheap as I’ve been, I know that there’s always food at home for me (thank God). This is purely a situation where someone is being cheap just for the sake of being cheap. Many of these people HAVE the money… but choose not to use it. Just skip going out to eat. It’s that simple.
Driving 4 hours to a mechanic who will cut you a deal
As of me writing this, gas is crossing the $5 per gallon mark all over the country. So when I saw a woman who drove 4 hours (one way, mind you!) to visit her mechanic because he understands how to save her money (her words)… is pointless.
The amount of time, energy, and yeah… gas money that you spend going to any kind of a service like this just because “you know a guy” seems like it would defeat a purpose of saving money entirely.
This is where the “extreme cheapskates” show and “extreme cheapskates” in real life differ. There’s a BALANCE that needs to be achieved. Where the money that you save from an activity is MORE than the cost of trying to save that money.
For example, if you drive 4 hours to a mechanic, that’s a whole day of driving and probably 2-4 tanks pf gas. PLUS the cost of the repair… PLUS maybe needing to get a hotel room overnight (if the repair takes any longer than an hour or 2 to complete). We’re talking about an expensive trip to the mechanic even before we’re talking about the work he does to your car! Not to mention that you’ve also lost a day of work in this process, too.
See? Not worth it. Unless it’s someone replacing the entire engine block of your car for free (which is a thousands of dollars kind of repair), it’s not worth it. At. All.
(Things I never thought I’d type out… but…) Sharing bathwater as a family
[The amount of gagging… *vomit*]
This was actually featured on the show where a family literally shared bathwater for a long period of time (I believe it was a week or a month… I can’t remember exactly. But either way, hard no.). This is something that — unless you’re in DIRE straits — should never be done as a way to save money. I’m no doctor, but this seems like a surefire way to get sick.
Going back to the use of rain water or spring water from right above: you CAN shower with rain water if you want to. Since you aren’t drinking it, this is something that you can do (they make these for use in camping).
However, saving money by sharing water is ridiculous. Most people would just take fewer showers or shower at the gym or at a friend’s house or, yes, even use a camping shower instead.
Ultimately… is being an extreme cheapskate good?
There are different types of cheapskates. The first type is the one who never spends any money and is always looking for a freebie or a way to get something for nothing. This person is usually very tight with their money and can be quite annoying.
The second type of cheapskate is the one who will spend money, but only on things that they consider to be a good deal. They will always try to find the best price and will never overspend. This type of cheapskate can be helpful when shopping or trying to save money.
The third type of cheapskate is the one who saves money by being frugal. This person may not have a lot of money, but they know how to use what they have wisely. They are always looking for ways to save money and usually have a lot of tricks up their sleeve.
So… is being a cheapskate good? Not to the extent where you are costing yourself time, energy, and sanity in order to save money. Frugality and awareness with your finances IS good to have.
If you’re ever struggling with your finances, these money saving hacks from an extreme cheapskate will help to kick you into gear.
You don’t need to live under a rock in order to live frugally. It’s all about changing your mindset when it comes to money. With a little bit of tweaking to your mindset, you can absolutely get in control of your money!
- How to Save Money When You’re Broke
- How to Save Money When You Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
- 7 Ways to Save Money Like a Hippie
- 10 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- Best Money Saving Apps You Need
- Take Imperfect Action When Budgeting
- 10 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- You Should NOT Buy Your Dream House
- What to Buy New and Used
- Budgeting Books You NEED to Read
- Save Money Automatically: An Honest Review of Digit
- What Do You Do When You Get Behind on Bills
- How to be a Financially Successful Woman
- Budgeting Allows You to Spend MORE
What’s the best money saving advice that you’ve ever gotten?
As an experienced cheapskate — and one who is always learning! — this is a great post! Being a cheapskate is determining the priorities for your life and situation and you explain that mindset so well. Thanks for sharing at Busy Monday — featured this week.
These are definitely great things to think about when it comes to saving money. Great read! Thank you for sharing it with us at the #HomeMattersParty this week.
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
I found your post through your Pinterst pin. The title is just captivating. These are such great tips. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for all the helpful information!
The Beard + The Bohemian says
We love this article! Everything does revolve around money and the hardest thing to do is entertain friends who don’t see money the way you do.
Another tip: Buying used tires is a GREAT money saving tip. It saves my family around $500 every year. I just bought 4 like new tires for $180 total! They are in excellent condition! Sometimes people who buy brand new cars take them to the tire shop for nicer tires and the tires they replace are often for sale.
You might need to call around to find shops that sell used tires. Tire Trax is a great shop in Northwest Arkansas.
Sabra Casey says
Great tips, thank you for the article!