Monday, May 13, 2013


During the extremely long time we sat in the hospital waiting for something to happen, we watched a lot of reality TV.  Go ahead, judge us; you try spending three nights in the hospital waiting for a baby and not watching any reality TV.

One of the shows we caught a couple of episodes of was called "Extreme Cheapskates."

Attribution obvious.

After watching several examples, I can only conclude that "extreme cheapskate" means someone who focuses on extremely eccentric ways of saving money, to the detriment of the rest of their life.  Every person I can remember from the show missed out on one money-saving technique that, if saving money really WERE the point, should have been obvious to them.

For example:

1. The Lady Who Drives around with Her Family in a 12-Passenger Van Looking for Roadkill to Cook and Eat for Dinner.

This and subsequent images are all from the show.

And turn the fur into crafts.  And give them to the neighbors.  And tell the neighbors about it (the neighbors were okay with it until the last part).

The operative word here is "van."  That van can't get very good gas mileage, and they're driving all over the countryside in it.  The amount of money they spend on gas and maintenance on that vehicle could probably be put toward some sanitary meat and fur if they would just walk to the grocery store.  And don't tell me they can't, because she walks to the library to use the telephone.  Using roadkill may save "hundreds," but those hundreds are eaten up by their money pit of a van.

2. The Guy Who Fills up Huge Barrels of Water in the River to Save $0.99 per Barrel then Drives Them Home in His Horrible Old Truck.

This is not (necessarily) his truck.  But just try googling it and see if YOU can find it.

And won't fix it because it's too expensive.  And drives down the road at 20 miles per hour while everyone else honks and swerves around him.  And shouts "99 cents, baby!" apparently every time he fills a barrel with water from the river.

The operative word here is "truck."  A truck he won't get fixed.  A truck that most assuredly gets horrible, horrible gas mileage.  A truck that gets even worse gas mileage when loaded with barrels full of water, which weighs 62.4 pounds per cubic foot in Fluid Mechanics class, and something near there otherwise.  $0.99 is an ever-decreasing fraction of the price of one gallon of gasoline in the United States these days.  He would save more money by staying home and drinking from his stupid tap instead of going out of his way in a horrible old money pit of a truck to get unpurified water.

3.  The Guy Who Digs Empty Popcorn Bags Out of the Trash at the Movie Theater to Get Free Refills then Gives Them to His Wife.

And who didn't want to go on a date with his wife in the first place because it was too expensive.  And goes to an ice cream place and asks for a bunch of free samples but then doesn't buy anything.

The operative word here is "van," even though I didn't say it in the original description.  The fact is, they drove to the ice cream place in a van.  They drove to the movie theater in a van.  If they had walked to the movie theater, they probably could have bought a little something there.  (Or they could have just brought some treats from home.)  If they had walked to the ice cream place, he probably could have bought something, instead of filling up on free samples and alienating the staff of said ice cream place forever.  I, personally, like ice cream enough that I might want to go back to the same place more than once, a possibility that is now closed to this man.

Now, commutergirl and I have a car.  And yes, it is a money pit (more on that later).  And I realize that you can't walk everywhere (though, after last weekend, I think I might be able to; more on that later, also), nor is there transit service to everywhere.  But surely if you're that obsessed with saving money, you can keep track of one of your biggest expenses: a motor vehicle!

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